So, for Christmas last year, I received the Palmer-Pletsch book, Fit for Real People. Since then, I have been trying to follow their advice as much as possible, and their method is based almost entirely on tissue fitting. They claim that if you do a good tissue fit, then you don't need a muslin.
Well, frankly, tissue fitting is just not working for me. I had my doubts about it to start with, really. I mean, generally speaking, tissue is not going to act the same as fabric. I've been tracing my patterns onto Swedish tracing paper (the idea being that I could actually baste it together at the end and sort of have a muslin), but I think this is actually making things worse not better. The Swedish tracing paper is pretty stiff and, as I'm not making everything in taffeta, doesn't give me anything near an accurate representation of how the garment will actually lay once I make it in fabric. Tissue paper is a little better, but I don't like working with it because it's too delicate and prone to ripping. This is why P-P recommends stabilizing certain areas.
Well, I've come to realize that, by the time I trace off the pattern, mark the seam allowances, put tape everywhere I'm supposed to put tape, then snip to the seam allowance in the armholes and tape the thing together and try it on, well, I could have cut out a muslin, basted it together, and seen how things actually look in fabric. So, that's what I'm going to do from now on. I will buy fabric that I don't necessarily like but is being offered at rock bottom prices and use it for muslins. Thrifted sheets seem to be a popular source of muslin fabric, so I'll stop by goodwill and see what I can find. In the meantime, I have some cotton broadcloth I got on sale at Joanns that I'll use, and I do have actual muslin fabric that I can use, too.
I'm almost done with Cate's sweater. I have the major pieces knitted. Now, I need to sew the sleeves into the armholes and knit the collar. I've been needing to do that for a week, but I haven't found time to sit and carefully attach the sleeves (sewing seams is not my strong point).