If my circle skirt was the garment that social media built, why then this is the coat that Instagram, blog comments and Pattern Review fixed!
So many of you responded to my plaintive cries for help last week, and thank you one and all. I felt like the star of my own murder mystery. Was it the lack of steaming in the armscye? The wonky FBA in the side seam?
WHY NO IT WAS THE INTERFACING IN ALL OF THE DAMN COAT. Mystery solved!
This was suggested by folks in various mediums, and so I decided to take a deep breath and test it. I made a curved seam in non-interfaced cashmere, and then the same in the interfaced cashmere (yes I realize I did slightly different seams, but it worked). Observe: left hand side has no wrinkles, all looks fine. The right hand side is puckering before our very eyes.
My mistake: block interfacing cashmere with my beloved pro-weft. Whether I shouldn’t have used any fusibles at all (the opinion of some), or whether it was simply the fact it was in the seam allowances I do not know. The lesson here is that not all fabrics react the same… this approach worked perfectly on last year’s coat, but turns out, it doesn’t for cashmere. Lesson learned!
So, how to salvage? I tested the fusible-removing process and… it worked. Kind of. I steamed it and then used an X Acto knife to slice it at the edges, and then the rest peeled off. It definitely slightly warped the cashmere, and there’s glue residue left. I tried ironing over it with some tracing paper and that seemed to take a lot of the stickiness away, but it’s definitely not ideal. I’m really, really hoping that it doesn’t stick to the lining.
If you’re squeamish you may want to look away now…
But here’s the butchered inside of my coat, with interfacing removed from the seam allowance (I went back and neatened it up, don’t get conniptions!)
And here it is, slightly neater (my fusible-removing technique improved) in the sleeve. Note that I took about 1.5 inches out, because it wasn’t just the seam allowance that was puckering, it was the area just outside of it too.
And here are the results. Before: ick.
After: WOOHOO! (I hope you appreciate the no-makeup, overhead lighting, wet towel bathroom shot. The things I do for you, readers).
Next up, I re-set the sleeve, and won’t you just look at that. It’s not perfect. But my god is it better. The main issue now is that the upper side bodice (above the dart) is a little wavy with all the fusible-ripping-out. I’ve tried steaming it but there’s only so flat it wants to go. Next step is going to be to sew in some hair canvas and see if that can stabilize it. But to be honest at this point it’s not particularly noticeable.
Phew! Perserverance seems to have paid off. I’m still not 100% sold on the actual coat, but this has definitely been a timely reminder than an awful lot of sewing can be undone and redone if need be, and if one can keep one’s nerves steady. I’m still a beginner sewist in many ways – I realize absolute beginners are probably thinking “tosh! you’re making a coat! “, but I’ve had almost no formal training and a lot of the time I’m trying something new. But you never get better if you don’t give things a try, so here I am. Trying.