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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Lamination complete

I have added this photo to horrify you and to reassure you that I am doing this project in a casual sort of way.

The Chanel/project/muslin/jacket/ better-be-as-comfortable-as-a-sweater is now onto step three.

I basted all the lining pieces to the body pieces and yesterday I quilted them all up. As you can see from the above I didn't do a sterling job but it was a job. My traveling machine with the broken take-up lever came back still broken from the shop, they don't make that part anymore, although my husband had a happy time with the Epoxy last night.

So I did my quilting with my small Janome I keep with me for doing buttonholes with my vintage buttonhole attachment:

It does a wonderful job with the buttonholer, but is a bit small for quilting and I don't have a walking foot with it.

The quilting is done from the right side and since my fabric is black it was hard to see how well I was spacing my quilting lines, although I did get them on grain, which was my priority. So the quilting job looks more like art work than quilting work if you get my drift.

I really could have used a quilting bar, but since I allocated only one afternoon of my life for this job off I went. Remind me not to wear it to the Sewing Guild where they are for sure going to open me up the minute they see my jacket and then go all silent while they inspect my stitches.

I was pretty skeptical of whole process but when I got up this morning and pressed all pieces I was totally amazed to see how well the stitches embedded - you can't really tell at all from the right side that there is stitching. 

What do you know.

Here is what I learned:

1. With all difference to Claire Shaeffer I am not going to bother with the basting next time. I basted all Thursday and took out the basting all Friday. This is not A Good Use of my Time. I will just use a million pins next time and take them out as I go.

2. Trying to find the grainline (all the quilting lines need to be on grain) in black fabric is the pits. If I do this again I am definitely going to use a fabric with a real dominant thread I can follow. This is sort of a herringbone semi-boucle and not ideal.

3. In my online class the stitching was done on the right side of the fabric, which makes sense because the garment pieces are cut to size and the lining is cut bigger, and of course you have to stop the stitching about 2" from the edges so you can get in there and sew the seams. Next time I will do the first row from the right side following the grain and then flip it over and use this one line of stitching as a guide, use a quilting bar, and work from the lining side so I can see what I am doing.

4. I was nervous about doing all this quilting on fabric of dubious loft so I did my quilting 2" apart, next time I would be braver and do them 1" apart for more secure lamination although this will be fine once the seams and everything are sewn in.

5. I didn't have a walking foot and I know just enough about quilting to know that if you stitch all the lines in one direction you will get warp so I stitched up one line and down the other, I stitched across the bottom from one row to the other, turning it, ( see lovely illustration of inaccurate sewing above) which also reduced the number of threads I had to tie off. (Apparently you never back stitch in couture, makes sense when your stitches are going to show on the right side).

6. The deal when all this is done is that you take any thread ends and pull them through between the layers and tie off. To save my mind I pulled on one thread from the right side until the bobbin loop showed, grabbed this (both threads were now on the right side) threaded them both through a needle and the pulled and knotted them between layers.

Next of course I will stitch up some structural seams and see how this looks.

Seems awfully light to me so far for a jacket, and I remain skeptical. I am not sure if I am culturally (as a random person) all that suited to this kind of sewing (the precise kind) but we will see.


petunia said...

Thanks VERY much for this blog, Barbara. It's wonderfully reassuring to see your realistic attitude about how this may turn out. I really need that about my sewing.

Bunny said...

So far it seems you've got the tiger by the tail!

Anonymous said...

So, let me get this straight - that means you took TWO sewing machines with you?

Never posted a comment before but I'm in Miss Scarlett's camp - you rock, Babs!