Sunday, January 25, 2015

Ziggi - A day's worth of muslins...

So I spent today making muslins for my planned Ziggi jacket. Yes, muslins plural, and I'm not done yet. I kinda think I would have been better off just drafting myself my own jacket, I wouldn't have been much worse off given what you actually get when you buy the Ziggi pattern, it's not like the instructions are anything worth paying for.

First up, let's recap... I have some gorgeous aubergine wool suiting that I want to make into a biker style jacket, and from limited selection of options, I settled on the Style Arc Ziggi pattern.

Now, the style arc patterns are single sized, so you can print only one size at a time.

My bust and waist come in between the 10 and 12, and hips between 12 and 14. For this reason I chose the size 12. Interestingly, my "upper arm girth" places me in the size 8, but my "shoulder breadth" just above a size 14. When you buy the pdf pattern you get three sizes, so I bought the size 10-12-14 bundle of patterns.

Above is the muslin of the size 12, straight out of the envelope.

Starting with the good; I really like how the collar is sitting. And despite the size chart suggesting that the sleeves would be too big I like the width of the sleeves.

And onto the bad issues...

The pooling at the back is somewhat expected based on my body shape, and I didn't worry about that straight away, working on the principle of starting at the top and working down with fitting... the most obvious issue was the armholes. The armholes came very far down, impeding my arm movement an awful lot.

It bunched up as shown above when I moved my arms around at all. My first thought was raising the armscye, but I noted that the bust felt a little more comfortable when the jacket was bunched up around my shoulders like that, so I tried removing some vertical length from between my armpits and shoulders...

Pinning out the excess did seem to help, and achieved the goal of having free use of my arms (a somewhat important thing don't you think?)

I did some partial unpicking and slashed and overlapped all the pieces and stitched them down to check out this alteration a bit more (see above pics), and thought it was promising enough to transfer to my pattern pieces. As this alteration had reduced the overall length of the jacket, I added the length back in at the waist to make the jacket the length I wanted it.

And so my second muslin...

While the principle of my alterations were good, there are obviously still quite a few problems...

Two changes I could easily make to this muslin were that I had added the length too high in the back, and now the seamline of the back peplum piece is sitting too low, so I shortened the upper back pieces and lengthened the peplum to move this seamline up. I also added half an inch of width to the bottom of the peplum while I was redrafting it, to give the jacket a little more ease over my behind....

(Yes, that's my "I've spent a whole day on this muslin and it still looks terrible" face).

So, at the end of a day of muslining I still have a heap of problems, for which I'm thinking the following changes for muslin number three:

- Add a little more length back in where I removed it between the armpits and shoulders to hopefully alleviate some of the pull lines from the armpits
- Take the width of the shoulders in by about 1.5 at the top, tapering to nothing by the lower sleeve piece (note my comment earlier about being worried about making a size too small for my "shoulder breadth" - what a load of tosh that measurement is! It's too big in the shoulders, not too small!)
- Do a sway back adjustment to remove some of the pooling at the small of my back
- Do a small FBA through the middle of my "middle front piece", to add some more ease and shaping through the bust
- Possibly add a little waist shaping through the side seams.

What do you think? Would you make those changes based on the above photos? If not, what changes would you make?

...and if I do eventually manage to get a good fit, I then need to work out how to make equivalent changes to the lining pieces.

Which reminds me of another frustration with this pattern; the pattern notes that the lining is optional, however you have to print all the pieces, there's no option for printing just the shell and/or lining pieces. This is frustrating me right now in particular as I'd quite like to reprint just my outer pieces, but to do so I'll have to reprint the whole thing. The lining and shell pieces are completely mixed together on the pattern sheets, so it's not even like I could just print some of the sheets to print the shell pieces again. I'm very disappointed by this.


  1. Well, this pattern is not for your body type. My suggestions for the front piece: try to change the depth of the bust darts , make it deeper. For the back piece I would recommend to cut a little bit of the shoulder seam.

    1. Thanks for your suggestions. What do you mean by depth of the bust darts? The jacket has princess seams.

    2. sorry for my bad english. I'll try to explain what i mean. What I see on your pictures is that your jacket is too small in chest that is why you have these lines from neck to armholes. Your bust darts are transformed into seams. I would open the seam and get some ease in bust from seam allowances. On the back peace the shoulder line is too high and this causes lines from neck to armhole. Horizontal lines on the back piece on the waist show that it is too small on hips.
      I hope you will understand what I mean and this will help. :)

    3. thank you, i understand what you mean now.

  2. I don't like when a pattern is single sized, it is important to have other sizes in order to make your own alterations. Grading at home, without the appropriate program it's impossible without multiple sizes. I feel your frustration, I should go with another pattern company.

    1. I completely agree, it's very frustrating. I can see why they don't have multi-sized patterns, as they also have the seam lines marked on the pattern, however I think that the cons outweight the pros.

  3. I recall getting very excited with I heard SA was going to have 3 size PDfs...but it deflated quickly when I learned they were each separate files. The point of having 3 sizes (to me anyway) is so you can size up and down throughout the body and save a little time in alterations or at least not have to print out another size when you realize the one you picked is just not going to work. I also loose the benefit of being able to sell an original paper pattern to someone else if it's a fail (I trace patterns never cut), so yeah, it can be a bit of a loss.
    I still don't understand why they don't nest since lots of other indies do. How hard can it be? For this reason I'll pass on them. If I want single size, I'll gamble with Lekala or Bootstrap.
    Best of luck with your pattern, it is really frustrating when you spend a long time working and no real pay-off. I rarely get by with less than 2 muslins of anything new. I think the hardest part at this stage is decided whether to press on or move on to something else.

    1. Thanks for the luck! I appreciate that it may take a few muslins to get the fit of something right, that's not my main gripe with this pattern right now.

  4. Feeling your pain! I have ordered 2 patterns from them, both size 12. My measurements vary much as yours do, so I also settled on the 12. The Rowe's Tunic, which I did as a dress, was just awful and not worth refitting. The Fiona Cardigan was all over the place. My muslin was so awful that I wrote a blog post kind of fussing about it and Style Arc - not something I usually do! I'm holding out hope for the Heidi Cardigan (free?) with the Fiona, because it's basically shapeless :-) Thks so much for this post on the Ziggi - it's appealing, but I'll use the Larissa from BurdaStyle if I ever get round to a jacket like this one.

    1. that sucks! I would much prefer it if it was an issue specific to me and everyone else was fine with the patterns.
      There does seem to be a gap in the market for patterns in this overall style, so few options!

  5. I'm so sorry that this pattern is giving you a major headache! I made it last year and I remembered removing the horizontal seam on the sleeves and widening them because they felt to tight. Also lowering the armscye. I could have done a sway back adjustment but overall it was ok. I hope you can make it work since it's a nice jacket.

    1. Yes, I already removed the horizontal seam from the sleeve, which was easily done as it was a nice straight line. It sounds like your fitting adjustments were the opposite to mine!

  6. Everyone I know who has muslined this pattern seems to need the same adjustment across the front and back above the bust. It's crazy! I did the exact same thing and then stopped with my muslin. I have plenty of other adjustments to make before it's ready.


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