Even designers make muslins!

Sometimes the drudgery of sewing a muslin really gets me down. I like to sew fast, so I don’t sew muslins for every single project, but if I have expensive fashion fabric, or if I’m working with an untrusted pattern brand (or both), I always think it’s wise to do the extra step, no matter how boring it may be.

But part of me always just wants to get on with the good stuff (and the pretty fabric!), so I was thrilled and inspired to see feature called “Give Us a Toile” in the Sunday Times “Luxe” magazine recently. My inlaws subscribe to the Times and they always thoughtfully save their Style magazines for me along with other one-offs like this that they think I’ll enjoy. I love it because they give me something fluffy to read over breakfast and they keep me from needing to buy too many glossy magazines! This particular supplement was published in May 2011, but only recently came to me in a big, collected stack.

The feature took a few couture dresses and displayed them alongside the designer’s original muslin for the garment, which I found utterly fascinating and totally inspiring, especially to see them scribbled over with marker pen just like I do!


Dior coatdress, price on application from Dior couture
“Artfully cut cotton folds take on dramatic effect in layers of black and red shantung silk”


Dress from Atelier Versace, price on application
“Stiff diagonal panels come alive in fluid bias-cut fabric that drapes over the figure”


Dress from Christophe Josse, from £30,000
“Sheer frills add depth and texture to both toile and dress”

I hope this inspires you to see the value in muslins, too. Though the designers here are creating these more for the purposes of testing their patterns more than testing the fit, I think it’s great to know that all their garments begin life the same way ours do…

I’m away in Hungary this week, so I won’t see your comments until I’m back. Or stumble into a free wifi hotspot!

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