Mock ups (or toiles, pronounced twalls or twahls) are important when constructing a garment– whether you’re drafting your own pattern or testing the fit of a commercial one, they save you the trouble of screwing up on your main material.
I, among most seamstress’, use muslin for these toiles. It’s cheaper than most garment materials, it drapes like most garment materials, and most importantly it’s blank and some variation of white so that any markings, stitching or glaring fitting errors are completely visible.
The problem is the life of my muslin toiles and its scraps ends when all of my corrections are made and done, which when you think about it… makes muslin seem like a waste of money and precious resources.I count myself very lucky that I rarely need to make extensive corrections in order to justify the purchase and use of muslin; a little shortening here, a little tightening there… but, like now, there are times I actually need to make sure of the fit… well, the waste can be quite daunting. I hear some people even make up to 4 toiles before their end garment!One toile results in this much scrapSome of these people have solutions to their growing muslin collection. These people are smart and crafty with their muslin. These say use the final draft as the pattern, they say use it as stuffing or stabilizer or sew-in interfacing. These ideas are great, but they haven’t exactly worked for my needs consistently leaving my muslins to take up space for very long intervals of time.For the life of me I have never found a sustainable use for my muslin mocks; for my garment material scraps I have loads of uses because of the variation in fabric design and color, but muslin… meh… which is why I try to be very deliberate and conscientious about the use of it– prompting this post.
I thought about dying them, maybe in the hopes of turning it into a garment I could wear… but the lack luster appearance of muslin on the whole doesn’t pique my interest enough.Dying it is still an idea, though.With the news that many grocers will be transitioning to bagless down here in the South pretty soon, it got me to thinking… maybe I could stitch these dyed scraps together and make reusable totes? Perhaps I could even stamp and paint these in ‘ol Hallowe’en fashion… hmm.