Thursday, March 7, 2013

Muslin work: A reflection

Hello everyone!

So I briefly talked about how I am doing muslin work on my last blog post.

What is muslin work? It is about making the pattern come to life, so to speak, on muslin, which is 100% cotton. Before you sew on fashion fabric my teacher often said in class that you should make 1 (or several) muslin copies to check to see if everything fits the way you want. Muslin is a pretty cheap material to buy, fashion fabric not so much. You can do all the adjusting you want here and no one would be wiser before you sew on the final fabric.

Here is a good example of why I should have made a muslin before I sew:

So... here is a pair of jeans I made as a prototype just yesterday. I followed a pattern to the latter too and it didn't work out somehow. Yes the legs fit all right BUT look at the waistline! Besides the fact that I did NOT add a snap or a hook/eye on the back the waist is too high for my liking and the fit is just terrible when I put in something for it! If this is in a store (unless it is designed to be high waisted jeans) I would not touch this pair of pants with a 10 foot pole even though I like the fabric. (Ya I am my own worst critic...)

Plan B: So... instead of doing this again every pattern I work with from now on will have detailed muslins made with notes so I know what changes to make here and there before I cut and sew the clothes up for the final stage. I do have a sleuth of dollies and they all need clothes to wear. -_- This would also give me an expectation of what the final products should look like and how to best assemble the garment for the future.

Muslin work is simple: It started out as any other sewing project. You alter your pattern to the best of abilities with paper, then cut the muslin, sew it up, and then look at your work at the fit.

Here is a good sewing tip: If you want your work to look neat, iron everything! If I didn't get much else from my teacher it is this: every time before you cut, after you cut, every time you sew a seam, iron it! Your projects will thank you later.

Here is the first one I made. The pattern here called for me to have the closing on the back BUT since I did not like it I put it in the front. That requires some knowledge of pattern work and some play.

... and here is the back. I really like it. Now that I can see it on the picture the stitching can use some work but when you sew you have to realize when you sew through thick parts of fabric some machine skipping can occur. You just need to be aware of it and fix it when you see it.

... and here is how it fits on my Unoa girl. It is much nicer than the first pair isn't it? I took these pictures in a hurry just to see the fit after making it. I think after a few fixes (I do see add ons despite my best attempts here) I will attempt again in denim and eventually will have a skirt ready for mass production. ^.^

In Betty Candy the eventual goal is setting up my own shop to sell my designs as well as having open studio days where you can come visit my little world and see what I do for yourself. As you can see here it takes a few tries to make something into reality and "ready to wear". I like to be able to document just what goes on in the background before or after the fact. I like transparency when I make my art and I hope you the viewer likes the transparency too.

Good sewing reference books

Hello everyone!

Sometimes the best reference books are your textbooks!

Now I haven't really mentioned much about my textbooks for my classes because I hardly take any classes on my own other than a few classes here and there, but I spent a few weeks preparing for my midterm (which is now over whew!) I have other books in my library (I like books) but this is really the best book out there for sewing reference.

The Reader's Digest New Complete Guide to Sewing is really good. It has good illustrations and instructions on how to do sewing based on projects that you would want to do. It is also good because it shows you what project the book decided to print out and you can buy them (or in my case, scan the preview patterns for patterns later.)

For my other reference book I have DK's Complete Book of Sewing in my library before. It is a good book, but in a different way. It is a more hands on on techniques out there instead of project based and then show techniques. It is a good book but for a different reason.

I hope this will help any future sewers with these 2 books as starting points. Sometimes when you are stuck or need inspiration reference books is usually where I go look.

I am going to do a bunch of muslin work now. Sometimes you just need to make a bunch of muslins in order to make a final project. I will tell you more about muslin work later when I am done with some.