The Second Gertie-Coat Muslin

I’m happy to say the second muslin for the Butterick 5824 coat (aka the Gertie Coat) is much better, but still does need some work.  For the second round, I switched to my handy waffle weave muslin fabric which is much stiffer (with more body) that better simulates a coating weight fabric.  I’m thinking this alone has played a major part in this muslin looking adequate instead of a wrinkled mess.

Changes I made on this second muslin:

  • Redrew the front waist dart, angling correctly to my apex
  • Shifted the shoulder seam forward.
    • This entailed removing 3/4″ of the front shoulder/arm seam and adding 3/4″ to the bodice back shoulder/arm seam
  • Cut sleeves with 1″ seam allowance to allow more room to fit, as needed.

My bunnies were really interested to give their own thoughts about my coat muslin, they kept circling around Felix (taking the photos) and myself. 



Far fewer wrinkles than the first muslin, waistline darts are perfect now (but could end 1/4 or 1/2 lower than they are).  Issue: Deeper wrinkles forming at the armpits and sleeves.

When my arms are down the shoulder/armscye wrinkles aren’t as bad since they’re partially hidden by the collar… But they’re still there.  I’m wondering if it isn’t a tight-fitting upper sleeve that isn’t allowing that section of the fabric to lay properly.  What do you guys think?


With this muslin, there was a large fold happening across my middle/upper back that was new.  I already stuck a pin in there to mark this change for the next round.  The fold extends the whole way across my back and even into the arms.  Before cutting another muslin, I’m going to stitch it closed (like a giant tuck/dart) and see what happens to the rest of the bodice.

Another back view, with my arms up:

Here you can really see that the fold goes through my upper arms.  Funky huh!  I’m thinking it has something to do with my short armscye, but really I’m not 100% on the reason for this.

Side View:

I lifted the collar to give you a better sense of the shoulder/arms.  Can you even see that I rotated the shoulder seam forward?!  It looks like it even needs to move a smidge more forward, maybe 1/4″ or so.  You can see that giant tuck at the center back, and also on the front there’s another fold right where my armpit is.  It’s almost like my armscye & tight sleeve is causing all of the issues now.

What’s good: the waist & bust area.  I feel like the lower half of the bodice is great, I just have to figure out how to make the arm & shoulder area decent.

So… next steps:

  • Sew a 1/2″ tuck across the back bodice and through the arms
  • Rotate the shoulder seam 1/4 more forward
  • Release the sleeves for more ease.
  • Reduce the collar width (it’s a bit too wide for my frame).

I can do all of these steps on the current muslin without needing to cut a whole new one due to the fact that I used 1″ seam allowances. 

In the flickr group, there are several people having excess fabric at their upper backs (poofing effect).  While I seem to have extra fabric, it’s not poofing due to width, it’s tucking due to length.  The other main issue that seems to be happening is figuring out how to correct the armscye area.  Naturally with a kimono-sleeved design like this there is going to be some natural folds happening, but with mine I think it’s something else. 

I’ll continue to take more photos of the fitting process and I hope to be able to have the muslin 100% finished by Sunday night so I can start in time with Gertie’s sew along.  

When it comes to fitting, I’ve learnt a trial-by-error process so my adjustments aren’t definitive.  I make some changes, try it on, make a few more, try it on, etc.  So I totally welcome you guys to make any comments about fit and/or potential solutions that have worked for you!

In: Sewing

Blogger for 6 years and counting, I am a passionate creator who loves to tinker.

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