And possibly for good reason, if you don’t make your own clothes. Although as fellow sewists, I’m hoping you’ll understand? I was sitting in the car wearing a muslin, with pins all over it that were shortening in a number of places as well as holding up the hem. Well, what’s the point of making a coat that you can’t drive a car in?!
I’ve been tweaking my Minoru muslin as I want it to be as good as I can currently get it as it’ll be the most expensive thing I’ve made to date and I want to wear it to death this spring. I did my usual FBA before even making the muslin and then set to trying to perfect it.
The first thing I changed was the torso length. I’ve taken 2″ out above the elastic and this has got rid of the weird bunching in my lower back and the funny sag over the elastic at the sides.
I’ve also taken 3″ length out of the sleeves and now the cuff edge is about 1/2 way down the back of my hand which is perfect for me.
The final change I made was to add some width across the upper back. Now I do have a slightly broader than average back due to spending about 20 years of my life swimming 3-4 times a week. And whilst I had enough room in the jacket to reach forward and it would be OK for driving I wanted a bit of extra room. I’ll be toddler wrestling, dog wrestling and more than likely lunging for either or both whilst wearing the jacket and I don’t want to feel restricted in it at all (or risk pinging a seam). Plus this was the jacket shell only, so the lining is going to add a bit of extra bulk!
I used a slash and spread method, making sure the spread along the neckline is within the gathering area and then trued the sides.
So, my pattern alterations are:
- 2″ FBA
- Reduce torso length by 2″ after FBA
- Reduce sleeve length by 3″
- Increase upper back width by 2″
The additional construction steps I must remember when making the real deal are:
1. I need to stay stitch and clip the armhole curve on my jacket front when sewing it to the sleeve. The FBA has given it a really tight curve and it was a complete nightmare trying to match the sleeve to the front when sewing the muslin so that seam isn’t quite as it should be! Stay stitching and clipping will enable me to match the two up properly. I’ll need to mark the stitching line on the sleeve so that I match the two pieces accurately. This excerpt from Shirt Making by David Page Coffin explains it well.
2. Use 3 lines of gathering stitch when doing the neckline to collar. There’s a section on this in the Colette Sewing Handbook and also on Colette Pattern’s Blog and the difference that extra line makes to the end result is amazing!
So I’m all set now. My fabrics are all pre-washed and my shell has been proofed. I’ve got my elastic and zippers I just need to take shears to fabric…
Oh, and decide whether I’m making the hood or not. I have jackets with hoods, but I never use them. If they’re removable, I take them off and if they’re in the collar, well that’s where they stay! So I leave you with this (whilst begging the Mr Shakespeare’s forgiveness):
To hood, or not to hood, that is the question!