Image from here
The Claire Schaeffer patterns are said to be worth the cost for the instructions alone. Well, I had the instructions, but had somehow misplaced the pattern! Fortunately, JoAnn's had them on sale for $3.99, so I picked up another copy. It's a really lovely jacket, which does not come in "potato" sized. It's also classic enough, that it wouldn't look too weird if you had more than one in your wardrobe, provided that they were made up in different fabrics. So, I spent a huge portion of time this on adjusting the pattern to fit (hopefully). I still haven't bothered to re-size the (2 piece) sleeves. I made up a muslin in cotton muslin, but it's hard to translate that to wool. Fortunately, the wool fairy blessed me with a lot of really nice quality, inexpensive stuff, so I didn't cringe all that much when I cut out the shell pieces.
Here is the front of the jacket -- you can see that it's got some interesting pleating at the pocket. I used white silk thread (because it is very visible and slides well) to trace the shoulder dart and pleats. Here is a better image of that and a good picture of the weave of the fabric. It almost has a herringbone effect, but is fairly subtle and incorporates a lot of colors that I like:
Because I am crazy, I decided to do view "A" -- the couture technique version. This involves facing the front pieces and collar with medium weight hair canvas and then hand padstitching the roll on the collar. The fabric itself is a medium weight wool -- not quite a coating, but heavier than the very expensive wool flannel I got for a potential round 2 of this coat.
Hair canvas is called this, because it actually has some goat hair in the weft threads. It's one of the classic tailoring interfacings. If I ever win the lottery, I'm totally going to buy myself a bolt of this stuff. That and a 100 yards of spiral steel boning. Both seem like they'd be obnoxiously stiff and irritating to wear and both really "make" the garments they're incorporated into.
The hair canvas helps to stabilize the fabric and gives it just a slightly heavier drape than just the wool alone. Ever since the debacle of the seersucker jacket + craft interfacing, I've gotten more neurotic about not letting the interfacing overwhelm the fabric. I steam pressed the hair canvas to very slightly pre-shrink it. I then compared it to the jacket shell:
Once I was okay with the way they lined up, I used my sewing machine to run a 5/8" line around the edge of the hair canvas. I learned from my mistake with my brother's jacket, and won't trim back to the seam allowances until the pad stitching is done. However, I wanted to know where the seam allowances were (approximately).
I've never done a dart through this type of interfacing before -- essentially what you do is sew the dart in the shell fabric and trim the dart out of the interfacing, so it comes through.
Fortunately, I had a couple episodes of Top Gear (BBC) to keep me company. I love Amazon streaming video!
Next up, pad stitching redux! The nice thing about this type of project (tedious though the pad stitching can be), is that it is much more portable than other types of construction. I just need good light and a small bag to carry all my supplies. So, it will probably come on vacation with me. I think I may be checking a bag though, since it doesn't look like the TSA allows scissors to come in carry on luggage!
Happy sewing, all!