|Muslin 2 - Burda 07/2010 - 119|
What you're looking at in the photo, above, is my second muslin shell having made the following alterations:
- Removed 5/8 inch from the width of the armscye at the shoulder seam, tapering to nothing under the arm
- Raised the waist by 1 inch (this one's standard at this point)
- Added 5/8" of fabric to the bust point of the side front (the "FBA")
- Slashed the front piece above the bust to allow it to fall - thereby a) getting rid of bubbling fabric above the bust and b) leveling the HBLs
- IMO, the most ironic of alterations - I added an inch (removed by shortening the waist) to the jacket hem - because I want to retain the original length of the jacket (which isn't long to begin with, ending at the high-hip).
- This is the first time that I've actually altered a woven pattern muslin of this complexity on my own - and I owe it all to my fitting friend, S. Please keep in mind, I haven't sewn it, so don't be congratulating me quite yet. :-) I take this as a real sign of skill development, regardless of how muslin 2 comes together, because I finally found my confidence. (Given how I'm feeling these days, in general, no proactivity can be trivialized.)
- The tailored suit jacket is absolutely, positively, unquestionably the most difficult garment for me to fit on my own body. Arguably, suit jackets are amongst the most challenging things to make (from a tailoring and technical complexity perspective). But for me, sewing skill is barely on the radar - well, till I ease the side front piece to the front, and then the sewing is a fucking feat!
- My point is that this process is complex and every part of it pushes me forward to new understanding of how my body is shaped (and bodies in general are shaped) and how this influences our final product.
- Walking the pattern before everything, to ensure that the markings are accurate
- Determining where to put the horizontal balance lines (one above waist, one above bust)
- Remembering to mark the HBLs, waist, grain, all pattern markings and seam allowances
- How and when to make a wedge alteration
- How to mark the working muslin in such a way that the alterations can be applied to the pattern pieces accurately
- How to use that blue paper and the roller thing with the spikes to make sure that new seam allowances are exactly reflected on the pattern pieces
- How to "look" at the muslin mathematically
You'd be amazed by the way in which all of these hard-drawn lines tell you what you need to know. (And by that, I don't simply mean: Stick with knits, idiot. :-))
Despite all of this, I'm not an "in the weeds" sewist. Just ask S, who is frequently amused (if not horrified) by my slap-dash interpretations. I do not want to make 7 muslins of a jacket. I kind of resent my last suit jacket on that basis (though that process was unavoidable). I'm committed to constructing one more muslin after this one - to tweak fit further and to figure out how the freakin' sleeves are going to intersect with the armscye - and then I want to make something.
I'm actually very intuitive. For what it's worth, I define intuition as "instinct, refined by a keen awareness of the technical on a conscious and subconscious level". Most definitely, I bring this quality into my process. What delights me endlessly about making things, is that I get to spend quality time with my intuitive self and, let me tell you, she is FUN. I love it when my fabric tells me - in the moment - what to do. In truth, intuition is always the final arbiter, for me, and - while I recognize how critical it is to be scientifically precise - there ain't no fighting who I am.
It's taken me (never mind the V8333 jacket I've since scrapped) approximately 15 hours to get to this stage of muslin 2. And I haven't even considered how my significant armsyce adjustments are going to impact a 2 piece sleeve that, Clio tells me, starts out fitting bizarrely.
Though I've brought little ammunition of consciousness to it, armscye and sleeve adjustments seem to be an alteration I come across again and again - probably because I haven't been able to get my brain around making the size that actually fits my shoulders. In the case of this jacket, I do think the shoulders are strangely drafted, which is to say super-wide, and that I chose the best starting size. I am a standard EU40 in a woven top in RTW and this pattern is also a 40. It does seem to fit nicely and narrowly everywhere but in the shoulders.
Most definitely, despite all of my alterations, this jacket fit better, "out of the envelope" than any pattern company's offerings ever have in the past.
So, today's questions are these: How many muslins do you have in you?? Do you use the fitting axis approach to muslining (using the grain and HBL lines as a guide)? Are you a technical or intuitive sewist first? Can you overthrow perfection for action? Can you stand to be more precise? Let's talk!