Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Sewing part is finished.

This close to being done! I just have to decide on the colour and then buy some heavy duty snaps for the jacket. I have some gold-brass coloured ones (but not enough - you need 13 for the jacket) but I was wondering about silver coloured snaps or maybe even white, if they have them. My local store doesn’t have a large selection in terms of colour for the heavy duty snaps. I have used black, dark bronze and gold before and was thinking gold for the contrast it would provide this jacket. Any opinions?

In the meantime, I have finished all the sewing as follows.
Starting to topstitch heavy folded fabric is not easy. You need the presser foot to press down on the fabric under it but the foot tends to fall off the edge. Also, the needle has to be hand forced down through the fabric (using the wheel on the sewing machine) and you have to use your other hand to feed the fabric under the presser foot. All the while, you have to be sure you are catching in the folded edge and making sure it covers the existing line of stitching. And you have to anchor the stitching, either by back stitching or by moving the stitch length lever to a very small stitch for about a quarter of an inch. In the next photo, I have put the needle down through the fabric and am wishing I had a third hand to work the wheel.
start topstitching cuff
Here, I have successfully started stitching and am moving along the fold, taking out pins as I go. I am also using my fingers to make sure the fold is covering the seam line, both by pulling the fold to the left and by stuffing the seam up under the fold to the right.
topstitching cuff
The next photo shows the inside and outside of the bottom band, with one line of topstitching (the first line which holds down the fold to begin with). You are going to have to click on the photo and go to Flickr and then choose the large size photo to get these details, but you can see the topstitching line on the outside, in the corduroy wales. On the inside you can just see the stitching as it shows on the wrong side of the fabric of the body of the jacket. Because you are lapping the folded edge over the seam line enough so that it covers that line if stitching, your topstitching line will be slightly above the band on the inside.
topstitching inside and out
After sewing on the bands, I finished them with two lines of topstitching all the way around. Instead of going around and around because you really can’t do that on the cuff, I started at one end and sewed a long side and a short side. Then I turned the band around, switched the zipper foot to the other side, and sewed the other short and long side of the band and cuff.
Finally, I sewed on the tabs. These are mostly decorative but originally had the function of making the bottom of the jacket smaller. If you had two snaps on the band, you could move the tab to the second snap causing a fold in the band and thus making the circumference of the bottom of the jacket smaller. I have actually done this with two sets of buttons on at least one of my jackets but wit the snaps (at least so far) I have just put the one snap on.
I sew the tabs on as directed in the instructions, so that the raw end will be encased in the line of stitching and so that the tab faces the rear of the jacket. All that’s left now is to decide the colour of the snaps, go get them and hammer them on.


Beth H said...

Great blog! I love seeing all the photos as you progress through your projects.

Robin said...

Wow! You have fantastic instructions on your blog! I will definitely be coming back to brush up on my sewing skills.

Miriam said...

I too am loving the details, and the pics. About those snaps, if your store doesn't have the color you like think about painting it with nailpolish or some other paint that might last through more washings. I'm thinking a clearish pearlized white over a light-colored snap? Just a thought.
PS thanks for linking to my site. As soon as I figure out how I'll link to you as well!

JuliaR said...

Beth H and Robin, welcome to my blog! I hope you do find the instructions useful. I have fun making the projects.

Miriam, I will be blogging about the snaps I got and then starting another project. My Mum suggested painting them too but we went with silver in the end.