Monday, March 7, 2016

French Jacket: Part Four- Vertical lining seams, sleeves and front closures

In the last post we ended with the machine sewing of the vertical jacket seams and the sleeve seams.

My next steps were:
1. Hand sewing the vertical lining seams.
2. Hand finishing the sleeves hem and vents.
3. Hook and eyes- front closures
4. Finishing Neck and Front edges

As you can see there is not a lot of steps here but this takes A LOT of time to complete. I really wish I had kept track of all the hours that it has taken me to complete this step!

After sewing the vertical seams in the fashion fabric I pressed them open over a seam roll with just the tip of my iron and a press cloth. At this point you have to make sure that the seam allowances don't overlap or interfere with any of the quilting lines. I had a couple areas where I actually had to trim back a small portion from the 1 inch seam allowance so I could get the seam allowances to lie flat.

Step 1: To sew the lining seams I used the underlap/overlap method. One seam allowance of the lining was smoothed flat and the adjoining seam allowance was folded under and layered over the flat one, pinned and then hand sewn with fell stitches. I did the best to line up the folded edge of the seam with the seam in the fashion fabric.

I made sure to keep these even across the jacket. For example, when sewing the side seams I let the side back lay flat and folded the side fronts over and then stitched.
The import part about this step is that in the areas at the top and bottom of the seams I made sure to keep the lining free. Meaning that I only fell stitched the linings to each other and made sure not to catch the fashion fabric. While in the main part of the jacket I made sure to catch the fashion fabric in the hand sewing. I pretty much just used the quilting lines as a guide and in the area that I did not want to catch the fashion fabric I slipped a piece of paper under as well as my fingers when I could. This let me feel the needle to make sure not to catch the fashion fabric.

All of this hand sewing really allowed for some good movie watching! 
The same process was done on the sleeves. I used 3 piece sleeves and left the outer seam open so that I could easier finish up the vent and hem while flat. Makes life much easier! However in order to do it this way you really need to be sure of your sleeve length, no going back and easily changing it.

Step 2: I choose to interface my sleeve vent and hem with silk organza. In a great tip that I learned from Sarah Veblen I cut the length of organza into pieces so that they could slip under the seam allowances and keep them from forming ridges on the right side. I catch stitched the organza at each seam allowance and then used this as a base to catch stitch the hem to. This also allows the organza to have a roll in the hem which provides a nice soft support and keeps things nice looking for years.

My pattern has vent area on both sides. I have used this in the past on other fabrics and it gives a nice support at the vent area for the buttons to be sewn to. With this thick fabric I decided to just trim that narrow bump out of the underlap right off. It kept down some of the bulkiness. I mitered the corners of the hem where the vent overlaps to keep it nice looking and again to cut down on the bulk. I wanted to use the fringe only portion of my trim so to accomplish this I sandwiched the trim between the fashion fabric and the lining along the vent only. I use a running stitch to attach the trim to the wrong side of the vent and then folded the lining over and fell stitched it into place. I made the trim as narrow as possible by zig zagging along the edge and then trimming it to about a 1/4 inch. The zig zag helped maintain the stability of the trim and kept it from just disintegrating into pieces!

Step 3: sewing on the front closures. I decided to have this jacket close with center front meeting center front. For this to happen I sewing on large hook and eye closures. These are sewed on before the front edge lining is done. The first part to this is turning under the neckline and the front edge to the finished placement. Because I changed to a soft rounded V Neck this part was slightly fiddly to get it to lay nice and symmetrically. One that was done I had to make sure that the V portion met correctly. Once that was done I was able to work on the closures.

Sewing on the hook and eyes are a bit fiddly and I needed to be very careful in doing it properly. I knew that I wanted the closures to be about every 2 inches. I started with putting the jacket on, adjusting it carefully and the placing a pin at the CF over the fullest part of my breast. Once I had this done I measured down every 2 inches and placed another pin. I also measure up and luckily for me the top of the jacket front was just a slight bit over 2 inches so it all worked out great! Once I had one side marked I sewed on the eye portion all the way down the front. With all 8 eyes sewn on I laid the jacket out very carefully and placed a corresponding pin on the other center front right at the middle of the eye. These are large Hook and Eyes, about a 1/4 inch in size. With the pins marking the center of each eye, I proceeded to sew on each corresponding hook also keeping it centered over the pin head. After each eye was sewn on I carefully laid the jacket back out flat with the sewn hooks and eyes closed and rechecked the remaining pin placements. This turned out to be a very god method for me and the hooks and eyes matched up quite nicely! YAY!! The only thing I will do differently next time is to place the hooks further in on the fold of the fabric. and i'm talking a small amount probably just another 1/16th of an inch. I know... splitting hairs!

Step 4: With the hooks and eyes sewn on the last step of this post was to sew the lining to the neckline and front edges. As with sewing the vertical lining seams this part was not hard just time consuming. I turned under the lining edge and pressed it to be just slightly smaller than the fronts and neckline and then fell stitched it into place. Again making sure not to include the jacket hem area in this step.

Next post will be the final! Finishing the hem and adding the trim!

Happy sewing!

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