Sunday, October 20, 2013

Goldie - The wearble muslin

Do you often make muslin's when your sewing? or Toile's or Calico's?

They're all the same thing but named differently depending on where you live. In Australia, we apparently call them calico's  but considering the majority of my sewing education comes from books, YouTube and blogs, I've ended up calling any garment that is a practice garment a Muslin 

Normally I make my muslin's out of left over fabric, old sheets or fabric from the op-shop. I rarely buy actual calico from the store because its actually quite expensive! Its cheaper to buy home spun plain cotton. Go figure. 

Wearable muslin's however are another deal. Sometimes I make up a garment without any adjustments or edge finishes as they're intended to be a test, but they end up being wearable. And other times I make things with the intention of wearing them out, but they end up not really being the best. This is one of those kinds of projects. (kinda)

Looks ok doesn't it? Well as nice as it looks in photos, this fabric isn't that great. I used a Gold knit Lurex which I bought from Lincraft

As its a knit, it needs hanging time and the lightness of it means it clings in a rather unflattering way even while wearing a slip. Most of the night I kept adjusting myself because the top part of the dress felt like it was sagging down around my chest and belly. Not cool

Butterick 4712

The pattern itself is really nice, it comes with scallops built into the paper pattern so you don't have to calculate the scallop width to the dress fabric width. It's quick and easy and I plan to use it again 

So why did I buy this fabric if its so terrible? Well I had intended for this dress to be my holiday season dress. There's lots of birthdays and vendor parties for work around this time every year so to have a dress that's comfortable and shiny makes it easier to get dressed for these events. 

The fabric being a knit also meant that I could cut the scalloped edge and not finish it as it doesn't fray. And the metallic gold seemed appropriate for parties. 


Its also quite hard to work with (see the Slippery fabrics post). I used quite a bit of baking paper to sew this and even then its still not that great. It bunches on the sides and at the back near the zipper

The bunching at the back - not fun

Around the darts you can see the naughty bunching!!

The collar worked out really well - a sweet Peter Pan collar which I self-drafted

I did actually bother to line the inside because I thought it might help with the drape of the fabric. 

I of coursed ended up wearing it out, mainly from stubbornness. I had spent so long on this dress, wearing it became a matter of principal, but I've decided to try and source some more gold fabric, but with a more stable hand so that I can make a comfortable yet festive dress which will last the next few months. 

Have you ever made a wearable muslin? Or had a garment become a muslin by accident?

Take care my pretties!
Cat xo


  1. What a cute party dress! I have never intentionally sewn a muslin, but I've sewn garments that I did not end up wearing, and made an improved version later, so I guess the first garment is an unwearable muslin ;)

    1. I guess so! an accidental one!
      I've done something similar before, but I ended up wearing the it at home only.

  2. Hello, dear Catherine!

    You wrote:

    << Looks ok doesn't it? >>

    NO! I'd say SMASHING is a better word! You will be the head-turning hit of any party in that sensational dress, dear friend. As always, your inspired poses sell it to the max. Well done!

    Happy Monday to you and have a wonderful week ahead, dear friend Cat!

    1. you're always so complimentary Shady! thank you :)
      I hope your Monday is kind to you!

  3. I adore that dress, the scalloped hem and metallic fabric are just gorgeous and you look adorable modelling it.
    I'm far to impatient to do a dummy run! xxx

    1. Thanks m'dear! I love the scallops too!
      I only do muslins when i don't want to ruin the good fabric but their pretty handy!

  4. I call them toiles, and I should make a whole lot more than I do!!! I'm terribly lazy...
    This frock is super gorgeous, and you look dreamy in it! Shame it was a bitch to sew, but that sort of fabric usually is....poos to it hot to wear? The scalloping is too cute, and it is a perfect party season frock. XXX

    1. oh well! i guess you only need to make them if the pattern seems a bit dodgy? It is pretty warm to wear, but considering its so short and VERY light, it has its own air-con sorta. haha!

  5. I made a toile for the 50s slacks, I had some calico left over from a pattern cutting course so I just used that. I normally don't bother though! I love the scalloping on this dress - so cute! x

    1. I love those trousers! I hope the muslin helped with the fit?

  6. This looks so cute on you! Such a shame that it didn't turn out how you wanted it too. I usually make a muslin if I am unsure of the pattern and can't do accurate flat pattern measurements, but still, it's so hard to know how cooperative certain fabrics will be. Regardless, I think this dress looks stunning on you, the scallops are fab!

    1. Thank you dear! It really was a tough fabric to use. But it was so pretty! I had to try right?

  7. Ok, I have some dumb questions: (I don't think you covered this in the post, so forgive me if I ask something you mentioned!)

    1.) Were you using a pattern sized for knits? That might be your issue with the bunching you said was happening in the middle area. When a pattern is sized for a knit, there is generally about an inch taken out of the entire garment on the side seams. At least, that's more or less what my knit block looks like compared to woven.

    2.) Were you accidentally stretching your knit? That might also be something that counted for bunching. I've done that more than a few times with knits (especially stretch lycra - ugh!)

    Otherwise.... it's still cute! I think you can get away with wearing this. Although I do know how disappointing it is to put a lot of time and effort into something and it not quite working out the way you wanted it to. It looks like you put a ton of time into this too! I

    I'll be interested to see your next iteration of it if you do decide to make another! :)

    1. these aren't dumb questions! Its actually helpful!

      the pattern I chose was for stable fabrics but that's interesting to know about the side seams. What I think may have screwed that up was a combo of my machine being temperamental, and not placing the tissue paper to grip it properly.

      I was definitely careful not to stretch it consciously, but my machine may have pulled at the bottom layer because I remember one seam where the bottom piece was longer than the other but only by 1cm or so

      Maybe ill need to research more before I do unstable type knits again. thanks for your tips! ill definitely show the finished product when I do it again :)


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