Trying out couture finishes

20160526_143453If you follow me on instagram, you’ll know that I’ve been working on the same jacket for over two months. I actually started it before the pink blazer with fray trim, but had to take several breaks as I ran out of thread (twice) and just needed to step away to knock out a few shorter, easier projects.

20160526_143508This was my “homework” from the blazer course I took earlier this spring. I decided to try a few things as I had my instructor to guide me, and I wanted to step up my game a little. I committed to a couple couture finishes that ended up taking about a thousand times longer than I expected. If I had to compare the pink blazer and the yellow blazer in terms of time they took, the pink was a 100 meter sprint and the yellow was a fricken ultra marathon. Now it’s done, though, I’m super glad I took the time.

Here’s a summary of the finishing touches I experimented with:

20160526_143707

  1. A Hong Kong Binding. This is one I’ve read about and been eager to try. I’ve been experimenting with finishing hems with bias tape, so this was a natural next step. I somehow imagined it was harder than it was and never tried it on my own. Turns out, it’s pretty simple but extremely labour intensive. You don’t realize how many seams a garment has until you are sewing them all four times. Literally. As I said, I ran out of thread twice. At one point, I considered serging the sleeves since they’d be less likely to be seen, but I soldiered on. I struggled a lot more than I should have as I picked the shiftiest, fray-iest fabric ever to do the binding (I had thought I would make a blouse with it to match. It’s pretty, but ridiculous. I need to figure out how to stabilize it before I can use it for anything else). I’m not sure I would do this binding again – only on fabric nice enough to warrant it, and in a garment it would be seen by anyone but me. 20160526_111255
  2. Covered buttons. This is one I’ve tried before, but with crappy, plastic buttons that looked just awful. The white plastic posts are really obvious and look cheap. I got the kit with metal buttons and the tool to help you put them together, and it was definitely worth it. The wool was thick enough to make it very difficult, though not impossible. As someone who isn’t in love with buttons (I may be the only person, ever, to be underwhelmed by thousands of button options), I find self cover buttons the perfect solution. They always look classy.20160526_122730
  3. Bow closure with covered hook and eyes. (Side note, is the plural “hooks and eyes” or “hook and eyes”? Google seems to accept both…) This idea was born of my continued love of that Kate Spade Jacket. The biggest challenge was figuring out how to keep the jacket closed without a big, ugly, clasp. I considered magnets, but my sewing instructor suggested covering a hook and eye with matching thread to make it less obvious. I started by attaching one of the loops of the eye to the jacket.20160526_123323 Without breaking the thread, I then looped the thread around the eye, knotting each time (like those friendship bracelets we all made with embroidery thread in the 90s), when I got around to the other loop, I attached it, making sure to cover all of the metal. I’m quite pleased with the result, but know I could make it neater next time.

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