You asked for a bit of guidance on making a muslin of the Minoru Jacket, and today’s post is exactly that! I still have the very first muslin I made of the Minoru Jacket, and thought I would use it for demonstrating today. Today I’ll talk about our goals when making a muslin, tips for sewing up a quick Minoru muslin, and things to check for fit and placement.
Our goals when making a muslin are:
- Decide if we even like the style. If we don’t like it, we can save our fabric for another pattern!
- Check the fit.
- Check placement of details. Things like pocket placement, or in this case, the placement of the waist elastic.
- Decide if there are style adjustments we’d like to make. Style adjustments would be something like shortening the collar. It fits as is, but you may want to customize the garment just because. Something like adding belt loops to trousers – it’s not about the fit of the garment, or the pattern pieces, but now’s the chance to play around with the pattern before cutting your real fabric.
Making the Minoru Muslin:
Here are the things I did to make up a quick muslin of the jacket, with photos to help explain!
I cut a slit in the collar instead of inserting a zipper, and pulled the hood through the hole. Want to try it on with the hood out of the way? Simply roll up the hood and pin the opening shut.
Sewed in one cuff only. Why? Mostly to save time and save elastic. Also, if you want to make an adjustment to the cuff, you have a second cuff and sleeve to test with! That way you can compare left cuff to right cuff, and see if your cuff is better after the adjustments. On our real jackets, we do sew the elastic according to the measurements, there isn’t an opportunity to adjust the cuff elastic without unpicking and re-doing them.
Skipped the lining. Nope, all you need is the shell of the jacket. The only time the lining matters is if you’re going to sew a thick lining into your jacket. In that case, remember to account for the thickness of the lining when fitting. Maybe you want to use a thicker fabric instead of muslin. Or if the muslin fits well, cut your lining from the thick fabric, and pin it into the muslin to see how much bulk it adds.
Zigzagged the waist elastic in place. Here’s a blurry, dull photo attempting to show you the zigzagged elastic. I drew the elastic placement lines right onto the muslin, and zigzagged the elastic to the muslin, stretching as I went. This is tricky to do evenly! I’d suggest pinning each end of the elastic, and then stretching and pinning evenly in between each side.
Need to raise or lower the elastic? Rip out the zigzag stitching, and re-stitch the elastic higher or lower as needed. On our real jackets, we’ll be able to tighten or loosen the elastic as needed. You don’t need to decide how tight to make the elastic right now.
Baste the zipper in place. You can use the zipper you intend to use on your real jacket, and plan to rip it out after the muslin is finished.
Baste hem in place. Press the hem after basting so it’s flat. (You can always press it open to adjust later, but it helps to see the hem pressed flat when you’re trying it on. It doesn’t have to be basted nicely, as long as the hem allowance is accurate.
(You might notice that only the back is hemmed and the front is cut but unhemmed. Good eye if you spotted that! That’s something I was testing on this muslin, your pattern will be properly aligned from front to back.)
Things to Check:
- Size. Is this the best size to make? Try it on over sweaters and long sleeve tops. Now lift your arms up, reach forward, move around and see if there’s enough ease for you to be comfortable. Is the whole thing too big or too small?
- Length. How is the body length? How’s the sleeve length? It’s easy to lengthen or shorten the sleeves and body.
- Placement of details. How is the waist elastic? Is it too high or too low compared to your actual waist?
- Fit preferences. Would you like the hips narrower, the sleeves wider, the hood larger? Take in the jacket as needed, try it on again, and see if it’s better. It may help to take ‘before and after’ photos, to see if it really was better before or after the adjustments!
- Style preferences. Want to shorten the collar height, turn the long sleeves into short sleeves, add patch pockets? Now’s the time to play around and finalize the details.
I hope this helps you get started with fitting and adjusting your Minoru muslin! If this seems overwhelming, just remember that fitting and adjusting is a good thing. We have the option to fit our jackets and adjust them to our preferences! This is way better than trying to buy a jacket off the rack in sizes Small, Medium or Large. Already your jacket is going to fit you more precisely because of the customized elastic, because you get to choose your fabric and choose from a range of 9 sizes, not just S-M-L.
Want to see what we’ve talked about already? Click the links below to read more:
- Join the Minoru Sew-Along: January 16th, 2012! (Find the Sew-Along badge here, too!)
- Why is the Minoru Jacket Pattern Not Suitable for Plaid Fabric?
- Guest Post: Caroline on Sewing Waterproof Outerwear
- Minoru Jacket Q & A
- Fabric Recommendations for the Minoru Jacket
- A Full Bust Adjustment on the Minoru Jacket, Courtesy of Alana
- Sew-Along Speed: How Fast Do You Want to Go?
- My Minoru Jacket Fabric Choices
- Five Ways to Tell if Your Fabric Is Water-Resistant
- Minoru Inspiration: Dots!
- Update: Minoru Sew-Along Starts on Monday!
Any questions on making a muslin? What kind of adjustments did you make to yours? (If you’ve written a blog post about your Minoru muslin or pattern adjustments, include a link in your comment!)
Have a great weekend, everyone!