I finally have the pictures to show the yummy fabric that I get to work with for this project. The fabric on the right is what BurdaStyle sent to me– 4 yards of suedecloth from MacCulloch & Wallis. Mmmmm, European fabric. It’s soooooo buttery soft that I just want to sit here and pet it. But, of course, then I’d never get the coat done! It really has the texture and weight of a real suede (albeit a really thin one), so I realized almost right away that I am most certainly going to have to line this coat, or I have no hope of getting it on over any other article of clothing with sleeves, ever. So I went to Joann’s earlier this week and came home with this fabric on the left– a lovely brocade with a background that is the perfect match of this odd shade of grey. It’s kind of blueish-greyish-greenish…and let me tell you, it was a PAIN to match the thread on this! BurdaStyle actually sent me some but it was way too dark–I’m guessing a victim of computer monitor color discrepancies. So the fact that I was able to find a lining to match so perfectly at my one and only local fabric store is a minor miracle. And the fact that it’s also a print makes me rather happy–it’ll be a fun surprise when the coat is opened up.
I’m a little behind on my original schedule– thanks to some ridiculous delays at the DMV, I didn’t have time to cut it out on Thursday as planned. So I cut it out on Saturday. And I’m glad that I had to add my own seam allowances on this pattern, because that made it really easy to keep the pins within that. I am going to have to be super-careful on pinning and sewing this, because as you can see, this fabric is going to show everything.
I’ve worked with suedecloth before, but it’s generally been more along the lines of the polyester stuff that’s not really as genuinely suede-like. So, armed with my new fabric manual and some scraps, I decided that it would be best to do some testing before I work on the actual coat pieces– I do have a decent amount left over after cutting, but I forgot to take into account that I have some trim to cut out of it still. So this was my seam-pressing experiment. The one to the right was the most successful; for this one, I pressed it from the wrong side on the lowest temp with a bit of steam and a pressing cloth. Doing it from the front makes the seam edges show too much. Not to mention iron marks.
Speaking of the trim…this was my experiment on that. I’d thought that maybe I could take advantage of the non-fraying qualities of the fabric and just leave the raw edges (the top bias strip), but I don’t think it’s going to work. There’s too many skipped stitches, and it just looks kind of sloppy. I did more of a traditional bias tape on the bottom, with pressed-under edges, and that one both lays and looks better. The only problem: my original design plan was to use this self-fabric bias trim on both the front and the sleeves, and for the sleeves, I may have to rethink my design plan. The fabric really won’t curve that much, even cut on the bias.
Hoping to start some actual sewing tomorrow afternoon!