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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Catstitching and Marks , B5960

I continue to take this really simple coat pattern and work on adding more structure to it. So far you've seen me underline the center front panels with flannel and hair canvas.
This pattern piece, the center front will be folded in half, part going on the outside, part going on the inside of the garment as facing. That fold will be pressed in at the edge of the flannel you see above. I have visions of this interlining getting twisted up and shifting inside the sewn shut fold some time later on up the road when I send it to be cleaned. I chose to catchstitch the edge of the flannel interlining along that fold. This really adds nothing to  shape but is integral to keeping the interlining in place. I used extra fine black thread and a thin needle and did the catch stitch along the edge. See that little stitch on the needle? The pad of my ring finger is under there. The wool fabric is rolled over that finger pad with each stitch and therefore giving some curve and slack to the thread. I didn't want anything to dimple so the tension of the stitch is looser than normal. Rolling the wool over the ring finger pad with each stitch helps.

Here are my pressing tools! I made this little tailor's dauber years ago. I use it to dip in water, rub it across the well of the seam and then press. But today I will use my angled paintbrush. Any small paint brush will do.
My seam is on a seam roll to prevent impressions telegraphing to the right side. I dip the little paint brush in water and run it down about 4 inches of seam. Then I iron the seam open with the point only of the iron, lifting the back end of the iron as I go along. I am only using the point here. Once the seam is pressed till the moisture visually disappears, I let it sit till dry. It does take time but this gives a good sharp open seam on bulky fabrics. Once the entire seam is done all is flipped over and the seam is ironed with the point again, a press cloth and some steam, but not much.

Please forgive the harsh linty looking photos. You have to alter the photo with black fabric or the details can't be seen. In real life, this fabric is lovely and glows.
Another thing I do when using wools like this is to be aware of bulk and reduce it when possible. Before I sew any seams I clip them back to reduce bulk.

The marking on this garment was done with silk thread using tailor tacks and basting.

It's really critical to get the lines right for the pockets. What appears to be just topstitching on the outside of the coat is quite necessary structure. First they were marked on the wrong side with waxed marking paper and a serrated wheel. This stuff is hard to remove so must be done on the wrong side. But I needed to see these lines on the right side.
On the wrong side I used silk thread and a basting stitch to follow the waxed line I just drew. This will show on the right side when I am ready for topstitching. Do you see my masking tape with the "W" on it  to let me know this is the wrong side? I'd be in a world of crappo if I didn't do that!

I also got my stays in the coat and will show you how I did that tomorrow.  In the meantime here's a pic from the other day. We watched these beauties pick there way  across the river on the ice. We are so fortunate to be surrounded by so much wildlife....Bunny


  1. You aren't missing a thing! This coat is going to be brilliant when you're finished, how could it not with all the fine work you are putting in!

  2. You always put so much attention to detail in everything you do, Bunny! This is going to be an awesome coat that will serve you well for many years to come.
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge & the techniques that you use. I never would have thought to do any of them!!!

    1. I am definitely hoping for some longevity with this project. Thanks for the lovely comments, Rett.

  3. Thank you!!!!! I learn so much from you. First and foremost, take the time and care to create a beautiful garment that will be worn with comfort and joy and last.

    I have a question about the hand stitching and your ring finger. Do you wrap extra wool fabric around that finger to protect it from the needle?

    1. That was not needed. I only pick up a few threads on the top and not once did the needle go through to the other side of the fabric. Great question! thanks, Golden Star!

  4. All those hidden stitches just make the finished project so darn wonderful! How could anyone sew without a sleeve roll? I use mine all the time to even shove into small spaces, down necklines, under shoulder many more uses that just sleeves! Love the progress so far and careful planning that you always display. The other thing displayed are those lonely patio chairs sitting in the snow waiting for summer...I have to laugh....what are the deer thinking?

  5. Hi Darling Bunny,
    Would you be an Angel and explain to me how to obtain the perfect "crotch" shape you mention for the stay please.
    Adore your attention to detail, as always, and so appreciated by this fan!!

  6. I think the next post will help, Marysia. The "crotch curve" is an acrylic ruler purchased many years ago at a pants fitting seminar. I use if for everything. I drew in the bottom edge of the stay by making a curve from center back and halfway along flipping the ruler to turn the curve the other directions. Hope this is clear.


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