Now that my silver jeans are done, I'm thinking about my neoprene project again.
I've been making a lot of stitching samples, with both my serger, which handles the thick neoprene with ease, and my Bernina 930. Today, I discovered that with a size 18 needle, I can even embroider on my neoprene, which is a nice option:
Yesterday I visited my favorite store, Dover Street Market, for some inspiration.
I saw some beautiful boiled wool coats made by Harris Wharf London. These were for women but they make similar styles for men. What I noticed was that nearly all the seams were lapped, the raw edges left unfinished, and even the front facings were simply two layers of fabric sewn together: no turning. I think this technique would work extremely well with my neoprene and leave me the option of using more complicated patterns, which initially I had ruled out (i.e., anything with a facing or a notched collar).
Not a great photo of this cuff, but the edges are raw, the sleeve unlined, and the seams simply sewn and trimmed. The sleeve tab is simply two layers of wool sewn together, no turning inside out and topstitching.
More seam detail shots:
The shoulder seam is also lapped all the way around.
This morning I tried a similar lapped seam with my neoprene. The black foam layer that peeks out (my neoprene is double-faced with purple nylon on one side and blue on the other) would simply be a design element. Naturally, I would need to cut my edges with great precision.
I've ruled out making any coat that's too androgynous or avant-garde in shape; I want to wear this garment on a regular basis. Right now I'm leaning toward two possibilities: either a men's overcoat (like the one immediately below by Harris Wharf) or a parka (like the second shot, by Neil Barrett).
At Dover Street Market I saw quite a few neoprene coats, hoodies, and sweatshirts. The blue Prada women's coat (below) is more of a mid-weight scuba knit than a true neoprene. The photo shows wide topstitching on a patch pocket (and a perfectly matched button).
I was also interested in how other designers handled heavy neoprene. On some garments, a sleeve or hem was handled with a facing, which was then turned under and blind-hemmed. Sometimes zippers were sewn directly onto the top of a pocket. Or raw edges were serged and left exposed.
|Inside cuff shows facing which is then blind-hemmed.|
|Exposed pocket zipper.|
I'm glad I have enough neoprene to experiment with different seams and seam finishes. Since my garment won't be interfaced or lined, my hunch is I'm going to spend more time making samples than working on the garment itself. But who knows?
Regardless, it's fun to experiment with something new to me.
Have a great day, everybody!