A Fashionable Stitch » sartorial sewing

What do I do with a Muslin?

I have often wondered this. And to own the truth, I always just end up throwing them away. And then I when I come back to a pattern to remake it, I wonder why I did that. And then I remember that I’m NOT a pack rat and I don’t really have alot of room for all these muslins.


With these pants though, I’m feeling differently. I WILL be keeping these puppies. The interesting thing I’ve learned with fitting and alterations and muslins is that its such an ongoing process. I don’t know that my body really changes drastically from year to year, but I do notice that it changes. I also notice that my ideas on good fit change too. I’m constantly seeing new things crop up on previous garments that I’ve made that I didn’t notice before; that I wasn’t even aware of; things that throw the fit off and would have been relatively easy fixes if I had known what to look for and how to fix it. Does this happen to you? Do you ever feel this way?

What do you normally do with your muslins? Do you keep them or get rid of them when you’re supposedly finished with them? If you do keep them, do you find them useful the next time you make up the same pattern or do you end up making another muslin anyway?

Next up – January 24 – the beginning of final trouser construction! We’re almost there! Hip Hip Hooray!

xoxo,

Sunni

  • Ashley - I do typically get rid of my muslins, but I’ll certainly make an exception once I get a perfect fit on this project!
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  • Amanda - I generally keep them around because…I don’t know why. I feel like once I make the adjustments to the paper pattern I should just toss them. Although I’ll definitely be keeping this pair!
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  • Stephanie - I keep them, but to recycle them. Whether I use it as interfacing on another project, muslin for my son’s clothes, or take out to the shop for my dad to use as grease rags – I just can’t stand the thought of throwing out fabric that there is nothing wrong with it.
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  • Debbie Cook - I toss them after I’ve made the final wearable garment and transferred any alterations to the pattern. And by “toss,” I mean cut them up for rags for one more use before they hit the trashcan. We have 3 dogs. We always need rags. ;-) For patterns still in progress (read: lost patience for), I have some muslins on hangers behind my sewing room door.
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  • CGCouture - I reuse the muslin for another muslin, you can always seem to find pieces that will fit on the old ones. Once they get too small to be reused, I generally just throw them away.
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  • Treadle27 - Rags, then if they’re all cotton, out to the compost pile.
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  • Casey - I tend to hang on to muslins until either a.) it becomes apparent I will not be making this project again or b.) I just get tired of it taking up space in my pattern box. lol. Generally I do tend to hang on to the ones that have important alterations or are used as the pattern. I’m not even going to think about how many I have sitting in the closet right now… haha!
    ♄ Casey | blog
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  • melissa - I trash my muslins because I always transfer all my alterations onto my (traced) paper pattern before cutting into my good fabric. So if I want to make that pattern again, all my changes are already incorporated into the paper pattern (which I fold up and store). Periodically I go through my paper pattern stack and throw away those I’m certain I’ll not make again.
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  • lap - I feel like with a pants fitting muslin, you should turn it into a personal pants sloper that you can later reproduce and make variations on. However, I really don’t like using muslin pieces for patterns so I would trace the muslin off onto good paper, or if I think I will be using it a LOT I’ll trace it onto tag or poster board, something stiff, but thin enough to trace easily onto other paper.
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  • ladykatza - A good fitted muslin gets carefully taken apart and used as my pattern pieces with the original pattern intact and the traced paper altered. For all the interim fits and the scraps of natural cloth I recycle them. The muslin scraps go either to an animal shelter or to my mechanic because both always need good rags and the fancy fashion fabric goes to my friend that makes doll clothes for a living.
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  • Liz - I try to hang onto some of my muslins, but not all.
    I finally perfected my burda trouser fit tonight! Burda patterns and me are MFEO! I did lots of tweaking to get them in proportion to my height/shape, but truthfully, they fit well enough with just taking vertical tucks out of the front and back.
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  • Threadsquare.wordpress.com - Reused for other muslins/purposes. As Stephanie said, I just couldn’t imagine tossing perfectly usable fabric. This project, though…this beast might get ladykatza’s treatment of saving the pieces for the next time I sew this up. That is, if I can manage to get the fit right…so behind, so behind.
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  • frk.bustad - What a good read! I was just wondering about the same, the other day. Especially since I also have toiles with zips in them. I guess I will unpick the zip, and then keep the muslin. I hate throwing things away. It’s even hard to throw away small pieces of fabric! And by small I mean scraps, and by scraps I mean pieces e.g. 10 x 10 cm! What to do with all the scraps?
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  • Tasia - If the pieces are large enough, I cut it up for making MORE muslins! Otherwise I toss them. Unless it’s for my own patterns, then I keep them to see the progress and if I want to go backwards :)
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  • Marie-Christine - Are you kidding? I have a hard enough time with scraps, if I started keeping muslins I’d have to move to a new place with a 3-car garage.. No, really, if you have a question about what you did to a previously-made item, try the item back on.
    And do keep notes on the pattern itself. That always helps. That is, IF I make a muslin, I report any changes back onto the pattern with notes.
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