TJ902: Fabric and Prep

My muslin fabric was rescued from the HomeDec portion of my stash. It’s a 100% cotton but comprised of thick and thin warp and weft. This creates an interesting homespun look. I have 3.5 yards, 36″ wide and never touched by my scissors. When I preshrunk it picked up a pink shade.  I don’t have a lot of red in my house or wardrobe. I wash all reds separately. I have no idea why it would pick up a pink shade, but that’s life.

Still pursuing the idea of matching fabric to pattern, I wrap my fabric around Mimie, and add a belt to hold the fabric in place and try to visualize this fabric as pants.

This is not a stiff fabric. But it’s not exactly clinging either. These trousers should have 1.5″ ease and a hem circumference of 17.5″.  They should be skimming my body, not clinging. OK designs not clinging, fabric not clinging. That’s good. Right? I do like the way the fabric is kind of curving around my dressform especially as seen around the bottom edge.

I prefer fabrics that resist wrinkles, shed wrinkles or disguise them. This fabric does none of the above. It wrinkles and hold wrinkles. That’s easily see in the photo. But this fabric is going to be a muslin. I’m not planning to wear it. I’m planning to pin, slash, pinch etc etc. On the odd chance that my measuring and pattern alterations turn out a wearable, well the beach during summer sounds like an appropriate venue for wrinkled clothes.

I’m never really sure about fabrics until I wear them. But for now, I”m think this fits the bill. It is light colored so that wrinkles are easy to see. It is non-stretch so the fabric won’t add ease thus disguising fit issues; and it is FREE!.  It’s been in my stash for so many years I’ve forgotten when it was purchased. I think it is a Walmart fabric, but that may be wrong.

Normally you bring the two selvedges together and fold lengthwise. Folded in that manner, it won’t be wide enough for my back pattern piece. I bring the two cut edges together and fold crosswise.  This is a muslin. I’m not concerned about a nap.  I’m concerned about getting all 3 pattern pieces cut from this single piece of fabric. Crosswise works. I do align the grain line before cutting the fabric. I cut the waistband on the fold with the lengthwise grain running down the length of the waistband.

I notched my pattern before hand so now I can mark my fabric within the notches with a purple pen. Once the pattern pieces are removed, I draw the full grain and balance lines and mark the positions for the darts and zipper flap. I also place tape on the wrong side of each piece. It’s not really necessary for this muslin, but it is habitual for me. One too many times, I’ve sewn right side to wrong side because when I sat at the sewing machine, I couldn’t tell the difference.

In my mind, I’m not done with the prep yet. First I trim the crotch to 3/8″.  I never need the crotch to be wider. I nearly always need to scoop the crotch. However it’s difficult to tell what the crotch needs as long as the excess seam allowance is constraining the pant. I trim it off now and then serge finish all edges of every piece. I also stitch with contrasting thread the balance and grain lines. I don’t know why others complain of permanent purple pen marks. I’m lucky if the marks will last for the day or so that I need during fitting. I use the purple pen to mark embroidery placement lines.  During the summer,the lines will disappear before I can align the fabric in the hoop. Perhaps it is the source of my pen. Maybe it’s the humidity? The heat? (In SD in the winter, don’t think so.) Whatev’ I want to see the balance lines when I take pictures and so I baste right on top of them.

My last bit of prep is to interface the waistband and hems. I don’t interface the zipper flap. I’ve seen several references and I may try that in the future. But for now, I want to see how this pant fits. Prep is done. Time to fire up the sewing machine.


BTW, Prep? Another 2 hours.  This fitting stuff is not fast.