December 16, 2013

Muslin advice needed! And: open coat surgery


Dear readers, I know you’ve been anxious, but worry no more. Muslin fitting time is here! Woop. Fitting is a relatively new thing for me. I spent countless hours FBA-ing a Colette Sorbetto a while ago and have hacked wedges out of the waist of many a dress, but proper coat fitting is another thing entirely.

Therefore, a muslin was in order, and now… I’m going to need some advice. I whipped up this beauty out of some really nasty boucle – following T’s advice to make sure I try the pattern with similar fabric –  that I got at JoAnn’s Fabrics (that place where the joy of sewing goes to die… at least in Massachusetts stores). It was fairly easy-going except for when…. I had to seam rip half of it. Oh well!

Here’s the “finished” product – or rather, finished without the collar which I believe is going to make a *huge* difference, as I’m definitely not flattered by things which go all the way up to my chin.

And here’s where the advice is needed…. From the front: well, it’s obvious my left shoulder slopes more than my right (ah, all those years of carrying a backpack on one side…). Is that worth correcting for? I’m never sure with asymmetries because it’s never something I would change in RTW clothing.  Are the shoulders a bit too far out? They are going a bit puffy, but I’m not sure if that’s because I put them together badly (and they don’t have sleeve heads in), or whether that’s a fitting problem. Any idea?

I feel that the front is generally good, though there was a bit of pulling at my chest when I raised my arms so I might add a smidgen to the centre princess seam. I’m also wondering whether I should nip it in at the waist a bit more.

From the side (ugh, the things I do in the name of sewing blogging!). I think maybe it kicks out a bit too much at the bottom, probably because my chest is pushing it that way. I may take a bit off the side seams to see if that works

And from the back, I’m pretty sure that’s the classic signs of a swayback. I’ve never done a swayback adjustment before, and I believe I’ll have to add a centre seam for it, but needs must!

In other news, I took a seam ripper to my trusty old coat, and she happily sacrificed herself to the greater good, poor dear.
Some revelations! The fashion fabric has fusible interfacing, and no hair canvas – although the fabric itself is still thicker than the one I have bought, so I think the jury is still out on whether I should put canvas on the front… any ideas?

There are fleece sleeve heads, and a twill tape connecting the lining shoulder and fabric shoulder:

Stay tape on the shoulders:

And intriguingly, the only additional material in the huge collar is some fleece. This was a surprised – I assume there’d be canvas in there, and a taped roll-line, but nope, just a fleecy layer. I think I’ll need to experiment with my fabric to see how I can get a similar level of rigidity and flexibility…

That’s all for tonight – I am trying to resist the temptation to rush through, which is hard because I really want this coat, now! But I’m going to aim for the end of winter, because I need to take my time – and frankly, it’s way too cold for any non-massively-puffy-coat action at the moment anyway. In the meantime, I have procured the Singer book of Tailoring which has amazing photos as well as truly hideous 1980s power suit illustrations… Fantastic.

Any and all advice most welcomed in this perilous journey!

One thought on “Muslin advice needed! And: open coat surgery

  1. Lora says:

    I wish I could say something intelligent but I’m just mystified! I’m overwhelmed just reading this. You’re incredible!

Let me know what you think!