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Cutting and interfacing my coat.
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A wool coat for winter, part 3: Cutting and interfacing

My winter wool coat project is slowly progressing despite my detours into other little projects. Yesterday, we had our first snow in Helsinki, so I got extra motivation to sew on.

This time I cut the fabric and add some very important interfacings to support the coat fronts.

Cutting the wool

My wool is wool-angora blend with a clear nap. It was really important to pay attention while cutting the fabric. The nap should always point down. This complicated the cutting process since the shape of the pattern pieces already prevented me from cutting the pieces out of a folded fabric. To conserve the nap direction I cut the fabric in two so that I could place the two pieces with the nap pointing to the same direction.

I left out the collar and the sleeve pieces and only made sure that I had plenty of fabric for them for later. I am not sure about the right size of the collar and I want to see the assembled coat before making any irreversible decisions.

I serged the main edges of the coat pieces immediately. This will stop them from fraying and make a neat finished edges:

 

Serged edges of my wool.

I used tropical weight hair canvas for the sew-in interfacing. I cut the interfacing on bias:

Cutting the hair canvas.

The hem was very wide, so I did not interface the whole hem but only the closest 20 cm or so. My pattern piece had the seam allowance included, so I drew the pattern on the hair canvas and then removed the seam allowance before cutting the pieces for the interfacing.

After cutting the interfacing I realized that I had not soaked the hair canvas! What would happen if it shrunk in the wash? I then soaked the pieces I had cut and luckily the worst thing that happened was some little fraying of the edges – no shrinking!

Sewing on the interfacing

Following some tips from my sewing guru Michele, I basted the hair canvas on my wool with long basting stitches.

Basting on the interfacing.

Then I switched into using Gütermann hand silk thread. This is pre-waxed silk thread I got from the Lining company. It comes in a big skein and it took me 2,5 hours to wind it into a neat ball. It was worth all the trouble, though, since this thread is amazing to work with. The hand silk doesn’t tangle or twist at all and it glides smoothly through the fabric. I cannot recommend this thread strongly enough!

My ball of Gütermann hand silk.

The interfacing is sewn on using catch stitch. You’ll only pick a little bit of the wool and the stitches don’t show from the right side:

Sewing on the interfacing.

Oops… I got a message from my sewing guru telling me that it’s not customary to sew the outer edge of the interfacing onto the wool since it may end up pulling. Well, at least it will be easy to rip the stitches if that happens…

Taping the coat edges

After the interfacing was on, there was more hand sewing to do. I used ermazine tape to tape the front edges. As it is cut on bias I didn’t cut it at the point where the front edges have the angle.

Pinning on the ermazine tape.

I sewed the tape on with more catch stitching:

The taped coat edge.

 

After all this hand stitching I can finally take this coat to my machine and start to sew the main pieces together! There’s, of course, going to be more interfacing but those steps come at the later stage.

 

I hope you found this post useful and informative. Subscribe to follow my progress! Soon I can make the first fitting! How exciting!

Happy sewing!

 

Katja

 

 

 

I am a mother of two. I sew, knit and create and blog about it.

7 Comments

  • spiralvox

    i was wondering if you could advise? im making this coat using a herring bone wool blend, i want to give it more body (but sadly do not have the funds for a task such as your beautiful piece), and the winters here are more wet and cold rather than VERY below freezing (though its been known to happen). what would you recommend i use to interface and perhaps interline it with to give it more body? i like how yours shows the beautiful fit and flare. would using horse hair braid along the bottom hem help with that? thank you

    • kk

      Hi! You can use fusible interfacing, too. Just ask the seller what they would recommend for coats. The hair-canvas will work for the coat too, there are different weights of it and all the men’s jackets use it. But you don’t need to add the wadding if you don’t want the warmth. The thin cotton layer might still help if you have wind. The horsehair-braid will give the hem lift but personally, I do not have experience on it. However, I recommend adding a piece of cotton to the upper back to support the shoulders if you live in a wet climate. The wet wool will stretch otherwise and your coat will start to look too big at the shoulders.

  • Aly

    I’m making this coat too, but the fabric I have will unravel like crazy when cut. As I don’t have a serger, would you recommend bias binding the seams before I sew the pieces together? I don’t think a zig zag stitch will work quite so well. Would this add too much bulk if I’m adding interlining and lining? Thank you

    • kk

      I don’t think so. However, that seems a bit too fancy if you are still planning to line the coat. What about just whipping the edges by hand? Or try using some other stitch on your sewing machine. If the regular zigzag is not working, what about a three-step zigzag?

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