A muslin is a practice garment and you should always make one when you are trying out a new pattern. It not only helps you get the fit right but also lets you know if your fabric type works. No one wants to waste the “good fabric” on a garment that is not wearable. But if you are like me, you hate the idea of wasting time if it actually works out…I want to be able to wear everything I make! What to do, what to do? Do we just skip the practice one and go straight to the good stuff? NO!!! Just don’t do it!
So, what do we do instead? I always make a muslin with new patterns but I try to make a wearable muslin. It may not be perfect but I like to know that I still have a high quality item that I can at least sleep in or wear around the house. If they turn out really bad, I have been known to cut them down to make socks, underwear and tank tops! See…it’s not a total waste!
Muslin fabric should be inexpensive fabric, so that you don’t mind if it doesn’t work out, but also should be similar in weight and content to what your final product will be. When I first started, I bought the cheapest fabric I could find…the problem with that is it’s not high quality fabric. Cheap fabric will typically shrink, fade, or is not very soft…I really like soft, cozy fabrics!!! If you don’t like the feel, you will never wear it and definitely don’t want to make underwear out of it!
What am I supposed to do then??? Find a fabric source that you love!!! Most fabric shops will offer sales that allow you to get fabric for a great price, but that still may not be cheap enough for muslins. Be patient…all the great shops will offer mystery bundles! You may not love every single fabric, but you will know that the quality is there. Most of the time mystery bundles end up working out to less than $5 a yard!!!
I have a couple shops that I purchase mystery bundles from but my favorite is So Sew English Fabrics! https://sosewenglishfabrics.com/ Sometimes they will be themed boxes and sometimes they will be a total mystery. I stock up whenever I can because it’s great to have inexpensive fabric on hand for muslins and pattern tests! Here are a few SSE mystery bundles I have grabbed and I have not regretted a single one! The first one is the only one I remember the price since it’s the newest, but I know that all of them ended up figuring out to less than $4 a yard!!!
*I just looked and So Sew English happens to have mystery bundles available right now…but hurry because they don’t last long! The good news, though, is that they restock them quite often!!! https://sosewenglishfabrics.com/search?type=product&q=mystery*
If there is anything you ever want me to talk about, comment here or send me a message! Happy Sewing!