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09/10/2012 / thriftomancer

T.C.o.Dr.C: More alterations

Over the last few days I got a lot done. After finishing the sleeves I closed up the side seams, leaving 32″ open at the bottom for gores.

Caligari's coat - adding gores

Then added them using the same pattern I did on the Moreau coat. I had to extrapolate the shape a little since these gores are about 6″ longer than last time, but it worked. I didn’t have any chunks of linen large enough to let me cut the gores in one piece, so they’re simple patchwork. Each is made of two halves pieced along a vertical center line.

Despite my best attempts to match colors I had to use several different shades of black. (Yes, due to the variations in dye quality, weave density/pattern, fiber thickness, ect. of black fabric, you do get different shades/hues of “black.”) I tried to at least make a pattern of sorts out of my forced improvisation by positioning the lightest gray-greenish black linen pieces in the front edge of each gore so they’d be evenly distributed.

After dealing with the flaring (piecing, binding raw edges, topstitching, and hemming) I did a little more shaping with darts on the back and front. They were all pretty shallow, especially on the back since I didn’t want to eat up too much of the extra room I made when I inserted the gusset and risk having it be too tight again.

To make them as accurate and well-placed as I could I pinned, fit, re-pinned, and re-fit until they were perfect, triple-basted them to make damn sure they were secure, and wore it so I could be positive they were right.

While I was testing that, I set to work constructing the hood.

Caligari's coat - constructing the hood

Here’s the assortment of raw fabric bits that became the hood. As you can see, there was a lot of patchwork to do.

Step 1 was to join the 12 narrow gray strips into one big, stripey, 18″ x 4″ piece, then cut it lengthwise. I then joined the two 18″ x 2″ strips into one very long strip that would become the decorative patchwork/patterned outer edge/cuff of the hood. I stitched the blue strips together to make an equally long strip, then joined the blue and gray strips right side to right side.

Step 2 saw me joining the black hood halves, binding the raw edge, and trying to figure out just how to attach the blue-gray piece. I say “trying” because the mechanics of this bit were rather confusing and I ended up doing it a few times.

In the end I joined the blue edge of the blue-gray piece right side to wrong side with the black hood section and pressed the seam. Then I folded the gray section back, pressed under its raw edges, and topstitched it down so the seam between blue and gray became the finished edge of the hood. In effect, the gray is acting as a wide hem, just in the opposite direction it would normally be.

To actually attach the hood I stitched it and a narrow strip of black linen to the unfinished neckline, then folded the linen strip down to act as a facing and cover the raw seam at the aforementioned neckline. I basted it in place, topstitched it securely, and was done with it because that whole segment had been highly frustrating. (Many a stitch was ripped out due to confusion, accidentally using the wrong color of thread, or just a plain old case of the dumbs.)

Now all that’s left is to make the final touches like permanently stitching the darts, bottom hems, sleeves cuffs, tying off loose ends, and removing basting threads.


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