Thursday, 22 April 2010

Setting sleeves into a summer coat

Hmmm.. I knew I wouldn't like sleeves very much... ok.. it was my own fault for not doing some extensive research beforehand, and for relying on my memory banks to serve me well in such 'difficult' circumstances, but we are all silly at times!  I am hoping that my fear and loathing of sleeves is not permanent..

So I followed the instructions on the pattern, made my gathering stitches, matched all my dots, triangles, marks, seams and notches - after spending quite a while trying to work out which direction everything should be pinned in ... I eased the sleeve cap, then basted it all together as is my habit with precision jobs like this...

Round and round I sewed, pulling and stretching the gathers out of the way, cursing when a few were caught under the needle and puckered, but after a while, I thought ... 'Surely this sleeve is done!" .. Whereupon I discovered problem number 1.. I'd been doing laps ... No thread in the bobbin meant that nothing had been sewn! Doh!

I wasn't too perturbed due to aforementioned catching, so I began again, and got this....

Puckered... not good - a 'sad sleeve' as Anne at Gorgeous Fabrics would call it (see below) ... However, cheered by the fact that this was only my first attempt I picked my needles and pins up and continued onto the second  without delay ... (note - no in between research has taken place!).

Second attempt, I was a bit more meticulous about my gathering/spreading .. but still .. not perfect ... to be honest, I find it very very difficult!  Not to mention frustrating!

Second sleeve attempt was OK enough for me to carry on with the project, and as I am going to be working with wool, I resolved that I can hide a multitude of sins with a good shot of steam!  But that wont help with the polyester lining, and so research - if only to sate my curiosity on how something so impossible can be possible was undertaken at last.

This is the finished toile ... it's a PERFECT fit - I am really impressed by this!  I will most certainly buy more McCalls patterns in the future.  I am used to Simplicity patterns which usually fall off me, however small I cut them!

And in the interests of sharing, here's the results of the further research that I should have done before I started! 

  • Gertie's Sleeve Setting Coat Vlog which gives a cool (and easy?) tailoring technique with hair canvas - I am going to do this with this project!
  • A lovely clear printable instruction sheet for regular sleeve setting - good for blouses and the like
  • Fantastic tutorial from Gorgeous Fabrics using 2 different techniques, Hand basting, and Pin Basting - I am going to try these in a non-tailoring project
  • Comprehensive video tutorials on the traditional method of sleeve setting and then sewing in the sleeve.  This video is worth watching just for the sewing machine!

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