Monday, October 11, 2010
Tailoring Your Coat Back
First, a note. You have two options here: you can baste the complete back with hair canvas as we did on the front OR you can use a back stay (pictured above), which covers just the upper part of the coat. The method I'm showing here is the second. A back stay keeps the shoulders of your coat from stretching out, as well as reinforcing the armhole.
Now, before you begin your back stay, it's a good idea to think ahead to the hem on your back pieces. Tailored hems are traditionally interfaced, so I'm adding some fusible strips in this first step. (Because the hair canvas doesn't extend to the hem, as on the front, there needs to be additional interfacing in the hem.) I really like bias strips of weft interfacing for this purpose: they give your hem structure, and the weft has a bit of a texture that you can grip onto with your hem stitches, without it showing on the outside.
I cut my bias strips 3-1/2 inches wide. Note: it's a good idea to cut your interfacing out with pinking shears so it won't leave a ridge on the right side of your fabric. I forgot to do this. Don't be like me!
this one by Ann of Gorgeous Fabrics.)
The next step is to make the back stay. You can trace your pattern pieces to make the back stay pattern, but I find it easier to trace the coat itself. Fold the coat back in half and place it on the fold of your pre-shrunk muslin here. (I'm using hair canvas because my fabric needs more stability, but muslin is traditional and works great.)
Now trace around your coat neckline, shoulder, armhole, and then down to 3" below the armhole.
Remove the coat back, but make sure the muslin/hair canvas stays pinned in place. Draw a curve from 3" below the armhole up to 8-10" down the center back from the neckline.
A parting shot for the cat lovers in the house. I bought some wool mohair to experiment with Kenneth King's sleeve setting method, and Pip has decided that it's hers. Apparently wool mohair makes a lovely cat bed.