Sunday, September 23, 2007

Wearable Muslin & Sewing "Class"

Sunday Sewing # 1:

Dontcha just love when you end up with a wearable muslin????? I have wanted a pink wool coat knee length for more than a year. I never found exactly the style I wanted in RTW. I envisioned a fitted bodice and flared skirt. After seeing lovely wool coatings at Gorgeous Fabrics, I thought, "What the heck! I'll make one!" The fabric investment would be significant enough that I wanted to make sure I didn't blow it. So I decided to do a muslin using Vogue 8346 - the EXACT style I had in my mind although I'm not sure if I want the length in view B or D for my pink version. I need to decide before the end of day tomorrow to take advantage of Ann's 10% off deal.

Now, I love the idea of a muslin but honestly, hate the idea of spending time sewing and fitting a garment that ends up in the trash. So whenever I decide there is a need to "practice" a pattern by creating a muslin, I always select a fabric that is not only cheap but might end up being wearable. I found this pretty oversize herringbone tweed in the JoAnn's clearance and thought it would be terrific. Don't tell anyone but it's 100% acrylic. (Ick.) But it was only $4 / yd. This is not an heirloom quality coat but the fabric gives it sort of a trendy look that I won't want to wear forever anyway. I mentioned in an earlier post that I underlined it with some flannel to make it more substantial as well as stabilize the very ravelly nature of the fabric. I finished the body of it tonight and LOVE the style and the way it fits. I will start the facing and lining next but I can tell already, it's a keeper. I can't wait to finish it.

Question 1: The pattern calls for shoulder pads. I did not put any in yet. I'm tempted to omit them. Do you think that would be ok?

Sunday Sewing # 2:

One of my friends recently got married and she had a sewing machine on her registry. Well, HELLO! Of course, that's what I'm going to buy her! She has never even sewed a button but decided she wants to learn to sew. (Yes, the machine is a cheapy from the big box store and I'm skeptical but no point in spending lots of money before you know if you like sewing. Right?) Anyhoo, in addition to the sewing machine, her gift included sewing lessons from me. I read on The Secret Pocket blog that she likes to start her beginner students on a nightshirt like McCalls 2346 rather than the traditional skirt as a starter project reasoning that fit will not be an issue because... well, because it's a nightshirt that you'll be wearing in the privacy of your own home. This particular pattern is very basic with no zippers or buttons that might frustrate a new sewer.

I met my friend at the fabric store today and she picked a pretty pink flannel for her nightshirt (which is NOT pictured above) and some gathered eyelet trim to attach to the bottom of the gown and sleeves. She talked me into buying the same pattern and some fabric because she thought it would help her to have me sewing the same pattern at the same time. I bought the frog fabric to make my niece (and Goddaughter) some jammies and the purple cat fabric to make some for me. It was fun spending time together in the fabric store and then we went to lunch at Don Pablos afterwards.

Question # 2:
I'm so accustomed to using my serger for finishing seams that I don't know how to have my friend treat her seams. The fabric is a woven flannel so it won't be extremely ravelly but I wondered if anyone had a suggestion for how to finish the seams? I honestly don't remember what I did before I owned my serger.


~Tonia~ said...

Yay for a wearable muslin. It looks way cute!

Honestly I hate shoulder pads with a passion so I would rip them out if they were in there. LOL But it is up to you. If you can stand them it might help with the lay of the fabric.

My MIL sews and she always does a straight stitch first to make sure that everything is right (for easy ripping if not) then she goes back and will zig-zag the seams.

Allison said...

I love that jacket - it's totally cute! Great thinking to make the "fake" one that's really real! And P.S. THANKS so much - my knitpicks harmony order just came in the mail you pusher you.

stacy said...

I don't like shoulder pads either - I think it looks fine without it so I would just omit it.

I love the idea of a sewing machine for a wedding gift! Great present!

LauraLo said...

Wow, it looks very nice!
Regarding the shoulder pads, I stopped using them as well and believe me, I don't miss them a bit.

Sharon said...

Shoulder pads Well, I'm the odd man out here regarding shoulder pads. While I don't typically add them to too many items I would add one in an outwear coat. A small shoulder pad would not only help balance the line of the coat but it would help keep the shape of the shoulder, especially if you use a fabric with any weight to it. IMHO - Perhaps on your muslin you don't need the shoulder pads but I would seriously consider it for the coat you invest more time and money into.

Seam finishes - before I owned a serger there were a number of ways I would finish my seams, depending on what I was sewing.
- finish with pinking sheers.
- join them together with a zig-zag stitch and press to one side.
- use a zig-zag finish on each edge and press open.
- bind them with seams great tape - which in this case would be overkill.

BTW - great wedding gift idea! I also made note of Dawn's idea of a nightshirt for a beginning sewer. I have a friend that I've been working with who is a complete beginner also and she keeps getting discouraged because it's "not perfect" I'm going to suggest the night shirt next.

dawn said...

LOL, in 20 years I've never produced a wearable muslin. My muslins are usually...muslin...and then I have to do so much tweeking that they don't fit well the first time anyway! I like your black and blue though.

Let me know how it goes with the nightshirt....

Janice said...

That looks way cute! I love the pattern and the fit and how great to have it wearable. Not answers to sewing questions... out of my league. I would omit shoulder pads... I think that would be fine. Oh, and I also got my harmony needles order. Sure hope you're collecting commission!

KnittyNancy said...

Wow! Spectacular! Professional! The jacket looks fabulous.

cidell said...

Ohmigosh Bonnie. It's so cute! I can't wait to see the pink version.

debbie said...

Skip the shoulder pads. Muslin jacket is too cute. Perfect for weekend chores like the grocery store!

How fun it will be to teach your friend to sew. Last year in sewing Lauren was taught to zig zag all the seams.

I like your style -- fabric store for browsing and shopping and then Don Pablos for lunch!

Kris C. said...

I would have her zigzag the edges together and then press the seams in one direction. My regular sewing machine also has an "overedge" stitch that I used all the time and it worked great (looked like a blind hem stitch but with little zigzags and pointing the other direction than the blind hem stitch points) - of course, this was before my serger. :)