Hope you all had a lovely weekend! How about a change of scenery after all the school updates and Pendrell blouse posts? Here’s an update on the vintage tartan cape I started!
We’ve matched the plaids, we’ve pressed the darts, and pretty soon the cape will be finished! This is a very simple piece to construct. And therefore, the pattern instructions don’t say much. They expect you to know how to make bound buttonholes all on your own, and to pad-stitch your collar as well. In 1965, that must have been standard knowledge among those who sew. I’m going to follow the cape pattern advice and add in the padstitching.
Thought I’d share a behind-the-scenes look at the tailoring I did on the cape, before closing up the collar!
My undercollar is two pieces, so I overlapped the hair canvas interfacing and zigzagged it together. Now it matches the size of the undercollar fabric pieces.I looked up padstitching on Gertie’s blog, and found a tutorial on padstitching your undercollar. Perfect! The only thing is, she refers to the roll line, something I don’t have on my pattern piece. I checked back through the series and marking the roll line happens at the muslin stage. Oops!
How do you mark a roll line if you didn’t make a muslin? What I did was basted my collar and interfacing to the cape itself, tried it on the dress form, and then marked the roll line.I pinned the cape together at centre front, rolled down the undercollar to where it naturally lay. Here you can see the back view with the interfacing zigzagged together. (Looking back, next time I’ll zigzag once and trim the extra hair canvas, instead of stitching three times.)Next, I drew along the fold line with my handy Trickmarker. (You could use pen if you wanted, the hair canvas is thick enough so it won’t show.) The felt tip worked nicely to lightly draw the roll line.Keep marking all the way around the roll line.Then, carefully unpick the basting, removing the collar from the cape. Voila! Marked roll line. (Is this what you would have done? Or do you have another method to find the roll line?)Re-traced the roll line with marking pen, so we can see it better.Now we can padstitch the collar. I mostly followed Gertie’s instructions with a little help from my books. Take a look at her post for more on padstitching! I’ll show you what I did, though it’s less of a tutorial and more of a ‘behind the scenes’ post.
First, baste along the roll line with uneven stitches. Check!(Note: I used all-purpose polyester thread for the padstitching. Normally, we’re supposed to use silk thread, but I didn’t have any on hand and wanted to do it right now.)
Close-up of the basting. I had to move quickly before the trickmarker faded!I read the instructions rather quickly, and forgot to mark in the padstitching lines before doing the basting. So I drew them in afterwards: 1/4″ spacing on the collar stand, 1/2″ spacing on the collar itself.Now, the padstitching! I started with the stand:Not too messy for a first try! I’m pretty excited, it actually works. The collar is starting to shape itself here. Next, the collar (or the fall, if you prefer):Look how nicely it forms the shape of a real collar! Yay! I’m glad I took the extra time to padstitch now. After comparing my stitches to the book, mine are a little large and sloppy, but they do the trick. It’s nice to practice on a cape, a fun wardrobe piece and not an everyday item, so I can get better for my next attempt at tailoring. Now when I get to sewing a fabulous tailored coat, I’ve had a practice run at padstitching first. Lastly, we wrap the collar around the ham, steam it in place, and leave him overnight. Goodnight, little guy! See you in the morning.
While I know my padstitches are less than perfect, I love how the stitches form the collar into shape. The idea that we can mold, shape and form garments with structure is just another way to add quality into the things we sew. The padstitched collar is going to add extra quality to my cape, I hope, more tailored and less homemade. I’m excited to try more tailoring in the future!
What do you guys think: have you done a lot of tailoring yourself? Are you interested in seeing techniques and tutorials? Or does that fall under the ‘things you’d never sew’ category?