Sunday, September 26, 2010

My Lady Grey Muslin (and How to Mark Your Roll Lines)

Here it is, at long last! Overall, I'm very happy with the fit. The biggest problem I noticed right away was a gaping in the lapels. You can see it in the side view. See how the lapels stand away from my chest?
 I just pinned out the excess, through both layers of fabric.
As usual, I'm not totally sure about the back, and I would love your thoughts. There are a few wrinkles in the mid-back region. I tried letting the back princess seams out a tad, as readers suggested in an earlier post, and that seemed to help. The shoulders look a little mushy, so I will probably try to rectify that with shoulder pads.
Other than that, the only other change I want to make is shaving about half an inch of width off the lapels and collar. They look a bit exaggerated to me here:

Here's how I re-drew the lapel point (the green line is the new one). I'll repeat that on the collar point.

Here's the tuck taken out of the front piece, to reduce the lapel length.
Okay, now here's the next important part about making a muslin for a tailored garment: you want to mark your roll lines on the lapel and the collar. Put your muslin on, and see where the garment folds at the lapel and at the collar stand. Pin it in place. Here's mine on my dressform.

Once it's pinned into place, you want to mark the fold right on the crease (see the handy purple arrow below). I do this with a thin Sharpie.
 Do the same on the crease of your collar:
When you take the pieces apart, true the roll lines with a ruler and a marker or pencil. See the new roll line in green below?
Here's the collar roll line, which curves around the neck. (Ignore the sloppy pen marks! Oy.)

And that's it! These marks will need to be transferred to the coat pieces once the interfacing has been applied. More on that later. As always, let me know if you have questions or suggestions!


  1. You say, "that's it" like it's so easy! You're very talented! The muslin is looking so great and I can't believe the change in the fit from your "repinning"...can't wait to see you sewing up the real fabric.
    Love your it religiously.

  2. All the changes I make on my muslin, I mark on my paper pattern piece. Does it matter if ultimately mark the roll lines on the muslin vs. paper pattern piece?

  3. Except for a few very little things, I agree, the muslin looks great!

    I don't need to sew a jacket, but I'm really enjoying the sew-a-long.

  4. Your instructions on the collar stand and roll line are super clear, and are a great tutorial on adding tailoring to a jacket pattern that doesn't explain it. I was going to say "require it", but once you're aware of the improved fit and quality that comes with pad stitching etc, it seems crazy not to do it for any jacket, for so little effort you get so much more in your garment..

  5. Gertie, thanks for this, especially the lapel tuck. I did not see that on my muslin, but I need a smallish one as well. Someone mentioned it on the Flickr pool, but I didn't really know what they meant. And I agree, I wouldn't have known how to do the roll line either.

    Regarding your muslin: I think shoulderpads will help, as you say.

  6. Hi Gertie, your muslin looks great and i agree a less dramatic lapels and reducing wrinkles around the armholes and back will be great. I am also having similar issue with the wrinkles on the back around armholes and sleeves but i am wondering if it's due to the fact that i am using corduroy as a muslin. I'll give shoulder pad a shot. thanks for your tips

  7. Liz, you can do it either way you prefer!

    I'm glad the roll line stuff was helpful. I'm excited for us to start tailoring these babies!

  8. I so need to finish my muslin! (Really the only thing left to do is refit the sleeves; I found they were a bit snug in the armhole area for my liking.) Yours is looking good! I also found that the lapels were a bit too wide for me as well, and plan on making them a tiny bit narrower.

    Hopefully today I'll have some time to get caught up on my muslin! ;)

    ♥ Casey
    blog |

  9. As a wise (acre) once said, "I'm so far behind, I think I'm first." lol. Going to try to finish my muslin tonight and get pix up on the Flickr pool. Thanks for the pointers on fixing lapel gaposis, Gertie. I have the same problem and wasn't sure how to fix it. I didn't adjust the sleeve length and mine are turning out to be full length, which is fine by me. (I'm using a heavier wool so this coat will be getting some winter duty!)

  10. Thanks for the tips, Gertie! I saw this in the Tailoring book, but I was a little uncertain on how to do it and was hoping that you'd do a post on it. :) I shall give it a go this week.

  11. gertie - i like the length on yours, and it's nice seeing it hemmed with the proper amount of peplum flare! My muslin fabric is much drapier than my coat fabric, so i think I'm going to stop removing width from the muslin and do final fitting with the coat to see how it drapes.

    I put a tutorial on my TERRIBLE gapey neckline on my bloggy blog. I think I took out about 5", which skewed the pattern pretty significantly! Yours looks so neat and nice! I suspected that mine had all the extra steps because it was so much I was removing!!

  12. I don't really understand why we're marking the roll lines. Perhaps that will become evident?

    Can't wait to see how this progresses. Thanks for hosting!

  13. The muslin looks good. Who's the artist of the pic's behind you? They are cute and I would love to get one.

  14. ABTursini, a big part of tailoring is making the folds of a jacket crisp and permanent, if that makes any sense. The pad stitching, interfacing, and pressing coax the roll lines into the perfect folds. But you have to know where to position the roll lines first.

  15. Your comment about your back side of your muslin reminded me....I don't remember if you had mentioned this already or not, but wanted to mention that people should make sure they can raise their arms to "drive a car" when fitting their muslins. When we fit wovens at work, we make sure people can raise their arms to "drive a car" or "hug someone" :D
    Just want to be sure everyone has enough ease in there on the backside.

  16. This is a comment about A B Tursini's muslin photo. She is having problems with her shoulder - it is pulling at the front. I think that the shoulder position of the pattern is not right for her actual shoulder. As best I can see, the shoulder point is correct at the armhole edge but not at the neck edge. So I would leave the armhole shoulder point where it is on both the back and the front but redraw the shoulder line to the neck. The front needs to be lowered about half an inch and the back raised by the same amount. If she resews the shoulder seam with this adjustment, hopefully it will stop pulling. It might need a bigger alteration than this but we should be able to see whether this is helping. It is important to continue the curve of the back neck edge when extending it at the shoulder.

  17. Thanks, Gertie, for the explanation. So much of this is new to me and I appreciate that you're encouraging us all to focus on details. That's what I love about your blog!

    And Isobel, I took your suggestion and let out that top shoulder seam a bit. That helped with the pulling at the front of the shoulder. But I'm still having trouble putting the jacket on without feeling like I'm going to burst my stitches! (or tear my muslin, which just happened- ugh). I'm starting to think that the armhole opening isn't deep enough?

  18. I'm slowly following along here! :-)

    I, too, must take a tuck out of the lapel to reduce gaping. I noticed that someone over in the flickr group took the extra out in a perpendicular angle rather than the horizontal you indicate here. When I tucked my muslin, it was horizontal. Which way should I go to take out the gape?

    Thanks so much for your help!


Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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