Saturday, October 31, 2009

How I used hair canvas in my coat

It’s Friday evening almost 12.00 pm and the coat is finished and I’m quite happy with the result. Pictures later in the weekend during daylight and after some cleaning of my sewing room and some more general household chores that I didn’t do this week, as I used most of the time that I had apart from work for this coat. Now I’m waiting for DD to come home, just the time to write a post on how I used the hair canvas.

This technique is described in Kenneth King’s book Cool couture. A wonderful book that I have written about before. I greatly admire his clear style of writing and inspirational ideas.

Hair canvas is very stiff fabric and is used in classic tailoring (men’s jackets mostly I think). Because of the weight of the collar I thought it a good idea to interface the front of the coat with hair canvas, but this should not be in the seam allowances. I used this technique before in my weekender bag, and now for the first time in a garment. The hair canvas must have been in my collection for I think 20 years!

Cut the pattern pieces from the hair canvas and a cheap, thin fabric, including the seam allowances.
Pin the layers together and mark at the width of the seam allowance (this is different from what Kenneth King describes, he sews directly using the ruler on the sewing machine plate.)

Now sew with a serpentine stitch (or triple zigzag) 2 to 3 mm within the marked line.
Cut away the seam allowance plus 2 to 3 mm of the hair canvas. The extra gives some space for turn of cloth.
On the other side, cut away the  inside part of the cheap fabric. The only part that remains of that fabric is the seam allowance.
Pin the hair canvas to the garment fabric, with the side where you see only the seam allowance on top.
Baste the layers in the seam allowance. I did this by machine, mr. King does this by hand with a silk thread (there is a difference in couture sewing ;)
The outside where you see my red basting thread.
After sewing the dart, I catch-stitched it on the inside to the hair canvas.
Now you can sew the pattern piece as instructed in the pattern. No significant bulk added to the seam allowances.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Working on a coat

Does this happen to you? You have a pattern, a fabric, an idea and at once you leave all other projects and start on something else. This is what happened Monday evening to me. I was thinking about sewing a coat, the pattern that I have now for about two years (originally sent to me by Cidell in exchange for Knip mode). Then I remembered the very dark grey fabric I bought for a coat and there I was tracing the pattern, cutting, preparing etc. Forgetting the buttonholes of the jacket and the pants I was about to finish. I’m sure they will be done soon, but now I’m obsessed with this coat.

ETA the pattern: Vogue 8465

I took a big risk and did not make a muslin. Fit in the shoulder area is not the main issue here, and well, I wanted to go ahead. The fabric is a very good quality wool, but bought very cheap because the shop was closing down. Muslin fabric wouldn’t reflect the drape of this fabric so I took my chances: started with size 16 and tapered for extra width to 18 at hip level. I based this on the finished measurements on the pattern.

It’s a whole lot of collar, and because it’s not too close to the face I thought I could wear this well enough. Large collars directly to my neck and face are no good on me.

After two (long) evenings this is the result so far:

After sewing the upper front parts and back together I tried it on and took out a bit at center back, only at the neckline, as it was standing away a bit too much. There is too much space in the back now, but I’m only wearing a t-shirt underneath and the skirt part still has to be added.

The instructions tell you to interface the front parts of the body, but I thought that wouldn’t be enough to keep the weight of the collar. So I interfaced the back too, and for the front I used hair canvas. For attaching that without adding bulk to the side seams I used a technique described by Kenneth King in his book Cool Couture. I’ll write more on that in another post.

I agree with Lindsay, sewing a coat is not as difficult as you might think, though this is not a very difficult pattern (but labelling it as Easy seems not right to me, you have to pay very close attention to the cutting layout, as the parts are not symmetrical and some parts have to be cut with the right side down for the lining)

Monday, October 26, 2009

A warm bath

That’s how I felt about reading your comments on my returning to blogging. I really missed you all, and am happy to be back with you. Stopping blogging was not the right decision, and though it bothered me a bit that it would be silly to resume it after declaring so clearly that I would stop, your comments made me feel so welcome again. THANK YOU!

What am I making? A BWOF jacket from the February 2008 issue, number 105. It’s almost finished, I have to find buttons, so the buttonholes are not done yet. But that’s all (and a good pressing).

It took me forever to cut this jacket, as the fabric is printed only on the right side. The wrong side is solid black, and of course I wanted to match the print as much as possible. And then when I tried the jacket on for the first time, the placement of the motif at bust height is not so lucky ;) I’ll buy a plain scarf in a matching color to wear with it.

I didn’t make a muslin, as the basic draft was absolutely the same as this jacket I made before, and I did the fba on this one exactly the same.

Further I’m working on a the last UFO I had: a pair of grey pants (boringly basic, but I need a few boring basic pair of pants).

After that I hope to make a coat. Saying this not too loud, because I said before I would sew a coat (remember the sew along?) and never got to this.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A little note

After a very stressful year cumulating in a weekend in September I decided to stop blogging, and made the announcement to do so. I was overwhelmed and very, very touched by all comments on the fact that I was leaving blogosphere. Simply never knew that so many of you enjoyed reading my blog. Thank you for that.

What I didn’t realize at the time, was how much I would be missing blogging. Not the actual writing a post, but the talking about sewing. As I’ve written more than once, there is no one sewing in my circle of family or friends. So who to share the joy or frustration on sewing projects with? Who to tell about the beautiful patterns I found in a Patrones issue, new fabrics acquiered, plans I’m making etcetera.

I thought the missing feeling would pass, but no. There is an itch to go back to talking on sewing on my blog to share the experiences. Won’t bother you again with stopping or stress messages. I’ll be posting again, regularly if I have time and feel like it, not so often if I’m not in the mood or not sewing.

To start with a very inspiring blouse from Patrones 284. It’s a plus size pattern so I’ll have to find another pattern to work with (really don’t think the model is plus size though). It’s not my next project, but I love it.