First Steps of Tailoring

Hey peeps!  Sorry I’ve been a bit MIA, I’ve been sick the past few days.  Seems the fall sickness is hitting everyone and it’s finally made its way to me.

I finally had some energy last night and started working on my coat once again.  I’ve slowly been coming to the conclusion that Gertie’s sew-along is geared more towards the beginner seamstress and isn’t quite at my pace.  So it seems I’m branching off from her official sew-along and am doing custom tailoring all by my very lonesome.

I cut out my hair canvas and there was really no rhyme or reason why I cut in the inside in the shape that I did.  Well, that’s not completely true…

In my tailoring book, they said if you’re small busted to have the hair canvas 1″ below your apex and if you’re large busted to have it 1″ above your apex.  So I kinda mocked this up: At the bottom I cut just to the right of my dart, curved around the apex (just below) and continued to curve it around to where the notch is on the pattern piece for the shoulder.

Being such a full collar, I had lots of pad-stitching lines to mark.

The 2nd line from the left is the actual roll line.  The left-most line is where the tailor’s tape gets placed which is 1/8th inch away from the roll line.  Technically after the two 1/8 inch lines I have at the left, I am to mark all other lines using 1/4″.  I did this for a 4 lines, but realized my collar is super wide so I increased it to 3/8″.

After doing all of the markings I pinned the hair canvas to my bodice and started basting it down, removed some seam allowances and catch-stitched other areas down as needed.

You can more effectively see how my hair canvas starts just underneath my front dart, curves right where the dart ends and continues to curve upwards toward my shoulder.

This is as far as I got last night with my hand stitching.

I catch-stitched the twill tape down 1/8″ outside the roll line and I did the two narrow rows of pad-stitching just to the right of the twill tape.  (You can also spy my tailor’s tacks to the very left which secures the rest of the hair canvas to the bodice, without being seen on the right side.)

The purpose of doing the pad stitching is to build in your natural roll line.  Your tailor’s tape (twill tape) helps establish the line but the trick is to fold the collar over your finger while pad-stitching.  I’m not sure about you, but I have very small hands, which makes this task really, really difficult.

I have to fold the collar every which way to try to get my finger underneath the twill tape to create the roll line.  Seeing as how it’s really not good to do additional folds while you’re stitching I came up with a handy solution to this!  It’s so simple, you may be kicking yourself if you’ve also been having a difficult time with this.

Use a pants hanger!

I discovered this solution when I was working on my Lady Grey coat over a year ago and funny enough I’ve stored my cardboard pant hanger rod this whole time on my bookshelf.  All I did was to take apart a pants hanger and use the cardboard rod which acts as an extension of my finger while pad-stitching.  It’s such a perfect solution since it’s just the perfect width and length for most collars.

I stuck the pants hanger rod just under the twill tape and stitched these two rows of pad-stitching.  I hold it out in front of me (instead of laying it flat on the table like you see below).

The rod helps to establish a nice, consistent roll.

I forgot I took this picture… This is similar to how I hold the rod while stitching.  I just move my hand down, holding on top to do the stitching as I make my way to the right.

Being sick, this is the perfect thing to do.  I sit with my cinnamon tea at my sewing dining room table, pad-stitching while watching something on Netflix.  I stay all warm and cozy while being productive.

I’m going to be doing more pad-stitching later this evening.  The only sad part about doing all this hand sewing is that no matter how much I feel like I get accomplished, I always realize that I have a whole ‘nother side of the collar to do once this one is done.  Ahh well, I hope to be finished with my hand stitching by the end of the weekend since I’m quite a slow stitcher.

I’ll be posting up more daily progress shots in twitter, but will most likely post about all this once again on Monday when I’ve finished at least one side (hopefully both).

In: Sewing

Blogger for 6 years and counting, I am a passionate creator who loves to tinker.

Comments (15)