I haven't discussed my Ladies Tailoring class much lately because we had a three week break and my focus shifted.
Class resumed last Tuesday, however, and I'm trying to catch up as I fell a little behind. We've already learned how to create our two front pockets (double welt with flap) and single breast pocket and this week attached our hair canvas and applied twill tape to the canvas edges and lapel roll line.
You may recall that I already made sample pockets using my fashion fabric, a beautiful Italian Loro Piana wool houndstooth originally purchased for Michael at Metro Textiles in 2010. He no longer likes the color, which is why I'm using the fabric for class.
Yesterday I finally cut my pattern pieces. I went to FIT to do this. I am extremely fortunate to have access to their huge classroom tables, as well as their professional irons and industrial sewing machines. This is a huge perk students enjoy.
As we were instructed to do by our professor, I laid my pattern pieces atop the fabric (on grain of course), outlined them in chalk, and cut through the double layer with shears. This is not my usual method, which is to cut at home on my living room floor with a rotary cutter and a self-healing mat. But this new method is not as onerous as I'd feared and I got the job done in less than two hours. I didn't have pattern weights with me so I just used whatever I had (including plain old pins).
After cutting, I snipped my (chalked) notches roughly 1/4" into the seam allowance (our seam allowances are 1/2" with a few exceptions).
Next, I sewed my tailor's tacks where needed (primarily the hem and cuffs and dart points) and then began basting. Tailor's tacks allow you to transfer markings accurately onto both sides of your garment (i.e., front left and front right). All seams are basted before stitching and, with wool like mine, it makes stitching by machine much easier.
Below is my professor's sample. You can see where he marked the edges of the front pockets with tailor's tacks and connected the two points with white chalk.
Speaking of chalk, all seam lines are marked in chalk before basting -- or should be.
Below, my professor prepares to press open the jacket front dart atop a tailoring ham.
Before next Tuesday I will complete my pockets and start preparing my hair canvas. Lots of pad stitching to tackle in the next few days!
Meanwhile, there's more bad news on the NYC sewing store front: Fashion Design Books, an art supply and sewing supply store serving the FIT community (it's located right on 27th St.) is shutting their doors after decades. Apparently they lost their lease to -- get this -- FIT, who will be converting the space into a Student Welcome Center or some such thing.
I'd often head over to Fashion Design Books (an independently owned store) when I needed something pronto like a zipper, buttons, or pattern paper. I'm very sorry to see them go. The only bookstore/sewing supply store serving FIT students will be the depressing basement-level Barnes & Noble directly across the street.
Everything at Fashion Design Books is currently 50% off. Not sure exactly how many more days they'll stay open but inventory already looks low as the students are cleaning them out.
And that's it. I'll keep you posted on my tailoring progress. As you know, I also hope to make a men's jacket alongside my women's jacket, but I haven't decided on a pattern yet, though I will soon.
Have a great day, everybody!
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