Friday, January 17, 2014

pepper dress to coat sew along - day 3, final construction and finishing touches

okay ladies - here we are on our very last day. and a friday at that. i love fridays!

if you are just now joining us, check out the information on the sew along that starts here. then, you can see day 1 and day 2 to catch yourselves up.

let's jump right in! yesterday was a big day. we got both the inner and outer coats finished and button tabs and trim added. fun times in the sewing room. today, we will put those 2 coats together and add buttons and button holes to make it functional. then your little supermodel will shine in her pepper coat! i know i for one will be envious!

alrighty. this step is like the wost ever to take a picture of. but, lay your outer coat right side up on a flat surface. you want to maneuver it in a way that you will have what i call a "box figure." meaning you want it looking like there are 4 sides - right side, top, left side and bottom. run with me here, trust me. ;)

now, what you want to do is to lay your inner coat right sides together on top of the outer matching up the shoulder seams, the sides (especially where the bodice meets the skirt), bodice and bottom. pin like there is no tomorrow. this step is in no hurry. promise. you will pin all the way around the 4 sides leaving the sleeves alone to hang out in the middle and have a bell sleeve party.

user friendly tip - i found it is easiest to go ahead and pin the 2 sides and the top. then, once those are secured to each other, you can fan out the bottom (due to the gathered skirt) and pin it accordingly.

ps - would you cry if i told you THIS was the point i got to before i realized i failed to cut my bodices mirror image? seriously. i cried. and then i got so mad at myself! thankfully i had extra fabric for the inner!

once all 4 of your sides are pinned together, you will have this. 

thanks to my vanna, i thought it may help to see this held up and not laying on a surface. you will then sew, very, very carefully around all 4 edges with a 3/8" seam allowance as shown by the black lines. just to clarify - that bottom will flatten out. the lines got all crazy because i tried to show how to sew with it all draped like that. this is one of those times where it would have been nice to check out my photos to see what i had to work with before i sewed it all shut. oops - if this confuses yall, please let me know!

once you have it all sewn, very carefully clip your curves just as you would in the pattern. then, the best part...and the part i sweated buckets over when making because it was the test of time to make sure it all pulled out right sides okjay. reach into one of your sleeves and work on pulling the entire coat through that sleeve. trust me, it makes no sense at all, but it works and you will feel the need to squeal when you have it done. :)

take it over to the ironing board, put on your comfy shoes and some good tunes and take your time and press this beauty out. i haven't forgotten the sleeves. promise we are about to get there but the pressing of this coat just might be the most important step (other than cutting mirror images, haha). 

once pressed - let's turn our attention to the sleeves. reach inside and pull your inner sleeve down all the way and press that 1/2" hem that you pressed earlier.

then, pull the outer sleeve down over the inner and re-press that 1/2" seam as well. you see, is it all starting to make sense?? it is so much harder, in my opinion to press once sewn as a sleeve, so that is why i had y'all press it early. methods to the madness. ;) now, match up your sleeve seams on both the inner and outer sleeve and pin together.

take over to the sewing machine and top-stitch around the very edge of the sleeve to stitch the two together. remember since you are going to see both sides to use coordinating thread for your top needle and your bobbin!

when finished, you should have a stitch that looks like this. now, repeat with other sleeve. ps - this is a fabulous spot for a decorative stitch!

and guess what girls - the construction is DONE. now all we need to do is to add the button holes and buttons. we are just a few steps away from an awesome coat!!

first up - button holes. okay, i am going to give directions for a completely reversible coat option. meaning you will have buttons for both sides. if you are just using the inside of your coat as a lining, then you can follow the directions just as they are in the pattern for placing the buttons. first things first. it is very important that you choose buttons for both sides that are roughly the same size. why you may ask - well, you will only have 1 size button hole, so you need that to fit both buttons, inner and outer. mine are like 1/8" from each other, but that small amount of discrepancy is fine, i would not go over 1/4" difference in size.

pick the largest button to use for your button hole. place it in your sewing machine's button hole foot before you forget. and please don't panic when you cannot find this button later. one day i will learn to check my button hole foot first.

now, it is button placement time. i wont go into much detail here, but if you reference page 16 in the pattern i go into all kinds of detail. :) i like to eyeball button placement. here, i have my coat placed on my dress form and am using pins to hold the buttons in place. but, as you can see in the pattern it is just fine to have it laid on a flat surface. i am only using 2 buttons for the coat, but you can use as many as you choose. you can also just do one right around where the bodice and skirt meet. that would allow the top of your bodice to flap over revealing your pretty inner fabric too. once you are happy with button placement, mark your spots just as you would in the pattern for the button holes and then head to the machine and sew the button holes. now, just as with the sleeve stitching, remember that you will be seeing both sides of this coat (if you are making it reversible) so make sure to use the coordinating thread for the bobbin.

once your button holes are sewn, open them up as instructed in the pattern on page 29. now, time to mark our buttons. first, mark your outer fabric buttons. this will be the only marking you will do as the inner buttons will need to be very close to this mark as well, so we will just work off the one mark.

to sew buttons on both sides, you will have to hand sew one side. you will sew one side of buttons with your machine first, then hand sew last. the lazy smart girl behind BG picks the buttons that are easiest to hand sew to hand sew. :) for instance, my inner buttons have 4 holes to sew while my outers have 2. so, i choose to sew my inner buttons on first by machine. 

since the buttons on both sides will use the same button holes, they need to be in the same place. however, it is near impossible to sew them in the exact same place and i have found it makes it harder to use the buttons if they are on top of each other. so, for your inner side of the coat, you will place your buttons 1/8" away from the outer buttons toward the inside of the bodice. that sounds confusing. here is a picture. see how the green dots (where the inner buttons will be) are 1/8" off from the outer buttons?

so, head over to the machine and sew your inner buttons on where marked 1/8" off from your outer button markings. if you have pins marking the spot, make sure to take those out before you ruin your machine. i had those there for picture purposes only as i had my markings on the outside with a pen. 

side note: if you outer buttons have 4 holes, then please do this backwards, meaning start with those first. i want you to make it as easy as you can for yourself too!

now, this is what it will look like on the inside where the buttons are. you can't see the outer button markings can you? awesome. that is the point. we are on the verge of magic here ladies.

 and here is what the outer looks like. see how i still have room for my outer button but they wont be right on top of each other?

 now for the tricky part. grab a comfortable seat and find some more good tunes (i prefer golden oldies, i heart them) as this next and LAST task takes some patience. you are going to now hand sew the outer buttons on. however, since you have buttons on the inside, it wont go as easy as it usually does with those inner buttons in the way. so, work around this inner button as best you can working the needle under it for good positioning and sew the outer buttons in place.

 once sewn, see how you can no longer see the stitches from the inner button? what did i tell you about magic? the buttons work together to hide each other's stitching. now, how about that for some teamwork? :) now, continue hand sewing your other outer buttons.

 and guess what ladies? you are so done with your pepper coat. pat yourself on the back big time! you will certainly impress the pants off of people when you tell them that yes, you made that. :)

i hope you have enjoyed this sew along! maybe you learned something new along the way, i know i did! if you have any questions or concerns, please email me or post to the brownie-goose lovers page on facebook. and speaking of the page - i cannot wait to see your creations!

thanks again ladies for all of your fabulous support. i couldn't make it without such amazing sewing friends. now, off to finish the upsize of the sleepy jeans. :)

xoxo - amy

No comments: