Well, I certainly killed that poor little kimono. She was so beautiful on the bolt… so bright and soft and promising. By the time I was done with her we both looked wrinkled and a little dingy. I hope to do better by her someday after I actually learn how to sew. Speaking of which… meet my new best friend:

IMG_2160 IMG_2159 IMG_2156 IMG_2155The kimono top failure helped me realize that if I ever want to sew something that has the potential to be worn in public I’m going to have to slow down and actually learn how to sew things the right way. I have several fabrics here just waiting for that day; all of them have prints save the black corduroy I ordered from mood last month.

Anyway, so I opened the Mood box and there, to my surprise (and relief) was 5 yards of black corduroy and 10 yards of muslin I forgot I’d included in the order. I threw the corduroy in the washing machine and focused my attention on the muslin. It seemed to smile at me.

Before a couple of months ago, I’d never heard of anyone ‘making a muslin’. I read about it online, and then read more about it in some of my sewing books. It seemed like an extravagance to me but I figured I’d order some anyway, since I found a bunch on sale at Mood when I ordered my black corduroy.

I’ve decided to name the muslin Toilivia1, because she’s my new best friend and I suspect we’re going to be seeing an awful lot of each other and friends should be on a first name basis. Toilivia is the most easy-going, friendly, fun, encouraging, forgiving individual I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. For the very first time in my life I am following pattern instructions to the letter and 100% not stressing out over crooked sewing or loose ends. I think I’ll finish version 1 of my Sewaholic “Yaletown” blouse2 tomorrow – I’m already more than half done – and then I may make the same pattern all over again in yet more muslin so that I can apply what I learned the first time around. I may even make the next one out of my Swedish tracing paper3, instead (it might be a bit cheaper and will save me some cutting).

I love this. I am actually learning how to sew.

In other news, I put my new Janome 6600 on the floor and cranked up my old Bernina Nova 900 thinking it might work better for this project. IT DID NOT. Today the Bernina finally ‘fessed up and told me that she’s totally worn out and can’t even really manage a back stitch very well. She groaned and growled and even bounced around a little bit on her bent frame. And then she apologized on behalf of the eBay seller I bought her from back in October. I told her not to worry about it – her straight stitch is still perfect and she has my favorite foot pedal ever (not to mention the free arm I bought her for to begin with) – and then I showed her the muslin. She sighed and sounded exhausted. I think I’m going to have to put her back on the shelf for now. Maybe I should’ve given her a name? No idea – she seemed so happy before I tried to use her for an actual piece of clothing.

More updates on the Yale muslin (and Toilivia) over the course of this week. Meanwhile, initial progress at the top of your screen.

1In the UK, what we call “a muslin” is called “a toile”. Coincidentally, if you Google “another word for making a muslin” the top result that comes back other than definitions and Wikipedia will be a blog post from Sewaholic.

2OMG – the most beautifully printed pattern and instructions I have ever seen. Gorgeous! Thoughtful! I couldn’t even bring myself to cut in to it. Such pretty blue ink.

3Please note that this is not an affiliate link. I don’t have any sponsors or affiliates (or advertising) because I am a tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, minuscule blog.