Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

From muslin to pattern

lbbray | Posted in Fitting on

Okay, here is my problem, how do I get the markings (or changes) from my muslin to my pattern and get it to work out right?  As the advise in the last issue of threads on how to make sure a straight skirt hangs right (I’d wondered what was wrong with my skirts and why the front was always too long and the seam crooked, duh) showed me just what to do, pull the front up a bit, worked great.  But, and this is a biggie, it was for a pull on, elastic waist skirt.  I just lopped off the offending top, and poof, perfect.  Then, I make a more fitted skirt, no-band waist, darts, zipper, etc.  I make the skirt, try it on, use the elastic trick, see how much I need to pull up, try to put it on the pattern, and I’m totally lost.  Can anyone help?  Pattern adjustments are so not my strong suit.


  1. FitnessNut | | #1

    To transfer my marked changes from the muslin to the pattern I typically do one of two things. I measure the changes on the muslin and then measure and mark in the same place on the pattern. Draw on the new seamline with appropriately curved/straight rulers. To do this accurately, be aware of specific reference points, like centre front/back, 1" along original seamline from CF/CB, etc. Then I place the muslin as flat as possible on top of the pattern and peel it back along the new seam to see how they line up. Easier to do than to describe.

    The other method I use is to place the muslin as flat as possible on top of the pattern, lining it up exactly and either weighting it or pinning it in place. Sometimes you need to remove some stitching to do this accurately. I slide some transfer carbon paper in between the pattern and the muslin and trace my new seamline with a tracing wheel or pencil. Remove the muslin and go over the lines with a ruler to perfect the new seamline.

    Since I use professional patterns made of tag paper, my patterns are considerably more durable than the commercial tissue ones. You may need to reinforce your pattern. Also, if you are using tissue, it may be possible just to trace your new seamlines from the marked muslin.

    After transfering your altered seamlines to your pattern, true them up with rulers and then add the appropriate seam allowance. Trim and you're set to go!


    1. lbbray | | #2

      Thanks.  I'm going to give that a try.  I knew there had to be a way, I'd just never seen anything explaining how to do it.

    2. Madeleine | | #3

      Sandy...is it possible to just use the muslin as the pattern instead of transfering everything to the paper?

      1. FitnessNut | | #4

        Sure, you could do that. In fact, that is exactly what Susan Khalje does in her Bridal Couture book. Just be careful not to distort the muslin and to keep the grainline correct. You may want to transfer the pattern to paper in any case for future reference as it will be more stable for the long term.


        1. stitchmd | | #5

          How about a little spray starch on the muslin pattern?

          1. FitnessNut | | #6

            Sounds like a plan.....


        2. Madeleine | | #7

          Thank you for your reply.  And the suggestion from Pasdenom about the spray starch sounds like a good idea!

  2. SewNancy | | #8

    Are you marking the muslin before you take off the elastic?  Also, the waistline can be wavy, its ok don't think that you are doing it wrong.  I like to mark a muslin with fine point marker, easier to see.  See Threads  mag  issue 102 for Kenneth Kings excellent article on fitting and marking and transferring marks on a muslin


    1. lbbray | | #9

      Now I am!  I have a new skirt pattern that I'm going to try out this weekend.  I have printed out all the helpful hints and really am excited to try this out.  And, in payment, here is my hint as far as muslins go.   I have a bunch of worn out sheets, no-beds-that-fit sheets and some just plain ugly sheets.  I have held on to them for rags, paint wipes etc.   As I was digging around for some cheap material in my sewing room, which I couldn't find mind you, I ran across the sheets.  Well duh!  Way cheap material.  Granted, it won't always have the right "hand", but at least I can get an idea.

      1. SewNancy | | #10

        Whatever you use just make sure that it is a light color, the wrinkles are much easier to see in a mirror and also it is easier to see any markings you make.  Good luck let us know how it goes.  Also, for pants I have found that a heavier fabric is better for the drape.


This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All


Shop the Store

View All
View More