Project: Butterick 5542 (1930s), Jacket, part 4

Readers,

Some supplies for the jacket.

Some supplies for the jacket.

I’ve set aside my test garment, as I concluded that it yielded about all the information I could get from it.  I made a little pattern alteration in the front, on the advice of one of the staff at my local excellent fabric store, Treadle Yard Goods.
Time to cut into the linen.

After a muslin and a test garment, I've finally cut the linen for the jacket.

After a muslin and a test garment, I’ve finally cut the linen for the jacket.

I was so eager to do something on this jacket.  But there remained the question of how to interface it.  That required research.

If you don’t make clothes you may never have thought about what’s underneath them, holding them up.

No, I don’t mean you!

I mean the interfacings that give extra body, stability or crispness to parts of a jacket, shirt, coat, or dress.   They’re a very big deal.  And using the wrong interfacing–every sewer has had this experience–can result in a garment looking droopy instead of perky, or so stiff it could almost stand on its own.

What makes interfacing a tricky business is that experts don’t all agree on where to use it, how much to use, what types to use, or even whether to use it at all. Why is that?

I consulted reliable sources for interfacing advice. Their conclusion: "It depends."

I consulted reliable sources for interfacing advice. Their conclusion: “It depends.”

Every garment is different. Different fabrics, whether natural or synthetic fibers, react differently. So boilerplate advice won’t work.

It comes down to this: what effect(s) do you want to achieve in your garment?  Like Edith says, “What do you want to accomplish?”

With linen, the main interfacing question seems to be, “How do you feel about wrinkles?”  This wonderful natural fiber is notorious for wrinkles. That bothers some sewers.  They may want to fuse interfacing to every garment piece to keep wrinkling to a minimum.  But does that change the nature of the fabric too much?  I’m afraid it does. Plus, I have enough fabric for a matching skirt. I need to consider the interfacing needs for the ensemble.  I don’t want a jacket looking super-crisp and a skirt that’s wrinkly.

After poring through my sewing library and calling Treadle Yard Goods for advice I still had no clear guidance. I was on my own.

I decided to try silk organza underlining, which is supposed to help linen retain some crispness.

Hair canvas (left) and silk organza (right) will play supporting roles to the star: the linen.

Hair canvas (left) and silk organza (right) will play supporting roles to the star: the linen.

Possibly a weft-insertion fusible on the underlining.  I’ll use some hair canvas bias-cut strips in the hems. Hair canvas in the under collar and possibly the facings.  Maybe a back stay in a cotton batiste…

If all this pondering sounds arcane to nonsewing readers, think of it this way.  Have you ever done a paint job without adequately preparing the surface first? Did your “shortcuts” come back to haunt you?  I thought so.

On to a more fun subject: lining.

The contrast flat piping in this sportcoat is such a nice detail.

The contrast flat piping in this sportcoat is such a nice detail.

I had wanted a contrast lining, in coral, I thought.  But Treadle didn’t have any.  I came up with another idea: use a lining in a matching color but add a shot of contrast in flat piping.  I ended up liking this idea much more.  I’ve never used flat piping, but what a great use for it.

Here’s an example of flat piping, in a Lands End sportcoat of Jack’s.

This demure creamy white jacket...

This demure creamy white jacket…

And here is a creamy white J Crew jacket I bought at a consignment store last year with a red-orange narrow ribbon inserted between the facing and lining that behaves like the flat piping I want to use.

...conceals a little jolt of color.

…conceals a little jolt of color.

That bright, unexpected use of color is so easy and downright smile-producing.  It will be fun to apply an idea from ready-to-wear to my own project.

A dash of red will perk up the pale blues of the linen and lining.

It feels right for a summer jacket.

 

Inching toward the goal.

Inching toward the goal.

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