Monday, October 23, 2006

Finishing the jacket and some troubleshooting

And it's my blog anniversary! Last year on the 22nd of October, I put up my first entry. From some time in January when I installed a counter, I have had 25,000 page loads, with almost 16,000 unique visitors. Cool.

When my top thread broke today for the eleventh million time, I took the bobbin area apart yet again to see if I could spot the trouble. This time, I did. (Look at the black plastic bit by my thumb - it is snapped right off.)
bobbin case
I believe the bobbin case has been broken for years which is why I have had trouble for years. I don't know why I only spotted the problem today but I am glad I did. I immediately went to the internet and looked up local Singer dealers, found one, called it and for $39.95 have ordered the part. I am hoping that the new part will make my machine seem like new again!

In spite of this, I continued sewing the jacket. I've coped so far with the broken part, I may as well carry on. First, I put the sleeves in. No photos but this time, I sewed the sleeves up and flat felled the two seams on them. I also sewed up the body of the jacket, so I had to install the sleeves the old-fashioned and more difficult way, by setting them in as round objects. Not hard but more fiddly than sewing them in flat. I decided I would flat fell the armscye, as I had done the other seams and wanted consistency.
trimming the armscye
Here I am trimming away the seam allowance on the jacket side of the armscye seam. I am going to fold over and sew down the seam allowance that belongs to the sleeve part. You can see all the different parts too - the lining pieces and the facing made out of that faux suede.
flat felling the armscye
I have ironed the seam allowance flat, pressing it toward the body of the jacket. Now I am laboriously folding over the fraying seam allowance and pinning it down, with the pins heading away from the direction I will be sewing in, so I can pull them out one by one as I get to them. You can see a little of the pink chalk I used to mark one of the small dots for positioning.
sewing the flat fell
I've got the jacket on the sewing machine and am slowly going around the flat fell. You can't see it even in the large size photo, but the heads of the pins are pointing toward me the sewer (you the viewer) and I pull them out as I sew down the loosely folded seam allowance. And all the while, you have to keep feeling underneath where you are sewing to make sure you haven't caught up any of the jacket that isn't supposed to be sewed.
felled armscye finished
Maybe because I now know about it, the bobbin case didn't give me any trouble and I managed to make it around both shoulders without breaking a thread and having to start over. In this photo, the shoulder seam is on the right and the lapel is on the left. You can also see the seam joining the front with the side front.
jacket inside out
Now, the only machine sewing I have left is the buttonhole - all the rest is hand sewing. I haven't done a lot of hand sewing lately because I have decided machine sewing is good for almost everything. However, for this fabric, I am going to sew the hems (sleeve and bottom) by hand, as well as sew down the bits of lining along the side front panel. I'll do that while watching tv tonight.
choice of buttons
Finally, I have to choose a button from my stash. Since there is only one button, I will probably go with the large fake-leather one in the photo. But I put up a couple of the also-rans in the photo.


Linda said...

Love seeing the progress on your jacket. Glad you were able to get the part you need to make your machine hum again.

Linda T said...

Thanks for the update and the pics taking us through the process. Yes, I vote for the large black button.

ML said...

Boo on the broken bobbin. Yeah, that you found out the problem and can fix it. I like the large button as well.

Becky said...

Looks good! Very classic. And I'll second, or possibly third, the vote for the fake leather button.

JuliaR said...

Linda, as it turned out, the part didn't fit and so didn't solve my problem. Back to the drawing board!

Linda T, ML and Becky - thanx for the vote on the large button. I think if there is only one button, it should make a statement!

zoom! said...

Congratulations on your anniversary!