January 18, 2014

The cutting begins

Muslin made, the real work begins!
There are five fabrics in my coat. Starting at the top, it’s the Marc Jacobs boucle coating, silver Kasha lining (satin on one side, thin fleece on the other), polar fleece for pockets, pro-weft interfacing, and thinsulate. Phew!

First step is to cut out the main fashion fabric pieces and interface them. Basically, this involves ironing on a flexible but strong backing fabric to make the boucle wool slightly stiffer and more resilient to wear. I decided to use the block fusing approach – fusing all the interfacing to all the fabric first, and then cutting the pieces afterwards. This avoids the issue of the interfacing potentially shrinking, and also my typical shonky cutting which makes everything a bit squiffy.

It was a bit of a challenge figuring out how to block fuse nearly 5 yards of coating, but I started by laying the coating across my living room floor….

And then laying the interfacing on top. I pinned it occasionally to keep it together, and removed the pins I needed when fusing.

I bought a new Singer ESP-2 steam press from Amazon to help with the epic task. It has about 10 times the area of an iron, and saves a lot of time, given that you have to press each section of interfacing for 10 seconds to get it to bond. Doing the block fusing still took an entire evening, but I’m guessing it would have been days with a regular iron! It worked very well, and I managed to only burn myself once (!).

Once the pieces were fused, the patterns pieces went down and I cut them out with a rotary cutter.

I then finished the edges using my serger on a 3 thread overlock, without the knife engaged. This made the pieces slightly wobbly again, so I did a quick re-press to flatten them out.

For the lining, I did some research about the best way to use Thinsulate. It seems the critical thing is to not have the Thinsulate in the seam allowances and stitching, because it gets bulky – I did a little testing and indeed, it does. So instead I removed the seam allowances from the Thinsulate, and then sewed it to the lining pieces using a zig zag stitch. Theoretically this shouldn’t show up when I sew it together, but we shall see, we shall see.

And here are the fruits of my labour! (Excuse the wrinkly lining, it needs a press). Next up: making and installing the back stay and chest shield, and then the proper sewing still start.

I hand-basted all the pieces together last week (though forgot to take a photo, oops!) and it looked pretty good, so I’m getting excited now!

Finally, the lovely view from my sewing room window:

And my new sewing pattern organization!

4 thoughts on “The cutting begins

  1. sew rachel! says:

    Wow you are organized! I’m impressed! I’m very interested in learning how your coat comes along, as I’m going to making my first coat this year, so thanks for sharing! Looking forward to seeing more!

    1. Jenny says:

      Thanks! I’m taking it very slowly in the hope of not messing up, but we shall see! Overall it’s slightly easier than I thought but I’ve been doing lots of research on every stage. I recommend getting the Singer Tailoring book – it’s very clear and you can get it super cheap on amazon second hand

  2. Gail says:

    Im-press-ive!! (Sorry, couldn’t help myself! Already looks amazing though!)

    1. Jenny says:

      Hahhahahah 🙂

Let me know what you think!