Wednesday, 7 August 2013

KCI Drawstring Jacket Construction Part 2

What a learning experience this jacket is turning out to be! Every time I finish sewing something on it It's as if I've put on a pair of magical crappiness-enhancing goggles that show me all the places where I messed up. A lot of sewing projects are like this, but this one is more so than usual because I've never made anything like this before, so there is infinite room for improvement.
Because the silk is so very thin I decided to back the gathered front panel with some stiff, fine linen.
The silk pinned to the linen.
When I made the pattern I put sloped sides on the panel. Why did I do that? What was I thinking? All evidence points to straight sided panels. The sloped sides do nothing but make the edges more difficult to hem. In this particular jacket, it's not so bad because the panel is bulkier than it would be if it were a single layer of taffeta, as I believe the panel on the original is. The slightly narrower bottom will reduce the amount of bulky gathers under the belt. Still, I must edit this pattern piece, for the next time I make up this pattern it will be in taffeta.
The linen is a reasonably close shade of brown.
I hemmed the sides and the small edges on the top corners.
The pointlessly sloped edge hemmed and the top corner edge about to be hemmed.
I put tiny stab stitching on these edges, but only on the right side of the panel. The left side has no tiny edge stitching because it will be sewn to the bodice.
One edge edge-stitched, and the other edge not edge-stitched yet.
I hemmed the bottom edge of the panel, then did a rolled hem on the curved edge along the top. The way the edge ruffles on the original jacket leads me to believe that it is finished with a rolled hem. A lot of calashes have the same sort of ruffles and they all appear to have rolled hems. I had some pictures of the rolled hem, but then I picked it out and re-hemmed it and I haven't any pictures of the new hem. The first hem was quite bad because the two fabrics are equally uncooperative, yet vastly different in texture.

I made a 1/2 cm channel about 2.5 cm below the rolled hem and another about 2 cm from the bottom edge. I put 2 eyelets in the center front of both channels. They turned out much better than those hideous linen bagels on the front of the lining.
Since I don't have a large selection of stash ribbons I used synthetic taffeta seam binding for the drawstring. It actually looks quite a lot like the ribbon in the original. There wasn't quite enough of the brown binding to fit through the channel so I had to splice a different binding onto the ends. It's inside the channel so it doesn't show.
I threaded the binding in with a blunt needle, pulled it out through the weave and stitched it to the back of the hem.
The top drawstring is on the left of the picture and the bottom one is on the right. None of this shows on the outside.
The drawstrings work very well.
The almost finished panel (folded).
I made this panel over a week ago, but now that I am working on attaching it to the bodice I have discovered that the edges on the top corners were a bit wider than the straps on which they are to sit. I picked out the stitching on the forward corners of those edges, trimmed some of the excess fabric off and re hemmed it.
Those threads were not very easy to tie off.

The edge is narrow enough now.
Getting the outside fabric to line up with the lining did no go particularly well. Those pesky seam allowances made the outside a bit narrower than the lining and it took a lot of careful smoothing and pinning to get it to look decent.
I pinned all around the edges and then basted them. I tried on the jacket to make sure everything was mostly smooth, which it was. Unfortunately I had to pull the fabric quite tightly across the back to get rid of most of the wrinkles, so the back edge of the neckline is pulled outwards slightly when I'm wearing it. It is annoying, but better than a very wrinkled back.
I tucked in all the edges except the armholes and the bottom edge and basted them again.
The top edge, tucked in. I had to pin the edges, then pull out the basting, then tuck them in and baste them.
I am now wondering if lining the bodice in this manner was a mistake. Yesterday I read this post on Before The Automobile, in which she mentioned that she lined the pieces of her redingote bodice before stitching them together. But the bodice and skirt of that kind of garment are separate and I am not sure if this would work on jackets with a tail. It obviously wouldn't work on one of those jackets where the back is pleated onto the lining and makes a big floofy tail, but what about jackets with very small tails that are only attached to the two back pieces?
I don't know how this style of jacket would have been lined. I must do more research.

I stitched around the top edge with small stab-stitching.
The top edge stitched, with the basting still there.
I attached the edges at the front of the jacket partly with stab-stitching, but mostly with very tiny whip stitches.
The fabric didn't quite reach around to the front of the armhole on the right side, so I had to patch it with a scrap.
The basting around the armhole and the bottom edge is in brown thread because it is permanent.
I did not tuck the bottom edge in because the bottom edge is bound.
Permanent basting on either side of the tail, temporary yellow basting above the tail.
There is a ridge on the bottom edge of the original jacket that is out of focus, but I have decided to interpret it as bias binding.
Helpful arrow pointing to mysterious ridge.
I put the bias tape on with whipstitching.
It goes right under the edge of the tail.
The bias tape covers up the brown basting. I finished attaching the tail with more small stab-stitching.
I am very fond of small stab-stitching.
The finished tail from the underside.
Because the bodice point protrudes about half a centimeter past the place where the tail starts I was able to tack the edges of the tail down so that they faced inwards.
The finished tail from the outside. The curved edges face inwards now, so the pleats should lie properly.
Because I had such trouble lining the seams of the bodice up I decided to line the sleeve pieces individually. They are lined in the same linen as the gathered panel.
The silk sleeve piece pinned to the corresponding linen piece.
I sewed up the sides of the sleeve pieces with a running stitch, cut half the seam allowances off and turned them inside out.
I whipstitched the lined sleeve pieces together, leaving a 4" slit on the outside of the cuff.
The sleeve being whipstitched together, wrong sides out.
I am very happy with the sleeves. They have the same weird shape as sleeves I have seen on extant pieces, and they fit.
I love the pointy elbows, they let you bend your arm.
I basted the tops of the sleeves to keep the layers from shifting around. I put the sleeves in with a running stitch first, just to make sure they fit, and then went around the armholes again with a back-stitch for greater security.
Starting to attach the sleeve. The running stitch that is already there is the basting.
I went around the bottom half of the armhole twice with the back-stitch. I didn't know what to do with the seam allowances, so I just trimmed the ragged edges off and overcast them.
The scruffiness of these edges annoys me, but they don't fray or get in the way.
For the cuff closures I cut two 4" by 2" rectangles with one corner cut off. I lined them in the thin linen, and put more small stitching around the edge.
I stitched them to the bottom half of the cuff slits.
I ironed the hem first so that I would know where to put the flap.
When I made the sleeve pattern I added an inch to the cuff and creased it so it could be folded back. I cut the linen pieces an inch shorter than the silk ones. This made them easier to hem.
The cuff hem over top of the button flap.
The jacket is very close to being finished now. I only need to trim the neckline, finish attaching the gathered panel, add the belt and finish the cuffs.

I apologize for posting this so late.
I am at a cottage at the moment and sewing here is not particularly easy. It is a very small cottage and there are 7 other people in it (actually, the surplus people sleep in a tent), so there is next to no sewing space. I have set up a horrible, lumpy little ironing board on top of a dresser and am doing my best to get the jacket finished on time.
Pathetic, isn't it? I don't even have the entire dresser top to work on, I have to share it with a fan and a stack of magazines.
We will be here until the 19th and since there is no room here to work on a pattern or even cut out fabric, this means I will be late starting my Robes and Robings project. I plan to use the extra time to catch up on the embroidered pockets.

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