Not putting the cart before the horse, or making a muslin.

God has blessed (and cursed) me with many passions and one of those is sewing. I love to sew! Sewing feeds my soul’s need to labor at a task and then have “something” to show for that hard work. And starting a new project is very exciting. Picking out a pattern, walking around the fabric store looking at all the color choices and touching each possible fabric option, taking home this bag of items and then diving into the cutting, sewing and pressing ranks right up there with the feelings of anticipation on Christmas Eve when I was a child. I love to dive right in and “get ‘er done.” The last thing I want to do is take the time to make a practice garment or muslin. And this aversion to checking the fit of a pattern before cutting out my special piece of fabric has led to more than one failed project.

So, when a friend asked me to make her a couple shirts and a pair of shorts. I knew some time making a muslin was in my future. I have done alterations for her but never made anything from scratch and a practice run was going to be necessary to keep the project from ending up on the fail pile. I don’t want to let her down.

Pattern being used

Pattern being used

Since the summer season is winding down, I am beginning with the shorts.

Muslin number 2

Muslin number 2

I didn’t actually use muslin fabric because I had this inexpensive broadcloth on hand. This is the 2nd muslin. The 1st was too tight and making necessary changes would have resulted in a distorted fit and difficulty transferring those changes to the finished project fabric. The good things about a muslin is that you only need to sew the very basic parts of the garment and there is no need to finish seams or hems. The basic goal is to check the fit. This practice pair of shorts took about 1 hour from cutting through sewing. One hour that will save money and heartache in the end.

Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.” Augusta Rodin

So, I will pull back my excitement, act wisely, and keep my cart safely behind the horse.

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