Monday, November 22, 2010

Lady Grey fitting and cutting

Contrary to my initial expectations, I had a sewing-tastical weekend.  I skipped out on my marathon training on Saturday and sewed for most of the day, while the Mr. and his classmates de-bugged the software they're developing.  Then, on Sunday, I sewed all afternoon and into the evening.  So I was able to make a ton of progress on my Lady Grey coat.

After my recent experiences trying to tweak the fit of the low-back dress, I've resolved to make muslins until all--and I mean all--of the fitting issues in a garment have been addressed.  So, I made a second muslin of my Lady Grey to check my alterations to the coat front.  Since I was happy with the sleeves on my first version, I omitted them this time.  I made sure to add the collar so I could mark the roll lines.

I'm happy with how the lapels lie, so that alteration was successful.  (Don't forget, if you make a similar alteration, that you need to alter the front facing and lining pieces to match!)  For this muslin, I also removed 1 in. from the lower edge at every seam except the center back, and I like the amount of volume this leaves.

This muslin did have one weird fit issue, which I suspect was an indirect consequence of shortening the lapel: there was too much fullness in the princess seam above the bust, which created a weird pooch/second boob.  Not the best look.  Here it is with the fullness pinned out.

I marked the new princess line with chalk on the inside, took my pieces apart, trued the lines,  re-sewed and checked the fit.  The result wasn't perfect, but my muslin has a very stiff hand and doesn't ease gracefully, so I decided not to worry about it.  Sure enough, that seam is great on the actual coat.  But I'm getting ahead of myself...

Next, I marked the roll lines using a sharpie.  (Actually, the Mr. did it.  This is one of those operations where the Heisenberg principle of fitting applies: if you turn to see the roll line, you'll change it.  So best to enlist assistance.)  It was neat how clearly you could see these lines form in the muslin, even though it's so much lighter-weight than the actual coating I'll be using.

Based on Gertie's suggestion, I decided to use my muslin pieces as the pattern to cut and mark my coat fabric, so once I was happy with the fit, I took the muslin apart, pressed each piece flat, and transferred all the markings to the pieces with a sharpie.

Here are my completed pieces.  According to Claire Shaeffer's book Couture Sewing, this is called a "toile."  (Anyone know how to pronounce this?  Does it rhyme with "foil," or with "fall"?)  Apparently, this is how patterns are made in the couture houses.  I don't think it took any more effort than transferring my markings back to the paper pattern would have.  And the muslin pattern pieces were definitely easier to pin and cut.

By last night I had everything cut, and I had a chance to start the tailoring, which I'll write about in my next post.  But so far, I'm in love!  And I can't say enough about Gertie's excellent tutorials!  But more on that soon.

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