Sunday, March 7, 2010

Meet the Muslin

I'm sure it won't shock you to learn that the methodical aspect of sewing, while it suits my inner organizer, really kills my "get it done NOW and celebrate with some booze" buzz. Honestly, I don't know how those ladies in the '50s (and '40s and '30s and so on) did it. I can't imagine listening to my radio shows while working on a machine with one straight stitch that might not even have backtacked. It would have turned me into a nutcase in no time flat. (I mean, those gals also had fluffy mashed potatoes and rack of lamb to prepare by 7 pm?! Who has time for this shit?)

And you know they were making all the newest things. Even the wives of young business tycoons-in-the-making probably couldn't have afforded the New Look (9-plus yards of fabric per tea dress?!) straight from France. Ready-to-wear wasn't the standard yet so, if you wanted something elegant and you couldn't afford a great tailor, it was on you and the Singer.

Imagine if you had lived early in the last century and really couldn't get with sewing. I mean, imagine you'd been trying since the age of 5 and you still couldn't wrap your brain around it. Imagine looking kind of like crap all the time as a result. Sort of makes you grateful for Club Monaco, no?

Anyway, enough of the tangent. Here I am, a modern lady, working with a vintage-feel Vogue pattern. It's a Vogue Very Easy (don't have a heart attack), and the experience has a retro feel. I've read that you don't fuck around with Vogue. The lazy sewist doesn't have a nice time with this line - the instructions are laborious, when they aren't lacking in detail (so I've heard). So far, I'm feeling alright, but then I've only got to the muslin:

Yeah, I made a whole fake garment, or 80 per cent so far anyway. Like I don't have about 30,000 other things to sew in my cache at the moment. I'm not big on the muslins (they're so painful prelude to a kiss) but a girl's gotta do what she's gotta do in order to assess fit. Of course, what I do to fix bad fit is more or less beyond me... (Everyone will tell you not to panic. There are books.)

I already have a hand-made high-waisted pencil skirt in the 3-season navy wool that I will use to make this final garment. Wouldn't it be great if they worked together like a suit? Wouldn't it be awesome if I actually made a suit? That would so impress the crap out of me.


  1. That would impress the crap out of me, too! Heck, the whole thing already impresses the crap out of me.

  2. Kate: Special secret info for you: I just finished the real jacket and it's so gorgeous!!!!

    Shallow: See above :-) And thank you!

  3. If I was alive in old timey days that required I sewed I would have been wearing feed sacks with holes cut in for my head and limbs.

    I feel sure that soon you will be doing a recreation of the Dior dress in Muslin. That is just who you are! You always impress the crap out of me.

  4. Oh, you tease! I can't wait to see the finished suit! It looks very chic...

  5. I know I don't have time for that shit... seriously... I'm only cooking twice a week the rest is oatmeal, cereal, and healthy frozen food.

    Like everyone else.. YOU CAN DO IT!

  6. A suit will be very impressive indeed!

  7. I love it, I love it, I love it! Fantastic. Don't you feel great? Good job my dear.

  8. dude. you have PATIENCE. and you are so tenacious. i am VERY IMPATIENT, and that really doesn't help when sewing. sigh.

  9. Your muslin is looking great and I can't wait to see the finished jacket! It looks like it will be so adorable!

  10. Bel: THANK YOU! Unconditional support is the best. And I know you would not have been wearing sack cloth (although the image was very humorous). You would have totally picked it up or, if it truly wasn't your thing, you'd have friends to make you garments of your choice :-)

    Heather: Photos coming, promise - just need to find the time to take them...

    April: You do so much it's not surprising you dont' have time to make your clothes too :-) But when you go there, you'll be great.

    Wendy: I'm glad you agree!

    Stacy: Thank you!! I really do. I feel like I followed it through. which is inexplicably satisfying.

    Janelle: The truth is, I am totally impatient! I'm just putting up a good front :-)

    Victoria: thank you so much! I'm sure you would be able to make this very quickly and easily, given your experience. It is a really cute cut.

  11. Ah, the muslin. Painful but truly necessary--at least, if you're working with a fabric you care about.

    This looks amazing. Can't wait to see the final result. & maybe seeing it will get me off my own no-sewing kick!

  12. Ambika: Ain't it the truth. So glad you like it - I'll show the finished result soon xo You must sew! You are one of my original inspirations!

  13. You've already impressed the crap out of me. When do you start taking commissions?

  14. Janet: Awww (blushing). One day, I'm going to be really good, she says, and then I'm going to have my own store. Just need a little time - or a lot :-) Thank you for your lovely comment.