I’ve been sewing for over 30 years, and in that time I have developed some really lazy habits. Around the age of 16, sewing became a way for me to build a trendy wardrobe on a very small budget. It was also the beginning of my worst habit. I would start a blouse on a Friday night and work all weekend so I would have a new blouse to wear on Monday morning for school. They were big, oversized, men’s wear shirts, that were worn with a tank, unbuttoned, belted, with the sleeves rolled up. Most of the time my cuffs were never finished, but who knew anyway right? The sleeves were rolled up. So you would think an unfinished garment, put together half assed, would be my worst habit, but it’s not, it did however contribute to it.
Large oversized shirts didn’t need fitting. So I never learned how to fit myself properly. I slowed down my construction process and honed my construction skills. I never took the time to make sure the garment would fit right. It was always a big surprise at the end.
So this is my back to basics project. To teach myself the skills I should have learned long ago. Because if the project at the end doesn’t fit perfectly, then I’ve missed the entire point of sewing my own clothes.
I’m starting my perfect pencil skirt off with a muslin. My entire knowledge of muslin making came from this Oct/Nov issue 151 article in Threads Magazine “Muslin Refined” .
This is the basic pieces traced and cut out on my muslin. I has been many, many years since I used transfer paper and a tracing wheel. Didn’t the paper used to be more waxy? This stuff was chalky and the slightest touched transferred rub marks. At least this is just the muslin.
Close up of the dart markings. In the past I’ve just used tailors tacks.
This is after I thread traced all the seam lines. I also discovered something about my machine.
My guide is about 1/16” – 1/8” off. Which doesn’t sound like much, but could lead to the skirts entire finished measurements being off by 1/2” – 1”.
I got as far as inserting the zipper last night. I took the time to practice inserting it properly. Zippers have always been the bane of my existence. But basting it into place with 2 separate top stitching lines instead of trying to do the whole thing in 1 made a HUGE difference. I think zippers can now be my friend.
Side seams tonight.then….The Fitting.