This post was actually started a year ago and since then the pattern which I used is no longer in the current Vogue catalogue. However I still feel that there is value in releasing this post as the techniques remain the same no matter what pattern you use
In this post we will discuss
Basic tailoring using fusible interfacings
Coat fabric is available from Minerva Crafts on this link Coat fabrics some are
Another alternative is this Textured Boucle tweed Textured Boucle Tweed There are other choices in the Suitings section.
- Choose which side you want to be on the outside, often there is a side which you prefer
- check it carefully for any marks or pulls or any other flaws and mark them clearly by ringing them with a row of tacking stitches. You do NOT want a flaw in the centre of your new coat!
- shrink the fabric. Take a linen cloth, wring it out in water as dry as possible, place it on the fabric and cover with a dry cotton cloth. PRESS, dont iron! the layers until the fabric is dry, and continue all over the fabric.
- Hang it to dry
Firstly please make sure that you either extend your seam allowances by an inch,but mark the original seam lines with tailor's tacks. You will be fitting the garment frequently and this will allow not only for adjustments in size but will accommodate any fraying as coat fabrics are often loose weaved which means they could fray away to nothing very quickly
Tailoring for women is not so different from tailoring for men.
It differs from dressmaking in that specialised products are used to add stability and strength to a garment. Specialised techniques are also used to produce a garment which will last forever without losing its shape. If you want to make a tailored jacket or coat then it really will be worth the effort you put into making it.
Now to work!
Identify your pattern pieces and cut them out. I always cut tailored garments out two sizes larger than my usual pattern size, but if you prefer you can add a minimum of an inch extra in the seam allowances. The reasons for this are explained earlier in this post but it is worth mentioning it again.
This fabric frays considerably so I need to cut wider seam allowances in any case.
Cut out the main body pieces carefully. Leave the sleeve pattern pieces pinned on the fabric for now, we will cut them out later.
Cut out the interfacing pieces according to your pattern instructions. You will also need some for the hems of every piece
It is vital that you run a row of stay stitches on all the sides not covered by your iron-on interfacing. This is to stop the fabric pieces from becoming distorted and out of shape.Do this within the seam allowances as soon as you can. Press.
Any remaining balance marks and pattern markings should be transferred to the fabric with tailors tacks.
Tack the main pieces together, ignoring the sleeves and collar at this point.
.it is available from Jaycotts Guttermann Tacking thread
This is the inside of my coat tacked together. This pattern has a yoke which yours may not have so do not worry that your coat does not look like this one does.
This is it turned right way out.
It is now time for the first fitting. Try it on and mark any places where you need to make adjustments. Do not forget that a coat is worn over several other garments so please take that into account when fitting.
I need to mention at this point that you should NOT hang the coat from a hanger or keep it on a tailors dummy until after the collar has been inserted.This is important if you want to avoid it becoming out of shape. Once the collar is in, the stitching and interfacings will stabilise the area.
Once you are happy with the fit take the tacking out and press each piece again.
cut the pockets out, they can be In the same or different fabric to the main lining. Mine are different. They will not be seen by anybody but you! This pocket fabric is thicker and more robust than the coat lining itself
Stitch the pockets to the edges where marked, your pattern will show you where.
Stitch the side back seams.
You need to hand catch stitch every seam down after pressing it open to avoid it moving during wear and looking lumpy. More about this later.
Make up the sleeves, easing the upper sleeve into the lower sleeve, stretching the lower sleeve as you go. Double stitch for strength.Press the seam using a sleeve roll and a pressing cloth. Use only the point of the iron along the sleeve. If you press the whole width of the seam you risk making an impression on the right side of the fabric. You may need to shrink the eased side of the sleeve, do this by wetting your linen cloth and squeezing it as much as possible, place your cotton cloth over it and apply pressure with the iron. Do not move until dry. This takes patience!
A coat will be worn for many seasons and therefore it needs to be robust.
If you remember the definition of a tailored garment it means to make a garment which is durable and lasting. One of the processes is to hand sew all the seams down to prevent them moving during wear. Each seam must be invisibly sewn to the shell. I like to do it in stages so before the sleeves and yoke are inserted I am going to stitch down the seams I have already done.Support the weight of the garment on a table in front of you to prevent any distortion and do a herringbone a stitch down all the seams onto the shell. (The shell is the main body of the garment)
This is how to do it -Fasten your thread and moving your needle from right to left catch one thread of fabric only on the fabric shell bringing it up and taking more of the fabric onto the needle on the seam itself, in a cross stitch pattern . Do this for all the seams, making sure that no stitching whatsoever is visible on the right side of the garment.
sounds complicated? It's not, I promise, do give it a go. Because doing this will ensure that the seams stay in the right place forever more..
Don't forget that as this is a made to measure garment the seams will not be the same width all the way down as they are in dressmaking. In some places they will be very wide where you took the garment in, in others they will be narrow where you let the seam out. Trim them if they are wildly different, but they are not going to seen by anybody but you.
Put the sleeves in, easing the fabric carefully and match the seam line at the back. Stitch, press,
Attach the yoke as in the pattern instructions. Press. Are you trying your garment on at intervals? You should!
Do you need shoulder pads? Shoulder pads for set n sleeves are available here shoulder pads Jaycotts also sell shoulder pads for raglan sleeves
The collar is easy to put together, just make sure that all your pattern markings are transferred to your fabric with Tailors tacks.
Give everything a good press. Pressing each seam as you sew it should become second nature.
You should now have the shell of the coat finished. Leave the hem for now though.
The lining is put together by joining the facings to the fronts and side panels. The back has a pleat for wearing ease, you will need it, so make sure that you do not forget this stage. It will stop the fabric from tearing during wear.
A handy hint I have for you is that I always fasten my pattern instructions to the wardrobe door behind me so that they are instantly accessible and I can refer to them easily.you could pin them to the curtains if you prefer.
This is the lining put together. Note that I have not inserted the sleeves. Although the pattern says that I should insert the sleeves now by machine I still prefer to follow the traditional way and sew them in by hand.
This is a view of the top of the lining showing the shoulder seam,
press the lining carefully.
You will find a sleeve roll and a Tailors ham useful for pressing curves and into corners. A sleeve roll is inexpensive and you will find it invaluable for all your projects Sleeve roll
you will find tailors hams and other pressing tools here Pressing tools
Another necessary sewing accessory is a pressing cloth Pressing cloth
The main body of the lining is now in place.
Neaten the bottom of the coat where the interfacing joins the lining by turning under the seam allowance on the interfacing and slip stitching it in place.
Stitch the lining to the coat all around the armholes. You can do this by hand or machine. It stops the lining from becoming detached from the main body of the coat. At this point you can make up the sleeve linings and press them as you did the outer sleeves.
Turn up the hem and catch stitch it to the interfacing which you have ironed around the bottom of the coat.
Turn up the hem allowance on the lining and slip stitch it to the coat hem invisibly. Please note that you need to leave room for movement so it is important that when you stitch the lining in place you push the lining up a little so that it forms a pleat around the hem of the coat.
Put the sleeve linings inside the coat sleeves, matching notches pin the lining to the coat lining all around tbe armhole, turning in the seam allowance as you go and easing in any fullness. Press.
This is my finished spring coat. It was easy and quick to make mainly because instead of having to fit the shoulders and sew sleeve rolls in place the pattern has a yoke. It makes fitting much easier.
If you choose a simple pattern like the one suggested sewing it together will be even simpler.
The final job was to roll the collar and to catch stitch it in place.This is a design feature on this particular Vogue pattern.
Please do not be put off making yourself a coat. Thick fabrics with some sort of raised design on them are very easy to sew. You will save yourself a fortune too!
The lining I chose has a distinct pattern on it and makes the coat even more personal to me
Do make yourself a spring coat. Use a woven interfacing as I did and it will support the fabric and make it crisp looking. It will also make it last longer and please, do let me have your comments and questions.
#coat #spring #tailoring #lining #jaycotts