Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pinkertons: Assembling the parts

The final part of making these vests is joining together all the parts. I got through most of that tonight, though I will have to wrap up tomorrow.  I underestimated how much gold topstitch thread I had and need to get another spool or I'd have at least finished the armscye bindings tonight.  I got enough done to show how I'm doing it, though.  I'll also have to do the buttonholes and buttons later; it's a little late to be pulling out the other machine and especially late to  be hammering on stud buttons.

All the parts sewn together, and the armhole bound.
First I put the lining, shell, and collar together.  The curved neckline edge is one of the few places I routinely use pins - it's pretty curvy and there are a lot of layers to get together.  There is a notch in the collar at points where it should line up with the center back seam and the shoulder seam; additionally there is a notch on the body pieces  where the edge of the collar aligns.

(Pictures and more beyond the cut!)

All the layers stacked and pinned.
It's smart to note that you should be lining up seam lines and NOT topstitch lines.  That will make your garment not fit together properly at all - and please, learn from my past mistakes.  It's a faux pas I've made on previous projects, and had to redo the seam.  I usually start stitching at the center of the neckline, where any backstitching will be covered by the collar.

The layers sewn all the way around.
Sew all the way around using a 3/8" seam allowance.  It might seem odd to go all the way around, but don't worry.  I've had to turn many a garment through some gap left in a side seam, but this garment has nice, unbound armholes.  Trim corners and clip any curved seams, then stick your hand on in there between the shell and lining. Turn the garment right side out through one of the armholes.
The garment turned.  I did press before I topstitched, but I suppose you don't have to.  If you don't you're a more intrepid soul than I.
I used a point turner to turn the lapel corners, and pressed the garment.  Then topstitch all the way around.

A note on the arm binding - I only got the right one done because I ran out of thread.  Also, I did NOT do the binding the exact same way the factory sample has been sewn, as I'm doing a contrast-stitched garment. The sample has a rolled binding, and looks to be done with stitch-in-the-ditch (or possibly a binder attachment, but I doubt it).  I wanted that line of stitching to show, so I essentially did it backwards so that I could edgestitch from the outside of the garment.  I don't know if that made ANY sense, but it may become clearer when I demo how to do the armhole binding as it was done on the sample.  (I do have two more vests to make!)

To do the edgestitched binding I used here, start by prepping the self-fabric bias strips.  Fold em' in half, and press.  Fold one half in to the center and press again.
The binding strip - the top edge is a raw edge; the other side has been folded in.
Next, place the raw edge of the unfolded side of the strip along the edge of the armhole.  Put it right sides together on the lining side (the picture is truly worth a thousand words here).  Start at the underarm, and leave about half an inch unsewn.
I heart the heck out of my burly old table machine!
Stitch all the way around; take your time, go slow, and make sure to keep the garment out of the way.   When you reach the end, fold the binding you left unstitched and let it underlap the binding as you sew down that last bit.  When you roll the binding to the outside, this will leave a finished edge.

Unfold the center press of the binding, and pull the binding to the outside.  Again, the picture will help show what I mean:
Pull the binding  out then fold it back down to cover the raw edges.
Finally, edgestitch from the top side of the garment.  The overlapped ends will be VERY thick; if you are sewing on a home machine, the multiple layers of canvas may be enough to give you a hard time.  There's a little secret on how to overcome this kind of lump - you can use a jig to compensate for the thickness of the fabric.  Dritz makes a product called the Jean-a-ma-Jig; I've got one and it works great, but in reality you can use just about anything to raise up the back of the presser foot.  I've borrowed a little video of a lady using one from YouTube, but must admit that more than once I've shimmed up the back of the presser foot using a chunk of folded up manila tag.
Edgestitch nice and close to the edge - voila! Your armhole is bound!
I will have to do the other side later, as well as buttonholes and buttons.  I am also planning to do a vest from beginning to end this weekend, and will show how to do the arm binding a little differently.

I might do another little project in the meantime....

1 comment:

  1. Love the lapels!
    What small project? I can't wait to see!