Wearable muslin/toile in flannel

Posted January 27, 2015 by Gavanna Patterns in dress, My pattern, New pattern in progress / 4 Comments

As part of a plan for a new pattern, I decided to make a muslin, or toile, today.

The pattern will be a shirt/tunic/dress with a high collar in the back, low V-neck in front, and deep pleats from the neck to the bust. At least, that’s my plan.

Plus some kind of pockets.


First, the fabric. I picked a soft cotton flannel from my stash, bought in a thrift store a while ago. I washed and tumble dried it. Wow, look at that lint!

I spot some dog and cat hair here too, no surprise!


I soon realized that I didn’t really have enough of it. Too bad, I can’t travel back in time to the 80’s (my guesstimation) and make this person buy just a little bit more fabric.

So on to creative cutting instead.

It’s not unusual for a men’s tailor to cut a small separate wedge, or narrow triangle, for the pattern pieces that are jutting out from the main piece, for example the underside of the sleeve or the crotch area.

For larger sizes this is standard procedure, as the fabric just isn’t wide enough, or to avoid unnecessary waste of fabric. Earlier, when fabric was narrower it was almost always done( Look at the sleeve of any men’s shirt from the 1900’s, in a museum )

For some reason I haven’t seen this custom on women’s clothes. More about being pretty then practical I guess…

( A gusset is a different thing, it’s added as part of the design, not really to save on fabric)

Anyway, I’m making a pretty little under-back-arm wedge, which will save me lots of fabric…

First, the missing piece:


Second step, I removed the pattern and pinned some more fabric in place:


Serious plaid matching!


I topstitched it right in place directly, with two parallel seams as I want this part to stay very flat.

Then I pinned the pattern back, and cut around it in the usual way. Voila, two complete sleeves 🙂

You could of course cut the missing triangle from the pattern piece, and pin it to the fabric in the ordinary way (add seam allowance on both sides!) cut it out , and join them with a normal seam of your choice. Don’t forget to tape the triangle back in place for the next time.

Depending on how much fabric you’re missing, this wedge could be from a few centimeters/1 inch wide, or so wide that it goes all the way down to the cuff. Your choice.

Same with the yoke, it needed to be cut in 2 halves. A seam center back is totally acceptable to me in a workwear style flannel shirt! Or dress. Fingers crossed for enough length for a dress…




But I still needed some more fabric, so I dug this orange rayon/viscose out of the scrap box. Perfect match!

This will be used inside pockets, and as facing in the neck opening.


This is a work in progress, so a new report coming soon!

But as I have been working on it, I have more and more come to love this beautiful flannel fabric, I hope this will be a very wearable toile!








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