Trapped on the Island of Muslins

Well … trapped might be a strong word. But you know what I mean.

I have big sewing plans (for me) this season. There’s that suit, which means pants and a jacket. I want to make jeans, for me and for Frances. There’s the leather skirt. I’ve got fabric for some nice button-up shirts that I’m dying to sew, and another pair or two of knit pants for Frances, plus maybe a long-sleeved t. And maybe a couple of knit shirts for me, if I still have time after all of this insanity.

The thing is, it all requires muslins. Suits need to be fairly precise to be wearable; I’ve got the jacket pieces cut out, but need to find an appropriate lining (nothing too pricey; it’s just for practice) and get that cut out too. I’ve done up a test for the suit pants, and they’re ok, but they need some fitting adjustments. I’ve got a muslin sewed up for the leather skirt, and it’s pretty decent; but I want to be absolutely sure before I cut into that divine leather, so I want to finick over it a bit more and do some test sewing on some edge pieces to see what kind of seam would work best before I cut it out.

Figures I’d pick the $600 shirt–but if I make something like this, it’ll cost me >$50, notions included. Not bad, eh?

I sewed up a few muslins for some new shirt patterns. They fit pretty well, actually, so now there are cut-out pieces of the shirts in silk-cutton and double-gauze. Nice, yes? But I’m waiting for a Guaranteed Not To Shrink Interfacing to arrive before I can do much with it. Also, I want to do some embroidery on one of them, so there is much paging through of embroidery books and googleing of inspiration images to see what might look good to do. (Summary: colourful embroidery on a white shirt seems always to look very Western, which is not a look I’m going for, so I’m leaning towards whitework.)

I cut out and sewed up the front and back legs and crotch seam of a pair of jeans for Frances, then held them up to see if it would fit, and found out I’d badly misjudged the needed size of the back pieces, and spent many tedious hours ripping out the double topstitching and the serging, and re-measuring and cutting new pieces of denim.

I made her another pair of the Nature Walk Pants, sized better to her preferences. She loves them now.

Quiltalongs are quilting along. But yeah, how many of you want to see Farmers’ Wife Quilt Blocks? That’s what I thought. (Quick update: I’ve got like 40 blocks done! That’s almost enough for a quilt! Hurray!) (Quick further update: you know, patchwork is a fantastic lesson in precision sewing. I recommend it for anyone who’s looking to bone up on their details.)

And there was the dyeing with cochineal post, which both went on forever and managed to say nothing of interest to anyone but me. Right? Right. (You can still anticipate a nearly-identical post about woad at some point in the future. Don’t say you weren’t warned!)

The point being, I’m still sewing a ton, but I have no sewing that’s really blog-worthy. Like, as tedious as that cochineal post was (and I know it, you don’t have to spare my feelings), imagine how much more tedious half a dozen “hey so I’m making this but it’s not done yet and I can’t show you any pictures because I had to rip it apart before it was done enough that it could be modeled, so yeah, here’s a pile of stuff that might become a thing” posts.

So I have condensed them all into this handy summary post: So many muslins! All stuck in various stages of finishing! Nothing finished! Bah.

I do apologize. I know my wordy rambling about non-project related matters is of little interest to most of you. But project posts will return, someday soon. And there will be ridiculous photos of me wearing things I made that are not imperfect but that I’m still willing to take credit for in public. In the meantime, I offer you these wordy ramblings as a sign of my commitment to future picture-y ramblings. TYIA

9 thoughts on “Trapped on the Island of Muslins”

  1. Well that was a bit shocking. Blame it on my Monday brain but at first glance in my feeds I thought you had written a post called “Trapped on the Island of Muslims”. I thought – Wow, she’s changed her focus! lol

  2. Oh man, I’m in the same boat, except I haven’t even made all the muslins I need to yet! I think this is what happens when I try to start six big projects and try to start them all at once. (I’m not even going to list them anywhere because that’s a recipe for me not finishing them.) And yah, big projects = more specialized supplies.

  3. The whole needing to muslin stuff has put me in a bit of a sewing rut, and is probably why I’m super into knitting really big baggy giant rectangle sweaters. It’s been too long since I touched my machine.

    1. Muslins are definitely less rewarding than finished garments. I’m trying to tell myself, though, that these are really good long-term basic patterns that, once I get them finished to my satisfaction, I’ll be able to use over and over again. But there is no doubt that motivation is somewhat lacking at the moment. They’re just not as much fun.

  4. The last muslin I did was for a Calvin Klein dress pattern in the mid 1980s. There was so much pinning and tucking that I never made it past the muslin stage to the final dress. Kudos to you for sticking to it.

    1. There may be some terror involved in the prospect of potentially destroying very expensive fashion fabric if I don’t take my time with the muslins first. And there may also be some procrastination, in that for as long as I’m working on the muslins, I don’t need to worry about cutting into the good stuff.

      But I’ll get there. I hope.

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