The nice thing about making a muslin that’s a straight fitting muslin and not a “wearable” muslin, you don’t have to do the finishing. You only need to cut pieces 1, 2 and 3 and you only need to cut one piece #3.
PS. You don’t need to pre-wash muslin.
Cut out those pieces and mark the patterns. Because it’s a muslin you can use any pen or marker that will write on fabric to mark them, doing it with a permanent marker now may be more helpful for you, in case you need to make changes.
You should layout similarly to the suggested layout on step 4, but we’ll talk more about the grainline in the next part where we are cutting the real stuff. Just don’t cut the muslin all caddywompus – it matters.
The important spots to mark are:
- Piece 1
- The plete marks @ the top
- The center mark (where it’s folded)
- Piece 2
- The dart
- Piece 3
- The center bottom (where it’s folded)
To sew our muslin we’re going to do an abbreviated version of the pattern’s construction steps.
How do you know what pieces or steps to skip/do when making a muslin. I don’t have the answer for that. I think understanding that comes with time and an understanding of how patterns typically are constructed. I wish I had a better formula for ya
Sew the Dart
On piece 2 – Pin the lines together, then start stitching from the outside edge, backstitch/lockstitch at the start, then sew to the tip and right off the fabric. Do not backstitch, sew off and with the needle in the up position, lift up your presser foot and give yourself 3-4” of freedom. Untangle the two threads and tie them in a double (or square) knot where the tip of the bust triangle is. Trim your threads.
Press dart down, use a rolled up towel or seamstress ham to make pressing the 3-dimensional curve that is created by the dart
Sew the Pleat
Grab Piece 1, and like the instructions on page 5 indicate, fold the marks to the center, pin and baste at ¼”
Sew the back yoke
Pin piece 3 to piece 1, right sides together and match your centers and ends. Sew with the ⅜” seam allowance. Press the seam allowance up, towards the yoke. If the muslin won’t hold that seam up after pressing, you can optionally stay stitch the yoke and seam allowance as indicated in the pattern.
Sew the Shoulder Seams
In the pattern you only sew one shoulder, but because we aren’t finishing the neckline, we are going to sew both. In the pattern we are also going to sew this as a french seam. You can either practice your french seam here or sew once, a ½” seam allowance with right sides together.
Sew the Side Seams
Skipping to the side seams, like with the shoulder seam, this will actually be a french seam, but for the fitting we will sew a ½” seam allowance, right sides together.
Ok, flip it right side out and try it on!
How is the fit? There’s endless things that can change, if it’s too large/small in the bust, waist or hip you may need to use a different size. Maybe your body needs to combine two sizes. This is called “grading” between sizes.
Because we didn’t finish the armholes & neckline they are a little smaller than the finished item, but only about ⅜” so they shouldn’t feel uncomfortable either.
Check the length, when we hem the finished item you will lose ½” if you like a longer top you can lengthen pieces 1 and 2 to accommodate your needs.
If you think it fits ok and you don’t need to change anything – you’re ready to use the pattern pieces to make the real thing! If you think you need changes I highly recommend you make another muslin. Because we left those generous ½” seam allowances your muslin has some wiggle room before you need to recut the pieces.
If you make changes, you’ll want to transfer them to the paper pattern and adjust the seam allowances. (I’m glazing over this huge this – Google can help with this more than me!)
If you haven’t already, I recommend pre-washing your good fabric now so we can cut it next time!
I prewash most garment fabric once it comes into the house. Use the wash instructions from the store. Sometimes it’s on the end of the bolt (take a picture of the bolt end in the store) and online some stores have it listed, otherwise you may need to Google it or ask.
Pre-washing helps fabric shrink if it’s going to, and prevent the finished garment from shrinking in a bad way. It also removes the starches and residues from printing, storage and shipping.
Pre-washing does NOT magically turn the fabric to be laundered the way you want it to be. Buyer beware!
Motivational Real Talk
It’s a lot, like lots of steps but it’ll be worth it! We’re being slow and thorough to optimize for success! Next time we’ll be cutting into the good stuff but not blindly; we do it with confidence!
Next up: Cutting the Good Fabric