The Saga Continues - CJ Muslin #2

It occurred to me that my muslin, made out of an old cotton sheet, was worn on top of a cotton sweater. I noticed as I took it on and off that it kind of stuck together but the bulb didn't light till later. It would be much better to have a muslin of a close drape and weight as my boucle( and I did know this before starting) and to try it over a silk blouse as in the future silk lining to get a better hang.  I dug thru my Ima stash and found a heavier cotton suiting that really was close in character to the boucle. It seems to be a really nice quality and there was plenty, all prewashed.  
Here you can see my muslin and it's comments:

As you can see I have SBS, Saggy Boob Syndrome, and a bit of a swayback, all of that despite wearing my favorite perky bra. I guess I can only get so perky at this point.  The first muslin has the shoulders increased but I added still more in muslin #2. Here's what else I did:

*3/8 inch swayback adjustment
*Interfaced a chest piece into the front and side front. I think this helped majorly.
*Put in a bit more ease. The pattern has 6 inches of ease in the bust. I would be lost in that. So my pattern has two inches, as does most of the jacket. So this is where we ended up:
  Bottom's pinned a litttle crooked. The houndstooth kind of makes that princess seam look odd above the apex. It actually is quite smooth. Below the apex is weird, poufy. I fixed that on tweak number three which I don't have pictures of. So you're not seeing  the completed muslin here that I feel good about. Any further needed adjustments after #3 can be made on the boucle. Every fabric fits differently.
The shoulders feel so much better and look better. I will experiment with a thin pad. I don't know whats happening on just the right side. I noticed that in the original muslin too and will deal with that in the CJ with some padding maybe. We'll see. I think a thin shoulder pad could make a difference. I am not aware of any kind of figure difference up there. Next challenge is to get the sleeves in and see "how it's hangin'". 
At this point I have a jacket started that I didn't plan on having or working on, so I will see this unexpected adventure thru till completion and then start with the CJ. This is not a CJ. It is a down and dirty version of Claire Schaeffer's pattern, Vogue 8259. Edges are serged and this may have the facing like the pattern. My real CJ won't. DH took the pics, liked the fit and look but said, "Are you going to do anything else to it? It's kind of plain. It looks like oatmeal."  He is right on. I don't want to do fringe or braid and am thinking a more tailored effect. I am leaning toward heavy topstitching and brown accents somehow. Any ideas? 

So we are getting there. I have put it all away and will go back to the little bishop and get that all sewn up on my next free time. 
Thanks for all the birthday wishes. It is great to receive them all. I hope you all had the Valentine's Day you wished for. My Beef Bourguinon was absolutely fabulous and if you would like to try it here is the recipe from Ina Garten. The only thing I did different was add a bouquet garni of 2 bay leaves, 1/2tsp rosemary, and 1/2 tsp dried thyme, as Tyler Florence does in his recipe.

Julia asked for some help with some pleating problems she is having. "The last couple of times I've tried to pleat something with my Amanda Jane pleater either the needles broke, or the needles skipped stitches and made puckers instead of pleats."  First, every time you go to pleat, run a piece of wax paper thru the pleater and needles. A lot of the time when I pleat I feel like I need 3 hands. I tend to slightly pull the dowel rod away from the pleater as I go along, pulling it left or right to keep the grain straight as it feeds. I put my needles in so they start on the left side of the pleater not on the right or middle. The bulk of the fabric stays out of the pleater on the left and this helps keep it on grain. Every time you stop to push the fabric off the needles, pull and straighten the loose fabric on the left that is not going thru the needles. I watched Martha Pullen pleat a couple of weeks ago and she just pleats away. I go very slow and am constantly adjusting the tension and fabric with my hands and the dowel. Hope this helps. If you have any more questions or if anyone else does too, just shoot me an email. Some fabrics are much more difficult to pleat than others.

As far as what to do about the bishop seams, I used to stop and push them into a groove with a shish ka bob stick, which worked pretty well. But I have since learned better. Got to Martha's blog , Southern Matriarch, and on the right you will see her tutes. Click on the one "Seamless Pleating". I don't think I could pleat a bishop any other way now. Martha is a master, by the way. Good luck, Julia.



  1. I think that your right shoulder is a bit lower than your left. I have a much lower right shoulder due to an old accident and I see these wrinkles. I was just reading something by Kenneth King and he says that you would cut for the higher side, but both sides would have the underarm cut for the lower side and than evened out with more padding in the low side.

  2. That's sort of what I was thinking. I have had a couple of bad car accidents/ head injuries, so maybe I dropped on one side and never knew it. I know my hips don't match. That probably has affectd how the rest of my spine lays out. You learn something everyday. Thanks for your input, Nancy.

  3. Thank you for posting your muslins. It makes me feel good about doing them, and sometimes (like you) more than once. I did one this morning, and tweaked it, but want to do one more "rough draft" before I cut into my fashion fabric. It's not expensive, and I have plenty, but I want it to be perfect. So, thanks for teaching me patience.

  4. Bunny -- Will you talk to us about "ease"? Even if I select the right size based on my upper bust measurement, sometimes even that is huge. Those measurements at the bottom of the envelope have me very confused!

  5. First - as Nancy said...your right shoulder is a little lower. This is shoulder is lower than the other, one hip is lower, one arm is longer - we carry our books, groceries, & kids on one side, and it seems to show after a while. But this is also normal for our body - both sides aren't exactly the same. To be honest, I'd really like to see this jacket fit with shoulder pads

    Next is you have to choose your matching points in front. Sometimes that's around the waist and hip area, sometimes that's around the shoulders, face or decolletage area. More often than not this depends upon the straight grain....if the jacket piece is closer (more parallel) to the hip/waist than the shoulder/neckline, then you're going to not match on the shoulder/neckline area, and that's OK.

    I'd also like to see the shoulder pads in to give you a true read on your bust point...make sure it's not too high or too low.

    As far as finishing, you might try a binding look - either with a grosgrain ribbon or a bias trim of something you have in your stash. But I wouldn't worry about it being "blah", cause this is probably going to be more of a "go to" classic jacket for you. It's those boring ones we make up that go with everything and we use all the time!!!


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