Saturday, August 7, 2010

Coat muslin Butterick 5145

I sewed a muslin this weekend.  Boy that was a lot of work!  Just the pattern adjustments took a few hours with scissors, paper, tape, pencil and ruler.  This is the first time I have sewn a Butterick pattern since who knows when;  all I know is they never fit.  I got out a pattern (out of Bernina My Label) that I used to sew a jacket last Fall.  The tissue had only sizes 14-22 and my shoulders are about a 10.  So, basically, I cut on the size 22 lines for height, 10 for shoulders, then 16 for everything else.  This time I did not add any height to the armscye.  Also, this muslin is OK as a light coat, but too small to be a real winter coat that fits over layers. It has to get bigger.

Yes, it is tricky to morph from a 10 in the shoulders to a 16 in the bust and I cannot begin to understand exactly how that works - I just trace from the BML pattern that fits and it seems to work.  And for the sleeve, I used an existing sleeve pattern that already fit.  Forget trying to alter the pattern- the shape is just different in a way that is still mysterious to me.

Then, the next sewing session was cutting and sewing the muslin.  I used this really awesome coat-weight muslin I got from Gorgeous Fabrics.  Wow!  That is some heavy muslin. 

(yes, there are already shoulder pads in there)
I totally messed up the collar - probably cut it without the seam allowances because it was way too small.
The muslin still needs work, but hey- I think this is the best 1st try I've ever sewn.  I am feeling some progress.  Definitely.
And I am really glad I am sewing so far in advance because I am not going through another winter with RTW.  I found something that fit last year but the color was not good and it was completely worn out at the end of the winter.  I can do better than that!

I have been poking around the Neiman-Marcus and Saks websites for inspiration.  I found something GREAT!  I can use my black sequin fur fabric for a coat like this :)  Should be versatile, eh?
OK, well happy sewing and fitting and so on and so forth.  When I met with Susan for a lesson, I told her "I just haven't figured out how to fit myself" and her reply was, "Fitting yourself is hard".  That kinda made me feel a little better.

Carry on!


  1. sewing a coat muslin is dedication indeed because there is a lot of sewing in a coat. I didn't resolve my fitting issues until I did my weekend Palmer/Pletsch fit workshop - but it sounds like you are in extremely capable hands with what you are doing. I love coat making, love love love it, I have never been able to find RTW that will fit my size 46 bust and 36 shoulders (European sizing) either.

  2. Good luck! The coat looks great from the front. I think you could even take the back in a bit - it's a bit blousy at the top, but maybe that's the way you are standing. I have learned that I have a small upper frame (I usually cut a 10 in the shoulders/high back) but sometimes could be an 8. But I'm a 12 in the hips. And an 10/12 in the bust. I feel your pain!

    I'm in muslin-making mode this weekend as well. So boring! But I'm proud of myself for being a big girl. :)

  3. The muslin is looking good and looking forward to your finale'. Although I avoid doing muslins, this fall I want to sew a coat and will definitely do a muslin first.

  4. Your coat is looking good for a 1st toile. I always find it easier to fit others and hard to fit myself.

  5. Robin, it's so interesting to see your muslin. Looking at the back I had the same excess ease (before I altered it). At the time I wasn't sure if it me or the pattern. As it is a coat pattern I figured it was the pattern. Your muslin seems to confirm this theory. :) Good luck! It's looking really good thus far. Very flattering on your figure.

  6. This one seems to fit right out of the box. Looking forward to seeing it in the fashion fabric.

  7. The fit looks really good! The only thing I see is the wrinkles running up & down the back next to the sleeve in the back photo, but that could be from holding your shoulders too far back for the photo. Good luck! I can't wait to see the coat :-) They're always my favorite thing to sew.... something about the smell of pressing wool makes me feel like it's really winter.

  8. I know what you mean about RTW coats. I've hated them since I was a kid. For me, the problem area is always in the back - I can't move my arms forward. And, of course, the sleeves are a mile too long.
    Your muslin looks really nice. What pattern are you using from Butterick?

  9. I have several coat muslins in my future as well. Sewing a coat is a big undertaking and muslins are certainly a necessary evil. I have very narrow shoulders too, but I go about it a bit differently. I cut for my upper bust measurement which is 2 sizes smaller than my bust and probably 4 sizes smaller than my hips. I still need to narrow the shoulders so I like Sandra Betzina's method from Fast Fit the best at that point. I still need to make the biceps bigger and do a multitude of other fixes too, so yeah I understand how long it takes! But it's is worth it in the end. I can never find a rtw coat that actually fits all of me! I am interested in what KK does to the muslin.

  10. Oh I'm so jealous! See I'm just gonna tell the are working on a winter coat now? I never think of doing that until I actually need to wear it! Your muslin looks good and I'm sure you will get all the fit challenges worked out.

  11. I have a bunch of coat muslins in my future too. Well, I have a bunch of everything in my future. Your muslin looks fabulous so I'm sure you will get all the details worked out.


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