I know, I know…we were all going to take a break from sewing but there were a couple things I could not avoid.
The first one was an emergency repair on a suede jacket that was given to a grown-up son who managed to mangle it somehow. When I asked my client what did her adult son do while he was wearing the brand new jacket…her reply…”Fixing a motorcycle” and the sleeves got tangled up in the chains or something”. So here we are with ripped suede and lots of slashes that need reinforcing and hand stitching.
On the inside everything got a new patch of help using my favorite Cold Cloth that I have used in the past for torn fur stoles. It is like heavy duty contact paper that seals the skin on the back to prevent more damage. Skins repaired and linings restitched closed, the jacket is ready for more adventures!
The rest of the sewing time was for me…you’re kidding, Mrs Mole, do you actually do that?
Yes, I have had this coat cut out for 3-4 years and never managed to get it close to being finished but this year after seeing a shitload of badly sewn coats with huge collars and facings not under stitched or interfaced with really stiff interfacing I stopped screaming long enough to make my own version of a coat. You know the ones…they are flooding the blogsphere with front ruffles. Let’s get some perspective on techniques that work to tame fabrics and seams, shall we?
The pattern Burda 5201 from the late 80’s and looked fast and easy with few seams and pieces. It also was pre-seam allowances…remember those days? My fabric was a strange brew labeled “recycled fibers” and there must have been some wool in it along with dog beds and cat hair and scrapings from a hairdressing salon as it looks like a cat took a nap on it in the back of my car. But it had a nice circular pattern and was thick and my color…well almost. Holding it up to my face is still needed something so I added a collar of black wool flannel to embroider later. The collar was interfaced with fusible weft stuff I have had for over 30 years…thank God the glue was still happy to bond with a steam iron and pressure! The entire body of the coat was underlined with some cheap batiste I had from JoAnn’s, of course not enough of one color. Here is the collar being stitched to the front edge: You can see some white hand basting as the two sections were really not the same thickness and pinning alone could allow one to stretch…you never know. The back of the snowflake embroidery (I left some of the tearaway backing)…yes, I know it is lame but the black was too dark and it needed something to perk it up…really I needed perking up. Here’s the first tip…go find your pinking shears and cut off the extra coat body fabric above the button and cut away the excess facing below the button. Then get ready for some good understitching…yes yes DO THIS to prevent the edges from peeking out and STEAM press your edges flat before ANY topstitching. Again, see my red hand basting, pull the trimmed seam allowance under the presser foot and stitch flat, do the reverse below the button. Allow an inch or so in the front edge to have NO understitching to transition between the two. Tack the center back of the under collar by hand and run basting stitches along the under collar and allow the black lapel to show. Inside facing allows the red fabric to show. Turned inside out, you can see how the edges look like they have a binding, but they don’t, you create that with your understitching and trimming.
OK, Let’s think about a lining…the pattern has no lining pieces…what shall we do? How about pinning the front and back piece together and see what it looks like? You can see the side seams are very straight, and the upper back has been altered…let’s get cutting all in one piece…can we do that? There are no fabric police at my house…let’s be crazy! Pinned on lining and once it is pinned on we can pin out a back fold pleat….hooray! I will also pin a tuck at the waist for some shaping.
What else goes inside? The back edge of the black facing is attached to the batiste and then the side seam pockets are attached to the facing edge with 2 pieces of elastic…after all who needs them flopping around inside?
There we are…my lining is attached, basting stitches on the collar will be removed, top stitching all around to be done and all that is left is the hem which will get a special treatment and be featured next time….oh and some sort of closure button or loop.
The paperwhites opened and stopped growing…just in time for Christmas day…how do they know how to that?
What are your plans for sewing before Jan 1st?