Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Soft Tailoring Workshop - Jacket - part 2 - collar and sleeve

I've had this post in draft since the beginning of March. We still haven't been given the notes from the class. Apparently R brought them to class for Sarah and me,  put them on the table, but didn't say to us - and someone has clearly gone off with them.
Anyway,  I'm still not finished as I've had so many other things on and haven't been well but decided I needed to post. Well I did it accidentally but decided to keep the past in place rather than delete. I don't think I can re-do the past - I've certainly learned that these things need to be done while they're fresh in the memory.

Post as in draft:

I realised that I had forgotten to put in part 1 that we put twill tape into the shoulders before seaming. This was the back sewn to the front - the facing was left free.

There is also twill tape around the edge of the front and across the bottom. R told us this would be hand sewn - our hearts sunk as we were already so far behind schedule that hand sewing all this amount would be the last straw. However, eventually R stuck Sarah's stay tape on with bonding and I elected to do the same. I had started to hand sew before I realised.

 The other thing (well I'm sure there are more but that's all I can remember at present) was that when we sewed the facing to the front and pressed, we had to encourage the bottom seam to lie slightly at the back to encourage proper lying but as we reached the 'break' of the collar, we had to encourage the seam to lie the opposite way i.e. roll out, so that when the collar (?rever) was rolled over, again the collar would be discouraged from turning out. The break point was not marked so I had to guess where it would be.

I had a look at the collar and tried to stitch where R had pinned yesterday.

To go back to the beginning, the collar consists of two pieces sewn right sides together (of course I accidentally stitched them wrong sides together! Well we were very tired by this stage!). The undercollar was cut slightly smaller than the top collar but the raw edges are matched together. This encourages the collar to curve inwards. The seam allowance was again 1cm. We sewed around the outside curve and along the two side parts. R did give us the names for the parts of the collar but I've forgotten and will have to wait for the handout to find out. Obviously, the most important thing here was to pivot properly at the turn; another well-established method is to sew one stitch on the diagonal. I remember reading a tutorial where the author (sorry I can't remember who) proved that the diagonal stich counter-intuitively gave a sharper corner. I actually used the diagonal stitch method as that worked in better.

 We then had to understitch as far as we could along the outside curved edge. Pressed etc.

The method of collar insertion here was that the undercollar would be sewn t the front and the right side of the collar to the facing. Interestingly, R suggested that after pinning, we secure with 2 or 3 small stitches and test for position. This would save taking out a lot of stitching if it was wrong. I think that's a great tip. R slightly shifted my position but I realise that I have absolutely no idea what she did and the reasoning behind it. I found that the stitches she said were in the correct position were so close to the edge after she trimmed off excess fabric.

So today, I tried to sew the line of stitches joining the collar pieces to the bodice pieces. I wasn't happy with the first or second attempts. The third attempt looks reasonable, if by that it means that the collar has to sit properly in the junction of the front and facing seam line, forming a notched collar.

However, my collar is not lying properly and I don't know how to retrieve the position or what comes next with it.

I then continued to insert the two piece sleeve, started yesterday. Nothing very interesting there - usual two rows of long stitches pulled to fit between notches. Only problem was that the pattern hadn't been cut accurately and the matching notches weren't on the body of the fabric. Also, the markings for the top of the sleeve cap were missing. I had actually started in the workshop yesterday and Sarah and I were so confused that R had to start the pinning in the correct place. Well I had realised that the two seams had to match but after that, it was guesswork. Both Sarah and I had previously inserted sleeves. R suggested that if we had problems getting all the ease in, just to push the sleeve head up - well, you can't just do that on an actual jacket you are making, can you?

I've had a lot of difficulty. Because of puckering, my stitches have been in and out several times. There are still a couple of tiny puckers but I have to get on with other things.

I have taken a photo of my jacket so far on my little model. It's far from satisfactory and I have no idea what to do next. I anticipate that Sarah and I will be asking about this tomorrow at pattern cutting class rather than carrying on with our skirt designs!

It hasn't moved on from this point in the last month, although R did demonstrate what we needed to do next. Sarah hasn't done hers either. We really need to get the notes to refresh our memories. Even reading what I wrote above was like reading something I hadn't written and didn't fully understand.

Photos of setting in jacket sleeve:


  1. Wow! You are doing some real interesting tailoring...good luck.

    1. Thank you - I need your good luck wishes! I also need better tuition/course materials given in a less frenzied manner! I bit off more than I could chew and now I'm trying to rectify that.


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