2009 6Pac Coat Part 2

I’m continuing to work on the coat. I’ve been solving problems. First I wanted to underline. But I don’t have a really good underlining fabric. I thought I had a knit that would work. It was light weight with ample width and length. So I cut the underlining and begin basting it to the edges of my fashion fabric. The fashion fabric starts curling and buckling. I wonder if the pieces are cut correctly. Remove the basting, place back on cutting table and compare pieces. The pieces are cut the same, but when stitched together pull against each other. I tried steaming heavily. I’ve been convinced that steaming conquers all fabric. Did not makes these 2 behave together. After about an hour, I give up and remove the knit underlining.

I read the sewing instructions for Vogue 1023, my coat pattern. I haven’t made this pattern before. Generally the first time I use a pattern I like to follow their instructions. I used to think I was putting it together the way it was supposed to be done. But I’ve discovered that the pattern instructions may not be best way, may not be the easiest way, but instead may be the way construction could be described in the allocated space. This can lead to real feelings of helplessness. As in the time, I specifically bought a pattern for the cowl neck. When it came time to insert the cowl neck, which was the complicated part of the pattern. Everything else was really straight forward. It was at the cowl neck that instructions for matching notches, dots and squares would have been helpful. But oh no, what did the pattern say. It said “use your favorite method”. What? I had no favorite method. I bought this pattern for the instructions.

But I digress, as I often do. I was reading the instructions for Vogue 1023. They wanted to put reinforcement patches where the sleeve meets the garment. Ok, but on the OUTSIDE. Why would I want to put reinforcement on the outside. This is a coat. It should have all kinds of interfacing (which is not called for BTW). Why am I putting a reinforcement patch on the outside? Well, I’m not. I put a 1.5 x1.5″ square of black fusible interfacing at each of those spots.

To do the embroidery I have in mind, the shoulder seams need to be done first, then the embroidery. But the instructions want me to sew in the under sleeve, then sew the side seams together. Then sew the gusset area and after that sew the shoulder seams. Oh dear. I do hope I’m not making this harder than necessary. I’m doing the embroidery. The shoulder seams must be done now.

I did put in the welt pocket before sewing the shoulder seams. Although I didn’t follow their instructions. I used a window and patch which makes a lovely welt. They also wanted me to do the buttonholes now, which I agree is a really good idea. Doing the buttonholes before the shoulder seams means having less fabric to move around and control. But I haven’t decided upon my button(s). It will depend upon the embroidery, beads or sequins used. I’m actually contemplating a large button stitched on the outside, with covered snaps as the actual closure. Nope. Can’t make up my mind about the buttonholes until the embroidery is done.

Of course now that I”ve gotten the shoulder seams finished, I discover a suitable underlining in my stash. Oh well, I really don’t want to use it. I spent 2 hours on the net yesterday looking for flannel-backed satin. I found crepe-backed satin and quilted satin, but not flannel-backed. I know there was such a fabric. Some 45-50 years ago it was in one of my coats (I was a child. Really small. Small, young child). But with the advent of our newer fibers, flannel-backed satin seems to have disappeared as a viable cold-weather lining. I don’t want to use the quilted satin. I was surprised that this pattern recommended a size Med for me. I nearly always take a large and then need just a smidge extra across my upper back. I’m afraid if I put a thick lining in my coat, it will be too small to wear. My final thought is that I will be going near a very good fabric store in about 2 weeks. (There is plenty else for me to do on the 6PAC. The coat can hang in a closet for that long). I’ll look for my first choice, satin backed with something; and then a second choice a light thin flannel that can underline the lining. As my mother used to say, “there’s more than one way to skin a cat.” (Ewwwe. I don’t like skinned cats).

Another problem I worked on was selecting the embroidery and thread color for the coat. I did several tests, some of which I’m not going to show. The dark grey, black and Truffle (which is a brown-black) simply disappeared into the fabric. I’m planning on about 3 hours of embroidery, maybe more. I don’t want the embroidery to totally disappear. I want it to be subtle, rich, understated—not wasted. I also tried a medium grey

and medium light grey

and 2 purples that were a shade and a tone away from my fashion fabric.

I’m going with the medium grey. I have several different silver beads and jewels that will harmonize with medium grey. I wasn’t finding any black or dark purple in my box of beads.

Still haven’t made up my mind which embroidery to use. The feather

does show up in the medium or light grey. It also enlarges without ruining the stitches. But my heart still belongs to :

Oh and a ‘Please ‘Scuse.  I’m working with the JSM pant pattern.  I really want a pant pattern that fits me superbly.