Armed with the mens shirt pattern, the gingham muslin, and a bit of spare sewing time, I’m ready to start this thing! No, I haven’t been working on it in secret this whole time. I wish that were true! Now there’s less than a month till Christmas and I have an entire shirt to sew.
Time to get started!
I swear, sewing for men is a completely different beast. I know how to make a muslin for a woman’s dress, no problem! But I’m not even sure where to start on this man’s muslin. Do I cut out all the pieces? Skip the facings? What about the collar?
I’ll show you what I did, in case you’re facing your first men’s project with the same amount of hesitation.
First off, cut out the pattern pieces for the view you’re making. I’m making View B, the conventional dress shirt. This pattern has a ton of pieces! The left and right front pieces are different, plus there’s separate pieces for cutting the interfacing.
Then, separate the pieces that you don’t need to muslin. I skipped the interfacing pieces, and the sleeve placket. I figure I can fit the sleeve and cuff without sewing the placket. (I can always go back and recut it, if I’m wrong!)
Press all the pieces you’re about to cut with a cool dry iron. (I set the iron on the highest setting before the steam kicks in for maximum pressing speed.) You want to make sure your pattern pieces are flat. If we’re going to spend the time making a muslin, it’s important to be accurate!
Now we’re ready to cut the muslin! Before we cut, let’s make sure the edges are on grain.
Cut along the gingham lines, making a 1″ snip into the fabric.
Pull both sides of the fabric to tear it along the gingham line. The poly-cotton gingham I’m using is really easy to work with, so far. It’s fairly wrinkle-resistant and the edges line up nicely.
Time to cut out the pieces! The great part about using gingham as a muslin is that the grainlines are obvious. It’s so easy to see where to line up the grainline markings.
I lay out the largest pieces first – the shirt back, the shirt fronts, and sleeve. Check for tricky pieces marked ‘Cut 4’ and remember to cut them twice. (Though, it’s only a muslin, if you’re short on fabric you could just cut one sleeve and cuff to check the fit.)What’s wrong with the photo above? I accidentally cut two Left Fronts and two Right Fronts when I cut out my muslin. Oops. Check your markings carefully!
Cut out the pattern pieces and mark all notches and markings on the muslin. Bonus: you can use pen, because it’s only a muslin!
Now, I’m going to machine-stitch around my seamlines. This will be really helpful when we fit the muslin, so we know how much to add or reduce from the original seamline. I’m going to use contrasting thread so it’s easy to see.
I’m also going to label each piece with its name – in this case, Right Front.
Repeat with the Left Front, Back – all of the fabric pieces! When you’re done, the muslin pieces will be super easy to work with! If we mark everything correctly, it will be as easy as sewing up the printed pattern tissue itself.
Next up: sewing the muslin! I’ll work through stitching the seamlines and sewing up the muslin, and share an update tomorrow.
Oh, and Mr Sewaholic has agreed to model, for instructional purposes! Yay!