Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Unintentional Muslin

There has been a discussion on the Pattern Review boards of late about What makes a wadder? that got me rumbling over something in my head, and I came to a rather startling conclusion.

Premise: a wadder is a garment that may or may not be finished but either is or is obviously going to be unwearable due to either sewing difficulties, mismatch of fabric to pattern, poor fit, or other factors. Personally, I consider something a true wadder if it is only good to be cut into something else or thrown away; something that is finished but doesn't look good on me isn't a's a donation.

Fact: a muslin is a garment that is a test of a pattern; frequently not finished and definitely not wearable. Its purpose is to check fit, design details and style. I consider a 'weable muslin' to be a 'test garment', since it's made with the intention of being worn. A real muslin is made out of ugly fabric and is not intended for wear.

Therefore: Muslins are intentionally made wadders. Now, we consider the muslin to be a worthwhile investment of time and fabric because of what is learned; I propose that we eliminate 'wadders' from the vocabulary and, instead, call them 'unintentional muslins', putting the emphasis on what was learned in the process of making the garment, not the end result.

All in favor, say 'aye'... ;)


  1. Aye!

    I like to call them fitting toiles, only because it sounds more snotty.

  2. Aye! Love the thought process to get there. And I love the designation of donations.

  3. What a great etymology! I shall now go and cut out "test garment" pants and hope they don't turn into and "unintentional unwearable muslin".

  4. "Fitting Toiles"...what a hoot! I'd be tempted to deliberately mispronounce it as 'fitting toils'...which would also be an accurate description of the process... ;)