Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Clare Coat: How I Make a Hanging Loop

Somehow, when I dropped everything to start sewing a Clare Coat, I convinced myself that it would sew up in no time and I'd be all cozy in it by the New Year.

Closet Case Files' Clare Coat

Then I remembered that this is me and I have a hard time not taking my time with big projects. On top of it, as I was coming down the home stretch with just some hand sewing left, I realized that I made a major, major screw up very early on that needs to be fixed. Folks, it's bad. It may actually involve seam ripping the entire coat - lining, topstitching and all - and recutting the front piece.***

What could be so bad that this project may ultimately be a fail? Well, I somehow sewed the darts at different heights. It would be a relatively easy fix if that were all - just move a dart, right? But you see, because of the bulk of the fabric, I cut the darts open in order to press them flat. Yeah.

Anyway, to avoid wallowing, here is a peek at one of my favorite little add on features: a hanging chain. Here's how I add one to my coats and jackets. 

Rather than sewing over chain, I prefer to add ribbon loops to the coat, and then hang the chain on the loops. For this coat, I settled on white twill tape rather than satin ribbon. This was partially because of the weight of the coat and partially because it's what I had on hand. 

Don't worry: the placement marks are from a Frixion pen. 

First, I cut two pieces of twill tape about 2" long and fold them in half, making two 1" loops.  

Next, I sew my loops into the seam allowance of the neck facing positioned about 1 1/2" to either side of the center back. This makes the distance between the loops 3". You could use a basting stitch for this step, but I like the extra reinforcement of sewing regular stitches inside the seam allowance. Plus, the ribbon is narrow enough that you could accidentally skip over it with your basting, thus defeating the purpose.

Then, I go ahead and sew the facing to the inside collar piece and give it a good press so that my loops are sandwiched between the two layers and hang facing downward. The visible part of the loops are about 3/8".  

From here I just keep on sewing my coat. Because there isn't a chain hanging around I don't have to worry about accidentally running over it and breaking needles or it getting hot from my iron. I just carry on sewing.

Finished coat insdes.

Once your coat is all in one piece and you are working on the finishing touches, it's time to hang a chain from your loops using two jump rings and jewelry pliers. You can play around with the length of the chain to decide what looks most attractive to you. 

Different lighting several hours later... 

Voila! You no longer have to hang your coat by the scruff of its neck.

Oh! And if you are wondering about my "Handmade" metal tag, it is from Emmaline Bags' on-line shop. It's meant for a bag, but I would put one on every single thing if I could.

*** I may put my pretty Clare aside for a few days and mull over the options. So, hopefully I'll have a few things to show in the interim. 

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