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It is week three, though my weeks are not necessarily running concurrently. A few weeks ago I impulse-bought two metres of baby-pink minky fleece, known as cuddle fleece in the UK. This stuff is really for blankets, toys or ‘indoor’ clothes such as dressing gowns, so I thought I would use it to replace a battered old fleece top that I have worn down to its threads. I bought it in a supermarket one cold Scottish day about ten years ago and put it on in the car outside. I’ve worn it constantly ever since but it is now so stained and worn that I am embarrassed to be seen in it.

Here is the dear old thing and the fabric I am going to use to replicate it.

I used the push-pin method to trace the pattern pieces onto card underneath. More precisely, I use heavy duty lining wallpaper (1700 grade plain Anaglypta) and iron it flat on a cotton setting. It cost £5 for 10 metres, which is about a fifth of the cost of the fancy manilla card that professionals use. It works just fine. You can also use ordinary dressmaking pins for this process. They go through the fabric and card more easily but it can be sore on the fingers.

After joining the dots, I got a decent pattern outline which I then matched to my measurements using my sloper. This photo isn’t great but you can see the difference between the original tracing and my adjustments. I have a lowish bust line and broad shoulders but I also think the neckline on the original garment is too wide so I’ve moved it in.

I have ended up with seven pattern pieces (collar not drafted yet) for the muslin. Note the cheap white greaseproof paper that I use (£1.50 for 10 metres), though I have to use pencil, not ink.

I also made ‘flat’ technical drawings because it concentrates the mind on details and contruction issues.

I am going to make the muslin up in cotton, which is not ideal but should reveal major fit issues. The minky fleece moults like a shaggy dog at its edges. I think it’s probably going to drive me nuts but part of this project is learning how to handle different fabrics, so here goes.

I’ll also work on better photographs!

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