Undoing and redoing

Off I go, to undo again

Off I go, to undo again

A rather a long while ago and with colder days in mind I started making me a buttoned down cote out of warm wool – easy to put on and take off, a bit like a coat. It was meant to be finished for the winter before last, but oops, it wasn’t. There are several reasons for that of course, one of them being the essential question of buttons. Over a meter-long row of metal buttons would be far too heavy, lighter bone buttons have not been found, and the tricky thing with cloth buttons is that the fabric is checked. Quite a few people have been amused by my confession of not being comfortable with checked buttons on a checked dress, but I fear the patterns wouldn’t match or I would waste endless hours making them match. Oh yeah, silly 1st world problems.

But in the end it was a good thing I didn’t finish the dress earlier: over time and after handling the fabrics, it turned out that the linen I chose for the lining was rather stretchy. Or should I say the weave had a life of its own?

Indy helping

Helpful Indy tried to solve the lining problems

Once I had made 2 identical dresses, one of wool and the other of linen, I tried putting them together – but they didn’t match: the linen dress had gained too much in width. I’m not good at giving up so for the longest time I tried to make the layers match one seam at a time. It just didn’t work out, even despite the valuable help by Indy.

I calmly put the project aside after accepting that the dress deserved a fresh start. Finally, yesterday, I dag out the bundle of fabrics from my crafts basket, shook off the dust and cat hair, and started to undo the seams one by one. (Darn the tiny stitches!) The plan is now to take the whole dress to pieces and redo it by stitching the linen to the wool while sewing the seams. Carefully though, since the stupid linen is not only stretchy but also frays like mad.

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4 Responses to Undoing and redoing

  1. Mervi says:

    Indy on aina niin avulias ! Auttoi minuakin saksalaismekon teossa vuosi sitten 😀

  2. Uta says:

    Miten valmis maailmasta tuliskaan, jos Indy ja Eikka olis molemmat paikalla? HyvÀ tavaton, ei olis enÀÀ mitÀÀn tekosyitÀ olla saamatta valmista aikaan!

  3. Kareina says:

    My favourite way to do something lined is to baste the pieces of fabric together before I cut them, cut both layers at once, and leave them basted together while I sew the construction seams, treating them as though each pair is only a single piece of fabric. I use the sort of flat-felled seam that has the extra bit on the outside of the coat after the first pass of stitching, then I trim short the inner three layers and wrap the top layer over the seam and stitch it down on the outside. This works well for things like coats because the fit of the garment doesn’t change after the first pass of stitching, but if the seam finish were on the inside the coat would be a bit tighter after finishing the seam. It is a real treat to finally get everything sewn together so that I can take out those basting stitches, since I normally do them in a ugly colour so as to save my nice thread for permanent stitching.

  4. Uta says:

    I’m sorry Kareina for taking so long to reply! And thank you for your comment. 🙂 Your technic of basting the fabrics together already before cutting the pieces is actually well worth considering. I might try it one day… (Cutting is probably my least favourite part of sewing, so if I can cut 2 layers at once – boom! Win-win! )

    What I did now after opening all the seams, was putting the “matching” pieces (in quotation marks since they hardly matched) on top of each other and actually steaming and ironing them before basting them together. The ironing hopefully stretched the linen as much as possible, so that I don’t have to look at a lining dragging and bulging later on.

    So when you sew the pieces together, do you have the reverse sides facing each other instead of the right sides? And the seam allowance is on the outside?

    I’m aiming for a striped look on the inside of the garment, like seen on an image from the Bedford Hours from the 1420s (British Library MS Add. 18850, F 15v.) The manuscript is slightly off period for me, but {add here a valid excuse to approve of it anyway}. In the lower part of the picture there is a man working with an axe who has turned his cote inside out. The stripes are approximately where the seams and facings usually go, so the stripes could actually be seam allowances of the outer fabric. There are other examples from the 15th c. showing the same stripiness but none from the 14th c. that I have found yet.


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