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Muslin vs. Patterns

enidshapiro | Posted in Fitting on

When reading books about alterations, most people say to make a muslin, try on, pin corrections on muslin and then transfer changes to the paper pattern.

Why not pin darts in muslin, mark, change shoulders, etc. and keep the muslin as the pattern?  All you would have to do is take the muslin apart after making corrections and you would have the pattern.

Is there a negative to doing this?




  1. GhillieC | | #1

    Storing muslins will take up far more space than storing patterns! Make sure you use a fabric that will not stretch when pulled around. Otherwise why not?


    1. enidshapiro | | #2

      Thanks for the warning about not stretching the muslin pieces.  Wouldn't have thought of that.

  2. lindamaries | | #3

    Actually the muslin is the preferred pattern as it is a whole view!

    Some fabrics have to be cut in an open lay (term meaning no cutting on the fold or cutting two panels out at the same time.) Also, if a person is asymetrical, then you need both sides of the pattern anyway. Couture books show the muslin as the pattern.

    1. ryansmum | | #4

      The grainline is of the upmost importance and it is possible to lose it's accuracy with a muslin. Also there is more movement in a muslin.  After all the hard work of perfecting a pattern I prefer to have it transferred to hard paper so I only chalk around it as in the industry and use it over and over again.

      I suppose if you plan to only use it once, you can get away with it.

      Good luck!

      1. SEWSERIOU1 | | #5

        Using the muslin for a pattern is the preferred way for bridal and such where the dress is definately made only once.  This is very accurate for fitting.  If the pattern (muslin) fits, so will the dress.

        1. SisterT | | #6

          I agree that it is better to use paper.  Muslin gets distorted (especially if you are nun-like and you buy it cheap!) and it just wiggles around too much.  But...there is something else that I like to use.  If you look in the interfacing section of your local fabric store, there is some stuff that has graph-like lines on it.  I LOVE it--it has the flexibility of fabric and it shows the straight lines that are so important for grain-lines, etc. 


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