Muslin’ing Around

Here is proof that I did actually sew a coat muslin! That Rachel is a good influence! We must convince her to move to America.

Check it out and weigh in.

muslin front

The main problem is the sleeve/shoulder area. Too wide and too much sleeve cap ease. The armhole is also criminally low.

simplicity 4110 muslin

One sleeve was sewn in with the recommended 5/8 inch seam allowance and the other was rather slapdash. I think you can tell which is which just from the photo.

muslin back

Is the upper back too roomy?? I did a small swayback adjustment and tapered the lower side seam to give my hips some room. I mean, the coat is meant to be worn with some ease and the actual coating fabric has a far different drape.

Here’s a reminder of how the pattern looks.
Simplicity 4110

The shoulder should definitely be narrowed, as was suggested by my awesome #sewcoatbuddies in the flickr comments. But would I be changing the design entirely if I made it more fitted? Yes, I think I would.

The length is OK.


Would a combo of these fixes make a positive difference??
Narrow shoulder adjustment via Colette Patterns

Threads Armhole Fit Guide

Removing Sleeve Cap Ease via Design Loft

The muslin was stitched together quite loosely, so I think (to save myself cutting out more of this horrific fabric) I will pull it apart and use some of the pieces again. Is that crazypants?? I’m encouraged by the muslin making experience. I know I wouldn’t be happy if I cut my coating straight out and got this fit. Maybe I will try out Anise and see if what changes it might need.

FYI: I’m not sad in these pics.
I’m just afflicted with Chronic Bitchface.

It’s my neutral face. I cannot tell you how often someone asks me if I’m sad/mad/pissed/cranky…. Which, of course, actually makes me three of those four thing ;o)


11 thoughts on “Muslin’ing Around

  1. Ohh I would to live closer… You ate doing well. I think the anise would look amazing on you . I’m so glad our #sewcoatbuddy is working out …

    Can I just say I love the cartoon face lol it’s so clever and funny

  2. I think narrowing the shoulders would make a big difference. But also, as I learned in my fleece Lola, thicker fabric will automatically make something more “fitted” because the fabric is taking up some room.

  3. Muslin’s can be such a saving grace! I agree that the shoulder’s could probably be narrowed – and what is it with the low armhole!? It’s not roomy! It just inhibits motion… grr!
    I also suffer from chronic bitch-face – and the next time some random dude on the street tells me to smile I might. just. LOSE IT!!

  4. Yay for coat making! Try making the adjustments on only one side of the muslin to see how they feel first.

    I think you should definitely try raising the arm scythe, that may make a huge difference. I read somewhere that you shouldn’t just add scraps to your muslin while making it, and instead to cut out new pieces…but I think that’s garbage!! Unpick the arm pit and add a big strip to the bottom of the arm scythe to play with how much you need to add. That’s how I did it anyway.

    Also, I too have chronic bitch-face. It’s a curse. I think that’s why strangers don’t talk to me at parties. I have to force myself to remember to smile bigger when having a photo taken. Stay strong, one day there may be a cure!

  5. i think… i think….

    i think you might wanna grade a size down…

    *runs and ducks for cover*

    ahem. but i also agree with lisette, that extra arm shite will play out different in the real fabric! you could muslin out of that great $4 yd lavender boucle at “material world”…

  6. May I make a suggestion? This is how I alter my garments / fix the pattern for the first fit of all my designs. First, remove the sleeve from one armhole. Then start pinning, marking, and cutting the muslin until you get the fit that you want. Wait a day and then try the muslin on again, making sure that one, you were wearing the garment correctly when you made the corrections, two, that you’re still happy with the corrections, and three, that these are the corrections you want to make. Then, with the pattern and muslin in front of you, transfer the markings to the pattern. It’s okay if you have to take apart the muslin (I often do ). This method of altering gives you a visual of the pattern alterations you want to make. Once you finish altering the body, then alter the sleeve / sleeve cap ease to fit the new armhole (I have a sense that you’re going to reduce bust width). Does this make sense?

  7. Muslin making is not fun but so worth it when you are making something like this. My only advice is to try one alteration out at a time. I say do the armscye business first. You might find that it fixes the shoulder. But keep in mind that I do most of my fitting by trial and error! I am definitely not an expert.

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