Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Reversible Jacket Trials

This weekend I started a reversible jacket using the pattern mention in an earlier post. It has a center front zipper with fabric bands on the sleeves, center front and bottom edge. Side 1 has the red brown wool as the body with matching Pleather for the bands. Side 2 has a woven burgundy gold herringbone with the red brown wool as the bands. This is a TNT pattern that is semi fitted. It is not lined and is described as a top rather than a jacket in the pattern description. This project taught me the following lessons, both of which I already knew, but they weren’t in the forefront of my brain when I was planning this jacket . Lesson 1A. Pleather is not fun to sew. Lesson 1B. Pleather melts at the heat used to iron wool. When the knit backing of the Pleather is under the presser foot or next to the feed
dogs, sewing was a breeze.. The minute the pressure foot hit the plastic side, like at intersections of seams, there was bunching and skipped stitches. What worked for me was using thin strips of tissue paper between the plastic and the pressure foot. I have major topstitching of the contrast bands looming on the sewing horizon. One side of the band will be the good side of the pleather, the other the good side of the wool. My plan is to put the good side of the pleather on the bottom against the feed dogs and the wool under the pressure foot. I will use the edge stitch foot with the center groove following the seam, and the needle position set at ¼". I will be hand basting the bands together so that they line up and hopefully, fingers crossed, the top stitching will look lovely on both sides of the jacket. I will need to test this as there could be problems with the multiple fabric layers and top stitching with a needle position other than center.
Lesson 2. Semi fitted garments, even when made with two layers of thin fabric, have a tighter fit. The problem is not the body, but the sleeves around the bottom of the armhole. The woven herringbone is very soft which I thought would be a benefit when combined with the stiffer wool. I will try tacking the two layers together at strategic seam intersections. Next up, the zipper saga.

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