Monday, October 27, 2008

Tany's coat: bound buttonholes

This is a very time consuming project and I am extra limited because the fabric is black and I avoid sewing black fabrics at night, hence my progress has been so slow. Up to this point I’ve made the buttonholes (the welts were hand sewn in place), sewn all the body’s vertical seams (I left the shoulder seams open), tacked down the SAs and I started hand sewing the satin tape to the waist of the coat. The main reasons for all this hand sewing are: the presser foot could flat down the pile when sewing on the right side of the fabric and avoiding the slide effect when joining two layers when at least one has pile (sewing straight is very difficult because of this sliding effect). I could minor this problem by extra hand basting but I’d risk damaging the satin tape. Hand sewing provides more control and the result is much neater; the only disadvantage is that it takes extra time to get done.

Today I will show you the buttonholes; I used the “window” method, explained in a previous article at my blog (read it here). The only difference is that I’ve hand sewn the welts on instead of topstitching them.

The window method always uses a patch to make the “window”, a small rectangle of sheer fabric on the same color as the fashion fabric. It is placed on top of the buttonhole marked set place on the right side. Then a rectangle (the size of the finished buttonhole) is stitched, using a short stitch setting, and then it’s cut (both patch and fabric). The patch fabric is slipped through the resulting hole to the wrong side of the jacket/coat front, and pressed (see the link to the tutorial provided above for more details and pictures). I used black silk organza for the patch, and the resulting “window” is this (right and wrong side):

After stitching both welts together using a long stitch/loose tension setting, I made a few long running stitches using contrasting thread (basting cotton in this case) so I could see the two welt junction and better center it on the buttonhole window:

In the following picture you can see the process of hand sewing the welts to the buttonhole window (take extra care so each stitch goes through all the fabric layers so the resulting welt is sturdy).

This is how it looks on the wrong side; the canvas will have slightly bigger cut out rectangles at the place of the buttonholes and the allowances you see in the picture will pass through those rectangles when the hymo is set in place on the right front piece. These allowances must be trimmed and graded, and finally tacked down to the hymo. I will share some pictures when I get there.

This is how the buttonhole looks on the right side:

In the meanwhile I’ve started hand sewing the satin tapes around the waist of the coat. I will share pictures when I’m done!

Lindsay T: Progress made, plus a question

I made considerable progress on my coat this weekend. The body is all done, having been pad-stitched, catch-stitched and machine-stitched; the sleeves are assembled and ready to be attached. Marji, you'd be pleased to know I'm actually getting into making this coat.

I also spent some time thinking about what extra touches I want to incorporate, as the OOP Vogue pattern I'm using is basically a blank slate. I photocopied the pattern illustration and then sketched various pocket and trim ideas. For now I've added two flaps at the high waist and I like the definition it gives my rectangle figure. Fabulous buttons will be a must, of course. You can see one of my sketch ideas at left.

Question: The pattern calls for inseam side pockets. I tried this with my coat and then ripped them out because it made me look thicker through the middle, and I want this coat to have a slim fit. I like the idea, though, of pockets as a place to put my gloves when I'm not wearing my coat. Is a patch pocket inside on the lining a bad idea? Any thoughts?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Nancy K: So much for having all my materials in place

I finally have all my issues with fit and pattern worked out and was about to block fuse the pieces that will use the same interfacing. I am short! I just ordered some more and hopefully will have it in a couple of days. I am using Palmer Pletsch's heavy interfacing for the under collar, on bias, as I really feel the need for a lot of support so that this collar will actually hold it's shape. I'll use a weft interfacing for the body and facings. I don't like the method of attaching the facing to the lining and sewing it on together. I think that sewing the facing to the jacket gives more control. I also prefer to hem my coats so that it doesn't fall after a while. The method I like for bagging the lining calls for a back facing, so I made a pattern for that.