Of Muslins & (Fabric) Musings

3 Jan

Welcome to 2012, everyone! Did you make any resolutions for the new year? I only made one, forreal-legit resolution, and I actually made it just now (as opposed to pre-2012): I have decided to enter the world of adulthood & start using proper capitalization on this blog. No real reason in particular except that it makes it easier to read. So there you go – my Christmas gift to y’all!

Another goal for 2012 started running through my mind last night while I was working on my coat muslin:
ughhh my fabric stash
Dear Lauren,
You are not allowed to buy anymore fabric this year until you cull that stash under control.

EXCEPTIONS (ah, but isn’t there always an exception?): January & July, my amazing local fabric store has a 40%-50% off sale on all fabrics. I generally use this opportunity to stock up for the upcoming season, and to pick up fabrics that I know I will use but are normally a bit cost-prohibitive (such as silk organza, and extra yardages of rayon lining to, er, hoard). So I’ll allow myself to buy stock-up fabric during these sales, and also a piece or two for funsies. Another exception is anything that involves my mega-cheap fabric scores – flea markets, yard sales, thrift stores, donations, etc. I mean, they’re practically paying me to take this stuff! I’d be a fool to not grab it and go, amirite?

Speak of the fabric sale, I already hit that shit up yesterday (first day!) and picked up a rather modest pile (considering my usual history of how much I tend to spend…):
the only fabric I bought in 2012 :)
The top two don’t count; they are shirting fabrics for Landon’s Negroni. More on that when I make a muslin!
That black under the plaid flannel is dark-wash denim with a slight stretch (for another pair of wide-legged trousers), the stripey is jersey knit with navy & white stripes, the white is boring old cotton batiste (for lining summer dresses), the shiny blue is silk shantung (actually from Mood fabrics), the green is Bemberg rayon lining for my coat (yes! I went with green!), and the big blob at the bottom is my coating fabric from Mood.

Speaking of my coat – have some muslin pictures!

coat muslin
This is actually my second muslin – the first muslin was almost workable, but needed a little bit of tweaking. This is what I ended up with:
– Remove 1/4″ from top & bottom sleeve side seams
– Reduce sleeve head ease (appx 7/8″ at peak)
– Taper lapel 1/2″
– Shift button position
– Shorten back belt 3/4″ on each end
– Remove 5/8″ from center back seam
– Remove 3/4″ from side back seam
– Raise underarm seam 1″
– Reduce shoulder width 5/8″
I think I’m pretty happy with the fit! Tell me what you think, fitting princesses & princes.

coat muslin
The underarm seam was the most confusing adjustment I made. Clearly there was something wrong with the first muslin, as I couldn’t move my arms at all without the entire coat joining the parade. I checked several fitting books, but none of them mentioned the actual armhole unless they were referring to a sleeveless top. I finally determined that the armhole was too low (which makes sense, as the pattern is a slight bit too large for me), and raising it 1″ pretty much eliminated the problem.

coat muslin
the lapels were also a little too wide around the neckline which resulted in some gaping. I pinched out the excess and re-smoothed the lines. There is still a small amount of gape but I want to be able to wad a scarf in there so I’m ok with it.

coat muslin
The back in cinched in via the belt, which is a design feature i loooove. Check out my mismatched sleeve caps – I put one in before I realized it needed to be reduced.

coat muslin
Side looks okay.

coat muslin
What do we think about the overall length? I folded back the sleeves the suggested 2″, but I think they are a smidge too long (like, no more than 1/2″). I like the coat length, although I realize now that I hemmed it 2″ and the pattern calls for 3″. So – current length or 1″ shorter? Eh?

Transferring the fitting adjustments was a PAIN IN THE REAR. This coat has separate pieces for everything – coat, lining, and interfacing! So every adjustment was transferred three times. And I will just (wo)man up and say right now that I did it all to the pattern tissue – no tracing. Whoever owned the pattern before me wrote all over it and made their own fitting adjustments, so I didn’t see much of a point in preservation. I will include my fitting notes should someone obtain this pattern after me, and they can re-add the stuff I cut off. Or something. Don’t be mad!

Anyway, I’m pretty happy with the overall fit of the coat! I think everything looks good & I’m ready to cut straight into the coating fabric. I have my (green!)lining & I picked up some giant covered buttons. Oh, and 3 yards of 72″ horsehair interfacing. Hopefully I won’t need to buy interfacing again until 2013 πŸ˜‰

28 Responses to “Of Muslins & (Fabric) Musings”

  1. Clare S January 3, 2012 at 11:57 am #

    I’m afraid I’m not fitting expert, so I can’t comment in that respect, though the coat is looking lovely – I can’t wait to see it take shape for real!

    As an English teacher, though, I do appreciate the capitalisation Christmas gift – thank you! πŸ˜‰ This kind of thing really does make my day (as I spend my days trying to get people to do things like use capital letters properly!) – sad or what?!

    • lladybird January 3, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

      Haha! Well, in my defense, I do use proper grammar in all forms when it pertains to the business side of my life – I guess I just figured it was time to carry it to the personal side as well πŸ™‚ My former roommate was an English teacher, and I’ve definitely read my fair share of papers covered in red marks!

      • Clare S January 3, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

        Lol – I see! I had noticed that the rest of your grammar/punctuation was good (even the apostrophes, which is a sticking point for a lot of people!), so I could handle the lack of capital letters, though it is a lot easier to read now!

        Forgot to say in my first comment – that sounds like a good plan for fabric buying and de-stashing… Maybe I should do something like that for patterns! :/

  2. molly January 3, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

    The design of the coat looks great on you! I’ve decided to limit my new pattern intake this year, but I have problems with fabric buying too…

    • lladybird January 3, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

      Oof, I need to stop buying patterns too. Both of those cubes on the bottom left? Stuffed FULL of patterns! I pretty much only buy them at the flea market or thrift store (aka: suuuper cheap) so it’s not like i’m spending a bunch of money, at least.

  3. Anonymous January 3, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    Love it love it love it. I’m so happy you went with the green! I think it will look great. Your coat is going to be so awesome. I like the current length. I also like the sleeve length, but if it bothers you, take them up a bit.

    Daniel told me about my scarf! I AM SO EXCITED!!!! I’m literally watching out the window for the mail man every day omgomgomg

    • alyciacreative January 3, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

      Dunno why I’m anonymous… wordpress…

    • lladybird January 3, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

      Ahahaha!! YAY! I can’t wait to see/hear what you think of the scarf – I totally love that yarn; I might make another for me. I hope you get it today! I dropped it at the post office on Friday πŸ˜€

  4. leahfranqui January 3, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    I love the fit of this coat, you are going to look amazing in this thing. I cannot buy any more fabric. Literally must not do such a thing until at least July. July, she said, fatefully, July!

  5. Marie January 3, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

    Oooh, I love your coat and I definitely think you should leave the length as it is (so 1″ longer than the pattern suggests) because it looks perfect. I also love your exceptions to fabric buying…it would be rude not to take advantage of sales!

  6. Miss Crayola Creepy January 3, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    Yay your Mood presents came in! πŸ™‚

  7. Scruffybadger January 3, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

    Lovin your resolution, you crack me up!! I’m gonna tryda be more caj when I leave comments, as homage to you cute lil lladybird! Snappy lining! And that coat’s going to be another cutie (-;

  8. Anonymous January 3, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    Coat looks brill! Personally I like the length you have it at – the proportions look right to me! And love the look of your stash!

  9. Poppykettle January 3, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

    Making fitting adjustments to coats & jackets is laborious work, I know. Nice work on the raising of the armscye – I often have to do this so it’s nice to have my solution confirmed! As for the sleeves – my sewing teacher & all the old ppl I know (relevant because they seem to know about the customs on details like this) say that your jacket sleeve should hit that little bit of skin between your thumb & first finger, so when your arm is bent, the sleeve hits your wrist. Hope that helps!

    • lladybird January 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

      that does help! i was wondering where the “sweet spot” is for sleeve length. thank you!

  10. Kimberly January 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

    I feel you here. I’m trying to sew through (read: mostly eliminate) my stash at present since we’re really limited on space.

    Coat is super cute! I’d definitely take that 1/2″ off the sleeves, but the overall length looks great. Nice job on the armhole adjustment sans reference material on it.

  11. Connie (grandmaC) January 3, 2012 at 3:30 pm #

    Often coat patterns will have deeper armscyes to accomodate thicker layers underneath.
    So in addition to being to large of pattern size, it’s very possible that the pattern designer wads allowing a sweater or two underneath. Sometimes the are a little to generous woth that πŸ˜‰
    Looks like you worked out allthose issues – I think it will be another top notch garment!
    BTW love the blog!!

  12. zilredloh January 3, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

    Your muslin looks fantastic! And I really like the bright green lining you’ve choosen.

    Ohhh, and what are you planning on making with that gorgeous shantung?!

    • lladybird January 3, 2012 at 3:38 pm #

      it’s going to be a (gertie) bombshell dress! eee can’t wait πŸ˜€

  13. Connie (grandmaC) January 3, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

    Oops! Sorry about all the typos. Just getting used to my Kobo touch screen. Clearly I need more practice!!

  14. didyoumakethat January 3, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

    It’s already looking brilliant – and that’s just a muslin! I agree that the sleeve length could have a tiny bit shaved off. But as you say, just a teeny tiny bit. Otherwise – go, go, go!

  15. Joanne January 4, 2012 at 2:56 am #

    Love the coat already! Ooh you’re doing a Negroni for the boy? I’m doing one for the current husband this year! I’ll be excited to see how you go about it. I’m officially AFRAID of starting on mine. Let’s make them parade their pretty little asses all over the blogosphere once they’re done though πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD January 4, 2012 at 8:45 am #

      oh yes, i already told him that he is modeling for me. he’s being a good sport about it lol. i don’t think the shirt looks too complicated! the instructions are pretty clear – the weird folding thing at the placket is kind of scaring me (and of course landon wants the long sleeves :B) but i think a practice muslin will help a lot.

  16. Taylor January 4, 2012 at 8:07 am #

    I’ve been waiting for the Textile sale and plan to hit it up this weekend! I’ve actually considered buying that same blue/gray flannel shirting several times, but I have at least 4, maybe 5 pieces of shirting I bought at the last sale to use first, haha. Great job on the jacket so far!

    • LLADYBIRD January 4, 2012 at 8:44 am #

      hahaha you should buy it – then you and landon can be twinssss πŸ˜€

      but yeah, i know what you mean – i still have fabric from the last sale that i’ve yet to use!

  17. Sherry January 4, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    Your coat muslin is looking great! My only suggestion is that the sleeves will be easier to ease in the real fabric, so don’t take out too much.

    I get most of my fabric on sale too, but it is hard to find thrifted fabric here. My rule is: sew two from stash, buy one new. It works sometimes!

  18. Sarah January 5, 2012 at 5:00 am #

    The muslin looks great on you! I think the sleeve length and the coat length looks good as it is and the belt and little puff sleeves are really cute.

  19. Becca January 5, 2012 at 10:21 am #

    I need to make that same resolution. But I don’t think I have the strength. :-/ Your coat is going to be so CUTE! I like my coats a bit longer, but I think either length would look great. As far as the sleeves go, you’re absolutely right, they definitely should be 1/2″ shorter. I can’t wait to see the finished product!

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