Hot! Sleeved Waistcoat: Making The First Muslin

Last night I finally cut out the pieces for my first muslin of my blue linen sleeved waistcoat.  Since I’m going to need to do some serious reshaping on this pattern (to take into account my much shorter height, among other things), I’m making two muslins.  This first one will sewn, then adjusted, cut, etc, then resewn and used as the basis for the final muslin.

Cutting out pattern pieces is by far my least favorite part of the process, but it’s one of those annoyingly necessary parts.  I swear, sometimes I think I’d willingly pay someone to do this bit for me.

Once we got the pieces cut out, we pinned them together and I (delicately) tried it on.  It was fantastically long at first – the length of a 1750s-60s era waistcoat.  To have the final button at my bellybutton we had to shorten it by seven inches!  I also need to narrow the shoulders a bit, both at the top and in the back.  I’m going to give this one back-lacing, so that I can accomodate my currently somewhat larger stomach measurement.  Normally I would just add a bit to that part of the pattern, but, since I’m losing weight, I think that having it be adjustable is a much better (and also very period!) solution.

So, that’s where I am right now.  Tomorrow I’ll make the adjustments and cut out a new muslin, which I’ll sew together so that I can make the final, finer adjustments.  I’ll keep posting each step of the way!


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  1. I’m glad that you are altering it. I have been surprised too by how much I have to alter “period” off the shelf patterns to get them to look like what I see in paintings or prints. A fellow hobbit, I like to think that the people who made the patterns were out of their mind-and have taken to making my own and then fitting accordingly. Good work, thanks for posting!

    • Well, most patterns were made to fit the modern 21st century figure. To be honest, I find that working from original period patterns often results in a better fit for those of us who are a bit on the short side!