Two wearable muslins AKA reverse vanity sizing

Well. I’ve made two wearable muslins for KS2627 for my Make a Garmant a Month plan.

On one hand, I can’t believe how much time I have already invested in what should be a very simple make. On the other hand, the fact that it is a simple make should make it a great choice to showcase so many of my fabulous fabrics. I also can’t quite believe how happy I have been to invest so much time in it. (Although I am expecting a significant return on investment)

So, first I checked the finished garment measurements. (see I am learning) The bust for a size L is exactly my bust measurement so I decided to cut an L through the shoulders tapered out to XL from the bust down in the front only. That is the back is a straight L.

And I’ve just spent ages looking for pics of this first wearable muslin and they are nowhere to be found. My laptop did have a catastrophic system failure last week resulting in it going in for repairs. I presume that somewhere in this I ‘lost’ the pics. Oh well….

Anyway the fact is that the first muslin was too big. So then I cut a size L everywhere. And it was still too big. So then I cut (the already cut pieces) to a size M through the shoulders and an L from the bust down. This is how it turned out.

And now it also seems that I can’t find all the pics of this top. So I really should leave this and take some more. But of course I’m not going to because this post has been brewing for days already. We’ll just go with what we have. 

EDIT I have now found some pics. yeah

So as you can see I used navy bias binding for the neckline.

And on the sleeves. Of course this was after first just machine stitching with white thread. And then doing it again with navy thread. I told you I spent a lot of time faffing about.

I also played around with the darts a bit to minimise stripe distortion.

I just machine hemmed it with navy thread. I did think about using bias binding again but decided it would make the hem too stiff and sticky-outy (now there’s a technical term).

You’ll just have to trust me that the finished item looks pretty good! I have already worn it with jeans for beer and pizza and got several compliments. Although it seems that I have unconsciously made a Geelong supporters top. Not necessarily a good thing when I’m a Saints supporter. (For all the non-AFL people out there just ignore that bit)

But you know what I found most frustrating about all this? The fact that no matter how many times I looked at the finished garment measurements and even after the first wearable muslin, I still couldn’t just cut the size M. And do you know why? Because I am not a size M. Really it is ridiculous. If this pattern had been sized smaller I would have had no hesitation going from an XL to an L. But an M just seemed wrong. I am beginning to really appreciate why many indie pattern companies (particularly) are using completely different ‘labels’ for their sizing. I’m sure that I wouldn’t have found it so difficult to cut the correct size if it was going down to an C not a D or from a size 3 to a 4. (Although I do recognise that these are ‘normal’ sizing in some markets but I’m Australian so they don’t mean that to me.)

By the way you can get this pattern here. And it’s free!

And it’s also navy so it fits with the sewcialist #bluefebruary theme.

So do any of you have trouble cutting the right size because you can’t get your head around being that ‘small’ or that ‘big’? Or is it just me? I’d really like to know I’m not alone in this so please leave your thoughts in the comments.

EDIT No.2 I knew that I had read something on one of the many sewing blogs I read about exactly this. The lovely onedabbles reminded me that it was Karen. She coined the term Reverse Vanity Sizing and I think that’s perfect!

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6 thoughts on “Two wearable muslins AKA reverse vanity sizing

  1. Yes anything wearable is a triumph! And thanks for the reminder re karen's post – I knew I had read something somewhere but couldn't for the life of me remember where.

    Good luck and remember just keep stitching. The learning curve is steep so in no time you'll be amazed at what you can make.

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  2. Yes, that's it exactly “I couldn't possibly be a ….”. And of course you are right that if they're too small we are sunk. But it is still very frustrating. Did you manage to fix the skirt?

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  3. Yes, I think that's where I misjudged my straight-ish skirt – going up a size because I couldn't possibly be a 14 – well, not all of me. Also at http://www.didyoumakethat.wordpress.com in Karen's recent post about the Hollyburn skirt, she mentions Reverse Vanity Sizing – where you cut things a bit bigger. Also, I can at least try and fix things if they're too big. If they're too small, I'm sunk.

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