September 22, 2010


I've actually had my coat muslin made up for over a week now, but didn't feel it was ready for world unveiling (just kidding). On a serious note, have you ever started/or wanted to start a project and just got bogged down in over thinking it??? Well that is what happened to me! I so want to do a good job on this coat.

  • For starters, I know that the collar is too short for some reason, as it did not meet the placement markers on the coat front. I need to go back to check it with the pattern - I probably cut the wrong size collar.
  • This is the second fitting of my first muslin; it has a 5/8" seam allowance. Initially, it was just a little too snug for wearing over sweaters and the like, so I let out all (7) seams (from 5/8" to 3/8"). I am NOT AT ALL good with fractions at all, but I think I reduced each seam 1/4", making my coat 1 1/2 inches larger overall (feel free to help me with the math). This could account for the collar being too small.
  • I can see a problem with the back on the left side. (picture 3) There seems to be more fabric on the left - there definitely are more wrinkle lines. I'm thinking that taking in the center back seam in that area might help alleviate these wrinkles. What do you think.
  • I don't think the wrinkling across my back waist area is too bad (pictures 3&5) - your thoughts.
  • And what do you think about my sleeves. I can see wrinkles on the underside close to my body. (pictures 2&3) I am almost sure that the sleeve placement is correct. Maybe I'm holding my arms too close to my body??? The back seam of the sleeve is supposed to match up with the back princess seam - am I right?
  • Sleeve wrinkles again. (picture 7) Do you think my sleeve placement is correct?
  • Do you think the wrinkle pool across my back is being caused by the belt here?

I retraced the entire pattern per suggestions made by Gertie, and was going to sew up an entirely new muslin with 1" seams, but I just could not commit to all of the extra work involved. So I decided to just give this one more try. My kids at school took pictures for me this morning, and after seeing them I feel a whole lot better about this muslin.

NOW, MY FELLOW BLOGGER FRIENDS, I NEED TO KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS AND/OR SUGGESTIONS ABOUT MY MUSLIN. Please consider that I am operating with mid-week brain cells at the moment.

Coat construction is scheduled to commence: Monday, September 27th (my little sister's birthday).

Thought I'd include a picture of the ladies that greet me at 7:45 every morning - AKA My photographers.

SIDELINE SEWING RELATED NOTE: After much hemming and humming I did make it down to the fairgrounds on Saturday to submit my exhibit entries. Who would have thought that both my sewing buddies would be unable to participate this year because they are BOTH of town! Nevertheless, I am a big girl so I went it alone this time. Judging started on Monday of this week, but results won't be revealed until the fair opens (October 7-17). Be assured that I will let you know the outcome....


  1. Like I said on the Flickr group, I think it looks good thought I see what you mean about the collar (which is a bit weird in general IMO - I mean, I think it's strangely drafted and looks slightly off, as is, on most people I've seen so far.) I'm adjusting mine slightly, but I don't have a good sense of it, so I can't really offer up advice. Re: back - I do think you have the same thing I do, too much fabric above the waist. I think that shortening the bodice will help...

  2. I agree with K.Line. I think the waist location of the pattern is too low for you. Fold out some of the length and see how it looks. Good luck with the fair and the sew-a-long :)

  3. I personally don't see any issues with this jacket muslin. It looks like a good fit. You want it loose, like you said, to fit over sweaters, etc... Your fabric will be thicker, too, which will take up some of the wrinkling, I would think.
    Love the smiling faces of your "ladies".
    Good luck with your fair entries!

  4. I think your sleeves look fine, and the fit in general looks good to me.

    Good luck!

  5. Key Faye. I think your muslin looks fantastic. If you decided to make any changes consider adding to the sleeve cape height and the sleeve length.. Remember that wrinkles point to a fitting problem. You're going to have a great coat in no time at all.

  6. Oopa. That's supposed to say "Hey Faye."

  7. Marie-Christine9/23/2010

    I think this looks very good in general. You're probably right about checking the collar length, because it's not very visible from the front, it doesn't lay right on your shoulders, and it'd be better to have that.

    About the back, I think you need to address the wrinkling in the back. A bit less length in the upper back perhaps? Also imho a bit more ease in the waist, to get rid of those horizontal wrinkles. Less ease contrast between the upper and lower back, in short. The peplum will make you look like you have a waist no matter what :-).

    I'd say also that if you let out the coat that much, perhaps you should consider a larger size? From the size chart it looks justified, and you'd probably get a better overall look..

  8. I just found your blog and wanted to jump in and help out with your back wrinkles. That coat wrinkle issue looks really familiar, the coat I made earlier this year did that. It isn't from too much fabric above the waist, but not enough over your backside. I made a blog post about how I fixed it. Hope it helps!

  9. Hi Faye! How wonderful to have so many willing photographers!

    I agree with Julia, the fit is pretty darn good. Once you sew this up in a heavier fabric and line and interface it and wear winter clothes underneath, I think most wrinkles will disappear.

    The only wrinkle that would concern me is the one on the left side of your back. I have little experience with fit, but I do have Palmer/Pletsch's "Fit for Real People," which I have just consulted. Is it possible that your left shoulder slopes slightly more than your right? (I am not so symmetrical myself.) If so, taking in a tiny amount on the top shoulder seam on the left side might solve it.

    I am enjoying your coat posts. Can't wait to see what you do next.

  10. I think there's too much length above the back waist. Try a small sway back adjustment. What type of fabric are you using for the muslin?

  11. I think the style suits you. I really like this on you. Darn those muslins, they really are a guideline.....Go ahead with it!

  12. Hi Faye. Do you have shoulder pads in your muslin? If not, stick a pair in and see if it helps with the wrinkles across your back. Do you have sloping shoulders? If you pull up on the shoulder seam at the armsythe, see if that wrinkle disappears.

    It also appears the back of the coat is too wide from armsythe to armsythe.

    The front looks good. Tweak that back a bit, an dmake a beautiful coat.

  13. Good luck with the items you submitted to the fair! I'm sure that you will do just as well as or better than you did last time!

  14. Hello Faye:

    Your muslin looks great. I agree with the other folks suggestions. You muslin only need a little bit of tweaking.

  15. I think it's looking really good, Faye! Like someone else mentioned, just go for it!

  16. Anonymous9/23/2010

    HI Faye! Love the coat on you!
    The math,I don't think,is correct. If you re-stitch at 3/8" instead of at 5/8" that is a 1/4" difference times 2 per each seam. Remember that when you let that out you'll need to double it to account for each side of the seam. So in total you have let out 1/2" x 7 or 3-1/2" around the entire garment.

    The collar stitching lines should match in length with the length of the fronts and back stitching lines. You can easily check that on the pattern just to see if they are the same. It would make sense that your collar would not match up if you had let out the center back seam :-)

    Actually, the sleeve and the overall fit look very similar to the pattern. I agree with the shoulder pad comment. Usually a coat has a shoulder pad of some sort built in so you'll need to see how that looks on your muslin.

    In the 4th photo the sleeve looks like it needs to rotate forward a bit. The sleeve should hang straight without that fold.

    In the back, picture 3 and 5, I think if you open up the two princess seams from about the shoulder blade down to the hip (and re-sew the CB back at the 5/8") and let the back hang so you can see how much to adjust at the waist you should be good!

    Hope that helps!

  17. Faye - Overall, I think you have a pretty darned good fit!

    For the back issues, I would first try shoulder pads. That might get everything to where it needs to be. If there was still pooling at the waist, I would then take a look at Steph's post on how she added ease to a coat when faced with the same problem. There was some back and forth about this on Gertie's blog the other day in the comments section - sway back adjustment vs adding ease through the hips - that might also give you some good ideas.

  18. I am no help on fitting. Hats off to you for making a muslin! It is an art I have no intention of mastering. `-)

  19. I made some of my comments on flickr, too. :) Overall, I think the style is great on you and your muslin looks great! I completed my muslin... I just need someone to take pictures. Your class looks delightful!

  20. Faye, I agree with some of your readers that the muslin looks really nice on you! With a few fitting adjustments, you should go for it!

    Regarding the collar, it looks a lot like the jacket photo on your sidebar. That jacket's collar is pretty far back too. Maybe that's the design. Either way, Good Luck!

  21. Great work, Faye! I've no doubt your coat will look terrific. Love your muslin pics - in your teaching room? - and all your lovely young photographers! I agree with most of the comments above, in that I'd both pinch out the fabric at/just above the back waist AND add a little width to each side/back seam. It's a coat after all, and it'll look far better (and more slimming) if it skims and does not hug/bind the body. Will be following your progress: good luck!

  22. Faye, I think you did a great job with this muslin. Go with the shoulder pads as Gwen suggests and I think you will have a gorgeous coat!! can't wait to see it finished.

  23. I think it will be a beautiful coat, and I might just have to buy that pattern myself (although I'd want it warmer, because it's colder up here). Maybe the wrinkle issues are due to the light weight of the muslin?

    By my count, if you reduced the seams from 5/8" to 3/8" that adds 1/2" to each seam, so 3.5"? I really can't wait to see this in that beautiful purple with that fancy lining of yours!

  24. I've been there, I'm sure we all have, working and then reworking some more. Your girls are adorable! Good luck in the contest!

  25. I think the muslin fits well.I agree with the comments about the wool fabric being heavier which will allow it to hang better.
    I can't wait to see which ribbons you'll win at the fair this time. I'll be back in time to go check it out.

  26. I just went back and clicked your picture of your photographers. They are a nice looking group of girls, and I see you have a class clown in the back, too. Must be fun, and I'll bet they love you.

  27. Looking good. I cant wait to see it done. good luck! :)

  28. Yes. I can relate. I tend to overthink my projects as well. Looks like your muslin fits you well.

    Can't wait to find out if you win.



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