Thursday, November 20, 2008

Still Here, Still Working - Liana's Coat

Great idea for the roll call Marji! Thank you. I'm still plugging away on my coat, and although life has definitely gotten in the way, I will finish this.

To answer, yes, I'm back working on my coat, although it's been a harrowing process. I've been somehow unwilling to take the next steps with it, and I finally decided that it's because I don't like the extra I added to the front per Roberta Carr's instructions. After careful looking, pinning and checking of both the muslin and the actual coat in process, I've decided to cut off the extra and go with the original Marfy drafting. I don't know why I thought I should try to improve on them, they obviously know more than I do. Ann Rowley some time ago noted that this was NOT the way coats were done anywhere she's been. They always tape the edge and pull up on the tape if it wants to swing open. After my testing, I suspect that Marfy has already taken the whole issue into account somewhat anyway. So, as usual, I make work for myself that I don't need. Part of this epiphany came about after I pulled out my corduroy/suedecloth Marfy carcoat I made last year and thought about it as I wore it. It's about the same circumference or narrower than the cashmere, and seems to be fine, even though I whacked it off shorter than designed. I had forgotten how much I like it until I put it on again. I do wish I had done padstitching in the lapels, but I didn't really know enough I guess. I'm now wondering if I could do a little remedial stitching invisibly through the back of the lapels and get results. Any opinions, or even the voice of experience?

I also have been working on cutting the patch pockets and flaps, and realized quickly that I really can't match the pattern perfectly since there's a dart that ends below the top of the pocket. So, I'm going to match the front and lower edges of the pocket and match the flap to the pocket and call it good. As busy as the pattern is, I think that will be fine. I only get one chance with this since the repeat is large, and I have to have a pocket and flap that match on each side, and I don't believe there is enough fabric to do another set. I'm going to trace 2 copies each of the pocket and flap pieces so I can place them all before I cut.

So, work is progressing, although not as quickly as I could wish. I don't want to rush though, or try to do tricky things (like match and cut out the pockets) at less than optimum times, like late at night when I'm too tired to realize I'm too tired to do things right.

It's so wonderful seeing all the beautiful finished projects here. I hope we're going to be able to extend the life of this blog until most of us finish.

Jenny - I'm back.

It's so great to see some finished coats.  They are giving me the inspiration to make the trek to the finish line with mine.  In September, I found out I'm pregnant and quickly lost ALL desire to sew (morning sickness has that effect on me).  Anyway, I'm almost done with the first trimester now, so I'll be getting back to that coat in the next week or so.  I have to finish it in time to get some wear out of it while I can still button it!

Gry: Progress of a kind

Great to see the finished coats and thanks for the roll call.

In my last post I wrote that the coat would be done soon and that I only needed to

  • Finish the collar
  • Sew the lining
  • Hem
  • Sew snaps on
Hah! The coat is not done yet, even though I really need it now and have begun wearing my old worn-out coat again.

I have worked a lot on the collar. My main problem was to find the right interfacing; I wanted an interfacing that would add a little body to the collar without making it stiff and inflexible. I spent a lot of time visiting different shops and making tests. Els has helped me a lot, both by sending me a set of interfacing samples and by explaining how to make test swatches. I think the main lesson I learned in this process is that you should not be limited by what instructions are given with the interfacing. One of the interfacings I ended up preferring was really intended for silk and much, much lighter than anything suggested by the shop assistants I have asked. From now on, I will save left-overs of interfacing to make samples before I start on new projects.

After a long process I finally cut and made collar and found - alas! - it was too small. I had made the collar larger as Els had suggested in the comments to this post, but not enough. It has taken me very long to make up my mind about whether to cut it again or not since it is only a little too small, but I have decided to do it again. I used silk organza for this first collar which gave the right kind of body, but I think I will use a very light fusible interfacing for the second attempt.

I have made the lining, but have not attached it yet. I have bought snaps and did begin to sew them on, but wasn't quite satisfied with them. They are hard to open and I don't know if I will use them. I work as a volunteer in a second-hand shop and a couple of weeks ago I found a beautiful old coat with a very well-made hidden placket. It is sold by now, but I took pictures of the details (picture below). I am much inclined to try to make a hidden placket after all, now that I have seen how well it can be done in fabric similar to my own.

So this is where I am. I need to redo the collar and decide about the closing of the coat. I really hope to be finished soon - I am very tired of this project and I need that coat.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Vogue2884--almost there!

Of course, being the Person With No Camera, I have no pictures. Perhaps I will ask my daughter to come take photos over the upcoming holiday weekend.

I finished the wool/cashmere shell (cranberry) and have assembled the lining (a printed silk with hot pink roses and bronzy green leaves on a black background). I've decided I would like to add some thin hot pink piping where the facing and lining meet; it would, I believe, give a more finished look to the garment.

It took me a long time to make friends with fusibles and sergers, because I enjoyed handsewing and traditional methods. I did come 'round, and have enjoyed the speed and ease with which garments can be made (and I am aware that some newer fabrics simply behave better with newer methods). The journey back to traditional tailoring methods and materials has been the second best part of this process--the best is yet to come (actually wearing the coat!).

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Still Here

Hi Marji, yes the shout out was a good idea. I've let my coat slide a bit as well, but it's still going. I got sandbagged with work for the last several months, and have reverted to smaller projects and some knitting which is more portable. The coat is semi-constructed, lining cut out, and all stacked on a chair in my sewing room. Last weekend I finally holed up in the sewing room, but decided I needed some winter pants so took apart an old pair I loved (and wore out) and made a new pants pattern instead. I'll wear a new pair today. Since it's 25 degrees outside, and we have snow on the ground this morning, the coat is more appealing. I don't know when I'll get to it, the yarn came yesterday for my SWAP cardigan and I'm itching to get started on that.

I love looking at the completed coats, and hope to have mine on my blog within the month. Football weekends (at least the kind I travel for) are nearly over, work is getting under control, and the weather has made any idea of outdoor stuff unappealing, so I'll get cracking. K

Monday, November 17, 2008

Ann's Progress

Hi Marji,

Great idea to roll call :)
I have been working on Burda 7855 and I have made great progress with my coat.
I did blog some on my blog. I guess I've been pretty silent during my progress. I felt that I wasn't really taking great big steps while making the coat, so at the time didn't figure I should post here.
I have the coat and lining done, but not sewn together yet!
From the start I had trouble finding just the right buttons, and just last week, did find what I hope to be the perfect ones. I'm still waiting for them to arrive from The Button Drawer. When they do arrive I will just have to make my bound button holes (a bit out of sequence but still ok) /sew the lining in/ buttons/ hems......take pictures....
Even though it's taken what seems way too long to make this coat,I've had allot of fun.
Congratulations to those who have finished their coats. They all look wonderful and are all very impressive!

WindPro as sew-in interfacing?

One of the advantages of having made the little Burda coat recently is that it allowed me the wearing experience of an interlined garment. I think I'd have preferred it if the interlining was attached to the coat itself rather than the lining. Since my big coat's interlining is a very stable fleece, Windpro from Malden Mills, I'm wondering if that wouldn't suffice, if pad stitched to the fashion fabric, as interfacing support? I realize this sounds a little unconventional - would any of you like to weigh in and help me think this through? Thanks so much!

Michelle L. Stalled for a Long Time, but Forging Ahead Now

I am working on the now-out-of-print Vogue 7988 for my fiance.

For a long time, I was completely afraid to cut into my fabric, because I felt completely overwhelmed and like I didn't know what I was doing.

I also spent a long time reading through some more books and internet resources on men's tailoring. But the best thing I did was I bought a men's coat from the goodwill and completely dismantled it so I could see how it was put together.

After that I was ready to cut into the fabric, and I am in the process of doing all the padstitching.

I also had to purchase a buttonholer for my sewing machine. I tried on scraps of fabric to make the buttonholes by hand, but I am a dismal failure at handmade buttonholes. I can make them on the machine, but I sew on a Singer 401 and 603, so no computerized buttonholes, I had to wait for Ebay to come through for me. Fortunately, it didn't take long.

There is a template for keyhole buttonholes, and I am sure it does a much better job than my shaky fingers do.

Now that I am "forging ahead" I will have some photos of coat progress soon.

Tany's coat: setting in the lining sleeves

Well, these are the last images before showing you the finished coat; at this point I still have to finish hand sewing the lining to the facings, sew the french tacks to the hem and stitch the buttons in place (besides cleaning the lint out of the coat!)

The lining was applied following the instructions in the Reader’s Digest “Complete Guide to Sewing” book so you may need to refer to that book to see additional details and diagrams of the process (I own both the vintage 70’s edition and the newer one and both books explain the process in great detail).

The tailored lining is constructed separately (the sleeves are constructed but not set at this point), leaving the shoulder seams open, and it’s entirely hand sewn to the coat; besides slipstitching the lining to the facings, the lining’s side seam allowances are also tacked to the coat’s side SAs using short running stitches (these stitches should not be visible on the right side of the coat; the needle catches only the SAs). I started by performing this operation on the side seams and then I hand basted the lining to the facings, neckline and shoulders. The lining should also be attached around the armholes using short running stitches on the SAs side. The body of the lining becomes attached and well secured this way. Only at this point we are ready to set in the lining sleeves and that’s what I’ll be illustrating next.

As we did for the coat side seams, the lining and coat back sleeve seams should also be tacked together. To do this the sleeve and the lining sleeve should be wrong side out with the back seams facing each other. The two SAs are basted together by short running stitches, ending 10cm from the sleeve cuff edge:

To turn the lining sleeve over the coat sleeve, I must insert my arm through the lining sleeve and hold to the coat’s cuff, passing the lining through the arm over to the coat’s sleeve:

Before stitching the lining sleeve to the lining, here’s how the armhole looks with the shoulder pad and the “moustache” sleeve already set in place:

Here’s a better view of the shoulder pad before attaching the lining to the facing and shoulder:

The sleeve SAs are turned in (the sleeve cap should be eased and the bottom armhole stay stitched and clipped) and slipstitched using a double strand of thread on the needle for reinforcement:

Now I have to slip stitch the lining to the facings, shoulder and neckline and sleeve hem, remove the bastings, hem the lining, make the French tacks and sew the buttons in place. I will try to get the coat finished by tomorrow. See you soon!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

And the responses to the roll call are rolling in

Dawn has left a new comment on your post "A Gallery for finished Coats":

I have the front and back put together and topstitched (did that this morning). I am just trying to figure out how to do the collar. The pattern directions have you sew the undercollar to the lining and facings and the collar to the coat. Then you sew everything together RST. Is that an okay way to do it? I don't know exactly how to do that whole "Pad Stitching" gig because my coat doesn't fold over, it just has the collar.

Dawn, you're still making this Burda coat, correct?
Check out the illustration on the pattern cover. You do have a bit of a lapel and a small roll line.
In any case, even if you decide not to shape the lapel with padstitching or fusible interfacings, you should be creating some shaping in your collar with the inner structure.
You may want to go back and have a look at Paco's tutorial, or the page from Threads on fusing in the shaping.

Paco's photo

Patrice sent an email:
Funny you should email today... I'm working onB5145 now. :) All I have left are buttons/holes :)


Adrienne sent an email
Hey Marjorie! I changed my mind COMPLETELY! LOL I plan on working on Vogue 8548 this week! LOL