Also, no pics to show. I don't have it in me to take and edit photos after hours of sewing, so I'll try to explain as best I can. Keep in mind that that the jacket looks largely the same as this one:
|As you know, I've left out the pockets, changed the lapel-angle and widened the button spacing.|
I should also mention that there are some things here that may not be fixable because I am not ripping this back to the studs. Many seam allowances have been irrevocably graded. Pick stitching and under stitching have been done. Even if I had the will to rip it back, I've molded the fabric extensively. I don't think it would do well, despite its resilience, with a wholesale reno.
The problem started when I attached the collar, following the industrial method Gertie instructs: sew undercollar to jacket back, then sew upper collar to back facing unit, sew front facing, sew the mini-spaces between the lapel and the collar, then sew the unstitched collar fronts and back to each other.
I did this without much issue - although one side of the tip of one lapel (can't remember now if it was the facing or the front) was quite a bit larger than the other piece (maybe 3/4 inch at the very tip). I quadruple checked that all of the other points were aligned. I couldn't quite figure out what was going on but, on numerous reconsideration of all other details, I opted to trim the lapel so that both pieces were more or less the same size.
I did understitch the collar for the appropriate turn of cloth (which was evident before I inserted it).
However, after insertion I noticed 3 unappealing things:
- The turn of cloth is lost and you can see the seam that attaches upper to undercollar - esp. at the front.
- The back facing pops WAY up - even though I have understitched the facing well to the seam allowances.
- I suspect I don't like the collar as it's designed. It's weird - the stand is weird, the peter-pan-iness is weird, the size is weird. I've got an awesome lapel (well, more on that in a minute) and the collar just seems unintegrated with the rest of the jacket.
Next up, let's talk about the front facing / jacket unit. After assembling, grading and pressing at length, I did pick stitch the fabric to the seam allowances to facilitate the turn of clot on this rather thick fabric. It seemed to work at first, though later on - when I tried everything on - the turn of cloth was lost.
What I did was pick stitch the undersides to the seam allowance. That is to say, below the lapel, I pick stitched the facing to the seam allowances. Above (where the facing and front unit invert), I pick stitched the front to the seam allowances. Did I do this incorrectly? Was I actually supposed to pick stitch the "front" side to the seam allowances?
That aside, the drape on the side without buttons looks terrific (something tells me that's the side that did not have the lapel problem mentioned above). The fall of the lapel over the roll line is a thing of beauty.
The side with the buttons lost its shape and the under side of the lapel (i.e. the jacket front above the roll line) got kind of wavy.
Finally - and this is a pain in the ass! - my back stay started to rip (very slightly) up the centre when I put on the jacket rather aggressively. It didn't rip far and I think I understand the problem: Before cutting the fabric, I actually cut an inch off the bottom of the pattern piece because I had already shortened all of the pieces above the waist (this accommodated that adjustment). In fact, I cut the stay at the point of greatest pressure. If it were an inch longer, there would be ease below the stress point. Live and learn. What I did to fix it was a) do a bit of mending and b) put some weft interfacing over the lower 1 inch of the back stay to reinforce it. But I can feel that spot and it irritates me. It's most definitely exacerbated by the collar whacking all out of shape and the back facing popping up. I think if I can fix the back facing/collar issue and once I insert the lining, this problem may be resolved.
Now, here's what else I've done so far to fix things:
- I tried pick stitching the facing on the "right sides" (just in one spot). Didn't seem to make any difference to the turn of cloth - although my having done the pick stitching to the other side may be cancelling it out.
- I whip stitched the facing unit down to the back stay, to stabilize it temporarily. I have also considered that I may need to permanently machine stitch all the layers just below the seam that attaches the collar to stabilize the facing in accordance with its needs. It will put an ugly stitch line at the back of the jacket, but that's better than the facing flipping out constantly. If understitching doesn't do the trick, then what's next? I could trim the collar seam allowances to practically nothing (this fabric doesn't fray much) but then I'm screwed if it doesn't work. There will be nothing left to under stitch or stitch to.
- I carefully manipulated the button side of the jacket to re-establish the roll line. Then I steamed the crap out of it and left it to set over a towel (like I did when first creating the roll line - before the facing was attached). I'm really hoping it drapes as gorgeously as the non-button side tomorrow.
Can you advise about what you think of a) the problems and b) my solutions plus c) any other solutions you may be able to suggest.
Thank you everyone. xo