After months of just looking at the pretty pictures it was time to pull out the pattern. Thanks to many web sites I was pretty well prepared for what it would look like. Still, that initial once over is pretty shocking. All the pattern pieces, in all 4 sizes, overlap each other in random directions. So, unlike an American pattern where each piece can be cut out of tissue paper, I will have to make my own patterns from the pattern sheet. A website somewhere recommended a product called Swedish Tracing Paper which is available through Amazon. It comes in a roll of 10 yards x 29″ and resembles a very lightweight interfacing. It’s terrific stuff and I would highly recommend that you try it. It’s so much better than that flimsy easy to rip tissue paper. Apparently the stuff can actually be sewed to make a muslin, but I’m going the traditional route. Plus I don’t want to go through the extra step of having to take it all apart when it’s time to cut the fabric.
Making the pattern pieces
Ok, here is my process. First I locate a piece that I need. In my case I will only need the coat back, front and sleeves to make the muslin. (I later added the hood to better define and reinforce the neckline) Remember! ….. THE PATTERN DOES NOT INCLUDE THE SEAM ALLOWANCES! So I added 5/8″ allowances to the sides and 1 1/2″ hems for the sleeves and coat bottom. Since hindsight is always 20/20, I wish I had made all the vertical seam allowances 1″ . This would have given me more room for alterations. The layout guide shows all the seam allowances (metric of course! sigh), so I also consult it frequently for any oddities. (On my coat something funky is happening at the front lower hem which I will figure out later. While tracing you may encounter little marks perpendicular to the sewing lines labeled with the size. These, I have discovered, are matching points, so I mark and cut the little triangles that appear on American patterns. I mark the grain lines and write myself notes on the pieces. The tracing paper is very durable and forgiving. When I screw up it’s very easy to tape on a piece and keep going.