Saturday, 15 January 2011

Lady Flood

This is a sewing blog, so first I will talk about sewing.
DSCF3228 Inspired by local difficulties, I naturally worked on a complicated project. This was a nice distraction. I do not think there would have been quite so much tailor basting and catch stitching of seam allowances had there been power, internet access, mail deliveries and telephone services more often over the past week.

This project is Lady Grey Mark 2. I have progressed quite well through my initial plans of applying hair canvas to the fronts, and undercollar, pad stitching the lapels and undercollar, catchstitching the roll line, adding an internal welt pocket, but have come unstuck on the collar.
I hand basted an interlining of cotton flannel to the upper collar (I knew I kept those scraps from making nappies for a good reason), following the advice of Kenneth King in Cool Couture. This apparently gives a rich and luxurious hand to the velvet (totally worth keeping those scraps for the past 7 years...).
Unfortunately, I think my velvet must be a bit too closely related to corduroy, as it just seems to make the collar bulky. I did remove all the hair canvas and flannel from the seam allowances.
I pinned the collar to the neckline to allow for turn of cloth (following the advice of my tailoring book) but after sewing it, there is a puffy sort of look.



Apparently topstitching velvet is henious sewing behaviour, my books are rather scathing. Despite this, I tried a little topstitching by hand, with silk thread,(the left collar in the photo above) but this did not reduce the heniousness - the topstitching did not look good at all. Back to the seam ripper. Do you think Lady Grey would look any good as a collarless coat?
Thank you for the many kind messages concerning the Queensland and NSW floods. It did get worse here before it got better.
We now have most utilities restored, and the roads to Brisbane were opened yesterday, so I was able to retrieve my stranded children, much to everyone's relief. There is even sunshine today.


BetsyV said...

Great progress on the coat! I haven't done much with velvet so I don't have any tips, sadly.

Glad to hear the flooding is getting better. Since we hadn't "heard" from you on SG, I did start to wonder how you were getting on.

Anonymous said...

Re. Collar... Would it help to cut the under collar out of a different, less lofty fabric? How closely graded are your SAs? I assume plenty of steaming and pressing on towels hasn't helped. Looking good, though!

Re. Flood: glad to hear that the worst is over (?) and you got your kids home safe. We keep watching the news and it looks terrible. :(

a little sewing on the side said...

I think of you every time I hear the news. And here you are hand-tailoring - you are my hero!

I've never sewn with velvet, and following with interest.

Ruthie said...

Glad the kids are back home :-) And wow what a lot of handbasting.

Mary Nanna said...

A huge amount of work in that Lady Grey - you will feel like you have a beautifully tailored garment by the end of it though. So relieved things are getting better re the flood and that your kids are back home.

I am really curious as to why your collar is not sitting flat. Somehow the two layers are not co-operating? I wonder how big a problem it is - is it because velvet catches the light and shows every ripple? Or is it actually quite minor? I suppose when you've done that much work you really want it to be PERFECT. I would too.

Uta said...

I'm glad you and your family came out of it all right. The floods were all over the news even here in Germany. Re. the collar, I think it's necessary to balance all that volume in the bottom part of the coat. Maybe the flannel would need to be cut smaller?

Vicki said...

Good to hear you are all fine! Nice work on the Lady Grey, but I can't help ;(

Sharon said...

So glad you and the kids are all okay and that things are starting to get better.

Sorry I'm no use with the collar, but your Lady Grey is looking very impressive and with the amount of work you have put into it, I would want to sort out the collar as well.

Sue said...

Life is slowly returning to normal here too (got my first mail delivery for a week on Friday and it included a Burda mag!)

The Lady Grey is an impressive coat - I look forward to seeing it finished.

Handmade said...

Glad that you have good news - and children!! Your coat is a work of art!

velosewer said...

Great coat and you've done such well done detailing. I hope the weather is kind to you for the rest of the 'wet' season.

Gail said...

You've made some great progress on your coat and it must be fun to have all the fit issues already worked out from the previous LGC. Glad you are able to dismantle the ark - are soon. Sydney is blue sky and the sky is SO clear - the rain washed the smog out.