Well, I hope you had a nice week! I’m back with another coat update. Last week I wrote about padstitching the undercollar. This post highlights the progress I’ve made over the past week, which was all about the front pieces/lapels. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Last Friday a snowstorm hit the northeast. This gave me the perfect opportunity to settle in and practice creating bound buttonholes, which I haven’t done in 3 years (and that was just to create a sample in a class). It was surprisingly fun! I must say, I was worried about this step after seeing Gertie’s tutorial just because there were so many steps. I ended up following the method used in Tailoring instead; I found it much easier to follow and I highly recommend it.
Here is one of them! I put the button there to help guide you to the buttonhole just above it since it’s hard to see in this fabric. You can just see the bias placement of the “lips” (with the basting stitches in it kind of reminds me of Billy the zombie from the movie Hocus Pocus – haha random). I had white basting stitches in to mark the center and width of the buttonhole openings, but obviously I removed them before taking this shot.
I’m excited about the anchor buttons. I ordered them off Etsy (there are tons of these out there) after seeing them on my grandfather’s World War II U.S. Navy pea coat, which was my initial inspiration for this project. Not only that, but when I look at these buttons they will also remind me of my truly wonderful grandpa, and that sure is something! I’d like to get around to showing you his coat one day. Apparently I’ve been promising this for 2 years. Whoops.
Here is the wrong side of the bound buttonhole. And, yes, it bugs me that the fusible interfacing isn’t centered, but this was a practice one (I used black thread on the final) so at least I had a chance to get it right on the real deal. 🙂 My favorite was when my friend said, “That looks weird.” You know? It kinda does.
Oh, one thing I’ll add is that the book recommends drawing those parallel lines 1/8″ from the center line, but when I tried that it seemed that going to 1/4″ was better for the coat thickness. This is what you see here. It also helped when it came time to stitching down the triangles on the shorter ends of the buttonhole rectangle (which are sandwiched between the interfacing and the buttonhole fabric in this photo).
This is what the buttonholes look like after the hair canvas was basted to the coat fabric. After cutting a rectangle into the hair canvas (oh soooo carefully!!), I pulled the buttonhole fabric through. Then I attached the hair canvas to the coat fabric with permanent uneven basting stitches and catchstitches; the buttonholes were catchstitched to the hair canvas. There are 4 in total, though you can only see 3 here obviously. I pressed these babies down with the help of the clapper (which is just fun to say).
I never know how detailed to get on this blog since sometimes I feel like it’s information overload, but I figure if you’re still reading at this point you’re interested in more so here we go. 🙂 Tailoring suggests trimming the hair canvas 3/4″ so it’s not caught in the 5/8″ seam allowance and adds bulk. That’s what I did here. Stay tape was attached with uneven basting stitches along – what will be – the outer edge of the coat.
I then took on the lapels, complete with padstitching and stay tape. (The chevrons remind me of a similar detail found in Art Deco architecture! This coat is Jazz Age ready.) Stay tape was also placed 1/8″ away from the roll line, which you can’t see here. After placing a damp washcloth folded 1/2″ thick, I steamed the heck out of that sucker and let it dry overnight. It’s so amazing how all of this “trains” the fabric to just flop over in place! Gertie has a video of this on her blog.
The only part of the hair canvas that isn’t trimmed to 3/4″ is the part that will form the armscye. Tailoring mentions that this will help support the set-in sleeve when it’s inserted later on down the line.
By the way, I should mention I added a shoulder reinforcement before the hair canvas was basted to the coat fabric, as is suggested in Tailoring. The book has good instructions on how to draft this yourself. It’s cut on the bias and machine-stitched to the hair canvas below, and it’s meant to provide a smooth line from the shoulder to the bustline.
And that’s pretty much it! This last photo shows my results over the past week. Special thanks to Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit, Something’s Gotta Give, Coming to America, The Muppet Movie and multiple episodes of 30 Rock and Mad Men for providing the entertainment along the way. 🙂
Creating the back stay and, gasp, sewing the front to the back of the coat. It’s starting to come together, piece by piece! And what’s that you say? A three-day weekend ahead? I like the sound of that.