Here we are again! I’m still working on my coat, taking to heart the idea of sewing slower this year! I cut it all out on the weekend and spent considerable hours fusing all the interfacing onto the relevant areas and tailor tacking the pattern markings so I was ready to sew. Tuesday was to be a sewing day! In the end, I only started just before lunchtime, but as I kept going until 8pm, I recon I still managed to get a full day of sewing in!
When I tailor tack pattern pieces, I also pin pieces together and pin darts to make a pile of stuff that can go straight to the sewing machine, so I had front and back bodice darts, sleeve tabs and hood pieces all pinned together ready to start. The darts were cut up the centre and pressed open, with the flappy bits stitched down with herringbone stitch to stop them flapping about!
Once darts were sewn, the yokes were attached and the topstitching done. Then I made the sleeve tabs, sewed the inner and outer hood and made up the front band. After that, I couldn’t put off the pockets and their new opening detail any longer!
New detail?? Well, I’m not overly keen on zip-opening pockets. I know they’re very practical, and they add a “sporty” touch to a garment, but zips are sharp and scratchy and my hands don’t like them very much. So I decided I’d use a detail from the pocket of my Seasalt raincoat. The pocket shape is actually very similar. They have two welts, one narrower than the other, and they overlap. The detail is suposed to mean water doesn’t get into your pocket, and having had worn the coat in the wet, I can say that’s true. So I copied that detail. I’ll do a seperate tutorial on the pocket in another post.
I tacked and basted a lot with the pocket, if you don’t want things moving, and pins aren’t helpful, basting is the only way to go! Gathering the curved corners of the pockets wasn’t tricky, and makes for a nice smooth curve. I chose to use ordinary thread for the topstitching, possibly next time I’d use something a little thicker, I’m thinking that Denim thread though, rather than the proper topstitching stuff that my machine doesn’t like. I’m not unhappy with the finish, but it does disappear into the fabric a bit.
I thought I’d show you the insides where I put the interfacing. I use Gill Arnold’s weft interfacing on the outer pieces for structure. I fused the yokes fully and cut a funny shaped piece for the back that continued the line and scooped under the armhole to support it. The front got similar treatment, except that instead of just going into the yoke interfacing line, the interfacing scoops up and over the bust area and down the front to support and reinforce that area. I extended that line of interfacing down the front skirt. Sleeve heads get interface too, I measure approx 10 cm down from the top point in the sleeve head and draw a curve into the lower part of the armhole from there, always better not to have straight lines here.
All the hems are supported too. As this coat has 4cm hems, I cut 6cm wide bias strips of the weft insertion and fused onto the hemline, 3cm from the edge of the fabric. This means that when the hem is turned up, 1cm of the inner hem has interfacing on it, supporting the fold, the rest extends up the outer fabric and protrudes 1cm above the hem edge. This is what I will stitch into when I hand stitch the hem in place, not the fabric.
The facings and sleeve tabs, front band, inner hood front edge, and the opening for the pockets were fused with Gill’s fine sheer interfacing. Those edges still need support, but not as much as the outer fabric, and to cut down on bulk it’s better to use a finer, lighter interfacing.
For the fronts, I add a canvas chest piece that helps to minimise the appearance of the hollow in the chest below the shoulders. It’s a curved piece of non-fusible canvas, cut on the bias, fused to a piece of weft insertion interfacing, also cut on the bias. I remembered I have photos and a post showing this same step, but with white interfacing, from 2012!! On each side at the top ( shoulder edge), cut out a section 3cm down, this is to enable you to keep the canvas out of the seam area while you sew front to back
Then the shoulder seam is pressed open and the canvas allowed back, turn the coat to the right side, and, supporting the body pieces, allow the coat to hand over your hand, simulating the shoulder. Pin the canvas in place through the back shoulder seam allowance, close to the seam.
Turn to the inside and pin again through the seam and the canvas, then remove the pins on the outside and stitch the cavas to the back seam allowance close to the original shoulder seam line.
This make such a difference to how your jacket or coat looks, with a decent felt shoulder pad. This is as far as I’ve got for now, tomorrow I’ll get the hood on, sew the side seams and insert the sleeves. Then it will be time to cut the lining!
I ordered 2m of Mustard Gold interfacing from The Lining Company to grace the inside of my gorgeous coat yesterday, and it arrived this afternoon. It’s beautiful, the colour like gold, so perfect for the grey!! If I cannot find a lining “in real life” for a project, chances are pretty high that I’ll find one from The Lining Company. They have so many different types, and the colours…. I love that they send out 5 free samples, of a decent size, all properly labelled for proper decision making. And they’re fast… I just use their standard first class postal service, it arrives the next day anyway!! (no selling fee here, just my personal recommendation).