The not so wearable muslin

A long time before I decided to jump into the deep end with VPLL1912, I wanted to make a couple of blouses. They are the type of garment I was never able to buy off the rack. Many moons ago, I used to be a very sportive person, and it has left me with shoulders too wide for any high-street designer.

So today, I finally bit the bullet and made what I hoped would be a wearable muslin.

The pattern used was Simplicity 2447:

Simplicity 2447 – click to see source.

I opted for a mix of View E and F with short sleeves and pockets. The fabric used was more of the purple gingham already known from the Wiksten Tova, as a kind friend gifted me with ~10m of it (thanks, Steph!). I like gingham, but it’s not so fab that I’d be heartbroken if the muslin turned out unwearable (sorry, Steph!) – and I fully expected issues, given my difficulties with store bought blouses.

Actually, it turned out better than expected. That’s not to say perfect … there are a few issues, some of which are caused by the pattern, some by my tendency to screw up.

1. The collar

It’s HUGE. And by HUGE, I mean absolutely ginormous. Seventies monstrosity monster collar. Naw, that’s a no go.

At this point, I tend towards just using the neckband and turning that into a mandarin style collar, but can also see that just shortening it a bit might work. Might try both options – what do you think?

Ginormous Collar

2. The button band

Entirely my own fault.

Well, mostly, anyways. The instructions in the pattern advise to fold over 5/8″, then cut it back to 1/4″. Now, I always found that weird. Why would I want to cut 5/8″ in the first place, just to fold over and then cut it back? So I kinda made the placket too wide, which meant the neckband didn’t fit. D’oh. That was fixable, though – I just cut the front seams off the placket, then folded the edges inwards, pressed and topstitched them back together. Not perfect, but worked.

Fixing the button band

3. The button holes and buttons

Again, this one is on me. Who knew that 3.5 cm look like a lot on a measuring tape, but is actually far too closely spaced for workable buttons?

And then I broke one of the buttons (I sewed them on with the machine, and I am rather grateful that the button broke and not the needle), and because of the insane spacing I needed like 15 and had only 12 to begin with, so the buttons now stop kinda in the middle of my belly. Since I do have a belly that shows rather too clearly how fond I am of a beer or two occasionally (German, it’s the genes, I can’t help it, really), this is not a good thing. And I’m afraid I don’t like the make enough to order more, even though I seem to remember they were really cheap.

A lot of buttons, but not enough

4. The hem line

The hemline is curved, which is fine, but the back hem is a lot longer than the front. I might just shorten that a tad.

Crooked hemline

It’s also crooked πŸ˜€

5. The pockets

And this is another one of my own faults. They’re ever so slightly off … LeSigh. Time to learn how to do tailor’s tacks, as this is a result of my markings wearing off, and me being to lazy to get the pattern and redo them. More permanent markings would have prevented this.

The fit looks much worse than it really is here, because I’m stretching my arms out to hold the camera to snap the collar πŸ™‚ Which still is HUGE.

Overall, however, I’m quite pleased with the fit – and the really exciting part: the blouse is not too tight in the shoulders! My arms fit in the sleeves – both things high street blouses don’t do for me. Ever.

Simplicity 2447 front view

So, even if this turned out to be a muslin that I’ll keep for, you know, those really hot summer days where you veg on the couch (the likes of which are but a myth here in Brighton) and don’t really care what you look like, I’m quite happy with it.

Simplicity 2447 back view

And I’m super glad I made a muslin in the first place, as I feel that with a few changes, this could become my summer blouse go to pattern.


Author: kokorimbaud

Love all things vintage, especially knitting from the victorian era through to the swinging twenties.

10 thoughts on “The not so wearable muslin”

  1. Reading this I thought it was going to look awful on, but in the end it looks really nice! It actually fits very well, just a shame about the buttons and collar. But like you said you may be able to use it for one of those days that happen once in a blue moon! And now with adjustments make loads of blouses! Oh and I like the mandarin collar idea! Would love to see that!

  2. Here is my take
    Make the collar smaller
    Move the pockets down some
    When you look at the shot of the bsck there is some kind of a problem because there are identical wrinkles from the shoulder to the underarm. Some kind of adjustment is needed
    To mark the pockets. Run a threaded needle through the pattern and both layers of fabric in and out. Use a long contrasting thread. Leaving long tails, cut between the two layers of fabric

    1. I have already cut a smaller collar, but will also try the mandarin style option.
      The pocket placement is indeed weird, and yeah, tailor’s tacks sound like way forward here, agreed.
      The back … I was wondering about that, but I also noticed that I inverted the pleat, so on my next one (which I still consider a muslin as it’s going to be made from some stashed cotton with a bit of a weird print) will the “right” pleat.
      not sure that’s going to be enough, tho … maybe take out some length between yoke and the underarm?
      Thank you for your input, I really appreciate it!

  3. It’s pretty darn good for a first muslin! Obviously, you could make the collar any shape you prefer so that’s an easy fix.

    Spacing buttons is kind of a pain. If I don’t use the pattern’s markings I put buttons on the shirt where I need them (at the bust so it doesn’t gape, at the bottom where I want them to end and at the top where I want them to start) and then do the math.

    I can’t exactly tell from the back but you may want to try a broad back pattern adjustment to get rid of the wrinkles:

    Either that or the armholes aren’t deep enough. It sure is a good fit for right out of the box!

    1. Broad back adjustment sounds like what I need πŸ˜€ All blouses I ever bought had these wrinkles … only now have I learned they’re not supposed to be there! Also, my shirts and blouses always gaped over the bust … and that’s not because of my huge … you know πŸ˜€ Thanks a lot for the link, I’ll be sure to give it a try.
      Armholes seem alright to me, but one never knows …

  4. Great post – this is an excellent demonstration of how the muslin lets you sit back and cast a critical eye over a pattern without kicking yourself or having to make adjustments on the fly.

    One day, maybe I’ll learn to do the same. πŸ˜‰

    1. Thank you!
      And yeah, that was the plan … like I said, would have loved for it to be wearable, but either way, it was a good lesson!
      But it took ages for me to learn to enjoy the process as much as the finished product as well, which helps a lot.

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