Making a muslin

Recently I went to the movie “Coco and Igor”. The storyline piqued my interest and I ended up reading “The Gospel According to Coco Chanel”. I highly recommend it. Short, funny and lots of facts (which I’m not sure the movie had a lot of). At one point there was mention of Coco always using a toile or test garment to make her creations. I had only ever heard of calling that test garment a muslin. That same day I was reading a blog and the word was used in the same way. So I took the time to look it up and, sure enough, one of the meanings of “toile”-pronounced twal-rhyming with ball, is a test garment.

Which brings me to my second wedding dress. Several of us Material Girls attended the Peggy Sagers event in July at Hancock Fabrics. I was struck by how easily she altered the muslins on the women and decided that, in the future, I would try to use them more often. According to Peggy, “If you get the wrinkles and puckers out of muslin, they’ll surely be gone when you use fashion fabric that has body and drape.” I have now completed the muslin or toile (very cool word if you’re feeling particularly Coco-ish) for the dress for the second wedding. There’s a sleeve in one side and not the other. I’m still deciding which I want but have plenty of time to think while I cut and sew.

I miss everyone this month and wonder what you are sewing….

Ripping Stitches and Beyond

So I’m working on Marcy Tilton’s t-shirt (V8497-see Laurel’s version in January Club Garments post) and I think I’ll be clever and use my new roll of one inch fusible interfacing (a Sewing and Quilting purchase) to mark the hem and give it more stability. Well, I kept getting puckers on the right side fabric of the hem. Did I mention I’m using my Babylock coverstitch? I tried using the differential feed but that didn’t help. As I’m ripping out the hem stitches for the third time, I decide to look in some of my serger books to see if there’s an easy way to rip coverstitch. To quote Singer Sewing With Your Serger, “Remove cover-stitch threads just as you would remove chainstitch threads. With a seam ripper or a straight pin, remover the last two or three stitches formed by each of the needle threads. Turn over the fabric and gently pull on the looper thread until all the stitches unravel. Remove the loose needle threads.”

I tried. It didn’t work. Several times, I tried. I’m wondering if the Babylock stitch formation is different? I settled on this method: Slide seam ripper between needle threads and under looper stitches on the wrong side. Pull needle threads out-they should come easily in one piece. Use your serger tweezers to pull out small pieces of looper stitch to save your fingers and get a few more at a time.

Getting back to the hem-I removed the fusible interfacing from my hem and the problem went away. Maybe the puckers wouldn’t have happened if I had applied the interfacing at the 1″ hemline and above but then it wouldn’t have saved the measuring. Or if I stitched the hem with the hem allowance/interfacing next to the presser foot, would that have helped? But then I’d have the looper side of the coverstitch showing on the right side.

Any suggestions? Ripping out coverstitch or turning up a hem with fusible interfacing strips are the challenges for today.

Looking for fashion forward events?

U of M’s Design Department has its senior student style show, Insight, this Saturday, Feb. 6 at 5:30 and 8. Tickets are $15 purchased online.

Fashion Sewing Club meets next week-Tuesday, Feb. 9, at Treadle Yard Goods in St. Paul and Thursday and Saturday, Feb. 11 and 13 at Associated Sewing in Bloomington.

Dress Your Best is Saturday, Mar. 6. Pick up fashion, makeup and image tips from several speakers.

Christopher Straub from Project Runway, Season 6, will speak at The Sampler in Chanhassen on Friday evening, Mar. 12. Call to reserve your $30 ticket-952-934-5307. At last look, it wasn’t on their website.

Questions from September Club Meetings

Another month of club meetings is done. We had 75 people attending this month! Thanks so much. There were lots of questions unanswered at the meetings so I’ll try to answer them here.
Lorna Hoffman’s white shirt was KwikSew pattern #1951-it is out of print.
Linda Burt’s handbag pattern was Vogue #8527-the wrap she suggested was Vogue #7161. Laurel’s vest pattern (it matched the pants) was Burda #8296. A great online source for elastic and Do-Sew (tracing paper)is Laurel’s “Waistband That Grows” can be found in More Power Sewing by Sandra Betzina. A similar waistband technique can be found at sewingtutorial.blogspot.
Watch for new class listings and two more Fashion Sewing Club dates. I hope you are all working on “Show and Tell” projects for October.

Upholstery Advice Wanted

One of our readers has acquired a wingback chair and has never tackled this kind of project before. She’s looking for a little handholding by phone or email or some good book or class suggestions. Anybody out there have any ideas?
Please click on Comments after this post and share what you will or read what others have offered.