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Readers,

This morning I couldn’t resist pinning the sleeves I finished yesterday onto my jacket, just to get a preview.

The jacket, with completed sleeves pinned on to preview the final look. No shoulder pads yet.

The jacket, with completed sleeves pinned on to preview the final look. No shoulder pads yet.

Last week I was gratified to sew the shoulder seams and hand-stitch the collar to the neckline. For the first time I was able to see my jacket as a three-dimensional garment and not just a flat project.

With the sleeves pinned on, I was able to imagine my jacket finished. Yay!

The most recent segment I completed from Kenneth King’s Smart Tailoring DVD set, “Construct the Sleeve–Old School,” was pretty easy. Kenneth walks you through neatly finishing a vented sleeve. There was no single step that was hard to understand or do.

The underlap of each sleeve is stitched and turned.

The underlap of each sleeve is stitched and turned.

Nevertheless, I took the precaution of reviewing mitering the overlap by making a paper model, which was easy, quick, fun, and a confidence-builder. Making mistakes on paper is a lot better than in fabric.

To practice mitering, I did a paper mockup.

To practice mitering, I did a paper mockup.

I folded in the vent edge extending the seamline.

I folded in the vent edge extending the seamline.

Next, I folded up the hem. This created a 1 1/2-inch square.

Next, I folded up the hem. This created a 1 1/2-inch square.

I penciled a mark where the edges came together.

I penciled a mark where the edges came together.

I notched the pencil marks, then drew the stitching line.

I notched the pencil marks, then drew the stitching line.

The paper is refolded to create the miter.

The paper is refolded to create the miter.

The finished miter.

The finished mitered overlap.

I did stray from the Smart Tailoring path for one step. Kenneth interfaces the 1 1/2 inch-deep sleeve hems with 2 1/2 inch-wide wigan–and guess what? I forgot to lay in a supply. What could serve as a substitute?

Searching my stash, I came up empty-handed. I did not have any woven that was both light and crisp except organza, which seemed too light for this medium-weight wool tweed.

After consulting some tailoring sources (tick, tick, tick–down the research rabbit hole) I said to myself, It’s time to move on. I’m using bias-cut tailors’ canvas.

I looked at my tailoring books about interfacing the cuff--straight of grain? bias?

I looked at my tailoring books about interfacing the cuff–straight of grain? bias?

I’ve done this before–I mean, used bias-cut tailors’ canvas to interface sleeve hems–without dire results. The bias cut means the canvas can conform to curves more smoothly than a lengthwise or crosswise grain can. That’s good, right? My sleeve hem definitely has a curve.

I trimmed the bias-cut canvas to the 1 1/2-inch hem depth and basted it to the sleeve.

Oops–I cut my bias-cut canvas too wide. I trimmed it to the 1 1/2-inch hem depth and basted it to the sleeve.

I went back to Kenneth’s segment about tailoring supplies, where he mentions wigan:

This is used to interface cuffs; it’s used sometimes to interface hems, because a cuff on a tailored jacket sits at a slight angle, so it is a slight bias. You don’t want that edge to stretch over time. So interfacing with wigan is a very thin, lengthwise-grain way of staying the cuff.

Hmm. Okay, the idea of staying the cuff with a lengthwise grain makes sense. But Kenneth’s sleeve looked awfully straight across to me. I did not see a curve anything like my sleeve’s to contend with. So he could lay down that wigan along his sleeve hem and it fit right in. Would wigan have worked as well for my sleeve? Call me dubious.

After being interfaced the hem is turned up. It's curved, and the bias-cut canvas fits nicely in the curve.

After being interfaced the hem is turned up. It’s curved, and the bias-cut canvas fits nicely in the curve.

I will add using wigan to my list of questions to ask at Kenneth’s two-day tailoring details class  in Cleveland in July.

It just occurred to me that this sleeve segment of Smart Tailoring was so straightforward that I had to work pretty hard to find something to cavil about.

A swing tack holds the hem up between the underlap and overlap.

A swing tack holds the hem up between the underlap and overlap.

Time, again, to move on. Next will be installing the sleeve lining.

An unbeatable combination.

An unbeatable combination.