Thursday, March 31, 2011

RTW Tailoring sew-a-long - the muslin (unfinished...)

Back to school! Sherry from the fabulous blog pattern - scissors - cloth is making a sew-a-long that is right up my alley!
As much as I enjoy vintage patterns and the hand-sewing I usually end up with when tackling one, her RTW techniques really interest me. Having just finished the coat for my 10 piece winter travel set, which I will share with you very soon, I didn't really have one lined up on my wish list. Then I remembered how much I love a summer coat that I own, which is torn along the sleeve scythes in the back, so I went hunting for a pattern in my vintage magazines and came up with this one (click on any of the images to enlarge):

Source: Deutsche Moden-Zeitung, Heft 25, 1938

It's a pattern from 1938 and yes, of course I will make the dress, too! Sheesh, the list gets longer instead of shorter... To see my fabric choices and muslin fitting, read on...

I chose these fabrics. The striped one will be the main colour of the coat, the dark blue will be the belt part and lapel/collar. And the dress, eventually, too... The light color is the lining.

I have actually never made a two-part sleeve, nor a classic collar with lapel and everything, so I will learn a great deal from this. The muslin is always a good opportunity to understand the basic anatomy of a pattern. I was thrilled that it came in my exact size (the vintage magazines only give one size per pattern). First I was also thrilled with the fit, but then, when starting to look closer, I discovered all kinds of things that could/should be addressed.
Yes, I'm seriously that lazy that I only do the lapel and sleeve on one side. I know it won't give you the exact fit... but if I realize that changes have to be made on the sleeve, I can do it right away and compare the two. Good excuse, or?

I think the shoulder seam needs to be moved forward 1 cm.

The back belt part could be taken in A LOT. But then, what do I do with the excess fabric? With pleats? Any suggestions?

Here you see the shoulder again. Yes, should be moved forward...

If any of you have suggestions about how to solve the problem in the back, I would love to hear them! I want to take in the belt part by about 4 cm, but then I have all the excess fabric in the two adjoining parts - should I make pleats? One in the center? Two? Or evenly distribute the excess fabric?


  1. well, i'm very new to this adjustment-- but it looks like you need a sway back adjustment? i hate that name. what it actually means is, those of us lucky to have a sexy little booty also might have a curve from waist to said booty, causing excess fabric. there's a bunch of examples on gertie's blog when they did the colette coat sew along, but this is what made it click for me:

    your muslin looks like it's gonna be amazing!

  2. Can't you take the back in with darts without changing the style at all (as pleats or gathers would)?

  3. Thank you so much! Well oonaballoona, you can call it anything you want, it's not a sensitive subject for me :-) I had actually not ever thought of a true swayback adjustment, because I think the "misfit" is caused my my small waist and nice round shape below it, where a sway back is an anatomical posture thing, right? Whatever, I will definitely play around with the options - thank you so much for the link! And to anonymous - thank you too, somehow I never thought of darts, silly me!

  4. it's such a horrible name though :)

    i think small waist + nice round can also cause this? you might try it out on a skirt or such muslin once just to see. i didn't think it would work for me; my brain couldn't handle how it possibly could, then i gasped when i tried it. i used to add darts also, haven't had to since!