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WHAT IS A "MUSLIN"?
[READ ONLY PAGE. Updated 5/5/15]


INTRODUCTION:

A muslin is a test corset, or a test man's stays or vest, made to your measurements and typically constructed in one layer of muslin fabric or other cotton fabric such as denim. The color of the muslin is usually white, ivory, yellow, beige, or other neutral color.

The muslin for a corset is lightly boned while the muslin for an unboned garment such as a groom's vest will not be boned. The boned CorVest muslin fitting process is pictured below on this page.

The upper and lower perimeters of the muslin will likely be raw and unfinished. If you ordered a front busk closure for your corset, the muslin may or may not include the busk hardware at this stage. Be certain to write on the muslin that you desire or do not desire a busk in your final corset, to remind your corsetiere of that matter.


PURPOSE OF THE MUSLIN:

The purpose of a muslin is to allow an interim fitting before construction of your final corset or garment so that you may adjust the fit, waist reduction, perimeter shapes, and in some cases, the pattern. Pictured above right is our corsetiere, Sheri fitting a muslin on her client, with other images of that process below on this page.

Note that any changes you request on the muslin which result in a change in the style of the corset you originally ordered, may or will mean that a new pattern will have to be drafted with additional labor involved. For example, you may decide you want a longline Edwardian corset, but have ordered a higher-hipped Victorian. This style change may or will result in a second muslin fee and fitting process (from $40-65), as well as a Change Order fee of $50. Minor changes in the perimeter shapes, and vertical and horizontal measuremenst are expected from a muslin fitting, with no resulting upcharge so long as the basic style does not change.


WHEN IS A MUSLIN NEEDED?

Fitting the torso, especially the bosom, is complex. Individuals differ as to how the torso and flesh mold inside of a structured garment. A muslin is therefore required for, and included in the basic pricing of, all ROMANTASY'S overbust corset styles.

A muslin may be ordered as an option for underbust styles for a modest upcharge. Muslins for underbust styles are strongly recommended for any full-figured client with a waistline of 40" and are required for waistlines of 45" or more, so that you may adjust perimeter shapes and vertical height to ensure the most effective tummy coverage and good torso support in your completed corset.


HOW TO ACHEIVE THE BEST FINAL FIT:


The best final fit will be the result of three, or perhaps four, peoples' inputs:

1. Ours when we initially measure you (or your friend who measures you if you cannot attend a fitting appointment in San Francisco),
2. Your corset maker who might be the person who fits the muslin on you,
3. The person who fits the muslin on you and marks it up for correction, and
4. You.

In most cases the muslin fitting process works exceedingly well to insure a good fit. In rare instances a muslin that we mail to you to do the fitting, results in a corset that may not fit. Even when we personally fit the muslin on you, this sometimes will not result in absolute perfection. In both cases, some adjustment will or may need to be made. If we have fitted the muslin, of course we shall be responsible for costs for the alteration. However, if you have fitted the mailed muslin, then a modest additional alteration charge will or may be billed. In rare cases a second muslin may be recommended and will be mailed at a modest additional charge.

Please remember that we cannot guarantee fit nor pay for amendment charges that might be needed to a final corset based on a muslin that you have fit, signed and dated, and returned, authorizing us to proceed to final production. If you do not sign or initial your muslin, it may or will be sent back to you or an email followup will be sent to ensure that all needed changes are made as you desire.


ALTERATIONS IN A FINAL CORSET OR GARMENT:

Typically, alterations in a completed corset or garment can be done and we give you schedule priority in order to return the adjusted corset to you at our earliest opportunity. ROMANTASY, however, cannot guarantee a good final fit unless you personally attend a muslin fitting, as each person's body is completely individual. Fitting a bustline can be particularly challenging, even where the bra and cup size are standard.


FITTING PROCESS:

You must both sit and stand when testing your muslin. Start by lacing the muslin on snugly, keeping the sides of the edges parallel in back. You may also lace down with the top and bottom edges a bit closer than the waistline gap.

Closely examine all aspects of the muslin with your arms down and relaxed, then arms akimbo hands on hips. It does no good to test the muslin with your arms high in the air, because you will not be wearing your corset that way!

Now is the time to give your corset maker feedback: what changes do you want in the fit, amount of waist reduction when the corset closes in back, perimeter shapes on top or bottom, vertical length of the corset, or horizontal widths at the bosom, ribcage, waist, or derriere? How much restriction at the waistline do you desire? Remember that your final corset will fit and feel much stiffer and tighter that a single-fabric layer muslin will fit and feel, so do not go "over board" to request more restriction. Photos of the muslin fit on you will enable us to advise you as to this important matter. The operative principle is "Speak now, or forever hold your peace!"

If you are using your own dressmaker or friend to test the muslin pattern, be sure to have her/him mark all changes desired in black magic marker or pen, then use a separate piece of paper to write out and clarify further instructions to the corset maker before you mail the muslin back to her/him. Muslins must be tried on, marked and mailed back within seven days to insure an orderly process and meet your delivery deadlines or expectations. If you don't give your maker feedback or ask questions or for further advice, then the final corset will look and feel much like the muslin you send back, with the exception that your fully boned final corset will usually feel much stiffer when worn. Minor adjustments to the muslin are without additional charge; major adjustments will or may result in additional fees billed at time of delivery of your corset, especially if you make major changes that result in an entire style/pattern change (that is, from an underbust Victorian, to an underbust Edwardian or longline). Your corset maker will tell you what is minor and what is major, and likely can give you the approximate cost for major changes. They will ask you to initial any change order to be sure we have it right.

Some tips follow on what to look for when you try on your muslin (please carefully review the images of muslins shown below). You may always email us or your corset maker to ask questions and send preliminary jpg images of your fitting, prior to returning the muslin, in order to get our input. We are happy to advise you!

1. Does the bottom hem go low enough to cover your tummy once the waist line squishes you in? Be sure you both sit and stand to determine this matter.
2. Does the side underarm go too high so that it feels uncomfortable with your arms down? Or too low (see next question)?
3. Is the circumference around your chest or rib cage too tight so that some breast or underarm tissue falls outside the corset or creates "toothpaste"?
4. Is the corset back length high or low enough over your derriere?
5. Is the corset back low enough to fit well under your wedding dress without showing?
6. Is your cleavage correctly placed and defined, or are your breasts/nipples too closely "squished" together in front?
7. Are the perimeter shapes what you want them to be?












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