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
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.
and lower perimeters of the muslin will likely be raw
If you ordered a front
busk closure for your corset, the muslin may or may not
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
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
Sheri fitting a muslin on her client, with other
images of that process below on this page.
Note that any
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
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
overbust corset styles.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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,
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
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
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?
What is a "Muslin"
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