Toward the Finish Line

Progress, moving forward, advancing. After deciding that today was going to be a “coat day,” I changed my bobbin and thread before retiring, as an incentive to act instead of just ponder.  The question at hand:  What is the best method for attaching the facings to the coat? After a quick review of the tailoring section of my Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing, I knew I was definitely making things up as I went along. The solution?

I inspected my pieces again, and started by sewing the front facings to the back facing I had drafted, and pressed. More contemplation was necessary, so I inserted the sleeve heads made of lambswool scraps and did a full press on the sleeves. I have a Sunbeam Professional iron that does vertical steam; it and a rolled hand towel allowed me to shrink in a bit of fullness, while keeping the sleeves nice and round. I love this iron, and I love the price tag…$35.00, and I think it will keep up with any Rowenta just fine!! By the time I was finished with the sleeves, I had a plan.

I pressed the collar seam on both sides so that everything was laying nice and flat.

I sewed the collar and collar band on the one side with a square edge, trimmed it and turned it, also pressing.


I attached the whole mess to the coat, being very careful to abut the notches to the proper spots on the lapels, then pressed that seam open. Because I sewed the collar band and its facing to the collar, applying the front and back facing was going to be…creative.

To attach the facings, I did three separate seams. The right front facing was first, stopping the seam where the tab extends out from the collar band. (note the pin in the photo below) A quick turn established that I was close enough to the tab that any gap could be closed from the inside. Success!

I moved on to the back facing, again stopping where the collar and collar band met the lapel. Finally, I moved to the left front facing. The photo below illustrates the pinning technique I have adopted. The horizontal pins are on the seam line, and the vertical pins prevent slippage when the horizontal pins are pulled. I can push the horizontal pins out with my presser foot if I keep the speed down, which allows them to stay in place until the last possible moment.


And, finally, after grading the seam allowances and pressing, The front is ready to be top stitched.


Interlining and lining sounds like a piece of cake after this!



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