Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Baby trench part 7: Hems and stuff.

So where had I got to? Oh yes, topstitching the armhole seam. I decided to get clever here and instead of just binding the seam as intended I'd use binding to cover the seam allowances and still topstitch them. I wanted a lot of topstitching on this coat, and the armhole seam needed it, in my opinion.

And here it is. Much better than not done I think. Not sure about those puckers in the sleeve - I swear they weren't there when I sewed it in!

On the inside it looks like this. I was a bit generous when I applied the binding, so there was just a bit too much and it went a little wonky in places. I can live with it. That's what you get for making stuff up as you go along! This had to be pinned on the inside and sewn from the outside, removing pins as I went. I really made it hard for myself, so next time (hell yeah there'll be a next time!) I'll do a bit of thinking first. It helps, I find. (Oh, and I'm showing you the tidiest bit of course. There is some way wonkier binding on the other sleeve!)

And on to the hem. Another thing better thought about before you start. It would have saved my any number of headaches if I'd done some prep work before I got here, but again, that's what you get when you make stuff up as you go along.

I did a very cheaty hem. The outer fabric is very thin, and could use a bit of support. The lining is comparitively much bulkier and needed to be minimised. So I cut away 4cm from the bottom of the lining (my hem allowance) and folded the hem up over it - stabilised and beefed up hem, smooth and lump free. Since the lining was hanging very slightly below the outer fabric (due to turn of cloth at the upper end of the coat) there was a built in ease allowance of just a smidge to prevent the lining pulling up the outer. If they'd been level before I trimmed the lining I'd have trimmed less. The lining needs to be just a bit longer than the outer.

Here's the lining cut away.

Here's the facing folded back and sewn to give a clean front edge.

And then it got fun - I had to work the lining under the facing and make everything lie flat. If I'd worked out what I was doing before I did it I could have done some preliminary pressing which would have made the whole job a lot easier. I also had to go back and edgestitch the front facing. That was almost impossible with sleeves already in!

It looks so innocent doesn't it? All neat and flat and tidy. Yeah, there were a few curses uttered to get it like that! At some point I topstitched the front egde too. Obviously after I took this pic.

I hate making excuses, but by this point I was pretty over it. I had an utterly crap nights sleep last night with both twins playing up - on (fortunately) rare occasions they set each other off and it is Bloody Horrible. Last night was one of those nights. I didn't get to sleep till just after 4am. So now that you all feel nice and sorry for me, here's my sewn hem from the inside (before pressing). Again, vanity decrees that I show the best bit!

Which gets me to the so-nearly-finished-I-can-taste-it! point - only buttons to go!!!

I was showing David my progress last night. He is always pretty interested in what I'm doing, and can follow quite well when I rabbit on about some obscure point or other, but I try not to inflict my enthusiasm on him too much. So I haven't given him chapter and verse on this coat (saved that for here). So he hasn't really seen it that much. When I showed it to him last night (after I'd sewn on the 2nd sleeve and topstitched both of them) he said "That's Isabella's size isn't it?" Um, yeah. We might not be selling this one! I tried it on her very quickly this morning and it fits just as a size 2 should - still a bit big on her, but wearable. Might have to make another one.....


  1. You have done a beautiful job on that baby trench. Just beautiful! Great workmanship and nice sewing!

  2. Definitely should be for Isabella! That way she can wear it out and you only have to remember the order book. :)

  3. Oh wow! Gorgeous coat. You definitely have to keep it. Call it a sample - my two have wardrobes full of samples!

  4. It is incredible, truly, I would only go to that kind of effort for myself!

    I hear your pain re 4 am. On the other side of the country, there were another set of parents up in the small hours with a shrieking child....