Monday, November 22, 2010

Raincoat Update

I've been sewing like mad, trying to finish this raincoat by tomorrow. It was going great, until I got to the sleeves, but more on that in a minute. First, a little about the topstitching. Topstitching is obviously pretty much straightforward, but one thing I do to keep the bobbin thread from showing is this:
Thread that little "finger" on your bobbin case, if you have one, and it adjusts the tension on the bobbin thread without messing with the little screw on the case.

So. I was all set to brag about how marvelous this pattern is (and I still think it's marvelous.... but) until I got to the sleeves. Thank goodness for Gertie's Lady Grey Sew Along! I used this post as a stepping stone, and modified it to work with this kind of coat/fabric.

I used a 100% cotton bias strip because I didn't need any bulk for the sleevehead. (Oh, first I skipped the gathering stitches called for in the pattern instructions. Well, not quite true. I stitched them, and then when pinning in the sleeve noticed some BIG problems.) Like Gertie says, pull on the bias strip, and push on the fashion fabric. But not too much. The goal is to utilize the bias strip like a gentle elastic, allowing it to do all the gathering work. You're trying to avoid puckers.

This worked pretty well with the lining fabric. It worked OK with the raincoat fabric, but let me tell you... I love this fabric! It repels water like nobody's business. But. There is absolutely no stretch at all, which means you just can't make it do what you want it to. I'm afraid the sleeve is not set in that perfectly. I'm hoping once the lining is in, the bulk of it all will make any imperfections in the sleeves less noticeable.

A couple more peeks:
The picture isn't that fantastic, but I wanted the harsh light so you can see the details in the black fabric.

The back view with the hood, and some of the topstitching detail.

Now, everyone keep their fingers crossed that it fits! Of course, I should have/could have made a muslin, but I wanted to give her the finished coat this holiday. With her living 3-1/2 hours away, that makes it a little more difficult when there's a time crunch. I'm feeling optimistic!


  1. that is so cute! and i assume she knows she is getting it since you are blogging about it...:D

  2. Oh WOW! I love this! Can't wait to see it on!

  3. My bobbin case does have the sticky-up piece but not hole for thread. As a way to handle thread tension that was interesting to me. Can't wait to see the rainjacket. The fabric looks like such fun.



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