MPB is proud to be the world's most popular men's sewing blog!



Dec 17, 2010

The Last Toggle Post



Dear readers, a million thanks for yesterday's comments.  I think we're all going to enjoy wearing this coat and don't think I'm not serious -- I share.

 Today, as we prepare to bid good-bye to the toggle coat project, I want to spend a little time discussing a few construction techniques I learned -- or tried to learn -- in the process.

As you'll recall, I spent a lot of time binding seams.  I like binding seams.  I cut my bias tape myself from black cotton sateen.



I used my plastic triangle to determine the correct angle, then with my clear plastic ruler I measured out 1 1/2" -- the desired width of my tape, and cut strips, as many as I needed, with my rotary cutter.



This worked great and it wasn't hard to enclose the seams once I'd had a little practice.  I found stitching on one side, folding over and then ironing the strip helped keep things neat.  I topstitch the second side rather than stitching "in the ditch" on the first side.  This way I don't have to worry about the stitching missing the seam.  (Does that make sense?)





Below is the armhole binding.  It's a little thick.  I'm toying with the idea of taking the sleeves in an inch.  If I do that, I think I'm going to remove the bindings on both sleeve and armhole and just serge for a softer edge.  We'll see if I bother.  



Here is my hem.  This was easy because the hem is straight. 



Below is the finished hem.  I ended up taking out those hand stitches I mentioned yesterday that showed on the outside of the coat.  The hem stays up fine without them.  In retrospect I could have topstitched the hem (Duffle coats have a topstitched hem, they just do) a little higher, but as-is is OK, or I can hand stitch the top edge, stitching only through the underlining.



The toggles were hard to stitch on.  I had to get all the way around the toggle which meant passing the completed coat through the harp of my machine at times.  In retrospect I might have done this BEFORE I added the sleeves; live and learn.  I had never stitched leather before and I had bought just eight toggle sets, exactly the number I needed so I couldn't practice.



With leather, once you stitch it, that's it, the mark is permanent.  The leather is an awkward shape to topstitch around.  I did it by eye and I don't think I'd have done any better with an edge foot, not that I have any for my 15-91 anyway.  

BTW, the 15-91 was able to handle these layers beautifully.  Not sure if I could have done this on some of my other machines.



This shoulder could use pressing.



I can't really fit my ham up there -- what form should I use to press it?  I have a sleeve board but that won't work.  I thought about maybe just putting the coat on (Michael) and steaming it from the outside.  Could I do that without causing injury?  I just need to fill the shoulder space.  Suggestions?

Guys, I think I'm toggled out.  I hope you've found this post informative and if you have any specific questions, of course just ask.

Inclement weather down South has delayed the delivery of my 15-90 till Monday.  I'm still waiting for my dog coat pattern as well as Cathy's futuristic jump suit.  So we're kind of on hold here at MPB for the moment and trying to just BE.

A little more decluttering, perhaps? 

Happy Friday, everybody!

35 comments:

  1. Your coat looks so awesome, thanks for sharing details. I use rolled towels to press sleeves, customizing the roll to the job at hand.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Would it work for a shoulder, though?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Beautiful coat, Peter! I'm thinking of making something similar for my brother.
    Regarding shoulder pressing: I don't have a ham, so I use towels when pressing sleeves and shoulders. It works just fine.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Peter-thinking about your sleeve situation....you could bind the sleeve armscye edge, and bind the corresponding jacket edge. It gives you less bulk to bind, and in a coat is not uncomfortable to wear. I have seen this done before, and it is a beautiful looking finish. I am not sure if it would work, given the weight of your fabrics, but you probably have an idea, just from making the coat, if this would be an option. I also use rolled up towels for pressing-they work great!

    ReplyDelete
  5. My suggestion is to just make a "ham." Get a spare 1/4 yard of fabric and sew yourself a little tube that will fit up in there. Stuff it completely full of some cotton fabric scraps (or anything that doesn't burn). It doesn't have to be pretty, but it'll get the job done. You can sew the seams on the outside if you need to, just make sure that you pack it really really full. It's jury rigging, but it'll let you iron that should seam flat.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Rolled towels will absolutely work for a shoulder. I'm sorry, I should have specified that.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love this coat on you. It's really wonderful.

    I have a selection of tailoring tools which make life much easier. In this case, a ham with a hamholder and a June Tailor tailoring board. It makes much more sense to have an arsenal of tailoring tools than an arsenal of sewing machines. ;) Here's the June Tailor tool that is so amazingly flexible and can reach into every possible space:
    http://www.nancysnotions.com/product/tailor+board+and+pad+set+%28tbst2%29.do

    ReplyDelete
  8. I don't know if this is what the others mean, but for those tricky places I just roll up a bit of any hard fabric, denim, maybe, stick my arm inside, hold the fabric ball against the inside seam with one hand, and use the other hand to maneuver the iron (i.e use my hand with its bunched up fabric to press against instead of a stationary surface).

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great coat and may you wear it in good health. My question is about the binding and forgive me if you've covered this in a previous post, but have you ever tried to make binding tape in the "continuous" method? I've only made tape your way but have watched videos on youtube and it looks complicated to start but once done is looks a snap. If you haven't done it this way in the past could you yourself post a video of it? I think your videos and instructions period are much easier to follow than some others I've seen. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  10. How did you get the toggles to stay in place while you sewed them on? I'm assuming you can't use pins, right? It seems like this could be tricky, since it's so important to get the toggles properly lined up.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I measured carefully (toggle edge 3" from fold, toggle top 6" from previous toggle top) and held it in place with my hand as I stitched. It was the easiest way I could come up with, Ann.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I was in Las Vegas for a sales meeting, and after it was over went to check out the newly opened Cosmopolitan hotel in City Center. On the second floor is All Saints Co store with about SEVEN HUNDRED vintage sewing machines in the three windows opening to the front. Inside are industrial machines that serve as racks for the clothing displays. I can't tell you how fun it was to look at the windows. Are all the stores like this? http://www.allsaints.com/store_locator/

    ReplyDelete
  13. This may be trickier with a heavy coat so maybe Michael can help hold it if needed, but I press all shoulders off the curved edge of my ironing board, no ham or towel underneath. Put the shoulder seam on the edge of the board, with the sleeve facing away from you/board (so you're pressing seam allowances toward the sleeve). That's one of the reasons why an ironing board IS curved and narrow at that end. ;-) To press the entire armhole, just move the coat in a circle around that edge of the board. Should be do-able (hate that word!) in 2-3 rotations.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wonderful job Peter. You are to be commended on a well done project.

    Terry

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks, Terry!

    Debbie, just to clarify: I'm pressing the seam allowance toward the sleeve or the torso? (I thought toward the torso, i.e., shoulder.)

    ReplyDelete
  16. You should get yourself a trapper hat to go with that coat - then you'd be the very pinnacle of fashion!

    (It is a fabulous coat, and I am filled with envy as I sit here knowing I'm going to have to keep stumping along in my ugly but very warm coat until it stops being 20 below).

    ReplyDelete
  17. Peter the toggle coat is outstanding. I've been following your process on picasa and have enjoyed every moment of it.

    ReplyDelete
  18. The seam should be ironed toward the sleeve. This fills the sleeve head.

    "I did it by eye and I don't think I'd have done any better with an edge foot, not that I have any for my 15-91 anyway."

    I don't mean to start you on another collection but any short shank foot will fit your 15-91. And if you want to use the snap on kind of feet then there is a shank you can get to use those as well. The only thing to remember is short shank. I have so many feet that sometimes it takes me awhile to figure out what it is for...or how to use it.

    I am going to get a silicone baking sheet to use for those awkward spots. Maybe a silicone oven mitt so that I will be able to feel the fabric etc. Just being able to iron right up to the fingers should be really helpful!

    ReplyDelete
  19. As Doreen said, toward the sleeve to fill the sleeve head. There are some times you press armscye SA's toward the torso, but very rarely in a jacket or coat.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wearinbeads--Yes I think all those stores are decorated with walls of machines. My pix from the UK are here .

    Peter, I'm sure this would not be the preferred method, but what would happen if you tried to stitch half-way around the toggle and then did the other half in reverse rather than forcing the whole coat through the harp. (Now that I've finally gotten my 15-91 stitching I think it's capable of magic. :) )

    ReplyDelete
  21. KC, I'll try that method on the next toggle coat! LOL

    ReplyDelete
  22. Those toggles are truly beautiful, and you did a great job on the leather (yes, it takes all the guts you have to do leather like that). But if you're going to keep being into binding, the least you can do is learn to cut it continuously.. http://quilting.about.com/od/bindingaquilt/ss/binding_strips_5.htm

    ReplyDelete
  23. For pressing a sleeve cap, I prefer to use a sleeve roll (like a ham but tubular). My second choice is the smaller rounded end of my ironing board. Third choice as many readers also use is a rolled towel or two.

    Regarding which way to press the sleeve/shoulder seam I would open the seam, press the sleeve side toward the sleeve, and the torso side toward the torso, binding each separately if desired. This can help smooth the seam allowances and not give you a puffed sleeve look, more suitable for girl children. If you care to fill the sleeve cap, I was taught way back when to use a combination of a layer of horsehair, and a layer of a woollen fabric ( I don't remember it's name, but it was like quilt batting) All of these layers together were graded ( cut in layers to smooth them when steamed) then pressed and steamed many times to shape them properly. This treatment was applied along with self covered shoulder pads, all on top of the underlining, and under the lining.

    Congrats on your toggle coat project! The horn toggles are handsome.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Such a beautiful coat. You will get such a kick out of being able to tell people you made it yourself as it looks perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Your coat looks great! Those toggles must have been nerve-wracking to sew on!

    Hmm, you can't fit the ham in the shoulder by going from the opening of the coat? If you really can't, you could try using a pressing mitt. If you don't have a pressing mitt, I imagine an oven mitt could work much the same way.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I also use the end of the ironing board, press from the inside as soon as the sleeve is set in and press the seam allowance towards the sleeve. I have a shot of steam type iron which I hover over the seam if I'm doing wool as damp wool can be shaped with your hand. When I'm sewing, I make all the pieces I can, then head to the ironing board to press everything at once, then go make coffee while it cools down.

    Coat looks great! The toggles were worth the extra $.
    Heather

    ReplyDelete
  27. Your coat looks absolutely spectacular and I really enjoyed reading about the process on your blog. :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Tea towels rolled up neatly are dense enough to provide good protection from the heat and steam. Otherwise I use my pressing cloth rolled into a sausage shape.
    Cornelia

    ReplyDelete
  29. Lawdy Peter, the panic I had reading your Facebook post "farewell toggles" or whatever, with a pic of what looked like you ripping something apart! Yikes, don't do that to us!
    Thanks for all the details. I learn so much here! Sometimes when I'm sewing I wish I had a blog too so I could ask questions and get lots of fabulous helpful responses overnight.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Handsome coat, Peter! Another way for sewing the toggles would be to have the coat to your right in front of the machine, and sew around the toggle counter-clockwise. That way just enough of the coat to get the toggle straight under the needle needs to fit through the harp. The bulk of the coat moves around the left side of the machine and not through the harp. This does mean practicing keeping your stitching even from the left edge of the foot though. It's an alternative to stitching from both directions if a continuous line of stitching is critical.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Very nice coat. I prefer the slightly loose fit since these things should be wearable over a jacket or blazer.

    Anyway, I was wondering...I bought these Gloverall replacement toggles (http://www.gloverall.com/images/shop/l_36_94.jpg) but I have no idea how to attach them. The toggles themselves don't have any holes so I don't know how it locks on with the rope fasteners. Do you happen to have any idea?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It looks to me like the toggle is held in place by the twine (there's an indentation around the center of the toggle and the twine fits into this space).

      Delete
    2. Thank you for your reply.
      I am still unsure of whether the twine is knotted around the toggle (http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a372/hardline_42/woodtogglehalfhitch.jpg)(http://larkabout.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/img_16971.jpg?w=600)
      or
      if it is stitched close to the toggle (http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a372/hardline_42/woodtoggle.jpg).
      I guess there are multiple ways to handle this. What is your opinion on the matter.

      Delete
    3. I don't think you could stitch it (by machine) close enough to hold the wooden toggle securely; a knot would be tighter. You'll have to experiment -- you might try stitching by hand, but somehow I think the knot would be more effective.

      Delete

Related Posts with Thumbnails