Aint No Such Thing as a Wearable Muslin

The good news! DH is back from Vermont with a working Subaru. Just $4.75 for the head gasket and $1855.25 for labor. Gah! That beast had better run for another 100 thousand miles. But DH is home safe and sound, which is the important thing.

Okay, so now I’m going to make a soapbox statement. It’s a new year, folks, and its time to throw out some old mistaken notions. Not old thread or seam rippers – I’m talking about well meaning but wrong headed notions that one can or should make “wearable muslins” of garments.

Pfooey. There is no such thing as a wearable muslin. There are muslins, or test garments, and there are finished garments. The point of a muslin is to test out fit, proportion, style and construction. In couture, the muslin, or toile, is made of cheap unbleached cotton, or similar cheap fabric. It is used to determine fit. Once finished, it is torn apart and used as the pattern for the final garment. It is not worn.

In that vein, you should make muslins from the cheapest, ickiest, Wal-mart bargain table fabric that you can find. Make the garment, try it on, mark it up, pin it, tuck it, slash it, whatever needs to be done to make it right for you. Then take it apart and use it to make the real deal. When I hear someone say “I’m going to make it a wearable muslin” that sounds to me like “I’m willing to settle for second best.” A muslin is a test garment, not the real thing. You deserve better than second best for your sewing efforts.

Now, once in a while you’ll make a muslin and the stars align, the heavens open and a light shines directly on you and you look in the mirror and say, “Dayum, that looks great on me as is!” It happens. It’s happened to me. Twice in my entire life. On those two occasions, I did end up with a final garment. But it wasn’t a wearable muslin. It was a happy circumstance. In every other muslin I have made, I pulled it apart and used it, then I threw it out. So when you make a muslin, make a muslin. If it happens, through karmic forces and sheer dumb luck, that it turns out to be wearable, bonus!

Now get out there and sew!

About Gorgeous Things

I own an online fabric store, Everything else you need to know about me is what I tell you on my blog, darlings!
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