4 October 2010

Getting started on The Betty Draper Suit




Thanks for all your suggestions for fabrics for this suit. I ordered a few swatches, including a wool crepe which I very nearly bought. However, this weekend I practised sewing scallops on both the wool crepe swatch and a leftover scrap of gabardine from another project. Contrary to my expectations, the gabardine consented, turning out beautifully crisp and defined scallops, while the wool crepe went rogue! Something to do with the way of the weft or the woof (the what?) perhaps (no, I don't know what I'm talking about), but it did not like small curved stitching or being manipulated into curves with seams inside.

 
Bad wool crepe scallop! Good gabardine scallop!

More importantly, I find the texture of wool crepe a bit creepy. When the swatch first arrived I think I convinced myself I liked it because I wanted to branch out into unknown fabric territory to expand my repertoire, but to be honest I have to admit that I just don't really like it that much. Plus it's dry clean only - which is only worth the cost and the effort for a fabric you really love!. So today I went and bought some red wine-coloured gabardine (a nice beaujolais, if you will). A wearable muslin - potentially the real thing if it turns out nicely, but if I'm not satisfied I'll give some kind of wool another go. I've got enough new techniques to learn in the meantime, including scalloping, lining, bound buttonholes, and I might even try making some little shoulder pads...



While I was thinking about all this, I traced the fragile pattern onto Swedish tracing paper to make up a muslin. The muslin alerted me to a few fitting issues. I adjusted the side seams so that they were half an inch smaller at the bust, ascending to one inch wider at the hips (I avoided the temptation to take the sides in too much - I want to leave room for winter knits under the jacket). As usual I needed to accentuate the back darts to account for the arch in the small of my back. I also moved the shoulder seam lines to fit my small frame.

That's the new shoulder seam line scrawled messily in blue

Right, next job is to find instructions on lining the jacket (or maybe interlining it as The Wilted Magnolia suggested) - there's no lining in the pattern and I haven't lined anything before. Any leads on reading matter appreciated!

[Soundtrack: 'Peg' by Steely Dan]

18 comments:

  1. Gertie just did a bound button tutorial on her blog: http://www.blogforbettersewing.com/2010/10/bound-buttonhole-tutorial.html

    It's such a cute suit! Good luck with it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, I have this pattern too! I'll be watching your progress with interest. I really like the fabric you've chosen -- perfect for Fall!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Try these links :) :-
    (NB: I've never lined a jacket but these came up on a Google search)
    1) Threads: Bag Your Jacket Lining

    2) PatternReview.com: Fast way to line a suit jacket by bagging the lining (Tip/Technique)

    ReplyDelete
  4. That gabardine scallop looks really nice! Good luck with the suit, the pattern looks awesome and I'm excited to see what you'll make out of it... :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh cute!! I can't wait to see how it turns out!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Can't wait to see this - good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ooh, this looks like it will be a fun project! Good luck to ye. I love suits but have no where to wear one. Lining is relatively easy, you usually just make the main body of the jacket over again in lining fabric.
    Try Threads magazine (if you're going to line the skirt, their september issue this year has a GREAT article on lining skirts) for instructions, or see if you can't find a pattern for a lined jacket and go off that. If you really want to go hands-on you could also pull apart a cheap, thrift store jacket.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am so excited to see how this turns out! If you would be kind enough could you please send me a message telling me what exactly is the paper you used to make the mock-up? I have a few vintage patterns I want to try but there is nothing available in Sydney that I can use to trace onto that would be strong enough to be used on my mannequin. If you could send me back a comment that would be super appreciated! Love your blog, Sam xox

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh my gosh, you're so funny: Bad wool crepe scallop! Good gabardine scallop!
    It's true though, some people might think it's them, or the pattern that's causing the scallop not to turn out.. but it's just the right fabric in this case!
    For lining, you can use the body pattern pieces mostly - but for the centre back, put it on the fold, but leave extra space between your CB seam and the fold to sew a pleat. (Does that make sense?) You might need to modify your front lining piece as well if there are facings - or if you want to make it easy, finish the facing edge and then sew the facing on top of the front lining piece. (Then your front lining piece is the same size as your front main fabric piece..but it will appear to be half-facing, half-lining..)
    Hope this is somewhat helpful! If it was and you'd like me to keep going just send me a note :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. There is a really good burda video series on making a lining. You can see exactly how she creates the lining pattern and how she sews it into the jacket, where to leave ease, etc. Really good. Once I saw how easy it was, I started putting lining in everything. It just makes sense now. -Jacki

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2574640463807180215#

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ohhh! It's looking fabulous already! I've never sewn with either wool crepe or gabardine so I can't wait to hear your thoughts! I also really love the color!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Sam, I use Swedish tracing paper to trace the patterns, which is sewable, so a great way of preserving the original pattern and making a muslin at the same time! I just googled "swedish tracing paper australia" and it looks like you can buy it by the roll on ebay. I'll leave a comment on your blog too in case you don't see this...

    Everyone else - thanks so much for those leads! I'm off to work in a minute but I'll have a proper look through those links later. Keep 'em coming! x

    ReplyDelete
  13. Good old eBay! Thanks so much Tilly for the quick reply, I've found some and will order tonight! Thanks again!!! x

    ReplyDelete
  14. This looks great, love to see the further progress. Funny, I have never heard of swedish tracing paper, and I live in Sweden. Probably because it is what we just call tracing paper...;-)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm excited to see the finished product--even the mockup looks pretty good! I see you already got some excellent advice/links on lining, so hopefully that will help. I would definitely advise lining the entire thing (rather than just underlining it), since you intend to wear it in the winter. Not only does it keep the seams from constantly rubbing against any layers underneath, but it helps the jacket lay nicely over thick tops.

    ♥ Casey | blog

    ReplyDelete
  16. I can't believe the difference in how the wool crepe and the gabardine behaves. That is such a good idea to test them both - I'm not sure I'd have thought of that. And the whole Swedish tracing paper muslin. Wowzers! Someone has suggested I get a dummy form and now you're making me think...

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oooh, this looks like such an interesting project! Can't wait to see the finished result. x

    ReplyDelete
  18. wow those garbardine scallops are gorgeous! love the swedish tracing paper idea, i didn't know it was sewable. i'm really looking forward to seeing the finished suit!

    ReplyDelete

Feel free to chip in! Please don't comment anonymously though - you can leave your email if you don't have an OpenID. Comments on older posts are moderated for spam so won't show up immediately.