When I first started sewing five years ago, I used to shop at two bargain-basement fabric stores on 35th St. One is gone for good and the other seems to have changed hands: I haven't been by in a long time.
Both stores would get bolt ends of some terrific fabrics and they rarely charged more than a few dollars per yard for them. This is where I found the fabric for this suit, among other early projects.
I also found four yards of python print vinyl, which has been sitting in my sewing stash ever since. Well, I've decided to use some of it for my 1930's jacket muslin, which, I am hoping, will turn out to be wearable. The fabric is backed with a black synthetic knit.
To line the jacket (which may turn out to be a fully reversible if I can figure out the correct sewing sequence) I'll be using some of that cotton Ralph Lauren floral bedding I found at the Salvation Army last year -- or was it the year before that?
I have never worked with vinyl before. I sewed some samples and realized immediately that I was going to have to address the sticky nature of the vinyl. It would not feed smoothly under my presser foot. I knew I could purchase a teflon foot, but the foot might take a week to arrive. So I dug around the internet and found a great tip: just stick a piece of Scotch tape onto the underside of the foot. It worked like a charm!
As of today, I have most of my pieces cut and I've started putting the major components together.
In a certain light, the vinyl looks very plasticky, but overall I'd say this is good quality for what it is. It has a lovely texture too -- like real scales.
I bought a black separating zipper today at Sil Thread, but the machine they use to shorten zippers was out of order, so they gave me some zipper stops I could add, with pliers, where I need them. (I'll have to figure out how to do that.) Otherwise, I can simply fold the extra zipper length into the body of the garment and, once the seam is stitched, trim the extra off, if that makes sense. I did this with my blue parka and you'd be none the wiser looking at it.
Actually, if I want the jacket to be reversible, I'll need different zipper pulls too. Maybe I won't make it reversible!
Meanwhile, MPB reader Gail generously sent me a yard of poly knit ribbing she uses at work. I'll cut this for my cuffs, collar, and waistband. It's very sturdy stuff!
And that's it! I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out; please cross your fingers.
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns, in addition to sewing for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!