Tuesday, May 3, 2011

RTW Tailoring sew-a-long - Almost there!

Readers, I am thrilled! The RTW-Sewalong from Sherry over at Pattern-Scissors-Cloth has been absolutely fabulous! We are almost done with our coat - some people even went ahead and finished! - and I want to show you some details before the final post. I will tell you some of the most important things I have learned...
As you see in the first picture, when sewing the muslin I didn't even bother about easing in the sleeve correctly, as the fabric had zero flexibility. I was wondering though how on earth I would be able to ease in that much fabric and was quite worried about it...
Sherry writes such smart little things like "let the feed dogs do the work". Wow, I never knew about my feed dogs abilities! I admit that I am guilty of having stretched and yanked at my shorter piece of fabric like crazy in the past... woops! I will never do that again! It even once happened that I eased too much, because the feed dogs were so hungry! :-)
Now would you look at this fabulously gathered and eased in sleeve...
 In the picture above, I left the collar up, so you can also see another great thing - how the upper collar is "rolling over" the seam... you know, I DID know about cloth allowance before, but we actually made two separate paper patterns, while in the past, I would just sort of cut the upper collar a bit wider...
If any of this is interesting to you, go check out the sewalong. It is full of really great, professional sewing knowledge.
Making the paper pattern really took a long time and put my patience on a test. But it was so worth it! Especially when working off a vintage pattern, which can be a lot of guess work as it is...
We made an extra paper pattern for all the lining pieces, too. We determined how long the hem will be and calculated it all out beforehand. But don't be scared, she explains so well!
 This is a bit of my inside, shoulder pad and sleeve wadding, as well as facing...

Here is the collar and lapels... A bit of magic after all the planning: the roll line really just fell into place automatically, just as Sherry promised it would. Cool. I think it is pretty grand, though I do have to give it another session at the iron. I have what another sew-alonger calls a dimple at the gorge line...

So now it comes down to buttons. In the original illustration they seem to have cord buttons - I believe they are called Chinese Buttons in English (German: Posamenten-Verschluss)? I am looking for instructions and decide on how to make them, if anyone has suggestions, they are highly, highly welcome! Has anyone of you ever made them yourselves?

I will surely make another jacket and go back to those posts - my coat was relatively easy, as it has no pockets, and no sleeve vents. I have lost all fear of coats and jackets now and will move on to even bigger things, ha!
Hopefully I will be back with the final post very soon.


  1. this is just looking amazing, i can't WAIT to see what it looks like avec buttons!!!

    as far as venturing into the world of jackets, your description is as close as it comes to making me take the leap, especially that part about ease and feed dogs. i may just try it.

  2. This is gorgeous, I can't believe I haven't caught sight of your jacket yet during the sewalong. Wow! Hurry up and finish so we can heap admiration at your feet. :)

  3. It looks like a Chinese frog closure and a ball button. Those terms might help you search for more instructions and pictures - but this link might be enough >http://perfectpatterns.tripod.com/frogs.html You may want to use bias strips instead of cording. This video *sounded* fine but I could not see the picture. >http://www.ehow.com/video_4807672_tie-chinese-button-knots.html Good luck.

  4. Your jacket is awesome - so creative and beautifully made - well done!

  5. hi - I came across your jacket in th flickr group - its a really fab fabric combination, and looks great , well done:)

  6. Thank you all so much! I shall finish the coat today - yea!
    @Robin: I appreciate your input so much! I had found instructions for the actual "knot" and it is easy to make. However, you will see that I opted to buy them...

  7. gorgeous! I've never seen a coat quite like this one.. lovely shape and fabric