Work in Progress Wednesday

I’m making a coat!  Oh yes, I made a decision and I’m running with it, running pretty quickly, because I want it finished to wear to London next Thursday!  I traced the hoodie coat from the October 2018 Burda magazine yesterday and made a toile to check for fit.  I knew I’d need an FBA, I just needed to know how big – & I suspected I’d need a bicep adjustment too.

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The toile of coat 110, Burda 10/18

I needed to move the bust dart down 2cm as well as doing a 3cm FBA, and I widened the upper arm area, the bicep adjustment, by 4cm.  Other adjustments I’ve made to the pattern pieces are to add width and depth to the outer standing collar, the facing edge of the hood, the outer sleeve tabs and back belt piece, as well as the pocket flap.

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Weft insertion fusible interfacing on the sleeve heads

The starting point of the coat is always the interfacing.  I’m using Gill Arnold‘s weft insertion on the yokes, front and back, under the arm on the side body piece and in the sleeve head.  I’ve also cut 5cm wide bias strips to interface the hem area of both the sleeves and the jacket body.  I’ll also interface the centre front, about 7-8cm wide, and the outer standing collar piece with the same.  I’ll use the fine sheer interfacing on the inner collar, the front and back facings, the front fastening band and the hood facing piece.

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A nice big pile of cut out pattern pieces.

My fabric is a gorgeous camel-beige coloured wool and cashmere melton that I bought at the NEC about 4-5 years ago from the Rosenberg and Sons stand.  It was a fabulous price, only £10/m!  So I was fully justified in nabbing 2m, even though I had no idea of what I’d make back then, and it’s languished in the stash until the right thing arrived.  I used to have the right lining too – but I used that in the grey houndstooth jacket I made Daughter No1 back in August!  I’ve managed to cut the front facing, hood pieces and back yoke from the left over pieces of that lining and have ordered another metre of the same colour from the Lining Company.  It will hopefully arrive by the end of the week!

The opening zipper for the front and the front band buttons have come out of the stash.  It’s not normal for me to have such a long open ended zipper in the zip box, but I’d bought it years ago to mend the zipper on something else and then changed my mind and got someone else to do it for me! (lazy…)  The buttons are vintage minitary buttons in the most beautiful weathered brass.  Unfortunately I did not have enough to use ont he back belt as well, but I did find a pair of leather buttons in teh button box that will do the job just beautifully.

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Left back, interfaced pieces needing no tailor tacks, Middle, un-interfaced pieces needing tailor tacks, right, the lining pieces, and bottom left, the interfaced pieces, needing tailor tacks.

Now that all the pieces are interfaced, I’m left with the job of tailor tacking everything and getting started with the fun part – putting it all together!

Rise Above This

Ok, so the 2 for 1 jacket finally has a name!  Sometimes you just need some space and good music to get the ball really rolling.  And I have to confess to having a most bizzar collection of tunes.  The one that got my steam up was Seether’s, Rise Above This.  Does anyone else listen to music while they sew?  I cannot work when it’s quiet.  So here is the rest of the jacket.  I must also confess that I sort of lost track of taking photos as I got more and more into the making up process!  Oops!  I will be better next time, promise!

I had left of the last time at the shoulder stage, ready for the collar. The under collar is cut on the bias in two pieces, and is slightly smaller than the top collar.  If you have a pattern that uses the same pattern piece for both, trace it off and put a seamline down the centre back of the under-collar and change the grainline to bias.  Add between 2.5 and 5mm on the outside edges of the upper-collar to allow for turn of cloth.  Do not be tempted to just make the under-collar smaller.  I interfaced the under collar with weft insertion on the bias, then sewed the two together at the centre back.  To ensure a good stand, I use a fusible canvas on the under collar.  This is cut without seam allowance, on the bias.  The upper collar gets a lighter interfacing, I used the fine sheer, but if you find your collar is not keeping shape, you could reinforce with some fusible canvas.

Under collar showing interfacing, already applied to jacket neckline

I clip the neck edge of the jacket at approx. 1.5cm intervals to the stay stitch line and then pin the collar on from the centre out – from the jacket side, not the collar side.  the clipping helps to open out the curve and allows for easing.  When you sew the under-collar on, start and stop exactly on the podmark for the collar attachment on the neckline.  Next pin the upper collar to the under collar, taking care to line up the outside edges.  Because you have cut the upper larger than the lower you will have to ease the extra in.  Pin parallel to your edge, instead of perpendicular as this will help to avoid catching tucks.  Then snip the neckline edge of the facing and sew the upper collar to the facing.  There will be a teeny tiny gap at the junction of the collars and the revers.  This you hand hand-stitch closed.  Layer your collar and neckline seams and press them open over a ham.

Upper and under-collars in place, seams trimmed and pressed open

Now we come to the part where I got carried away with the making and forgot to take pictures!  With the collar done you can sew up the side seams of the jacket and do the sleeves.  The sleeve heads should be interfaced with a crescent shape, 10cm deep at the centre.  You can’t see all of this so clearly on my sleeves because I inserted a contrast pleat panel.

One piece sleeve with contrast pleat back showing interfacing on sleeve-head

And that was my run of photos!!  I will take some of the next jacket I do, from the sleeve stage onwards, promise!!  Basically from here on the sleeve seams need to be joined, and the gathering stitch on the head.  Now for jackets you can follow the normal 2 rows of gathering stitch, or try something different.  I do one line of gathering, 2cm from the edge of the fabric.  I ease the fullness along this line, making sure there is no actual gathering, no tucking or puckering.  What I am after is for the sleeve head to form the sort of shape it will have when in the armhole.  When the shape is right, I pin it into the armhole from the sleeve side.  Once the sleeve is in, I use an interfaced bias cut strip, about 5cm wide of jacket fabric and fold in half lengthways.  Then this is sew into the sleeve head to support the cap.

I was going to try to continue without pictures, but I don’t think it is working!!

Here is the finished garment!

The finished jacket.

It was a rather windy day to take photos, I kept getting hair in my eyes, or my mouth!  there are more pictures on Burdastyle, until I pop more on this blog, but they will be in their own post.

And I promise to take a better photographic record the next time! 😀

2 for 1 jacket update

While I was “away” making curtains and doing alterations and making nice things for other people, this project was burning a hole in the back of my mind!  Now the new year is here, the kids are back at school and making for others has quietened down a bit, I can finally get cracking again.  I decided to track the progress of this jacket, to show the internal workings of speed tailoring a jacket.

First things first, if you have a wool or wool blend fabric, you need to prepare it.  During the making the fabric will be subject to a lot of heat and steam, and it will inevitably shrink.  There are different ways of going about this.  Usually I cut a  10x10cm piece, zigzag or overlock the edges and pop into a basin of warm water.  If the water doesn’t get absorbed, there is a coating on the fabric, and it will need to be dry cleaned.  If water is absorbed, pop it in the washing machine on a cool, woolens or handwash cycle.  Then check it, has it shrunk?  Has the finish/feel of the fabric changed?  Has the colour run?  If the answer is yes to any of these, dry clean only!  For preparation you will need to steam this fabric.  If not, you can wash it.  Now some fabrics can be shoved in the machine, and others need a different approach.  (Most of the wool I buy gets the machine wash.)

I have a cashmere that is definitely not going in the machine.   I dampened down 2 double flat sheets (you could use old duvet covers) and sandwiched the wool between them.  I rolled the whole lot up like a Swiss Roll and left for the damp to get through the wool.  Then opened it up and draped over a balustrade/handrail.  If you have to use the washline, first cover the wire with a towel, and if possible, drape over two lines, not just one.  Leave to dry, then dry iron to remove creases.  Iron on the wrong side, and check for any imperfections.  Mark these so you can avoid the area when laying out the pattern pieces.

It really is worth taking time when preparing wool for a jacket.  The fabric is rarely cheap, and considering the amount of time you will take to put the item together, it will be pretty soul-destroying to have it go wrong.

Your next job is the interfacing.  I use a speed tailoring jacket pack that I get from Gill Arnold.  On this particular wool I have used her Weft insertion on the jacket shell and the fine sheer fusible on the facings.  I have also used some iron on canvas, and some non-iron canvas.  I interfaced the “T-zone” and all the hem edges with the weft insertion.  This covers all the areas of the jacket that are put under strain or will be sat on and crinkled!  Then I made up the fronts and back.

The next step was to apply a fusible cotton tape to the front seam, this prevents stretching on the front seam.  It is applied about 5mm in from the fabric edge and if you have a curve at the bottom, you will need to snip into it to take the corner.  Once that was done, I made the canvas chest pieces.  This is done to plump out the hollow in the chest that women have just below the shoulder.  You will need the non-iron canvas and some weft insertion for this part, and each pattern needs a different shape chest piece.

The pieces are cut on the bias.  The weft insertion interfacing is a different size to the canvas.  It is 1cm larger on the armhole side, and 2.5cm larger on the neckline side.  Fuse the canvas to the weft insertion, taking care not to attach the overlapping interfacing to anything.  Trim the top corners, cut a box 1×2.5cm and 2.5×2.5cm.  Place the chest piece on the jacket front with the armhole side on the edge of the fabric and fuse the overlapping interfacing to the jacket on both sides.

Preparing the canvas chest piece
Chest piece fused in place
Taped breakline

Next fuse cotton tape to the breakline of the rever.  This helps the rever to fall in the right place, and to stay there!  There is no need for padstitching the create the fall. Now staystitch the neckline on the facings, jacket front and back.

Once that is done, pin on the facing.  The facing is between 2.5mm and 5mm bigger/wider than the front on the rever up to the breakpoint only.  This is to accommodate the turn of cloth.  You don’t want to see the seamline or any of the fabric from the front rever peaking out.  The fabric needs to be manipulated carefully so you don’t get any puckering, pinch the excess at the corner and pin the “blister”.

Sew the front facing on from the podmark for the collar join to the hem.  Snip the seam allowance at an angle at the breakpoint and layer the seams.  Trim both of the seam allowances down by 5mm.  Then trim the seam allowance of the front facing by a further 5mm.  The rever needs to be trimmed too, but trim the front by a further 5mm, and not the facing.  Press the seams open and then  flat.  Ensure you roll the fabric when steaming so there is no seamline showing.

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Seam layering on front and facing front

Now for the shoulder seams.  Pin the canvas away from the shoulder line and pin the fronts to the back.  Stitch and press open over a sleeve roll.  Remove the pins from the canvas and let it extend past the seamline onto the back.  Turn the right way round and put your hand under the shoulder seam.  Pin along the seamline, going through all the jacket layers as well as the canvas.  Turn to the inside and pin the back seam allowance to the canvas.  remove the pins from the outside and then stitch the canvas to the seam allowance, close to the shoulder seam line.

Canvas pinned back, shoulder seam sewn and pressed open
Canvas extended over back seam allowance and pinned from right side
Canvas stitched to seam allowance, close to original seamline

So that’s the body of the jacket, ready for the collar and then the sleeves.  Happy sewing until next time!

Spot That Jacket

Ok, apologies need to be made….  I have neglected my blog.  It’s not that I wasn’t doing anything else, I just didn’t have much to write about until I had finished this project.  I know I had posted that fabulous green and turquoise silk, and I will still make it up.  Although it may not be along the lines of the dress posted!  While indecision plauged me though, I had something lined up!

Black and ecru grossgrain

I had bought this spotty cotton and silk grossgrain from my favourite fabric shop, aaaages ago.  I won’t even try to calculate how long I have had it!  Anyway, I had seen a jacket in a shop, about 2 years ago (!) that I liked the neckline of, and I quickly sketched it.  This was the basis of the jacket I have just made.  Sorry this is a bit blurred!

Jacket with Peter Pan Collar - Sketch

I wanted something that would fit snugly in the back, and also provide some sort of indication of shape at the waist (a bit of a cheat, as there really is none!).  I made the basic tailored jacket block and had husband draw on the panel lines, with me checking in the mirror!  Then I cut the block up and transferred the lines onto the paper pattern.  I closed the darts and voila!  The front is plain, just two panels with welt pockets.  There wasn’t much point in doing anything fancy as it would detract from the collar.

Jacket toile - back
Jacket toile - front

The toile was cool, the shape worked really well and I love the curves on the back.  Although, thinking about it, you can’t really see the section seams that well amongst all the spots!  Oh well.  Another thing to think of is the collar.  When I toiled the jacket I only did one layer, and it seemed ok, but…..  In the finished garment the narrow ends near the centre front seem flat.  I am going to have to tighten up the neck edge of the collar pattern to encourage a bit of a rise there.  But it is no train smash, perfectly wearable!  lol.

Jacket Panel Pieces

So, the structure – I used fusible interfacing from Gill Arnold.  I used the weft insertion on the “t-zone”, the hem edges and the upper cuff and collar.  The facing, under collar and cuff were interfaced with the fine sheer polyester.  This is to reduce bulk while still ensuring support.  I made a pattern for a chest piece and cut the canvas on the bias.  I didn’t use any canvas in the collar, perhaps once I fix the pattern and make another I may use a bit on the lower edges, just to make sure the shape is held properly.  Cotton tape was fused down the front opening edges to make ensure a sharp fold.  The shoulder pads are a felted tailor’s set, also from Gill.

And this is the finished product.  Daughter no 1 thinks it’s really cool to take photos at an angle, so no need to adjust your sitting position while viewing the pics!

Spot that Jacket!
Front Detail
Jacket - Back

I seem to have spots on the brain, as I am making a blouse now, a black and white spotty silk chiffon!

Liberty Dress

Another project done!  😀  I have finished putting together the Liberty Dress, at long last!  Many things conspired against me this week, but there you go, that’s life!

Inspiration picture - dress from Anthropologie
Reception Dress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the exact same pattern as the Reception Dress, see how the different weight fabrics affect the hang of the skirt – as well as not having the copious amounts of tulle underneath! All three fabrics are Liberty Tana Lawn, the dress is lined with a white cotton lawn.  I interfaced the upper sections with Gill Arnold‘s polyester fine sheer fusible for strength, but again like the Reception Dress, I didn’t bone the bodice.

So here are the shots of the finished garment, I’d love to hear what you think…

Liberty Dress
Liberty Dress
Liberty Dress