Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Notes on the coat

Pre-treating the fabric

Thank you Carolyn for reminding me that in my last post I talked about how I pre-treated my fashion fabric, but I forgot to mention that I also pre-treated the other fabrics to be used in the coat. This is a very important step! I ran both the cotton flannel underlining and the Ambience rayon lining through the washer and dryer. So, there should be no shrink mishaps down the line...

Figuring out the construction

Lynda asked for pointers in constructing the coat given that there are no English instructions. I know some German but it is more conversational and I didn't even bother trying to translate. Instead, I used these pieces of information to figure out how to put the pieces together:

1. The illustrated pictures that are provided in the magazine - Unfortunately the pattern piece numbers are not shown on the pictures, but I was able to determine what pieces were shown by comparing their shapes to the pieces that I had; each pattern piece is fairly distinct looking. The illustrations are an excellent guide.

2. The numbers on the pattern pieces - Many of the corners of the pattern pieces are numbered - i.e. 1, 2, 3 - each number will appear on at least two pattern pieces, and these indicate corners that must match when you are sewing seams.

Edited 10/11/08: Rose pointed out that these numbers also indicate the sequence in which the pieces are sewn together. Aha! Good to know.

3. The names of the pattern pieces - This might sound obvious, but I know that the "side front" and the "center front" will be sewn together, so the names of each pattern piece will point you to the correct "geographical location" of each piece of fabric. Just make sure the numbers I mentioned in #2 match so you know you have them oriented correctly.

I keep the pattern pieces pinned to the fabric pieces until I actually sew them.

With this particular pattern, I found the pictures - both the line drawing and the illustrations in the instructions - to be very helpful.

And, when in doubt, whip up a muslin! Yes, it sounds like a total drag, but Toya and I talked about this recently - muslins really don't take that long, and they allow you to check the fit and become familiar with the construction process, totally worth it in my opinion.


Anonymous said...

girl I had to look twice, you tracing looked so much like a printed pattern, lol
yeah, muslins are worth the time I don't think anyone ever regretted doing a muslin.

Beatrice said...

I think that with your sewing skills you don't really need the instructions. But if you ever need a translation I thought you should know that you have a reader in Germany who would be willing to translate anytime :) Just yell.

Anonymous said...

In Australia we call a muslin..... a calico! And I totally agree that it is definitely well worth the extra time making one. Even the designers would never cut a pattern out in the fabric or have the pattern graded into other sizes before the pattern has been tested. I think more sewers would have better successes if they took the extra time to do muslins.And I agree with Christina that it helps you become familiar with the construction process as well as checking fit. To save time when I do muslins I only attach one sleeve and only cut out the shell of the garment , not worrying about the facings...although collars are important. YES to muslins/calicos!!!

Teddylyn said...

Thanks so much for your detailed response to my questions! I am going to save this info with my magazine and start this project next! I bought this magazine in Croatia and loved everything in the photos--just timid to start the real cutting into fabric! I was unsure about seam allowances, but will just compare it to the BWOF coat directions in my English issues.

Thanks again!

Lynda in LV

Rose said...

I think that the numbers on the pattern pieces (that indicate where the pattern pieces need to be matched) also indicate the sequence in which they need to sewn. IN BWOF, I noticed that when I follow the written instructions, I'm matching the numbers in numerical order.

Gaile said...

Hi, I have been reading for a while but this is my first time commenting. I really like your work, it always looks so professional. What paper do you use for tracing your patterns, and where do you get it?

She's Sew Slye said...

My take on making a muslin is making the garment first in a fabric that you like but perhaps was cheaper - LIKE a muslin - the idea being to work out the kinks and get the fit right, etc. but this way I usually end up with TWO of the same item, and I'm all about having more of the same thing I like. ...also - just wanted to say how insanely impressed I am with your skills and talent, am happy to have found your site.

Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

I like catherine slye's comment, a girl after my own heart, only I call them "wearable muslins" I don't have much sewing time so I have to maximize the time that I have!

Christina ~ I can't wait to see the finished garment...I know it's going to be wonderful!

Nancy Winningham said...

Christina, I'm anxious to see how this turns out. You always do such a nice job.

Berry said...

I never guessed the numbers were a sequence but it totally makes sense. That's a great find!