Storing Muslins

There’s been a lot of talk lately about muslins and I thought I’d chime in and talk about what I do with mine after a garment is finished.

I make a lot of muslins for my pattern drafting class. In the skirt section alone, I sewed roughly twenty five muslins and went through almost thirty yards of material! My instructor recommended saving the muslin and the finished pattern in a manila folder and storing the folders in banker boxes. However, I found that this was a little too ‘out of sight, out of mind’ for me and instead chose to hang them in a closet off of my sewing room.

My muslins are an incredible resource! For nearly any type of skirt, I have a fitted pattern and a muslin to go with it. If I get an idea for a garment, I can go in my closet, select the appropriate style, and play around. I can tack on pockets or embellishments, play around with decorative seams or yokes, or futz with hem length. If I change shape, the muslin can be used to rework the original pattern.

At the end of each unit, I go through my muslins and decide which to keep and which to scrap. For the most part, I’ve been saving the majority of designs but occasionally I’ll run into a style that just doesn’t suit me (like my asymmetrical draft). If I do scrap a muslin, the material can be used for interfacing and scrap material so material rarely goes to waste.

Do you save your muslins? If so, how do you store them? Have you ever actually used a muslin once a garment is complete?

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4 Comments to “Storing Muslins”

  1. this is brilliant, i love it! moving to a place with a designated sewing room including wardrobe in next month or so and i shall be incorporating this idea rather than bundling the muslin up with the pattern pieces and putting away as i currently do, thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Glad to be of help! At some point I would love to get my patterns out of the closet and on a rolling rack in the room. First, however, I need to take down the shelves and haul the loveseat out to make room for it!

  2. I like the idea of hanging, organized muslins, rather than stuffed in box or on a shelf. I save some of mine, but most of the time I’ll simply mark up the paper pattern and then re-use the muslin pieces for another (or scraps, interfacing, etc.) But I’m sewing from patterns, not drafting at the moment. If I were in a similar course, I’d definitely get all type A with saving and organizing 🙂

    • I figure I’ll keep the majority around until after the program ends and then go through them to see what will be useful still. I don’t usually keep my commercial pattern muslins unless I’m absolutely sure that I’m going to make the garment again – I’ll do what you do and just re-use the material.
      Speaking of re-using… I’ve been cleaning out my sewing room lately and I’ve come across a bag of fabric scraps. What do you do with your remaining bits of fabric? I’ve cut out the larger, more usable bits but it’s mostly skinny long strips from where the pattern was cut out that I’m at a loss with. I feel guilty throwing them in the recycling but I’m also not one to keep clutter around. Any suggestions?

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