Two Muslins and Other Thoughts

I have been going at it with the sewing machine – I still haven’t fully sewn together my pants (I still need to attach the waistband and hem, but probably not until next weekend), but I did working on muslins for my button shirt and a jacket.  First, the good news: the jacket muslin is a mostly success!  I have been playing with Butterick 5685, and so far it looks like it is going to be a good project.

I like this coat pattern – it comes with cup sizes, so no FBA necessary, and the seaming is fairly flattering.  When I first tried the muslin on (without sleeves) I was worried about the fit, but then I remembered it was drafted for use with shoulder pads and once I set those under the shoulders the fit was practically perfect on the front.

Butterick front fit: pretty good.

The back is a bit too big and poofy.  I mean, I still want enough ease to be able to wear this over clothes, but at the same time I don’t want the back to look so big and ill-fitted.  The adjustments should be fairly minor, I hope.

The back.  It looks like there is a big wrinkle center back, but that is actually the seam looking huge in this lighting.
I need to pinch out some on the back, but otherwise fit is good.

The sleeves fit fairly well (though I did a rush job setting in the sleeves – I was trying to sew during warmups on the world championships feed), but I worry that once I get a lining and real clothes under them it might be a bit small.  I may have to make the sleeves a bit bigger.  I have done a full upper arm adjustment on sleeves before though, with much success, so I am not too worried about this alteration.  The other thing I question – the button placement.  On my muslin I marked where the button holes are going to go, and it ends up with buttons being directly on the fullest part of my bust.  Looking on the model photo, it doesn’t looks so bad, but on me, well, I worry about it looking, um, somewhat inappropriate.  If you know what I mean.  Though I think I am going to go with machine buttonholes on this one, so I guess I don’t really have to decide button placement until I am done with the rest of the jacket.  So, there are a few minor things to fix.  But all in all this project is pretty much a go.

Now the bad news: the shirt muslin wasn’t quite as successful as I had hoped it would be.  I mean, it wasn’t totally awful (it is definitely a better starting point than the McCall’s pattern was), but I definitely have problems in the shoulder area to deal with.  Well, and I need to add length to the bottom.  And I need to deal with the back. But I think the main problem is the shoulder area.

BWOF shirt muslin.  Looks better on my dressform than on me.
You can see odd fit/wrinkles around the shoulder and arm area.
Poor fit around the arm.  The gaping is exacerbated on the form because her bust is lower and sinking, but it is not a good fit on me either.
Poofiness in the back – It needs length and swayback alterations.
Also the shoulders are too wide (the seam is hanging off the edge of the form, which is slightly wider than me).

Part of me wonders if I should start tracing a smaller size in the shoulder area on Burda patterns… It seems like more often than not the shoulders are just a bit big (I do not have this problem with knits, only wovens).  It is something I have been pondering for a while, and it might be worth giving it a try, at least for fitted woven pieces.  I don’t have this problem with coats and jackets where the extra ease is less noticeable and more appreciated.  Alternatively, I have been leafing through fitting books, and it seems though I might have some combination of narrow shoulders and full bust causing a gaping armhole.  It looks like the pattern adjustments should be pretty straightforward if this is the case, but overall I still have a long ways to go towards getting a functional button-down shirt pattern.

Which leads me to my next round of thoughts: maybe right now is not the best time for me to be obsessing over making a perfectly fitted shirt.  See, I am getting towards the end of this thing I do in real life known as school.  And getting to the end is making me crazy tired, crazy stressed, and just plain crazy.  Sewing has been something of a de-stressifier for me, but right now the thought of having to make so many pattern adjustments and multiple muslins and doing so much work before I even get to something wearable just feels so overwhelming.  On one hand, the mojo is up – I want to make things.  On the other hand, I want to make things that don’t require a lot of brain power to put together.  Which doesn’t mean I want to make easy things (my September sewing spree was enough knits for a while), but it means I want to work on things where there is clear progress, even if it is only incremental over the next few weeks.  Also, while I still want to work on my sewing challenge, I just can’t see myself having enough time to complete all of the items I need/want to actually finish it.  I also don’t know how much time I am going to have to blog about things in the next few months either.  And, on top of all of that, once I do finish school I am going to need to relocate my stash, so I don’t really want to have 20 million things mid-project.  So I am going to shift some of my planned projects to next year, and focus on only a few projects right now that I really want to make, but that won’t fry my brains.  Which basically boils down to the following:

(1) I am going to finish my Patrones pants. They are mostly done, just need to add the waistband and hem them.  There is much topstitching, so this all takes longer than usual, but I can probably finish these by the end of the month.

(2) I am going to make the Butterick coat.  The initial fit was good, I love to make coats, and there isn’t anything too difficult to adjust with this pattern.  Also, since I want to have fewer projects, it might be best to have them be a bit more detailed so they take longer and keep me occupied until the after times when I can spend more time one sewing again.

(3)  I have to admit I am obsessed with the November Burda trench coat pattern (that I don’t even have yet).  So much so that I somehow already have fabric and notions picked out for it.  This is going to be a total over the top fantasy project of awesome, and it will probably take me a really really long time to make it.  But I want one.  So I am thinking I will just push everything else aside and have this be my end of the year project.  I will share more details as I get closer to this.

So, that is probably going to be it through the end of the year.  I started working on skating dress tutorials, but I also realized I just don’t have the time to write/photo/post everything right now.  So I will work on those periodically and I will get to them eventually.  But I don’t want to half-post a tutorial, so I will hold off on them until they are fully written.  Which I apologize for, but, you know, real life.  I will still post patterns news (um, I have to do something fun while I eat dinner), but I don’t expect to be quite as prolific until I am finished.

So, it looks like it is time to face the music and focus on that nuisance known as real life.  Wish me luck.  

3 thoughts on “Two Muslins and Other Thoughts

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