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The Unflattering Side of Sewing: Muslins

pant muslin (1 of 4)

Most sewing bloggers only post completed garments, either saving the muslin-making portion for Instagram and/or Facebook. Or they don’t document the fitting process at all. There’s nothing wrong with that. I’m guilty of it too. I get wrapped up in a project and I forget to take WIP (works in progress) photos. But this gives the impression that a good fit is achieved on the first shot. So false. It usually takes 3 tries before I achieve a “perfect” fit. Even if it’s a quick muslin with no closures and seam lines marked for pinning, I always test a pattern. Always. Usually, I need a nip and a tuck here and there, but for my most recent pair of pants, which I will debut tomorrow, it needed major surgery. Just look at all those corrections! Because I had so much to slash and close, I took it out in several spots (I don’t like reducing more than ½” in one place on a pattern; 1” is pushing it).

So if you are currently is the Land-O-Pants or are struggling with fitting another garment, keep at it. No one has a perfect body and we all need a little mending.

pant muslin (2 of 4)pant muslin (3 of 4)pant muslin (4 of 4)


  1. Reply


    You’re making a good point. I’m terrible at making muslins, I never bother for myself. At the moment I’m working on a pair of shorts for my boyfriend, and I’m very proud of myself for making a muslin 🙂 It should be mandatory, especially for pants…

  2. Reply

    Ami Lowden

    This is sooo true! I also am guilty of forgetting to take photos during my projects. My colette clover muslin looked just like yours above! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Reply

    Shelley Pleger

    Muslins are always done here. Problem is keeping track of what I’ve done if I have to walk away from it.
    In your first muslin photo I’m curious how the wedges that taper to the mid leg are going to be removed.

  4. Reply


    I definitely very rarely remember to take fitting photos – unless I’m really stumped and need another pair of eyes. But I’ll be honest, muslins are pretty scarce around here these days. Typically I make ‘wearable muslins’ – in other words, I make a finished garment and if it needs tweaks I’ll work that out before I make a second version. My jeans were like that. I also fit as I go if I need to. This is definitely not the most accurate way to go about it, but I often make patterns from the same companies so I generally have a pretty good idea of how it’s gonna fit. If it’s a brand new-to-me pattern company, or a particularly complicated pattern (coats/blazers/anything with lots of little pieces), or for a VERY special occasion, or for someone else (blergh) THAN I usually whip out the muslin!

    But I’ve definitely had pants patterns that looked like yours (ahem… clovers…) Good luck with the finished product! Can’t wait to see ’em!

  5. Reply


    That made me feel better. I made a pair of casual cotton pants over the weekend, and they fit terrible. Luckily, they are too big, so maybe I can save them. (Definitely should have made a muslin first!) Thanks for a great post. 🙂

  6. Reply

    Gwen Gyldenege

    Thank you. It’s refreshing to see the amount of tries and adjustments others must make. Looking forward to the finished pair. Would love to see the draglines on the muslin as compared to the slash outs, etc.

  7. Reply


    Thank you for posting this! I am so often discouraged by the fitting process. This post gave me some encouragement at just the right time!

  8. Reply

    Latrice Smith

    I make a muslin for my garments depending on my mood (always if I sew for others). I am working on a muslin for pants currently now, because in the style has been know to be to tight in the thighs for curvy girls in RTW.

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