Saturday, April 18, 2009

Second body syndrome


I've come to the conclusion that sewing a lining for a garment is the sewing world's equivalent of the knitter's second sock syndrome - i.e., while it might be fun to do something once, to do the same thing twice gets a bit tedious, and kind of takes the shine off the whole project. Bearing that in mind, I decided to sew the lining of this coat before I constructed the outer. A bit like eating the boring bits of a meal first and saving the good bits for the end; something which, incidentally, I've stopped doing this since I've had kids - if I save the good bits for the end, small grabby fingers seem to pinch them off my plate before I've had a chance to enjoy them.
Anyway...back to sewing. My eldest is, in his own words, "a boy who likes to be warm" and in a benevolent mood one day I agreed to make him a duffle coat, a la Paddington Bear. Technically, (well, according to the picture) this Burda pattern is for girls (a fact which caused a look of intense consternation on his little face) but since kids are all just kid shaped at that age, I figure it didn't really matter. Just in case, though, I ran the side seams straight down rather than tapering in and out at the waist - time will tell if this was a good move or if it will result in the whole thing looking like a box.
I'm pleased I did the lining first, though, because I've been reminded of a couple of things. It's been a while since I did a set in sleeve, and now I remember why - I loathe sewing them. I can't stand all that faffing around with easing in the sleeve cap, and I always seem to end up with poofy Snow White sleeves no matter how long I fiddle with the gathers for. I've only basted them in so far - I had planned to sew them last night but there was a really good Agatha Christie on the telly so I was glued to the couch. Hopefully with a bit of steam they'll sit a bit better once they're sewn in; and if they don't, hey, it's only the lining. Hopefully the sleeves on the body will work better....if you have any set-in sleeve tips, please do share them :-)
The other thing I need to take care of is the fray-factor of the polyester shantung I've used for the lining. In true satin style, it's fraying like nobody's business, and I hadn't planned on overlocking it, thinking that since all the seams would be on the inside, it would be ok. Bad move, apparently...I think I'll have to figure out a lazy slacker way of finishing the edges so the whole thing doesn't disintegrate before I finish it.
I've fused interfacing to the centre front edges, sleeve hem, and body hem, but I think I probably should have fused the whole lot. Not much more work, really, and I think it would have made the fabric more manageable. Time will tell - and hey, it's only for a four year old, so it's not a big deal if there's a bit of sag in the fabric, I guess.

Hopefully this'll get finished in the next few days, so I can move onto some more stuff for myself - I have a list that just keeps getting longer, and it's definitely no longer the weather for my recently finished summer tops.


  1. Lucky Mr 4 getting his own little snazzy duffel coat!

    There is no easy way to set in sleeves except to cuss a lot when you are gathering in the cap. I find that helps a lot. I've got it down to a fine art now and no matter how full the gap I never have to gather first. But it's still not easy, not saying that, no.

    I had a duffel coat as a child that I loved. My mum sewed a duck on it to cover a hole in the fabric. I recommend sewing on a little motif. It's the most thrilling childhood thrill.

  2. I'm looking forward to getting up the courage to devising a special coat like that for my chap. Once he's over covering himself in mud whenever he gets the chance.
    And the two-sock thing?? I'm knitting gloves at the moment, am totally over it before the second one's on the needles ...

  3. I totally adore duffle coats, can't wait to see it!! Can sympathise, 2nd sock syndrome strikes here (actually I have 2nd arm syndrome presently). I'm not sure what that says about my attention span lol

  4. Oh yes, a duffle coat is a really special piece of clothing. I remember MaryAnna's one really well and I had one just like it made out of brown faux fur. I looked like a kiwifruit in it. Can't wait to see this project all finished- it's going to be very sweet!