Monday, November 18, 2013

Men's Suit Post #2: Bogged down in muslin

I've made a little bit of progress in the past week. I bought all of the interfacing and remaining notions I'll need to finish the coat from a local fabric store.

Jon came home from work Monday night with a cold, and he passed out in bed around 7:30. Which means I was able to work undisturbed and unnoticed until about 1 am. In that period of time I used a Burdastyle pattern I had already made for him....

And I cut the pants out of the suit fabric. Over the next few days I started on sewing the pants together. At the moment I'm focusing on the back welt pockets. I'm finding that this fabric is very nice but a little tricky to work with. It's a bit spongier than I'm used to, and it wants to smush around under the presser foot a bit. The good news is it doesn't fray. Like at ALL. I'm glad I'm making the pants first (something I'm familiar with) before starting on the uncharted territory of blazers.

Another thing I did Monday night is make the shoulder pads. I followed this tutorial. I think they turned out really nice. I did not have fusible fleece, so I used a piece of leftover green fleece I had sitting around (from making a Kermit a few years ago) and stuck them together with a spray adhesive. It's kind of fun thinking that there's going to be something bright Kermit green hidden inside the finished product.

Which brings me to the last thing I did Monday night... Assembled the muslin. Which took longer than I thought it would. Which makes me think this whole thing is going to take longer than I think it will.....

Then came the fitting. It was a little bit disastrous. I used the size that I thought would best fit his chest measurement, which it pretty much did. But even that was a little tight. I'm thinking it's because the shoulder pads are too thick, I'll probably end up removing about 3 layers of fleece.

The waist area was way too tight. I suspected it would be a little bit. But it's proving more difficult than I thought to alter it. I tried splitting open the side seams but that messed everything else up. By the time I was done trying to figure it out, it occurred to me that it would be easier to start with an entirely new pattern than try to fix this one. Any change I make has to be transferred to the lining and facing pieces as well. I needed a pattern that was closer to his size to begin with.

Then I remembered Lekala, a site where you enter in your measurements and they generate a custom pattern at a very low cost. I decided to try out this pattern:
For some reason Lekala has three different versions of a 3-button jacket but no 2-button patterns. I'm going to change the roll line and lapel a bit to make it a 2-button. (I'm praying it will work.) I printed and taped the pattern last night, and will get the muslin cranked out soon.

Making muslins is so tedious but the fit is the most important aspect of what I'm trying to do. If it doesn't fit him well, it doesn't matter how perfect my pad stitching is, or how crisply the lapels roll. I will have to take the time and attempt to fit him the best I possibly can. Time to start reviewing all those fitting books I have lying around. Sigh...

I'm trying not to despair. I figure at the very very least I will be able to give him the pants on our anniversary and tell him to expect the second part of the surprise at a later time.

Until next time, happy tailoring!

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