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When I’m Wrong – I’m Wrong All The Way

Dayam. One of the truly frustrating parts of home sewing is that sometimes you can go through all of this:

Pit stop on the muslin
First Fix
Choosing the right pattern

and still feel like this:

Sheesh. One of the only advantages to retail is that you go to the store and either they have what you want..or they don’t. And if they have it, it fits..or it doesn’t. You don’t have to go through all of this agony. But if you need a coat (which your Aunt Toby desperately does) and you can’t find one you like or you can’t find one that fits (ditto, ditto), then agony it is.

And sometimes, that means throwing in the towel on a muslin, heaving a nuclear powered sigh and trudging off with the knowledge that sometimes, what you want is just the IDEA of a swing coat..not a swing coat itself. No matter how I twitched, slumped, stood hyper-erect, put my hands on my hips, posed in my best supermodel ‘one toe pointed in the front at 90-degree angle’, that green muslin…just..did..not..look…good.

As a matter of fact, as my late lamented Ma used to put it (which of course makes her your Great-aunt Ma), that muslin made me look like ‘a bag tied up ugly’ (my Ma was very sensitive like that). So, off with it’s thread (As the Cher Bonne Marie Burns would say) and back to square one..again. And part of that was analyzing just what it was that I truly hated about that muslin (the coat to be – because let me tell you, the final product does tend to look amazingly like the muslin so if it’s ugly at the muslin stage, it will NOT look like Oscar de la Renta in the final stage. If it does not fit and flatter in the muslin, it will definitely not do so at the end. No matter how wonderful a sewist someone is, no matter how technically proficient – it might be the most gorgeous thing on a hanger or on the dress dummy but it will not look good on you).

What I hated (check out any of those links above): It just hung there. Like a green waterfall. Did zip for me. Now, I am not a delusional person – your Aunt Toby is quite content with what’s left of my shape after three kids, three major abdominal surgeries, and rather intermittent weight lifting, bike riding and livestock care. There are parts of me that stick out most alarmingly and there are parts that curve in as well. Throwing what amounted to a green couch cover on myself, even one that fit me in the bust line, and sticking in a set of rather pneumatic shoulder pads, resulted in my letting that muslin sit on my dressmakers form for a very long time.

And when I do that, I know, down in my socks, that I really and truly hate the thing. And I knew that I needed a pattern for a coat that went out where I needed it to go out and in where I needed it to go in, and hopefully had a part toward the bottom that swung out a bit so that my psychological need for that would be satisfied. And I think I found it — Vogue 8626.

Princess seams all the way down the front and in the upper half in the back. A nice swingy pleat in the back. Pockets and a neat snug collar. Looks promising.

(photos courtesy of: toadiepoo)

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  1. lsaspacey says:

    I wish you luck. I know what it feels like to keep working on the fit of a garment and never liking it. Though mine was in the final fabric, which makes it even more frustrating that I still hate it. Love the fabric, hate what I made out of it. I love your home sewing post, please keep it up.

  2. Toby Wollin says:

    Awwwww — thank you. Actually, I have such a ‘fear of cutting out’ on stuff like this that I tend to do muslin after muslin after muslin.

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