Thursday, December 4, 2008

Picking up Speed

The coat is now moving along faster than expected, but that's because himself is involved with a special work project and is getting in late every night this week and next , so I can spend massive amounts of time in the workroom without feeling like I've abandoned anyone. (Except the cats, and they're pretty good about voicing their disappointment in my neglect).

The body of the coat is now together, and I'm loving it. Of course with the current state of my workroom, it crashes into something every time I try to sew a seam on it - I'm used to dealing with smaller pieces and more flexible fabric, but since it's more or less cooperating, I'm not going to complain.

Last night's project was the collar. BWOF intends this pattern to be used everything from a light jacket to a fake fur coat, but I don't think they took into consideration the absolute joy of making a two-part collar in wool coating or - sewing gods forbid! - fur. I briefly thought about attempting a collar stand/ collar construction, and then came to my senses.

Since I needed to draft another pattern piece for the under-collar anyway, I redrafted the upper collar so that it was collar-and-stand in one, and then carefully marked the roll line of the collar. Because I hadn't done this before, I compared my resulting pattern piece to several of the collars in the recent issue of Patrones with all the coats (their coats all had one-piece collars) and it looked right. I cut my two-piece undercollar, sewed and pressed, and then used my fusible hair canvas to beef up the upper collar. Even though it's not the "right" kind of hair canvas, I do still like the body and crispness it gives to fabric. Must get the real stuff next time!

The collar went together well. I started at the center seam and sewed outward in both directions so the collar didn't stretch or end up uneven. This is something that Pam Erny recommended in her shirt collar construction and even though it's sometimes a pain to stop and start rather than whizz right along, it's easier than whizzing right along, messing up and having to pick out all the stitches, especially when they sink so nicely into the wool that they're almost invisible.

Kudos to BWOF for making this collar curved rather than pointed, and to me for deciding not to change it, because making nice clean points would have been a bear in fabric this bulky. They would have been do-able, but there would have been some pretty unpleasant language being tossed around the workroom and Evelyn would have turned her back on me. Pressed, pressed again and pinned to the ham, then steamed and left to rest overnight, the collar seems pretty comfortable today.

Next up: attaching the collar to the coat, basting the hems of the sleeves so that the lining can be attached, and yes, attaching said lining. But first I still have to determine the final length of the coat (that might be a good idea), and iron some more of that hair canvas along the hemline. I did that with the sleeves and it really gave me a nice crisp edge.

I have two vacation days left and I'm taking them on December 15 and 16. His project will be done by then so we're going up to NY for the day on December 16, and I've more or less promised that my only sewing-related activity for the day will be to take my coat to Jonathan's to have the buttonholes made. Fingers crossed that it's actually a nice enough day that I can wear the coat unbuttoned instead of having to carry it with me.

Even though it's a little quiet around the house in the evenings, I'm thankful that this work project of his coincides with my coat project because I'm going to have time to get it finished before my day off. My original plan with this was to poke along and take my time and then go up to NY sometime after the holidays, but if I have two weeks of evenings to myself, there's absolutely no reason I can't get it finished and have the buttonholes made this month so that I actually can wear the coat this winter.

That's the plan, and hopefully I'm sticking to it.

Now if I can only stick to the promise to do nothing else sewing-related when we go to NY. I feel myself slipping already.


Lisette M said...

Great looking collar!

Meg said...

The garment district is to sewists what Las Vegas is to gamblers. Be strong, my friend. Jonathan's and that's it! Don't even go into Pacific Trimmings just because it's on the same block. You can do it. I'm here for you.

Dawn said...

Collar looks great! I'm excited to see it put together.

Mary Beth said...

What a luxury to have buttonholes made for your coat! The collar looks fabulous, too, so this project sounds like the end result will be soooo worth the work. Looking forward to a picture when camera and time come together with the model :)

Gretchen the Household Deity said...

Oooh, can't wait to see the final result. It's gonna be so pretty!