On making muslins


Muslins (often a reference to the fabric in which it's made from-muslin) are worth their weight in gold.  

Muslins are a test run of your final garment.  

Making a muslin may seem time-consuming, but it's the starting point to a perfect garment. In the end, it becomes your pattern and after that it's a lasting resource and reference tool for many years to come. 


1. Take time to mark your muslin accurately.  Making muslins isn't a rush-job. Take your time-put in effort.  

2. You can use a longer stitch length when making the muslin, if you prefer. 

3.  Use a contrasting thread when thread-tracing.  It makes "reading" the muslin easier; especially when notating changes.

Don't worry about your muslin looking "pretty". While it's important to perfect the muslin for yourself and your client--don't get caught up in worrying about it looking "good enough to wear".  It won't.

Do take your time and put care into making your muslin. It's worth the effort. Don't take short cuts and don't waste time and energy in complaining about whether or not they're needed--because the answer is YES!

Why a muslin?

In couture sewing and construction techniques making the muslin is absolutely critical. There is no couture without a muslin. 

They're not a waste of time, energy and effort. 

Think of a muslin as a drawing board; even a mood board of sorts.  It's a working laboratory used for fitting, design and inspiration.

Don't be disappointed by not making a completed garment in fashion fabric.  All of the important work lies in the muslin.



1) Locate and mark the stitching liness on your pattern. 

2) Transfer the markings to the muslin. 

3) Thread-trace the stitching lines for a visual and design reference during the construction process.  Thread-tracing helps you to align and fine tune seam and dart placement.

4) Stitch or hand BASTE the thread-traced muslin together. 

5) Fit the muslin and experiment with style and design. It's yours--make it so. After making any needed changes-you may have to re-sew the muslin. This is necessary while you're perfecting the fit and design. 

6) After the muslin is perfected (assembled, fitted, adjusted) the muslin may be used as the actual pattern. 

Calandra CooperComment