Much ado about lapels

Some people only have a sewing room. I am lucky to have an entire sewing apartment! Not.
Some people only have a sewing room. I am lucky to have an entire sewing apartment! Not.

Time spent ca. 2hrs 30 mins

Total time spent: 6 hrs 30 mins

I finally feel like I am making progress. Over the last couple days, I have worked on the lapel, prepared the pockets and sewed the centre front panels to the side front panels. The majority of the two-plus hours spent was searching and watching videos.

The pattern required me to put stay tape along he edge of the roll line (where the lapel folds over to sit open on the chest). The problem was 1) I didn’t know what stay tape was, and 2) that meant I probably didn’t have any. I learned from this great blog what stay tape is and why it’s necessary. It’s sort of like interfacing tape, but can easily be substituted with actual interfacing or specific types of fabric (silk organza seems to be a favourite). I cut on the bias 1/4 inch strips some fusible interfacing. Cutting something on the bias means to cut it at a 45 degree angle to the grain. This totally made bias tape make sense to me. I learned that cutting something on the bias, as opposed to on the grain (or cross grain, I guess) makes the fabric move in different ways.

This is me making my own stay tape with fusible interfacing cut on the bias. The geometry set I had left over from when I taught Grade 6 math came in handy.
This is me making my own stay tape with fusible interfacing cut on the bias. The geometry set I had left over from when I taught Grade 6 math came in handy.

Putting the stay tape on the roll line is called making a bridle. The neatest part is that you cut the tape slightly shorter than the roll line between the seam allowances. What this does is create great tension in the fabric once it’s attached, making your lapel roll away from the body attractively.

The next part of the pattern dealt with the interfacing, which I’m not bothering with for the mock up, which included pad stitching the lapels. Since I’m only dealing with the fashion fabric, I elected to watch some videos, practice on some scrab and move on. Pad stitching is essentially quilting the interfacing of your lapel by hand to give it structure. You use small diagonal stitches (1/8 inch closest to the roll line and 1/4 farther away) which end up creating a zig zag pattern). These stitches create a small ridge next to the roll line so the lapel naturally falls open as well as making the whole lapel move as a unit and lay flat. I’m really excited to try it on the final piece. This video does a great job of explaining how to do this. This video give more background, but I find less easy to follow.

The beautiful pocket.
The beautiful pocket.

After dealing with the lapel, I moved onto preparing the pockets. These pockets are really neat because they have several folds and lay very flat to the body. After sewing the lining onto the fashion fabric, I folded and basted what felt like a hundred times. They were  very fussy, but look fantastic. After that, I was finally able to sew some panels together! I sewed the centre fronts to the centre sides. I can almost imagine what this jacket will look like finished now.

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