Saturday, October 20, 2012

Simplicity 2172 - The Coat (Part 3 - Sleeves and Ruffles)

More Coat!

So I don't have too much to say about the sleeve flanges. They went together easily and were pinned on the coat and look nice. There is a lot of basting in this section so: be prepared!  The flanges could easily be left off if you don't like them.  I also saw one version of this coat at Dragon*Con with the flanges and not the sleeves to make a "short-sleeved" version of this coat.  Something that would have been very helpful in the Atlanta Summer weather.  :-)

Full Arm Adjustment
The sleeves are meant to be close fitting, however I have big upper arms.  A quick tissue-fitting proved my assumption that the sleeves won't fit as is.  Even with ready-to-wear clothes, I find the sleeves too tight. I did a Full Arm Adjustment per the instructions in the book Real Fit for Real People by Patti Palmer and Maria Alto. Honestly, I was fearing this portion of the sewing. I never did any sort of adjustment on a pattern with this method before.  It is a lot easier than I expected. In the end, I think I made the sleeves a little too big, but they fit well enough.

What I'm most proud of on this coat are the ruffles.  I don't know why, but I seriously love them!  I used Kona Cotton solids in a color that matched the lining.  I think it's called wineberry.  The cotton is light and not stiff, and oh so nice to sew (especially after fighting with the polyester on the dress).  I also used an adjustable edger foot that I found in my grandmother's tin.  This tin is something I forget about sometimes.  It contains all sorts of presser feet and needles and bobbins and what-nots in it.  I also found a rolled-hem foot and two ruffler feet.  Plus some more feet I'm not sure if they will fit my machine.  Most of them do, so it's pretty cool to have them.  :D

Presser feet from Grandma
The adjustable-edge presser foot really made it easy to sew the hem of the ruffles. They look really neat and straight.  I didn't use the ruffler for the ruffles, though.  I was a little unsure on how to use it.  I made the ruffles the normal way.  The cuff ruffles are sewn between the lining and the coat fabric.  The neck ruffle is hand-sewn around the neck.  Actually the neck ruffle was the last thing I sewn on this coat and I did it the night before we left to go to Atlanta!  Talk about sewing down to the wire!

The sleeves were attached to the main body of the coat.  This was the only tricky part since you have to sew through several layers of fabric.  I made sure to change my needle before I did this part so it would go through those layers easily and not snag.  The sleeve lining was hand-sewn in place around the armhole with a slip-stitch.
So far, the coat is looking pretty sharp!  :-)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Simplicity 2172 - Coat (Part 2 - The Lining)

Back to the coat I sewed for Dragon*Con!  Let's talk about the lining.  I was originally going to use a broadcloth as the lining but then thought it might make the coat too heavy.  While wandering around Jo-Ann's, I stopped by their lining selection.  I really liked the feel of their "Posh" lining collection.  And it came in a gorgeous wine color!  So it came home with me.

Lining: sewn together but not attached to coat
 Working with the stuff proved to be a nightmare!  Not a slasher-flick-I'm-the-only-one-that's-left-against-the-psycho-killer type nightmare, more like a my-dog-ate-my-sixteen-page-homework-report-that's-due-this-morning type nightmare.  The stuff holds static like crazy and it sheds everywhere.  The cut edges just frayed like no tomorrow, leaving lots of fuzz behind and making it annoying to sew.  But I really like how it drapes.  I can't complain too much since it doesn't add too much weight to the coat and it does feel decent against the skin.

Lining: sewn together but not attached to coat - back view
I did worry about how to understitch the coat since it seemed like it would be unwieldy to me, but I managed without too much trouble.  For sewing up the closing at the bottom (where you turn the coat right-side out after sewing the lining) instead of slip stitching it closed, I just sewed it closed with my machine using the appropriate thread colors for each side.  That part is all the way down by my ankles and no one will notice.  I also think it looks better than slip stitching and makes stronger stitches should I end up stepping on my coat or something like that.

Other than that I have no complaints with the lining.  The only thing I should add is not to cut fabric while drinking wine.  I had to cut a few pieces of the lining out twice due to a little too much wine-age!  :D