Sunday, October 27, 2013

More Progress on the Coat Sew-Along . . .

I spent today taking care of those last steps before the coat lining and outer coat are sewn together.  The first is step 17 in the instructions, where you cut bias strips from your interfacing and fuse them to the hemline of your garment fabric.  Instead of cutting the bias strips when I initially cut out the pattern pieces, I waited until the skirt of the coat was constructed so I would know how many I needed.  Most patterns have the finished lower width of the garment printed on the back of the envelope, but Butterick 5824 doesn't.  

So I cut the 3 inch strips on the bias, and the instructions tell you to fuse the strips 5/8 of an inch below the hemline on the wrong side of the coat skirt.  Given that the hem on this coat is one and half inches, I did the math and that means that you need to place the bias strips 7/8 of an inch from the edge of the skirt like so:

I used my seam gauge to measure the 7/8 inch and then I pinned the interfacing strips with silk pins to the coat skirt.  I probably didn't need to do such careful measurement and placement - getting the strips a little above or a little below 7/8 of an inch isn't going to make much difference.  

I used plenty of steam to fuse the strips, pressing over the pins initially, and then removing them after the strips were fused well enough.  Then I used a lot more steam for the final press:

You can see that the ripples at the top of the interfacing strip were completely eliminated by the pressing:

The interfacing strips are going to provide a stable surface for the coat's hem, and reinforce the coat's bottom edge.  (In hindsight, I probably should have used black interfacing for this step as the lining of this coat is free-handing, but I wasn't going to put this project on hold just so I could order black interfacing and wait for it to arrive on the off chance that a breeze might cause my hemline to show one day.) 

The second step was hemming the lining.  The instructions have you hem the lining now before you attach the lining and outer coat together because it is easier to deal with just the lining.  Hemming the lining just means folding the lining edge up 5/8 of an inch, and then folding the raw edge towards the folded edge, and then top stitching.  It's simple, but not easy.  My polyester lining needed lots of heat and steam to get a good crease for both folds, so I experienced a lot of burned fingers.  It was fussy work, and this coat skirt is, as I have mentioned before, really, really voluminous.  I spent an hour and forty-five minutes getting the lining hem pressed, pinned, sewn, and pressed again.  

I took a break at that point, and contemplated going ahead and attaching the lining and outer coat together, but I decided to wait for another day - one thing I have learned on this project is that sewing when you are fresh and energetic yields much more pleasing results.  And it is more fun.

I've been reading and re-reading Gertie's posts on the final steps which are really helpful and contain tips that aren't in the pattern instructions, i.e. how to grade the seam allowances depending on the collar roll line, etc.  Hopefully, I'll be able to complete step 32 of the instructions next weekend.


Lindah said...

Is it any wonder that coats are so expensive to buy ready made?

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see this finished. I got as far as buying the fabric to make this coat but by the time I got around to it it was Springtime so I put it on hold. Maybe it's time to give it another go?