Real Deal Jean Sew Along: Making A Muslin
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Real Deal Jean Sew Along: Making A Muslin

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Hey Hey!!!!  So yesterday you got to meet Jackie, and we talked a bit about how to choose your size.  If you are playing catch up, you need some fabric and your pattern printed, taped and cut.  If you aren't already in the RDJ Event group - you really want to head on over there.  Jackie has been posting videos, photo tips for how to measure, and there is great insight from group members for getting a perfect fit!  And of course, I'm in there as well answering any questions you have... I have also started a thread for Maternity alterations!


Here is Jackie:

Today we work on MUSLINS. I suggest you cut your muslin at short length, to save on fabric. You may want to decide whether you want a muslin to simply check for fit or if you want a wearable muslin. For a barebones muslin, cut the pant leg width a the shorts length, for a functional muslin, cut the shorts width and length (a shorts leg is wider than a a pants leg, so you'll want that width if you are making a wearable muslin!)

A basic muslin is bare bones. You won't need the zipper, all the pocket or fly pieces... You just need the front, back, yoke, it is your choice on the waist band.  (Suzanne says skip the waistband for your first fit, one less thing to rip off, and the waistband is easily customize-able to your finished main pant) You can skip any top stitching. Heck, your fabrics don't even have to match!

With a wearable muslin, you do everything you would do on the final version, with the understanding that you may need to mark it all up, and they may or may not actually be wearable and the hope that you can.  ***Suzanne suggests that even with your wearable muslin, that you skip the back pockets until after your first fit.  Pocket placement is important and they are a pain to rip off.  Even if you don't need any major alterations and just take in  or let out the sides or back seam a smidge it will effect the pocket placement.***

So cut your pieces and get a rough version together.  You will want to just baste the inseam and outseam, since changes are you will be ripping them apart - don't say I didn't warn you!

Here is my size 10 muslin. It fits pretty nicely as is. The waistband hits me at mid-rise and I won't have muffin tips (or in my case, popovers). But I can make it fit better. The front is good and shouldn't require extra attention. The back has some bagginess under my bottom because I don't fill it out back there. See how the drape is changing shape when I start to pinch out the excess.

***(note from Suzanne) This is hard to do solo, you will need pins and a mirror.  If you have a sewing friend or child old enough that you trust them with pins around your body that is great, but most of us will be left to our own devices.  If you are having a hard time reaching, aim for the center point of where you need a dart, pin or mark that point.  Then take the pants off and continue the dart around the leg aiming to have that same width of dart at the inseam and almost nothing at the outseam.  Pin or baste that dart in place and re-try on to see if you got it right or need to adjust.***

I apologize in advance for all the booty pics I'll be posting this week. We all want to be bootylicious though, so let's work with what we got, right?
I pinned a giant horizontal dart from the center seam to my hip, taking out the excess fabric for my flat bottom. Already, it looks better back there.

Then I made a second horizontal dart from the inseam to the thigh, taking out more where it bags. I then extended the dart from the inseam around the front. There wasn't a lot to pin out on the front, but just a little bit already makes a more flattering fit.

The back yoke exists in place of darts. If your muslin fits at the hips, but are gaping at the top, make darts in your yoke, approximately 4" or a hands width from that center back seam and bring it in. Be sure as you make your darts that your side seams stay going straight down the middle of your outside.  This is an alteration that is commonly needed by people with a larger ratio between their hip and high hip/waist.  Hourglass with booty, pear with booty, bubble booties, and those with a sway back.

How do I transfer my changes to my paper pattern, you ask? It's so child-like in its simplicity! Sew the darts you pinned out, deconstruct your muslin down to front and back again, and press the darts the same direction.

You should now have mostly flat pieces again. Then take a crayon, pencil, or other marking tool, and trace your muslin onto a new piece of paper (or if you like, you can use your muslin as your new pattern piece if making shorts).  If you are making pants, you will need to attach the new top potion of your pattern piece to the remainder of the leg piece.

Voila - a new pattern piece custom fit to your figure!




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