Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Waistcoat 3: Canvas

 First of all, let me just say that I ordered light green linen thread online, and when it arrived I saw that it was really more of a mint dental floss electric green. I suppose that since the fabric for this waistcoat is made of green and yellow threads that I should have gone for the lighter yellow instead of green anyway, but I'll stick with this and just use it where it won't show anyway.

I finished all of the welt pockets and basted them shut so they don't pull out of place while I work with the canvas. I also basted the pocket bags folded up in half so they don't accidentally get sewn into the canvas or seams.

The next step is interesting because it uses the waistcoat itself as the pattern instead of the paper pattern. Because I stretched the fabric in a few places (on purpose, with an iron, to give the fabric some shape beyond its flat nature), I simply lay the fabric on top of the canvas, basted it in place, and then trimmed around the edges. I then trimmed an additional quarter inch around all the edges except for the side and shoulder, where it will be seamed to the back piece.

 The next step was to start shaping the lapels. I will eventually attach the collar to the tops of the lapels and neck. I'm not sure if the stay tape was needed here, but I put it in anyway, and then pad stitched the lapel. I've done this on a sample piece but never for real, and I must say I'm pretty happy with the result. The fabric is now stiffer because of being attached to the canvas, and it also folds back on its own, without any pressing.

Below the lapel you can see an additional piece of canvas added for buttonhole support.

 This is the back of the lapel. The line of basting stitches to indicate the roll line is still there, as well as the basting for the canvas, but otherwise you can't see any bright green thread from the stitches. Just a lot of little dimples. You can see how the lapel doesn't like being opened up flat, and wants to fold back.

Almost finished with this side. I just need to add the lining. Stay tape has been basted in around the bottom and front edges, and then the edge of fabric folded up over it (for a better picture of this, look at the the second photo, with the pad stitching - you can see that the edges have all been stitched back) and sewn in place with cross stitching. The stay tape gives it a nice firm edge. The armscye has been cross stitched in place without stay tape, so it's a little softer, and will go around my body better.

I said above that I just need to apply the lining. Unlike most modern patterns, this waistcoat is not made in two pieces with a shell and a lining. The lining is applied directly to the two front pieces, which are then attached to the back as complete pieces. I suppose it would be much easier to alter the waistcoat without having to change the lining, since it's all attached. Does that make sense? It will in my next post.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Waistcoat 2: Starting out

After making a muslin - fully lined and canvassed - by hand, and finding all sorts of things wrong with my original pattern, I adjusted the pattern and cut out my fabric. Here you can see the green/yellow linen I'm using. I've basted in the roll line and pocket lines (and then remembered I don't want a top/watch pocket on the right side) and basted in canvas for the pockets. The pocket pieces are below.

This is going to take a while to finish, but I'm glad I made the muslin first - it taught me a lot. I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to do the notch collar. I made it in two pieces for the muslin, but I'd like to use just one for the final version, so I think I'm going to have to wait and add it in last when I can get an accurate measurement for the perfect size. I'll pad stitch it, along with the lapels on the waistcoat.