Friday, July 31, 2009

Couture Jacket Class -- 7

In my last jacket post I showed you the collar and all the padstitching. I forgot to add this picture. This is from the undercollar side and it shows the turn of cloth. I has always read about it and it made sense but I never got anything that was a great example. This collar is a good example of that. The upper collar is a bit longer and wider which causes it to slightly turn to the underside.

from Threads magazine (here's the whole article):

Why does it matter?
On a beautifully sewn collar and lapel, the enclosed edges turn neatly under to the wrong side, and the seam is not visible from the "public side" (the side that shows when the garment is worn). If the turn-of-cloth isn't taken into consideration, the upper collar and lapel area of the front facing "steal" some fabric from the under collar and lapel, causing the seams to curl back to the public side.

After the collar I attacked the arms. These are two piece sleeves with bias-cut canvas in the sleeve cap and sleeve hem. This sleeve has a rounded sleeve vent.

Here's my free sleeve form. I use a giant cardboard tube. It's comes from the bulletin paper rolls at school. They are stout so I can press on them many times before I need a new one.

The sleeve vents were very fiddly and took me a whole day to put together. When I say "whole day" I mean a whole day with kids "helping". I probably could have gotten it done in a few hours if I was alone. It's a lot of hand sewing and it's all pretty small.

Here's the finished vent from the outside. It's weird because there is a raw edge on the inside. I'm sure that isn't how it's supposed to be but it's there and the lining won't cover it because it goes all the way to the hem. I read the directions repeatedly and I think it's the way it's supposed to be although it doesn't seem right.

Next, I lined the sleeves. You line the sleeves before you set them on a couture jacket. To attach the lining to the sleeve, turn both of them inside out and loosely sew the seam allowances of the lining to the jacket. Turn them both right side in and voila . . .

. . . lined sleeve.

For the sleeves, I machine basted, pin basted (see Ann's tutorial about this), and hand sewed them in. Once it was okay, I machine basted them. Then, I permanently sewed them in.

Don't sew over pins. I did but it was nerve-wracking. I use the tip of my tweezers to push down unruly parts of the sleeve.

Here it is from the front. I have it pinned shut and it's not exactly lined up correctly. There are no shoulder pads in here and I'm debating not putting any in at all (shush! Don't tell Linda!). It fits better without them but I am worried about the chest caving a bit because I am pretty hollow between the shoulder and bust. This jacket has a layer of horsehair canvas in the entire thing plus it has a quilted shoulder region. So there are two layers of horsehair in the shoulder area. What do you think? Do I do the shoulder pad thing anyway? It makes the armhole (armscye?) really tight.

The back doesn't fit as well as I would like. There is a bit of a bubble between the shoulder blades. I'm not sure how to get rid of it but maybe a good pressing will do it? Then the mighty swayback is also there although not bad. At this point, I don't think there is anything I can do about them. I don't mind cutting my catchstitches and re-sewing but I don't think that is what needs to happen.

You can see the top bubble when I pull my arms forward. It's almost like there is too much fabric vertically. We added an inch to the back so it might be that there is too much fabric there. I really struggled putting the sleeves. I took out and put in the right sleeve about six times. After that I was worried about the fashion fabric so, even though it's not perfect, I think I'm going to have to let it go or risk destroying the fabric.

I still think it looks okay especially from the front. I do think I forgot about fit and focused on the details too much.

I still have to figure out the shoulder pad thing, put in the main lining, add buttons, and do some handstitching.


Anonymous said...

Wow - Well Done! I have been following along and you have given me courage to try something outside of my usual projects.

BetsyV said...

Dawn I think you need a thin shoulder pad, say 1/4" and sleeveheads. The very top of the sleeve is collapsing between the top of the armscye seam and where your bicep fills the sleeve out.

I don't know what to say about the back. In your relaxed stance it appears you might be able to take a tiny bit in the CB seam between the shoulder blades, but then you might not be comfortable reaching for something, like one of your kids :). I don't think the little bit of sway-back-bubble is a problem here. It just isn't enough to bother. IMHO.

Very nicely done, really. I love padstitching and all the handwork involved in a tailored jacket, but it is time-consuming!

kiltsnquilts said...

You have done a fantastic job! I would agree with BetsyV about a very thin shoulder pad, it wouldn't have to be very thick to make a difference.

Unusual about the raw edge inside the sleeve, it is a surprise that they would leave it unfinished.

I think you should be extremely proud of your first couture jacket :-))

judy said...

Wow, that is sure a lot of work that went into that jacket! I would forgo the shoulder pads if it makes the arms tight. I have a jacket that is tight in that area and I tend to push it to the back of the closet in favor of ones that fit better. You worked too hard on it to not want to wear it! Great job!

Unknown said...

Great jacket, love the length, fabric and lining! Try a thinner pad, and if it's still uncomfortable, forget it. You spent too much time on it to be uncomfortable wearing it.

KayY said...

If you want to firm up the shoulders without adding too much padding you can make a thin chest pad from one layer of a thin poly fleece (not like polartec, more like thin quilt batting).

Rose said...

Thanks for all the detailed posts on your jacket. It looks great. IMHO, you can work on some on the nick-pickey (the things we sewers worry about in the quest for perfection) with your next jacket. There will be another one soon, right? As for the shoulder pads, maybe you could pin in thin ones and wear it around for a while. I believe that would give you the answer.

Dana said...

I say add the pad! I think this might relieve some of the vertical excess in the back. Also, have you trimmed the underarm SA? If not, this may be part of what is causing the armhole to feel tight with a shoulder pad. Just a guess. It's looking really good!

Pam Erny said...

Hi Dawn,

Lovely jacket!

I should probably be writing this as a blog post, LOL!

During my tailoring apprenticeship, my mentor sewed for his daughter frequently, making her many suits. Despite it being the "decade of shoulder pads" (the late 80's), his daughter hated that look.

So..he used sweatshirt fleece instead to fashion thin pads.

These days, I use the same approach, but substitute heavy (300-400 wgt)Polar Fleece. Works like a charm to give just the right amount of gentle shoulder shaping that is needed in every tailored jacket.

You may be able to "shrink-out" the back bubble by using an up/down motion with your iron over a "slightly more than damp" thick press cloth (preferably wool). Only press in the bubble area, then let the garment rest on your ironing surface without moving it until it is completely cool and dry.

Bunny said...

I am with Dana. I think some of the extra will be removed with the addition of the shoulder pads. They don't have to be thick. You have gotten some great suggestions here. How's this? Make some thin SPs, some regular SPs, and no SPs. Take pics in all three types, from the back, and let us all tell you how they look. Sound good?

Your jacket is coming along wonderfully and it is clear that you have learned so much. Thanks for sharing with all of us.

Marija Jakopin said...

I don't think shoulder pads would be nice. You have such a nice shoulders, why raising them?

Paulette said...

Looks lovely...of course!! I'm still irritated that you are closer to being done than I am!! :) It sure has been a "fun" process, huh?!

Sue said...

You already have lots of good advice here but I would add thin shoulder pads - they make it more -'jackety'. There is a way you can pad the front area too above your bust, to stop that 'caving in thing' - I rememeber my teacher discussing it - but can't advise you how it is done as I haven't actually witnessed it - I think it is a bit like an extended-down-the-front shoulder pad. Anyway, regardless, you still have a great jacket tht will fit you better than any RTW!

Lisa said...

Nice job!
Someone posted to worry about the "small details" in the next jacket. I agree.
While your jacket may have some things you would like to change it will still look and fit you better than any thing you could buy retail!
THanks for sharing with us.

Ann Made Studio said...

Dawn, great job. As far as shoulder pads, all the jackets I make I usually never add shoulder pads. I just don't like the feel of them, but if I feel the jacket needs them I make very small/thin ones to fill in the area and it takes care of that problem nicely :)

Nancy K said...

You should at least put in a thin shoulder pad to support the shoulder. You can sew the underarm lower by the thickness of the pad so it fits better. The jacket looks great. I find that If I use Sandra Betzina's method for setting in sleeves with a strip of bias hair canvas or tie interfacing it goes in much more easily than by gathering. It also fills out the sleeve cap a bit.

Kat said...

In the back where the bubble is, I had to do a "swayback tuck" kind of adjustment in this area on the Bodice muslin class I took with Shannon Gifford. I went back and looked at a denim jacket made previously, and found the same kind of bubble you have. So yeah, just removing a bit vertically should take care of it.

ClaireOKC said...

You might consider a little strip of lambs wool in the sleeve head - this doesn't add any bulk and makes the sleeve head pop up nice and sharp - he's the best I could find on the net: