What is a muslin?

When you buy a jacket at the store, there are several sizes that you can try on. Of course, none of them will fit perfectly, as every body is a bit different. But after trying on a couple you find the one that fits the best.

Bomber Jacket Sketch

Often this means that if you purchase a jacket that fits at the waist, the bust will be too large, or if it fits at the bust, the shoulders will be too large. With mass market clothing, there is always some part that doesn’t fit quite right, but we learn to accept a less than perfect fit partly because of the price and partly because we have no choice.

But when we make a custom jacket, dress, or suit blazer, we actually try to tailor it exactly to your body at every fit point. This is a slightly dangerous process, as there is always a chance that it won’t fit. But when it succeeds, it is utterly marvelous. The features of your body that have always seemed awkward, suddenly seem completely natural, and you realize that the clothes made your body seem awkward and that with the right fit the parts of your body that you might not like suddenly seem necessary and perfect.

To get the perfect fit every time, we use muslins. A muslin is a rough cotton version of the piece with some of the details drawn on. For this jacket muslin, I used a sweater from the thrift store as trim.

When you look at the pictures of the customer, you can see that the fit is basically good, but that the customer stands with her shoulders thrown slightly backward. She has an “erect” posture. Because of this, extra fabric (or leather) bunches up in the back and a bit at the sides while the front is tight. On a store bought piece, this would be acceptable. But luckily we can correct for it so that the back turns out looking smooth and the waist more fitted.

The price for a jacket or dress muslin (including shipping) is $65, but it makes the difference between acceptable and incredible when it comes to fit. With the muslins we can also change the placement of pockets, the shape of the lapels, pretty much anything so that the look is just right for your style and your body. We can transform any idea into a sketch and from a sketch into the perfect garment via our muslin fitting process.

A Cocktail Wedding Dress and Bolero

We don’t do stock wedding dresses.

Because who wants to wear a mass-produced wedding dress? “Mass-produced” and “Wedding,” two things that ought to be mutually exclusive.

Instead we ask all about you, your venue, the expected weather. The things that inspire you, whether other designers, movies, or historical periods.

And we start sketching until we hit on the perfect style and look.

Silk Cocktail Wedding Dress

Then we make a muslin of the dress, a cotton mock-up of the dress for you to try on. For local customers, we fit the muslin in person. For long distance customers, we ship the muslin to you and ask for a few simple digital pictures that will aid us in discussing the fit.

The dress in these pictures is from a cocktail themed wedding on New Year’s eve. The dress had to do double duty for the ceremony and the cocktail party reception.

The result was a dress in champange silk duppioni with rows of hand-gathered ruffles and a bolero with handmade silk roses.

Silk Wedding Dress Denver

And the cost? For around $925 for this dress (depending on the exact materials) the price is still less than most mass produced dresses made from synthetic satins.

So why not get the dress that means something to you and is designed with you in mind?

Satin Circle Skirts

Our sportswear line, which we sell on Etsy and in other shops, is called Vigilante Laboratories.

Each piece is designed and made by Lianna K. and A.J. Machete. This is one of the original VigilanteLabs pieces, and one of the most popular. Cut from iridescent satin with almost gothic styling to the yokes, the hem length is immense, over 100″ in most sizes.

Like all of our pieces, you can customize it in any way you want. For $68 we can make it in any size in a shimmer satin and for a bit more we can make it in any color of silk charmeuse.

You can purchase the skirt now as a custom order in our Etsy store or can contact Lianna at superhero@vigilantelabs.com to discuss making the skirt in a different type of fabric.

Of course we can make almost anything you would like. So just contact us if you have a unique idea for something completely custom.

Completely Custom Pant

Imagine a pair of pants that fits perfectly on your body….

By making the pants in a cotton muslin first, shipping them to you, and then fine tuning the pattern based on your feedback, I can make a pair of pants that fits as perfectly as any are likely to do in this world.

You choose the fabric, the style, the cut…. everything.

The pair of pants pictured is a pair I made that fits me just exactly the way that I like. Better than any pants I could have bought at any store, especially on the hips!

If you already have a pair of pants that fits perfectly, you can send them to me to take a pattern and then I can remake them in multiple fabrics.

I can also offer a BIG DISCOUNT when you order more than one pair. And for all other pairs of pants that you order down the road. Prices for the first muslin fit pair are usually around $315.