I started with a set of measurements from my victim. Okay, that’s not right. First, I started by washing the fabric in cold water on gentle cycle and letting it hang dry. (You only have to have one project ruined because you didn’t bother to pre-wash your fabric to learn that lesson …) Secondly, I asked for his shirt size and suit size. That is not my preferred way of doing things, but I there wasn’t any way of getting accurate measurements, and I was doing a fitting muslin anyway. So I crossed my fingers and went to work.
I found some really horrible (but cheap!!) $1/yard fabric at Wal-mart to use for my fitting muslin. I took the J.P. Ryan sleeved waistcoat pattern that I’ve worked with extensively, the scale drawing in my book, a set of calipers, a yardstick, some chalk, and went to work drawing my new pattern shapes.
I cut it all out, basted it together and found a chance to do a fitting. Unfortunately, that was the weekend of the headcold and conjunctivitis, and I did not get any pictures. I did get a pretty darn good fit, though. That is the beauty of starting with a pattern you know inside and out. The sleeves were perfect, and the back only needed a little shaping down the spine. I did end up cutting the neckline a little low, but I’m probably the only one that will notice.
|Isn't this fabric hideous? That's a lavender horizontal stripe, and it has vertical stretch.|
With alterations marked, I took the fitting muslin apart and figured out how to lay out all the pieces on the real fabric. This was a challenge as the banyan fabric was about 6” narrower than the fitting muslin. Luckily, we had a couple of really slow days at work during Christmas week, and one of the conference rooms wasn’t being used during lunch. I can not tell you how much easier the layout process was when I could have the whole length stretched out on one table.
Cutting one layer at a time means you can match the pattern perfectly.