Swing Coat Progress Report No.3

Hello Readers, I’m hoping this would be the second last progress post on the Burda 08/2009 swing coat which I’m onto third week (mostly part-time) sewing. Since pad stitching the lapels, making the single welt pockets and bound buttonholes the week before, I moved onto putting the main coat pieces together. Catchstitching has been a big part of the sewing process and this included catchstitching the pocket bags and hair canvas onto the coat fronts. This should prevent the pocket bags from flipping about when the coat is worn.


Catch-stitching the pockets and hair canvas

Other than that I taped the coat front’s shoulder and stay-stitched the armhole edges which are designed to be off-grain. The stay stitching was done about 1/8″ away from the stitching line towards the seam allowance.


Taping and staystitching the off-grain edges

The coat’s sleeves have an inset corner details which in hindsight I should have removed and redrafted the pattern as the seam line almost disappeared within the busy patterned fashion fabric. Anyway, I wanted the sleeves’ seams to be as flat as possible so I clipped close to the inset corner and catchstitched the seam allowances to the silk organza as well (silk organza contributing a lot here!)


Catchstitching the sleeve’s seam allowances and inset corner

Back in my earlier post I mentioned that I have several sewing machines (in the region of 10 I think, oops!), which include two modern computer ones and the rest are mostly old straight stitch Singer machines. I thought I will be using zigzag stitches for the coat so I used this Singer 401G which cost £40 last summer. Isn’t this machine looking great for its age? It’s over 60 years old and can sew through my thick coat fabric without any problem.


My Singer 401G

I can’t resist showing you this photo when Skyline fell asleep in front of the sewing machine while I took a coffee break. When I came back I couldn’t use the sewing machine so I moved onto pad stitching the collar.


Skyline taking over the sewing table

The undercollar and the collar hair canvas were cut on true bias with a lapped seam along the centre. The stitching and break (roll) lines were marked using waxed carbon paper and tracing wheel which I found to be the most long lasting marking method and is generally suitable for interior marking.


Lapping the collar hair canvas

I pad stitched along the break line. Each stitch is about 1cm long. The Vintage Couture Tailoring book emphasises that the needle must be inserted perpendicular to the break line as this will provide the most elasticity to the collar. After all, the whole purpose of cutting the undercollar on bias is to take advantage of the stretchiness of the bias.


Pad stitching along the break line

When the break line was pad stitched, all the pins were removed so the hair canvas hung free from the undercollar. Additional pad stitching parallel to the break down was done. Then something magical happened! A nice rolled undercollar seemed to be taking shape!


Pad stitching from the break line

The collar fall was pad stitched in similar manner but the pad stitching was done on half of the collar at a time.


Pad stitching the collar fall

I don’t think I’m a well planned seamstress or maybe it’s just part of the sewing process. I found that the fashion fabric’s pattern muddles the coat’s design lines half way through sewing, so I thought it could be nice to have a contrast trim along the collar’s edge and the lapel. I had two options: an ivory silk ribbon and a cream cotton grosgrain ribbon. I opted for the silk ribbon as its shininess stands out a bit more and the ivory colour blends better with the dots and crosses as well.


Ivory silk ribbon on the left, cream grosgrain ribbon on the right

I’m quite happy with what’s been done so far. The taped lapels fold away from the chest quite nicely. Just by putting the collar onto the dummy (collar still need to be prickstitched), it seems to be rolling away from the neck nicely as well.


The taped lapels

Here’s the mostly done coat with Boffi supervising. I still have quite a bit to do, including stitching the facing, hemming, putting the lining pieces together and possibly piping inside the jacket depending on my stamina.


The mostly done coat

I must say thank you to all the readers around the world who’ve been giving me so much encouragement. See you in a week’s time and hopefully I would have checked most of the to-do items from the list!

16 thoughts on “Swing Coat Progress Report No.3

  1. It is looking wonderful! I especially like the pad stitching on the collar. It is those little details that truly make a difference and the garment will fit very, very well. Looking forward to your next installment. :) m.

  2. This is so exciting to see your progress! Your coat is already lovely – it will look amazing when complete. The silk tape on the edge of the collar is a brilliant idea – it just adds so much. Thanks so much for sharing all your beautiful work!

    • Thank you! This kind of sewing machine isn’t rare if you look on eBay. It did take some TLC to clean up the machine after I got it though – a lot of wd40, sewing machine oil and elbow grease were required.

  3. Pingback: Burda 08/2009 Swing Coat Completed | sosewlovely

  4. Love the coat!. My partner thinks that your cat in the last picture looks like it belongs on a ‘Most Wanted” poster. Very Cute!

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