I been sewing for years, but am only just cluing in to the concept of using a muslin to fit a pattern.
The term muslin (or toile) refers to both a test/trial version of a sewing pattern for fitting purposes. It also refers to the cheap un-dyed cotton fabric frequently used for this purpose. Old sheets can also be used (hooray for re-use!)
The bonuses of using a muslin include that you can fit a pattern without ruining your more expensive fashion fabric, plus you can keep the muslin fabric to be used again later as a pattern perfectly fitted to you.
Since the muslin doesn't need to be finished, just fitted, it goes together fairly quickly. Plus, if something is too small, you can just cut it and sew in a strip of fabric - the look is not what's important, just the shape.
I am looking forward to getting home to my sewing machine and putting this practice into use. while in Abu Dhabi earlier this year, I bought tons of lovely cottons in the markets there that I am dying to put to use. Many of my previous patterns I have put days and days of work into, only to be unhappy with the final fit. I am hoping that a few hours sewing a muslin will keep this from happening too much in the future...
Abu Dhabi Cottons:
So fun and colourful, and some were as cheap as ~$1.50/m!! I <3 shopping in Abu Dhabi...
I recently found this post through the ever-fabulous Gertie, and fully intend to use the resources mentioned, especially the patternreview.com website.