About Muslin Fittings

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by jack220, May 1, 2011.

  1. jack220

    jack220 Active Member

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    There isn't much information regarding this on SF, or anywhere else so I decided to start this thread.

    I've come to understand that a muslin fitting isn't the 'standard' way of making a bespoke suit, except in certain circumstances like 'very difficult to fit customers', very expensive cloth etc.

    1. Question, for a suits 'muslin fitting' - should the test material be similar to the cloths properties - the way it drapes, or its weight or weave (if yes, then which of these properties (or other not listed) is most important), or it does not matter and one can use any cotton muslin.

    2. Why is a muslin fitting not practised, since to my knowledge it would be easier to cut, sew together and make adjustments compared to even a baste fitting? In fact it seems it would take less time overall since the tailor can pretty much sew straight to a forward or final (fin bar fin) fitting.

    Thoughts (as always from cutters/tailors especially) are much appreciated. [​IMG]
     
  2. TonyThe Tailor

    TonyThe Tailor Senior member

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    On very difficult fits, I have a bolt of fabric I bought for little nothing, that I will make a basted try on with. This allows me to get the pattern correct and for the client to try on a garment and give me feedback as to what they like or don't. Adds to the turnaround time, but the end result is a garment that fits to the client's and my satisfaction.
     
  3. Despos

    Despos Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    On very difficult fits, I have a bolt of fabric I bought for little nothing, that I will make a basted try on with. This allows me to get the pattern correct and for the client to try on a garment and give me feedback as to what they like or don't. Adds to the turnaround time, but the end result is a garment that fits to the client's and my satisfaction.

    I do the same. You wouldn't baste muslin onto canvass. I keep cheap goods on hand to make a first fitting.

    I know shirt makers who use muslin for shirt try-ons.
     
  4. Eustace Tilley

    Eustace Tilley Senior member

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    I know shirt makers who use muslin for shirt try-ons.

    In the U.S.?
     
  5. David Reeves

    David Reeves Affiliate Vendor Affiliate Vendor

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    People that buy Bespoke often don't like to have multiple fittings their time is usually at a high premium. There's a trend now to try and make bespoke in as few fittings as possible. When I was at DQ I made a suit for Sean Combs in 2 weeks with no fittings just the initial measurement. It came out very good. I was told he was happy with it because his wardrobe manager said if he didn't like it "mr combs wouldn't wear it".[​IMG]
     
  6. Eustace Tilley

    Eustace Tilley Senior member

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    People that buy Bespoke often don't like to have multiple fittings their time is usually at a high premium.

    [​IMG] I think the opposite is actually true - experienced bespoke customers understand the value of fittings and are willing to make the time commitment to the longer process. I know over a dozen men who are regular customers of bespoke tailors, and none would dream of opting for a no-fitting model.

    Perhaps your statement is colored by the younger 'trendier' clients at DQ and people like P-Diddy.
     
  7. jsqfunk

    jsqfunk Senior member

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    DQ? Dairy Queen?
     
  8. Despos

    Despos Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    People that buy Bespoke often don't like to have multiple fittings their time is usually at a high premium. There's a trend now to try and make bespoke in as few fittings as possible. When I was at DQ I made a suit for Sean Combs in 2 weeks with no fittings just the initial measurement. It came out very good. I was told he was happy with it because his wardrobe manager said if he didn't like it "mr combs wouldn't wear it".[​IMG]

    [​IMG] I think the opposite is actually true - experienced bespoke customers understand the value of fittings and are willing to make the time commitment to the longer process. I know over a dozen men who are regular customers of bespoke tailors, and none would dream of opting for a no-fitting model.

    Perhaps your statement is colored by the younger 'trendier' clients at DQ and people like P-Diddy.


    Clients that fit the description in the first post seldom make good clients in that they don't understand the process, lack respect for the work that is being done and generally don't get it. Did Mr. Combs order a second suit? just curious.

    Mr. Tilley, it may be your views are old fashion even though they concur with my own experience. Regarding younger,'trendier' clients, MODERN ENGLISH TAILOR is more about the present state of things.

    My clients are as busy as anyone else but don't seem to be turned off by multiple fittings as the time spent on the fittings communicates care and attention to getting the suit made properly. Fittings are unique to custom clothing.
     
  9. greger

    greger Senior member

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    The young have no idea what they are missing. Older people know the process because there were tailors across the country. Many younger people are clueless and would be, because, where are the tailors? WA state might have 3-5 tailors, whereas 50 years ago there could have been a hundred. At one time in Seattle there was over 40 tailor trimming supply houses and three cloth merchants. There is none now. What was common knowledge to practically everyone is no more. It is teaching a whole generation or two what tailoring is.
     
  10. pvrhye

    pvrhye Senior member

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    Muslin shirts are nice, but don't try to wear one past PSA

    Code:
    *rimshot*​
     
  11. howbah

    howbah Senior member

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    People that buy Bespoke often don't like to have multiple fittings their time is usually at a high premium. There's a trend now to try and make bespoke in as few fittings as possible. When I was at DQ I made a suit for Sean Combs in 2 weeks with no fittings just the initial measurement. It came out very good. I was told he was happy with it because his wardrobe manager said if he didn't like it "mr combs wouldn't wear it".[​IMG]

    What you're describing is MTM, not bespoke.
     
  12. jack220

    jack220 Active Member

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    On very difficult fits, I have a bolt of fabric I bought for little nothing, that I will make a basted try on with. This allows me to get the pattern correct and for the client to try on a garment and give me feedback as to what they like or don't. Adds to the turnaround time, but the end result is a garment that fits to the client's and my satisfaction.

    That bolt of fabric bought on the cheap (or just really old, non-sellable fabric for instance) - would it have to be similar to the suits fabric in terms of the way it drapes, weave or weight?

    I do the same. You wouldn't baste muslin onto canvass. I keep cheap goods on hand to make a first fitting.

    I know shirt makers who use muslin for shirt try-ons.


    So the muslin fitting would consist of only the test material and no canvassing.

    How would 'muslin only' affect the overall fit of the garment? since canvas, chest, shoulder piece, padding, seam reinforcement would I believe affect the shape of the cloth.

    Does it matter what the test material is, relative to the suit or jackets fabric?
     
  13. David Reeves

    David Reeves Affiliate Vendor Affiliate Vendor

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    [​IMG] I think the opposite is actually true - experienced bespoke customers understand the value of fittings and are willing to make the time commitment to the longer process. I know over a dozen men who are regular customers of bespoke tailors, and none would dream of opting for a no-fitting model. Perhaps your statement is colored by the younger 'trendier' clients at DQ and people like P-Diddy.
    Well there was certainly clients like that at Gieves and Hawkes as well. I don't like it but its about service and the client not about what you want.
     
  14. David Reeves

    David Reeves Affiliate Vendor Affiliate Vendor

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    What you're describing is MTM, not bespoke.
    Depends on your definition of Bespoke. Feel free to write an essay and post.
     
  15. Despos

    Despos Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    That bolt of fabric bought on the cheap (or just really old, non-sellable fabric for instance) - would it have to be similar to the suits fabric in terms of the way it drapes, weave or weight?



    So the muslin fitting would consist of only the test material and no canvassing.

    How would 'muslin only' affect the overall fit of the garment? since canvas, chest, shoulder piece, padding, seam reinforcement would I believe affect the shape of the cloth.

    Does it matter what the test material is, relative to the suit or jackets fabric?


    No, I'm saying I don't use muslin, I use cloth basted onto the canvass. I wouldn't baste muslin onto canvass.
    The weight of the cloth doesn't matter so much to me. This type of fitting is to check the main elements of balance and girth or shoulder/collar, depending on what issues caused you to want to do a fitting in the substitute cloth. This does not replace the need for a first basted fitting from the actual cloth the suit will be made with.

    ladies tailors sometimes use muslin alone, no canvass, for first fittings
     

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