23 March 2014

McCall's 5525 (trench coat): Fitting & Adjustments

I make a muslin for everything.  As much as I try to talk myself out of doing it, I know it's a necessary sewing evil.  Before I cut out the pattern pieces, I compared them to the pieces from Indygo Junction 740 and Lady Grey.  They were so off (as in small, way small) that I almost ditched the pattern.  Why re-invent the wheel when I have two patterns that fit well already?

Sigh.

Not to be outdone, I forged on anyway.  I made a 1" FBA, removed 3/4" from the center back and side back seams, and added the length back to to the hem. 
 

Then came the muslin.


The coat is big in the hips and waist, but that's an easy fix.  I sewed 1/2" seam allowances along the princess seams, but could probably go back to 5/8".  I'm going to attach the collar next.  If I like it, I'm ready to cut out the shell fabric.  

I also shortened the sleeves two inches.  Do people really have arms this long or am I just freakishly short?

Finally, I decided to not use the red stretch cotton sateen.  It's a rather thick fabric and I think that could create a lot of bulk when it's time to sew the collar, band, and all interfaced pieces.  Instead I will use a light-weight cotton twill that I acquired in my recent wagon-falling incident.

I was going to sew view C with the length of D, but I will make the shorter length instead.   I'll sew the longer version for fall.  Incidentally, I think I only have enough fabric for the shorter version.  My fabric shrunk a nine inches (O_o) after washing and drying.  I'm going to press the fabric today and lay out the pattern pieces.  Hopefully I can get everything to fit!

Since I am using a different fabric, I need to select a new lining.  I'll use some Ambiance from the stash.

Spring is my favorite season and I'm so glad it's here!  The birds are singing, the sun is bright, and the snow is melting.  Wheeeeeee... =)

L

14 comments:

  1. Muslin looks good. Didn't know cotton twill could shrink that much--wow! Oh well, better to find out the shrinkage now than later. BTW, I love spring too.

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    1. I didn't know cotton would shrink so much either! When I measured it before washing, it was about 3 1/8 yards. After washing, it was 2 7/8 yards AND it wasn't as wide. It was 56" wide at first, now it's 52". I couldn't believe my eyes. Maybe I should have "stretched" it when it was wet.

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  2. 9"?!?! YOWZA! Now as hardheaded as I am about muslins, I am decidedly less so about per treating fabric. Absolute MUST.

    The muslin is coming along quite nicely. I admit I chuckled at your sleeves ;-)

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    1. I know! I agree with you on pre-treating: it's a definite must.

      Do you see those sleeves?? Even with the hem folded, the sleeve covered most of my hand. Unreal.

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  3. Spring is my favorite season too!!!

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    1. There is something just so new and fresh about Spring. Love it.

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  4. I had the same shrinking experience recently with a piece of cotton jersey. I was expecting 3% shrinkage, not over 10%, which is an outrageously large amount. I am going to be cautious with the garment - cold water washes only. Might be a good idea to pre-wash the twill twice - I've read cotton twill sometimes needs two shrinkings. I thoroughly applaud the muslin - you know what happens when you skip this step don't you, even with a TNT. Still, I don't always practice what I preach, and then I learn the hardway again why I should muslin. Sigh, is there not an easier way - why do we do this to ourselves :)

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    1. I hadn't thought of washing the twill twice. I normally wash and dry my denim three times before cutting the fabric. With the shrinkage so much on this fabric, I'm afraid to wash it again!

      Making muslins does take time, but because I have so many fit challenges, I don't want to ruin my 'good' fabric by a wadder. Plus I get to use up some of my 'what was I thinking' fabrics. =)

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  5. Ugh, fitting is such a pain. I think it is the part of sewing that I enjoy the least but benefit from the most. I just finished my muslin for the trench in a black canvas and except that it is in canvas, I like it a lot. I am usually not one for making muslins - my sewing time is short as it is - I measure pattern pieces and do the math (and have 1 inch seam allowances) but this time I did a muslin and I am sooo glad I did. First, I get two trench coats and second, I've learned a lot.

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    1. You said it perfectly: fitting is the part I least enjoy, but the most beneficial. Although I try to avoid making muslins by taking flat pattern measurements or comparing other pattern pieces, I always find that a muslin will give me the most information. It takes time, but what we learn is invaluable.

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  6. Hi, loving the trench coat plans. I am almost brave enough to start mine! Meanwhile, I've nominated you for a Liebster award. Details here:
    http://www.uandmii.co.uk/content/hey-ma-…-ive-got-liebster-shock-revelations

    T x

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    1. Thanks T!! What an honor. =) I will answer the questions in a future post. Humble thanks!

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  7. first time reader/commenter...but I had to say, good call on *not* using the stretch cotton...I tried this pattern with a cotton poly stretch bottomweight from Fabric Mart and the topstitching puckered like it had sucked a lemon, then when I attempted to unpick it (whilst quite frustrated, not a good combination) I picked a hole into the body of the fabric

    I let it sit for months, then finally pulled the pattern pieces from the fabric and tossed the mess

    Those princess seams will do a sight better with something more stable, methinks

    I am watching your sew along with interest. I need to get brave enough to try my trench again

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    1. Yes!! I totally agree. The more I started handling the stretch cotton, the less enthusiastic I felt about it. One of my concerns was potential puckering from topstitching. Plus, the fabric is rather thick and I could see many areas of bulk that would be difficult to tame - especially after it's interfaced. Thank you for sharing your experience. Who needs a coat that looks like it enjoys lemons for a snack? LOL

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Thanks for commenting! I appreciate and read them all - even if I can not personally respond.

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