If you've followed me for a while, then you know that I am trying to learn to make clothes. At heart, I am still a quilter. There is very little that is more pieceful than sitting at my Bernina, drawing beautiful shapes on fabric with thread. And, I'm a willing piecer because I need something on which to quilt. So, learning to make clothes was just play. Another way to spend time at a sewing machine and end up with something usable.
But, my perfectionist tendencies don't work well with "playing" at making clothes. As my skills developed from making lounging pants and boxer shorts, I slid on into shirts. And, after a few men's shirts, I've started sewing for the girl.
When I made my first men's shirt, I was working in a sew along. I made a muslin that turned out good enough to wear around the house. Then, I made another muslin that was good enough to wear in the yard. And, then I made a shirt that was good enough to wear to the office. I still haven't made the official dress shirt, but that's just because the season changed and I started making summer clothes.
Wearable muslins kind of defeat the point of the muslin in the first place. And, no matter what you make the muslin out of, it costs money. So, I decided that I could get away without making the muslin. BIG MISTAKE.
I made Rob a shirt that was way too small. Then, I made Rob a shirt that was a little bit too small. Then, I made me a shirt that was way too big. Then, I made Sydney a shirt that fit perfect, but was supposed to be really big. Then, I made Sydney a shirt where the waistline was where the bust line should be and was so tight that she had to wriggle into it like a worm.
Now, I may not be the smartest guy in the world, but I'm smart enough to know that if I'm going to keep making clothes, I've got to start making muslins. Disposable muslins. And, I only have to make one per pattern and I can store it in the zip top bag with the original pattern and my tracing. Because all this picking out stitching and picking out serging is taking as much time as making the muslin would in the first place. A muslin doesn't need all the finishing. It doesn't need good stitching...basting is enough. And, it doesn't matter what the fabric is made of. As a quilter, I've avoided polyester like it carried the plague. As a garment sewer? Bring it on; the uglier the better.
That just leaves the hurdle of my aversion to wasting fabric. Solution? Garage sale sheets. I stopped at one sale this morning, but she didn't have any. I'm right around the corner from a Goodwill "outlet" store. Never been to one of those and don't understand how it would work since all the stuff Goodwill sells is donated, but I think I'm going to stop by there this afternoon on the way home and see if I can get some ugly, cheap sheets that I won't mind cutting up and that I can rationalize are getting a new life as a test garment. What better final destination can there be for an ugly and unloved piece of fabric. Now, I just need to find an ugly and unloved piece of fabric. Oh, without finding a fantastic piece of fabric that I just have to have, which is what will happen if I go for muslin in a fabric store.
And Sydney's little blue and brown top? I added two strips down the side seams to give her an extra 4" and I re-cut the upper front, wide enough that it moved the waistline down to her actual waist. But, I would gladly smack the person at Simplicity that produced the pattern envelope. They said a 40" bust would be a girl's size 18, so I made a size 18. But, the finished bust was only 39". Not only did they leave out the wearing ease, but the finished diameter wasn't as big as the printed body measurement.
Hopefully there will be some modeling this weekend as she looks great in it now that adjustments have been made
Take care. Have a great weekend. If you're in the U.S., enjoy the holiday. If you're in Minnesota, stay safe and avoid anarchy as you are currently ungoverned.