What you’ll Need

  • Our reference images from part 1
  • A pins
  • A pen.
  • Our adjusted pattern pieces from part 2
  • Shoulder pads
  • Muslin fabric
  • Seam ripper
  • Sewing machine
    • thread, bobbin, snips/scissors

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Reasons Muslins are Important

because Fitting issues are so much…

  • easier
  • cheaper
  • less frustrating

…to fix before you’re elbow deep in good fabric that may-or-may not be super expensive and/or hard to get more of because you could only find it online and got the last two meters of.

Scrapped Rolled Hems

As always, lessons I’ve learnt the hard way.

Anyways, I’ve covered basic fitting of muslins on my previous Sew-A-Long, so I won’t go into too much depth. Basically you put it on. Bits poke out? Pin them in. Bits too tight? Let ’em out.

Remember! It’s okay if this version is shit.
We’re allowed to write on it and cut it up and add bits until it works. That’s why muslins are made out of the cheapest cloth we can find.

Just be sure to pin in the shoulder pads to the muslin so that you’re fitting with them on.

Fitting Tips for Jackets

Wendy back view

This was the very first jacket I made. I’m still pretty proud of it,
but I know a lot more now about fitting.

Aka: Things to test out while fitting the muslin and look like an idiot to the neighbours that can see in your kitchen window.

  • Lift your hands straight in front of you.
    • Are the shoulders too tight?
      • Solution: let out the back centre seam, it should have enough give. If not, add fabric in until it fits correctly
    • Are the sleeves too short?
      • Solution: Add length to the sleeve by sewing on a strip of fabric that is longer than you will need, then mark where you want it to end. Remember that we’ll be adding a hem.
  • Can you cross your arms?
    • Possible reasons:
      • Back is too tight
      • Armscyes too small
      • sleeves too tight
  • Lift your hands straight up, does the whole jacket lift up?
    • Possible reason: armscyes are too tight, and there’s not enough fabric in the underarm area

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  • When wearing the jacket does the waist line match your natural waist?
    • Solution: Adjust the darts and any seams that are supposed to be at your actual waist until they line up better with your shape
  • Does the shoulder seam match your actual shoulders?
    • Note: With Emily’s coat, with the shoulders so ridiculous, they might poke out, and that’s okay since we’re following the design rather than the best fit
    • Too Small: let out the shoulder seam a bit and add fabric to the sleeve or vest at the shoulder if necessary
    • Too Big: take in the seam until it fits better

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  • Do the darts make any weird points or lumps? Especially around the boobs
    • If yes
      • grade the seam out a little less sharply at the end of the dart
      • Adjust the dart until it fits better

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  • Is the bottom hem long enough?
  • Can you flex your arm without the material cutting into your elbow and biceps?
    • No, I hulked out of my muslin =(: congrats you’re ripped! Let out the seam or add more fabric.
    • Yes, the sleeves are so flappy I look like a sugar glider: Take in along the seams but careful of the armscye!
  • Does the fabric hang straight? Is there any puckering or weird wrinkles for no reason?
    • Check that
      • The seams are lined up correctly
        • I was guilty of this during my fitting.
      • that the pieces are the correct ones
      • The garment is sitting on you correctly
      • That your seams are flat

How to work with Stubborn Materials: Stretch it out.

Whew. Okay. Now that that’s over, let’s talk about something important because GodDAMN I need to stop making structured items out of super stretchy materials.

Pictured: (L-R)
What will be a 2-way super stretchy twill Jacket, 4-way Stretch pleather jacket,
a Ponte knit suit jacket and pants, and a 4-way stretch cloak

I had to order the twill for Kaldwin’s jacket online because i couldn’t find anything the right weight and colour nearby, so I didn’t realise that I’d ordered stretch until I picked up the fabric and opened the box.

And it’s really stretchy.

But I’d already delayed the sew-a-long and wasn’t about to go out and order MORE fabric for this project, so I went into my cosplay-stash and pulled out some medium weight woven cotton that I had leftover from the Inquisitor.

Welcome to Interlining, Bitch.

(note: the bitch isn’t you, it’s the stretchy fabric. Unless you want to be the bitch, then go for it?)

Interlining is a fabric that you use between the fashion layer of your fabric and your actual lining. Since it’s hidden, it doesn’t have to be pretty, it just has to work. It can be used to keep warm, act as a spacer between layers, or in my current case… keep your fabric in line instead of going all over the place as you sew.

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Some people suggest using freezer paper to hold stretchy fabrics in place until the garment is ready to be worn, and that’s awesome if you want the fabric to stretch as you wear it. Since I don’t want it to stretch and start bagging out, I’m using a sturdy cotton (The beige) that I’m sewing directly to the twill (dark blue) to keep everything in place. Kind of like spanx, but for fabric.

It means more work since you have to cut out all the pieces twice, but after I survived doing all the fiddly Inquisitor work, I’m absolutely sure that I’d have spent at least twice as long just trying to sew edges and topstitch the pleather without wrinkles.

Did I mention pleather shows all stitch marks, forever?

Photo by Amaleigh Photography

Photo by Amaleigh Photography. Showcasing all that Pleather.

And lo, I am a convert to the gospel of interlining things.

That said, I still hope that the next coat/jacket I make will be NOT stretch so I don’t have to worry about that crap.

Next section: we cover how to do applique! Which…. is also made out of stretch pleather because I have a serious problem not reading the words ‘stretch’.

oxox Calamity

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