Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Muslin: A Love/Hate Relationship

In January I took a class with Heather Ross and Anna Maria Horner in Palm Springs. With their help I made the Liverpool Tunic by Amy Butler. I started with a muslin. A muslin is a garment made of inexpensive fabric (muslin) to test the fit of the pattern and make adjustments on before you cut into the good fabric. You see I'm a very curvy girl and I wear a larger size. My bust and hips are the same measurement and I have a tiny waist. I'm very hour-glassy. The problem with this is that patterns are not generally made to fit people with my shape or people that are my size. Now, in a department store I generally wear a 12/14 or L/XL depending on the garment. In an AB pattern I was a modified XL (14/16). Parts of that pattern I made smaller to get a better fit. Anyway, I recently got the Sew Liberated Tunic pattern and according to my measurements I'm an 18/20. Sigh, how do I go from a 12/14 to an 18/20? Serious ego blow...but I've been sewing for myself since I was ten so I do know this happens. Its just a number right?

     Anyway, I was really excited to get started on this pattern but past knowledge had me wary of this one. It has an empire waist and box pleats....2 bad things for a person with large breasts....instant pregnant shirt! I'm not prego and I don't want to have a prego shirt!! LOL! So, to begin I made an 18/20 per the pattern directions in some cheap white stiff cotton I already owned. (I tried to buy muslin but the price is up to $4.88 a yd for muslin....when did that happen? I could buy designer fabric on sale for that!  Also, my Walmart no longer carries muslin at all.What??) Ok, so 1 am last night test muslin number one done. My first issue was the empire waist was almost at my bust line instead of below. When it is below, sitting closer to the narrower part of you, you get the illusion of a smaller figure. Too high and its an ill fitting prego shirt that makes you look larger. The next problem was the pleats....tooooo bulky and toooo close together. My solution for the bulkiness was to sew them down 3 inches on all the pleats. Gave the illusion of a flatter waistline. However , it still wasn't good I chose a floral print fabric that was headed to the Goodwill. So my disclaimer on the picture should say," No, I will NEVER wear this. I wouldn't even use it for a quilt. It was going to Goodwill. If muslin didn't cost so much I would've used muslin." I'm paranoid someone will think I intend to wear this shirt. Can you tell?

     So, Muslin two in purple floral....made the top longer by 1.5 inches,  accidentally mismarked the pleats and moved them waaay over, sewed the pleats down 3 inches, took the sides in 1/2 inch. Its getting better but is it there yet? Do I need another muslin? Is three too many to get the fit right?
In January Heather Ross said I'd be so happy I made a muslin. I'd do it from then on. The truth is I had made muslin's before for formalwear, clothing etc. I've been sewing for 28 years.I stopped sewing for myself because of the muslin. The bigger and curvier I got the harder I was to fit. The thing I hate about the muslin is the time and effort wasted getting the fit right. I've now spent an entire night making basically two tops I won't wear. I've ruined 4 plus yards of fabric and I'd still like to fiddle with the pattern. Sigh. So, I have a love hate rellationship with the muslin. They are a necessary evil. I need them in order to get a good fit....I hate them because they waste of time and fabric....Anyway, for this pattern I guess I'm back to the drawingboard for a third go. What do you think? Do like one better than the other? Do you have muslin issues too?

Ps. The pics are awful! LOL! It was early am, I just woke make-up and my 12 y.o. took them in a hurry before school :-)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hi Mom!

Aren't you always supposed to give props to your Mom when you do something great? Like get on TV or win an award or something? Isn't a computer kinda like TV? It looks like one right? LOL! Ok, maybe not.

Anyway, Hi Mom! I'm sure you'll be the only one reading for awhile anyway :-) That and my two followers....who have followed faithfully for months despite the fact I have posted nothing. Aren't Flickr friends great? Speaking of which, it was those Flickr-y friends that encouraged me to get this blog as well as an etsy store to sell my polymer clay pins. I'm not there yet....the learning curve is great....any tips, tricks or help for both blogging and etsy is appreciated!!

I guess I should introduce myself. My name is Christine. I'm a 38 year old SAHM. {Why does this feel like a personal ad? I don't want a date. I promise!} I'm married to the most wonderful man in the world ;-) We have two kids ages 12 and 17. I love to sew, quilt, craft, make things.... (Did I mention I love ellipses? I think I have a punctuation commitment problem....ellipses solve all that! I use them correctly, incorrectly, and way too much! Just FYI. I also can't spell.) I collect and hoard fabric in an organized fashion. (No hoarders show for me!!) I start many, many crafty things. I'm a great "beginner" of quilts but finishing isn't always my strong suit. LOL! Lately, I'm into making polymer clay pin toppers for straight pins. They are fun and a small enough project I can finish them :-)
I am in the midst of a remake of half my garage. I'm turning it into a studio. I live in Base Housing it is kinda like building a fort when you were a kid. It has to be really cool and functional but you need to be able to take it all down and return it to its previous condition before you leave. I did paint the whole garage aqua tho....much to my hubby's dismay ;-) It is an inspirational color for me. But we will be painting it  before we leave!
I guess here is where I put some eye-candy for you to ooooh and aaaaah over. I guess I better go figure out how to do that....hope you can edit these things! LOL!