Swing Coat Progress Report No. 2

Hi Readers, it’s been two weeks since I started working on the Burda 08/2009 swing coat and I’ve got some progress photos to show you. Mind you these are not very exciting photos as they’re all about the inner constructions.

Okay, this is not only my first coat but my first attempt to make single welt pockets. The pocket bag was made of a fashion fabric piece and a lining piece. I must say it was SCARY to cut into the coat bodice before turning the welt and pocket bag in. Luckily there wasn’t any mishap so here’s my single welt pocket.


First attempt at welt pocket


The turquoise pocket bag

Next, I marked the hair canvas showing where the roll line is and the direction of pad stitching. According to the Vintage Couture Tailoring book, you would pad stitch along the roll line and on both sides of the roll line as well. After that the pad stitching was done 45 degrees downward from the roll line. The photo below actually showed my wrong pad stitching marking (I marked the stitching line at 90 degrees from the roll line rather than 45 degrees).


Marking the hair canvas with tailor chalk

I used my homemade tailor ‘whale’ to support the coat front then thread basted the hair canvas along the roll line and the edges. The lapel was left unattached.


Basting the canvas onto the coat front

I used black sew all polyester thread with the stitching and since the fashion fabric is quite thick and has a lot of texture, the stitching didn’t show through. If I’m using a thinner / smoother coat fabric I would be much more careful with the stitching! On the pad stitching spacing, they were done no more than 1cm apart. I did a sample with wider spaced pad stitches and it is obvious that denser stitches create more ‘rolling’ effect. Not sure about the science behind it but I’m sticking with the dense stitches!


The lapel after pad stitching

Here’s the lapel before pressing and taping, the roll line seemed to be forming nicely, yoo-hoo!


Unfolding the lapel

After pad stitching, it’s time to tape the neckline, the lapel and the coat’s front edges. I used straight grain cotton stay tape which was pre-shrunked using hot water. The tape was stitched along the outside first picking up a tiny thread from the fashion fabric and a perpendicular stitch to the hair canvas. The inner edge of the stay tape is whipstitched to the canvas as well. I should mention that I accidentally trimmed off the canvas’ seam allowance before pad stitching. After checking the book, I realised that the seam allowance should have been trimmed after pad stitching which would make taping a lot easier, never mind, I’ll remember next time.


Taping the canvas along the outer edges

Next, I taped just to the inside of the roll line away from the lapel. The stay tape was cut to about 1cm shorter than the actual roll line. The ease was distributed along the length of the tape as evenly as possible.


Taping the roll line – you can probably see the ease under the stay tape

The roll line tape was attached to the hair canvas using similar whipstitching technique.


The stay tape is secured to the canvas with whipstitches

After all those hand stitching, I steam pressed the lapel being careful not to press onto the roll line. I must admit that the stay tapes provided a lot more stability to the coat front compared to the untaped one.

Since the pockets and lapels were done, I moved onto the bound buttonholes which proved to be a bit tricky as the two buttonholes in a row were quite close together. I also tried matching the fashion fabric’s dot and cross pattern with that of the buttonhole welt. In the end the pattern matched vertically but I couldn’t get it the match horizontally, that’s probably okay for a first coat making attempt.


The bound buttonholes

Did I mention that this is also my first time to sew with wool fabric? I found the fabric composition tag and realised that this fabric has 90% wool and 10% nylon (not sure where the nylon is…). Although the fabric is really quite thick, it pressed very well especially with the help of a wooden tailor clapper. All the seam allowance and welt fabric behind the buttonholes disappeared after a good press.


The buttonhole’s welt was stablised using fusible interfacing

I’ll be attacking the sleeves, putting the coat pieces together and making up the collar in the coming week. I hope I haven’t bored you with all these gritty details!

20 thoughts on “Swing Coat Progress Report No. 2

  1. Your welt pockets look excellent! I’d say you have conquered the major hurdles and it will only get easier from here. It’s going to be a beautiful coat. I so appreciate seeing the inside details – I’m not bored at all!!

  2. Maybe it is because you are an Architect but I think your precision is amazing, I enjoy reading your blog and especially this coat making process. I like your approach to sewing. Looking forward to the finish result.

    • Thank you! I do agree I have OCD on sewing much like my real work! I like lines to match up as best as I can but since sewing should be a pleasure for home seamstress I’m enjoying the process as well whether it turned out okay or not :)

  3. Detalis are NEVER enough when they are about sewing! And you’re everything but boring. Your blog is already in my favourites pages and I’m looking forward for your next post. See you soon!
    Ciao from Italia!

  4. Pingback: Swing Coat Progress Report No.3 | sosewlovely

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