Pre-treating the fabric
Wool is a wonderful fabric to work with and one of my favourites. My preferred washing & pre shrinking method is to serge the edges and send the fabric to the dry cleaners. Some people put their’s on driers with hot damp towels.
For this coat I steam pressed at home. I set my iron on constant full steam (wool setting) and hoovered over the wrong side of my fabric leaving to completely cool before cutting. I didn’t have any issue with colour bleeding or fabric dysmorphia.
The quickest test to know if you need to pre shrink your fabric is to cut a 10x 10 cm piece of fabric on the grain and steam it or treat as you want the main fabric. Always checking if there are wrinkles or a change in dimension.
Good pressing is as important as sewing an accurate seam.
Tailor’s ham: Looks like a tightly stuffed pillow. Filled with sawdust, it has one area covered in closed weave wool and the other in cotton. The curved edges help set 3D shapes like darts and collars. Also great to press sleeves, cuffs and waistlines.
Tailor’s Clapper: Made of hardwood, is used to flat bulky facings, collars, edges, etc. After steaming the seam, press the clapper on top of the seam and hold for a while. It traps the moisture and makes the most beautiful seams. The end can be used instead of a point turner.
Press Cloth: Silk organza or 100% cotton tea towel. Always sandwich your projects. It will protect your board and the iron when pressing fusible interfacing.
Sleeve board: Perfect to help pressing any awkward places like inside leg seams, pocket openings and of course sleeves.
My biggest regret on this coat is to not have sewn my patch pockets by hand. Even though my stitches are nice and straight, One of the pockets had a little stretching that could have been avoided.
Used thicker interface to help the pocket hold it’s shape better. When using thick interfacing I tend to cut my fusible without seam allowance to avoid bulking my seams.
The cut, choice of interfacing & underling and where those are applied will determine how the outwear will appear, fit, hang and last. Fabric weight and characteristics really directed me away from the classic hard tailoring. Goodbye pad stitching. I wanted my coat to look sharp but not heavy or overworked. Most fusible interfacing aren’t advised, at least not applied directly on the shell fabric so I applied on my underlining.
I drafted the coat facing and collar underlining pattern disregarding seam allowances and avoiding going over the crease line.
I really love making coats. I’m so tempted to make another one. I find the process of picking the materials and the construction process really rewarding. I haven’t started my change of season wardrobe plan just yet. Have you?
Ps: did you like the website facelift? I still need to go over the oldest posts and resize the images. Some old posts aren’t showing because I still haven’t categorised it.