What is a muslin
Why making a muslin?
When to make a muslin
- you’re exploring a new pattern brand or a pattern you haven’t sewn before, for checking the fit
- you’re testing new style lines or details you’re not sure if you’ll like or how they’ll look on you
- you want to practice sewing techniques you haven’t tried before
When you can skip it
Three situations when you don’t need to make a muslin:
- For tried and true patterns
- For sewing techniques, you always turn to
- For fabrics, you know how they’ll behave when sewn
A 6-step checklist for sewing your muslin
- Prepare your fabric. There’s no need for prewashing but you do need to iron out all wrinkles to secure the grainline is accurate.
- Make all planned changes to the pattern. E.g. adjust the shoulder width and slope. Make any bust adjustments. Grade between sizes at the waist and the hips, and shorten or lengthen the bodice and sleeves.
- Trace the pattern pieces onto the muslin fabric. Transfer the notches, darts, and pocket placements.
- Add balance lines. Chalk the center front, bust apex, waistline, and hipline. Also, mark the grainline on the right side of every garment piece.
- Sew the darts, shoulder, and side seams.
- Add sleeves to the muslin if necessary. Do it when you need to test the armhole and sleeve fit, and length.