So a few weeks ago I did a post on How to Make a Muslin. Thus, the name, How to Make a Muslin Part 2 (sorry for such an unoriginal title). Anyhoo, I thought I’d back up a bit and give you the whole story.
Two or three months ago I got an email from The Common Thread (local fabric store) saying that Paul Gallo would be in Austin for a couple of days doing fittings and lecture demos. I was familiar with his work and was super excited about the possibility of getting a muslin fitted to my body.
Only problem, the date of the classes was four days after we returned from our vacation. Following the class directions sent to me, I was to make a muslin that was slightly larger than my regular size ~ and don’t make any alterations.
And, this is what I made.
While on vacation I had time to stop and think about it for a while and decided that this muslin was a wee bit ambitious for a fitting. Maybe I should go with something a little simpler. That’s when I decided to change my muslin (while in Newfoundland). That’s when I decided to go with Vogue 7975 which I already owned.
I would love to have a simple jacket pattern that I can turn into a variety of things. I made my muslin from the view showing the lady wearing jeans Because that’s how I’d wear it anyway.
So, the Saturday morning before the class on Monday, I whipped up an over-sized muslin of this pattern, packed all of my supplies, and was ready to go. Easier said than done, but done nonetheless.
It turns out that I was the most remedial person there. There were six of us getting fitted and about ten ladies who were the audience. It was amazing to be able to sit in a room filled with such experience because they had tremendous insight into fitting, style, and sewing. I learned so much by just being there.
I wasn’t able to get a lot of great photos because there was hardly any lighting. We were in an empty house that is about to be completely remodeled. I think some of the lights didn’t work. Anyway, I snapped what I could with my iPhone and asked ladies if I could use their photos.
You can sort of see what I’m talking about in this picture. The windows and the mirrors provided enough light to work, but not enough to take photos.
In the above photo, Paul is fitting a sweet lady in Burda 2561 which would’ve been a better choice for me. It is a simple blouse that is fitted nicely. Something to note about muslin-making. You don’t have to add things like the collar because that can be easily adjusted.
Anyway, after I had my jacket fitted (I will make a new muslin from that and then show you), another lady asked Paul to drape her without a pattern. Huh? What? That’s right, no pattern, just fabric rectangles.
First he put a rectangle on the front, split the neck open on the grain line, and pinned it to her under shirt. You can see the line down the middle of the shirt. He did the same thing again, this time on the back.
From there he stayed true to the grain and started pinning down the sides and creating darts. It was amazing to watch as it came together. Later, Paul put marks on the pin lines to create the pattern.
When he got to the back, he started making princess seams to get the fit right. You can see here how well this will fit once it is properly marked. Again, notice the grain line he drew. He showed us this little trick on how to do this. Set the point of a mechanical pencil on the fabric and draw. The pencil lead will get between the threads and stay on the grain. I tried it at home; sure enough, it works like a charm.
It’s really hard to see from the photos, but this thing fit beautifully. From here, it can be turned into almost anything (how to do that is an entire book). Nevertheless, it was amazing to see the process of draping and how simple it really is. This method is how clothes have been made for centuries, by draping them on the wearer. It’s easy to forget that paper patterns are a little over 100 years old. Before that, draping was the way to make clothes.
Now what to do with our fitted muslin. After Paul pinned us in our muslins we went over to Susan who then marked where the pins were located. That way we can recreate the fitted muslin once we get home.
Next, we learned how to take the fitted muslin and turn it into a paper pattern. See the markings on the pants muslin below. Paul is using this pointy-needle tracing wheel (affiliate link) to mark on the pattern paper all of the adjustments. From there he just traces it with a pencil and then draws in the seam allowance.
horned moved my way to the table where Paul was doing the transfer and noticed the paper he was using. This was a tracing paper someone had brought in with them. They also had it in yellow. I was like a hound on a scent curious to find out exactly what this paper was because I had never seen it before. Turns out it is a roll of sketching paper.(affiliate link) I wasted no time in ordering me some of that. I have Amazon Prime, (another pesky affiliate link) so there were no shipping charges making it decently priced ~ ordered Monday night; at my place Wednesday! Ya’ gotta live Prime.
I later learned that I could purchase some with the group next time they ordered and save a few more cents.
So another cool thing I learned was how to create a sleeve. Once all of the changes are made, usually a new sleeve has to be drafted. I hope I can explain this from his drawing. (Those who know more are welcome to leave helpful comments.)
Anyway, the first thing you need to do is measure the the armhole opening from top to bottom. He used the example of 7″. To get the width of the sleeve, measure around the bicep and add 2″-3″. Draw a vertical line for the sleeve height and then a horizontal line for the bicep. Measure from the bicep line 7″ (in our example) and then add 1″-2″ to that for ease. From there draw your sleeve cap and shape your sleeve.
I have always wanted to try drafting a small sleeve for this top. I think I can recreate this without causing my head to explode.
There were lots of other details discussed throughout the day. Paul Gallo started his career working with leather so I had a few questions to ask him because I’ve been interested in trying to sew a little leather. More as that progresses.
Even though you might not have been able to attend, despaireth not. Paul Gallo has a fitting class on Craftsy. (affiliate link) Once I got home, I went in and added the class to my little Craftsy collection. Many of the things I learned in the class are in the video.
Note: If you have never joined Craftsy, it is free to sign up. You will be notified of sales and occasionally receive a deep discount on classes. Click this (affiliate) link and click “Join” in the top right corner. All you do is give them your email. It’s that easy.
Once last comment, here. Paul Gallo, is really a great teacher. He was talking and teaching the whole time. And, while we were there his bud, Sandra Betzina, called to ask him if she should look in on his mom. How cool is that.