The White Jacket - Part Four
Planning and Preparation
Before even beginning to cut fabric, many decisions regarding the final look of the garment must be made. Among these are decisions are those regarding the underlining, lining, interfacings and facings. Because of white velvet, I not only have to think about the drape and support of such a fabric, but also the thickness as well.
All of the fabrics have been washed and iron and ready to go. I already told you that I'm using a white cotton for the underlining in a previous post. To interface the jacket fronts and collar, I am using a thin knit type fusible. The interfacing is fused to the underlining as fusing interfacing to velvet is potential for crushing the nap and ruining the velvet.
Once all the interfacing was fused to the proper pieces, I used a tip from an article on interlining (underlining) by Kenneth D. King the current issue of Threads (which is one of the better recent issues - there are quite a few good articles in it!). He suggests cutting out the underlining using the pattern pieces and basting the underlining pieces to the wrong side of the fashion fabric *before* cutting out the fashion fabric. This is a wonderful tip!
Above you can see one of the major advantages to this method - it allows you to use a single layer layout. The single layer layout is very useful, especially for unusual garment pieces or when you're short on fabric.
Once the pieces were basted in place, they were cut out:
The piece shown above is the back, but there are a few pattern changes to note. Notice that the underlining does not extend to the hem. I did not want a double thickness of underlining there since I'm going to use a heavier interfacing in the hem area. I will most likely fuse it to the velvet, since the hem area is much smaller than most of the pieces and therefore easier to fuse without crushing. I also eliminated the front facings and line the fronts to the edge of the garment. The pattern is drafted so that the facing and front is cut as one piece. This wouldn't be a problem in lighter weight fabric, but like the hems, a double layer of velvet, underlining and interfacing is going to be too thick.
That might seem like a lot of work and planning and no construction, but the time is well spent. This is one of the great things about sewing: you get to make the decisions that produce the results you want in a garment rather than taking whatever is on the rack.
Once I get the fronts and side fronts together (hopefully this afternoon!) I get to start on my favorite part: the beading!
Q/A: [Note to Katana: I did not forget about your question. I wanted to wait until I could put it with an appropriate post!] Katana wanted to know, "When you mark the difference between the original pattern piece and the changes made, how do you ensure the angles and curves stay the same?" One thing to realize about fitting a garment to your body and then transferring changes to the pattern itself is that there may be some lines that aren't exactly like the pattern. This is not a problem as you are custom making this garment to fit your body. For example, my waist curves in quite a bit where many patterns don't. I will sometimes change the pattern to reflect my own body curves. My shoulders also slope more than most patterns; my shoulder line is going to be angled downward more toward the sleeves compared to how the pattern was originally drafted. Of course, you don't want to change the lines so much that style of the pattern is changed, or else you'll end up with a garment that isn't what the pattern promised. Physically, to keep the lines straight or curved, I use drafting tools, mainly rulers, and carefully compare the new lines to the old ones. You can purchase drafting curves specifically for pattern making, for curved areas such as armholes or just use french curves. Els did a great post a while back on the Sewing Divas blog about some her drafting tools.
Parting Shot: It's that time again. It's time to calculate semester grades! Half the school year is over. What a great way to spend a Saturday morning.