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Sunday, 9 December 2012

Jacket Muslin 2.0

I finally managed to put together another muslin. 

Has anyone else noticed that fitting instructions make things sound way easier than they are? I guess this is a good learning experience for me but ugh, I just wish I knew what I was doing! There's a serious lack of fitting instructions for menswear.

Here's my second muslin for the men's jacket I'm making. It's definitely better but there were some changes that I made that I know need more work.

Improvement, right? The stance is much closer to what I want and the collar is sitting better. The only thing that scares me is that I didn't make any changes to the collar! I did, however, buy larger shoulder pads. They're not much thicker than the first ones I used but they cover a lot more of his shoulder and it seems to help a lot. These still aren't placed perfectly but only because they're really hard to adjust once they're in there!

I still need to set in the other sleeve to check that the fit will still be right with both in.

Speaking of sleeves, I added 2" to the length and took 2" from the circumference. I was all excited to use the new fitting book I got from the library, Fitting with Confidence, which demonstrates the slide and pivot method of of adjustment. You know what I found? It doesn't demonstrate it! It shows how to increase the size of a sleeve. Over and over. But not how to reduce! Argh!

There seem to be some diagonal wrinkles that have appeared in the upper sleeve so I'll have to fiddle with it a bit. I also did an absolutely atrocious job putting in the sleeves. I'm starting to get frustrated with the fitting process, I'll admit. I just want to make the thing already!

One of the alterations I made for this version was I added a little bit of room across the chest. My boyfriend likes to layer under his jackets and it was a little tight across his pecs and I wanted to make sure there was room for the facing and canvas. I'm not convinced that the fit is right but I'm going to go with it as it is.

Shoulder! I did a pretty significant adjustment to move the shoulder seem forward and it's still not quite perfect. I'm also worried because I know that the back shoulder piece should be slightly longer than that front shoulder piece and eased in but on this pattern they're exactly the same. I'm not sure if I should change it. At least the collar is fitting much better now.

Ah, the rear view. In this picture the vent problem looks fixed but I ended up having to re-do the alteration. 

On my first muslin, the vent was gaping, the side seam was creeping back at the hem and it was too small the whole way around the hip and seat area.

For this version of the muslin, I did a swayback adjustment to correct a gaping vent, as instructed by the book I'm using (Tailoring). I ended up taking so much out of the back that I had to add some length to the bottom of the back pieces near the centre to keep the hem line level. I also added a bit at the side seams to try to give him enough room in the hip and seat.

The result? It fits well enough but the grainlines are totally wonky! Ugh. 

I've already re-drafted the back pieces for my third muslin. I used the slide and pivot method to add more room without distorting the grainline.

On the left is the back pattern piece with the slash and spread swayback adjustment and on the right is the slide and pivot version. This new one is more like grading between two pattern sizes rather than doing a swayback but it still adds a little extra contour in the small of the back. I hope that fixes things!

I also took some ease out from the side seam just above the waist to keep it from looking too boxy (you can see where it's pinned from the back). I might need o take some out across the upper back but I'm worried about taking out too much and not giving him enough ease to be comfortable. 

I've realized that part of my problem with fitting is I'm not sure what that right fit actually looks like. This is a big problem. I guess I'll just have to keep trying things and see how it turns out.


  1. This looks like a pretty big undertaking if you ask me! But looks great! Let us know how it turns out :)

    1. Yeah, I just realized that we're 10 days out from Christmas and I'm definitely not going to get it done in time. I've spent this much time on it; I don't want to ruin in now just because I'm rushing.

  2. You might also want to look at the width of the shoulder seam. The sleeve looks to be hanging down slightly from the shoulder, it looks to me like the shoulder is too wide.
    Compare it to pictures of people in men's suits and try pinning it up to the right height to see if that makes a difference.

    For the rest: great job! It can be a daunting exercise to fit something well.

  3. Ah! It's so good having fresh (and more experienced) eyes on this! I'll definitely take another look at the shoulder. It might just be that the shoulder pad wasn't placed right, but I'll have my boyfriend try it on again to check. I'm so glad he's been a patient model! I will try pinning it, to compare.

    I've been trying to compare it to jackets that he already owns that fit him well but some of the construction is so different (there are fewer pieces in the collar and the lapel is much narrower and the collar meets the lapel very high up.

    I just posted a question on the livejournal sewing communities asking about the ease in the shoulder seam. I know there should be ease in the back piece at the shoulder seam but this pattern omits it. Should I change the pattern to I have ease in my shoulder seam?

    Thanks for your help!