Goldilocks Makes a Ziggi Muslin


Considering how much work I knew it would be to sew up the StyleArc Ziggi Moto Jacket, I wanted to make a muslin to check the fit first. Sewing a muslin can be pretty quick because you can take a lot of shortcuts. For this jacket I just did the bodice, collar (slapped on with seam exposed), and one sleeve. It looks pretty good, right? Except…

Ziggi muslin number 1 collage

Oh, wait. I can’t raise my arm. Taking a closer look in the mirror, I decided that the armscye was too low – I measured about 2″ from my armpit to the seam. I consulted Fit for Real People to see what it should be. The book said 1″ for blouses and 1.5″ for jackets. I decided to bring it up a full 1″ because it felt pretty low and considering the number of patten pieces I had to modify (3 bodice pieces and the sleeve head), I did not want to do this all over again. Here’s the second attempt, with the sleeve on your left being the only one I attached at first:

Ziggi muslin number 2 collage

Right away I could tell I made the armscye too high because there where some pull lines going into my armpit. Why don’t I ever just listen to the experts? I can raise my arm higher, but… still not all the way! Darn. The sleeve starts to feel too tight as I raise my arm. At this point, lightbulbs are going off in my head. I ALWAYS have to add some width to the arm with StyleArc patterns because they are drafted for slender arms. Why didn’t I do it this time? Probably because this is a 3 piece sleeve and I was feeling lazy and hoped it would just fit. I think the sleeve didn’t feel tight in the first muslin because of the low armsyce. Anywho, I sewed up a second, wider sleeve and attached it to the other side…

Ziggi muslin number 2 plus one sleeve widened

Success! High five!

The armscye was still to high though, and I REALLY wanted to make sure, so I made a third muslin with a 1.5″ deep armsyce (halfway between the first two muslins) and the wider sleeves. I also raised the seamline of the back insert piece so it was at the same height as the small of my back. This time I wanted to do it in a fabric that was closer to the weight of my actual jacket fabric, so I picked out the cheapest fabric in the red tag section at JoAnn’s… a flannel with a print for babies.

Ziggi muslin number 3 collage

This time I actually pressed the hems up. I think the length looks pretty good. I pressed the sleeve hems up an extra 1/2″, but I think I might go a half inch more since there will be zipper pulls dangling off them. I’m still not completely happy with the back, but I decide to pinch out some of that fullness, adjust the pattern pieces, and just go ahead without making another muslin. Three is my limit.

What do you think? Does it look okay? Should I just put a zipper in this and rock the baby print flannel? I think it’s all about the attitude anyways.


  1. […] If you have never sewn a “muslin” before, the critical thing is to have really really great markings so you know how much you have deviated from the original, and decide if you need to make a second mockup, or if you can go with your minor changes and run. I recommend watching this short video on Threads, which will give you a nice primer. Also, Jamie of Denver Sews did a nice piece on making a muslin for a jacket, which you can read about here. […]


  2. Jamie I really admire your persistence and it’ll pay off in the end. You’ll get years of use out of the finished jacket in the non-baby fabric. Maybe you could use the baby fabric jacket as part of a Hell’s Angel Baby costume for Halloween?


  3. It’s lots of work but if you KEEP this flannel/muslin for your pattern, with your notes and the changes you made clearly marked, the next one will go so much faster. And you will be so happy you put the time into perfecting it.


  4. Patience is the key. I think it looks good. Adding a bit to the hem on the back might ease some of those wrinkles in the picture. You’ve put a lot of time into this jacket so far and I know it will be perfect in the original fabrics. I don’t think I’d finish that baby jacket :-).


  5. Hot, let’s go downtown and pick up some playahs! 😉 Shows the importance of a muslin. I’m paying attention ‘cuz I have a hankering to do more than just costume stuff. what about 2 darts mid-back like Jane had in one of her dresses…or dress patterns at least, looks like –> ) (

    Think you need a boob adjustment too, something’s not right about how it goes across your chest to pit, some creases but I don’t know much about fit.


  6. This is why I don’t get many projects completed. I’m also not satisfied unless the fit is perfect, but I lose interest after one muslin. You are dedicated! I like it. I can’t see the print on that fabric (horseshoes?), but maybe you can make a cool, ironic spring/summer moto jacket with zippers, etc., contrasting to the style of the sweet fabric. It could be fun if the print is right.


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