Monday, October 22, 2012

Leather Jacket Lining: Facings and Bagging and Sneak Peek

This weekend, I tackled the leather parts of  lining my jacket. Here's a preview shot.

Look! A jacket!

Burda instructs you to attach the facing pieces to the lining pieces during the construction process. Back at the outset of this project, I foolishly listened. Then when it comes to lining, you bag the lining/facings as one piece (this) into the shell (this). Not that there is anything necessarily wrong with this method, but it makes grading and turning the edges where leather facings are sewn to leather shell more cumbersome and challenging, IMHO.

It would have been easier to work with the facings on their own, finishing all the edges around the collar and zipper. Then I could have dropped in the lining with the facings and jacket edges neatly turned and finished. Live and learn, I suppose.

Anyway, to start getting over this challenge, what I did was machine sew the front edges of the jacket to the facing pieces, stopping at the facing/lining seam line. Then, I obsessively trimmed the seam allowances and turned the facings/lining to the inside, pressing carefully while making sure that the seams rolled slightly to the inside. This was challenging.

There was a lot of bulk at the shoulder seams and along the lapels. The jacket  is topstitched underneath the lapels so the stitches are not visible from the outside, a necessary step. The back collar is also topstitched. I actually had a lot of trouble top stitching these bulky areas and (shame!) had to rip out and re-do the collar stitching when I got a bobbin nest there.

To prep the rest of the jacket for lining, I turned up and pressed the hems of  the rest of the shell and put a strip of 1/4" leather tape close to the turn. This way, my hems are set, but with lots of allowance to work with. So, now I can move forward with hand stitching the lining to my hems.

Hem - turned and taped.

I did this to the sleeves too. 

Here are a few tips that I've picked up from various places that came in handy:
  • Leather is bulky, but it doesn't ravel. Grade your seam allowances carefully and trim the ends at places where there will be bulk (Sunni did a good  post on this).
  • When you grade, the side that you want the seam/seam allowance to roll toward is the one you should trim (ie: the fabric/seam will roll to the shorter seam allowance). So, in general you will usually be trimming the lining or facing seam allowance so the seam rolls to the inside. I intuitively knew this, but only recently saw it confirmed by someone else - new-to me-blogger Madalynne.   

Graded seams. Sorry for the dark splotch caused by my hand I think.

I didn't really talk about sewing on the silk lining fabric, but I know lots of sewists worry about sewing silk or others fine or slithery fabrics. So, here is what works for me:
  • I prefer a microtex needle for the job. It has a very sharp, fine point that does well on sheers and thin, slippery fabric.
  • Back stitching or using your machine's "fix" or "stop" functions at the beginning or end of a seam can pull a fine fabric into the throat plate. Instead of backstitching, sew to the end of the seam, leaving the needle down and raising the presser foot. Turn the fabric 180 degrees, lower the presser foot and stitch in the direction you came from. The result is the same as back stitching, but there's no pulling into the throat plate. I have absolutely no idea why this works.

Just turn and stitch in the opposite direction

Alright, enough for now. The jacket is just some hand stitching away from being finished. I'm planning to hand sew in the evenings this week so that I can wear this jacket to a birthday/Halloween do with some friends on Saturday. Stay tuned!


T. Sedai said...

Oh man it is starting to look like a jacket! I think that is my favorite part of making a coat - adding the lining and seeing it almost done and looking like something really special whereas before it was a mess of fabric and threads and work to be done. It looks like it is going to be really wonderful - I hope you can finish it in time for this weekend!

Faye Lewis said...

SOOOOOOOOOO beautiful! It's almost time to wear it too. You have done an exceptional job!

Clio said...

I agree 100%! I tried it on last night - giddy would be an understatement for how I felt.

Clio said...

Thanks! EXACTLY! I plan to wear it on Saturday!

Ginger said...

Eek! You're so close to being done! Can't wait to see it!

Kimbersew said...

Yay! yay! yay!!

Karin said...

Your hard work is really starting to come together. This is looking so *fabulous*! You'll be ready to give a leather master class soon.

puu said...

wow, it's looking amazing! i may be tackling a leather project of my own soon.

oonaballoona said...

My brain actually stops with Burma instructions. Those teases are AWESOME.

Clio said...

Thank you everyone! My mantra is "don't screw up now!"

Tia Dia said...

Wow! It's so exciting to see this close to completion!

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Ooooh, almost there! Can't wait for the big reveal.

Clio said...

Ah so! Thanks, Natasha. I'm glad to know it wasn't just in my head, but that there's an actual difference!