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Dec 21, 2013

Goldilocks and the Three Linings



Friends, you may recall that a few days before Coatmas, I was in the process of putting the finishing touches on my donegal tweed peacoat. 

I had just purchased lining material -- a rich-looking, heavy polyester satin.



I'd bought it to replace my original lining fabric, a luscious silk twill of a similar color.



Sadly, the silk proved very difficult to handle, especially when I tried to create an inside breast pocket.  The results were less than favorable.



But the poly had its own problems: it was so heavy that it would only hold a crease after considerable pressing, and I quickly realized it was too thick and spongy for this coat.  Not to mention, it wouldn't breathe.  One of the lovely properties of wool is that it does breathe, so why suffocate myself in poly?

In my stash I had a light brown rayon lining, but it was too thin for a coarse wool tweed; you would have been able to see the haircloth interfacing through it.  I needed something else.



I decided to return once more to Mood, where I purchased lining #3, a brown Bemberg rayon lining of suitable weight (below).



While the Bemberg frays a bit more than the heavy poly satin, it drapes beautifully and it is much easier to work with than the shifty silk.



The inside double-welt pocket turned out nicely.





I inserted the lining by hand, which in the scheme of things isn't all that much work and will make the lining easier to remove should I ever need to.  I used a simple slip stitch, except at the vent, which called for some felling stitches.





The Bemberg was neither too thin nor too thick.  It was just right.  Don't you love a happy ending?



And now a rare product endorsement.  As you know, my close vision has deteriorated a bit these last few years, necessitating the use of readers when I hand sew.  Threading needles -- a chore in the best of times -- requires one of those little metal foil threaders.

Then I discovered self-threading needles.  Instead of having to thread a hole, you snap the thread into a little dip at the top of the eye.  This still requires me to wear readers, but it's much faster than the old way.  These are especially useful for pulling a thread through the back of your sewing, something I had to do a lot on this tweed project (particularly when I was attaching my buttons by machine but needed to create a thread shank).  Mine are by Clover but there are other brands out there as well.





Do you ever use self-threading needles?

Friends, I hope you had a lovely Coatmas on Thursday, and thank you for all your lovely comments, both here and on the Mood Sewing Network. 

Have a great day, everybody!

PS - If you're traveling this holiday season, don't forget to travel light....

30 comments:

  1. Wow! That is some beautiful work. That double welt pocket gave me a shiver! Merry Coatmas to you and yours. x

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  2. the coat turned out beautifully!

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  3. Gorgeous coat! Love the double welt pocket - simply beautiful. Happy Coatmass!
    P. S. I've only used a self-threading needle once, and it wasn't a positive experience. If I pulled the needle swiftly, the thread came off. It wasn't a Clover brand. I'd like to give it a try again with Clover as I generally like their products. Thanks for the recommend!

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  4. Lovely coat with wonderful details!

    I find I can see to sew anything as long as I take off my glasses and work two inches from my nose. It amuses my partner greatly.

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  5. Peter, absolutely amazing, beautiful coat! Was the Bemberg you selected more of a coat weight? Ambiance used to make a heavier lining they called "Chesterfield", but I haven't seen it in ages.

    I find self-threading needles of limited use, mostly for pulling machine threads throught to the back side. I find they tend to abrade and shred the thread if used for serious hand sewing. Maybe Clover brand is better...

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    1. I actually did have a bit of that problem every so often and I couldn't understand why, especially since I was using silk. But for pulling the thread to the back they're perfect!

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  6. Thanks for the very thoughtful post! I'm still very much learning and growing my sew skills, and this may save me from a lot of pain down the road. And self threading needles? I may just have to try those!

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  7. I think that the difference between a home sewist and an artist is the willingness to take things apart, replace fabrics and start over until what you have is something really exceptional. After watching you and Lane Wilhite at that man quilts, I am now unwilling to settle for less than my original desired result. I can rip seams all day now, if it means I get what I set out to make.

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  8. Gorgeous double welt pocket. Perfection!

    I'm still recovering from Coatmas.

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  9. I'm sad that you weren't able to use the silk - I dream of wearing silk one day (I dream of sewing anything wearable one day). There was a bunch of posts on one of the many sewing blogs I read - perhaps it was The Sewing Space, but when I google sewing silk gelatine there are loads of websites. Your coat is to die for just as it is (love the grey trim on the inside pocket!). Have you ever worked with silk stiffened with gelatine? Sounds messy to me, but I'm promising myself I'll try it sometime.

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  10. I totally love my self threading needles. I use them most for burying thread ends in my quilting. But I have also used them for other things. Yes, age is getting my close vision - well actually the depth perception in the close vision, making threading a needle more difficult.

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  11. Pocket perfection is yours.

    Oh to be so close to Mood...

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  12. Awesome finished coat and sounds like a great amount of love and attention involved. One day I hope to be able to make my own coat and will return to your posts when I do!

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  13. Peter, that is a beautiful coat and it suits you perfectly. I envy your ability to put together fabrics that flatter you. Pockets are lovely, too.

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  14. Wow, your coat looks fantastic, Peter! Merry Belated Coatmas!

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  15. Peter - first, the pea coat: it turned out wonderful! Your final choice for lining was perfect, and the color is a lovely contrast. What I appreciate - since I ain't wearin' the coat - is all the hard work, patience, and artistry (as another poster said) you put into it. That is inspiring. And I appreciate your sharing it all. Next, I do use self-threading needles a lot, or needles with larger eyes that are still thin. It helps out so much. And finally, if you are in the mood to adopt me, so you can make me clothes, let me know . . . Have a wonderful holiday season those who are near and dear. Your blog is a daily present to which I look forward.

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  16. The coat is so stylish!! It looks like it fits you perfectly and you have done an expert job tailoring it. I have tried to work with heavy poly like that before as well and it is horrible! Glad you found some nice rayon. I had my own dreams of making a coat this winter but it will have to wait until after the holiday! Hope yours are merry and bright!

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  17. Oooh! Those needles are what I need! I like to tie off topstitching and hide the ends. Thanks for posting about them! Also, well done on your jacket!

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  18. I loved using the calyx eye needles - but then I noticed they shredded my thread. One solution I found is to cut a little extra thread, pop the end through, and cut off the shredded end after threading.

    More importantly - Your peacoat has been an inspiration to me, great job!

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  19. Bemberg has been The Lining for decades for good reasons.. And I never pull a thread to the wrong side with a needle. There's also a reason why it's called pulling :-). You pull on the corresponding thread on the wrong side, till a little loop shows. Pull on that little loop and soon the whole right-side thread is where you want it. Then you just knot the two together and voila! secured seam. Mostly I use fingernails to work that loop loose, or a pin can do it in all cases. The only difficulty comes if you have sewn right over that thread pair again, or if you have a thread tangle, but it's no unsurmountable if you understand the stitch structure and how to work it.
    I'm not saying you don't still need glasses, but it save a lot of time and bother, especially if threading a needle is not super-easy for you.

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  20. It's beautiful Peter! Enjoy the fruits of your labor.
    I've been using self threading needles for years. I use them for exactly what you did, pulling threads through to the wrong side. For very small needles, but they have to have a round eye, I love my Clover needle threader. The one that stands up. It's the only way I can thread a very small needle.

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  21. Such beautiful work. Your coat looks amazing. I've never heard of self-threading needles. Glad to learn about them!

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  22. Great coat, great lining. I have a terrible time finding suitable linings because I am roasting much of the time and need fabrics that breathe. I really like your idea of slipstitching the lining in place. Certainly would make it easier if it needs to be replaced.

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  23. All that hard work paid off! That coat is splendid. Love it, love it, LOVE it!

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  24. Great coat, Peter! You did an AMAZING job! (as usual) I think you did the right thing switching the linings; much nicer finish with the Bemberg.

    Oh and I just have to say this because only in a place like this will anyone care: I just scored a FULL BOX of shirtbuttons...in REAL 'black' mother of pearl... for FIVE DOLLARS. When I say 'a full box', I mean an industrial sized box that weighs about FIVE pounds! I thought they were plastic reproductions but when I looked closer, I realized they were the REAL THING! *happy dance*

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  25. I discovered those self threading needles earlier this year and absolutely love them because my eyes, well they ain't as young as they used to be. My hand sewing still has a ways to go but it is a little less frustrating now that I don't have to thread needles.

    Your coat project is absolutely amazing - as always! Thank you for sharing the process you went through to find just the right fabric and weight for the lining.

    And Sufiya, I'm green with envy but congratulations! That is worth a *Happy Dance!*

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  26. You are so right about the need for the appropriate type and weight of lining. I recently made my first bag. The body is cotton duck and so far is wearing very well. But the poly oriental brocade I used for lining slipped and shredded during construction, and the small floating threads caught my fingernails in use, and then several seams tore out. Lesson learned- I’ll spend Boxing Day putting in a tough plain cotton lining, and for version 2 will choose something smooth and stable for the inside.
    Your coat is lovely. I hope it snows (just a bit, not enough to cause inconvenience) over the holidays so you can frolic warmly about in it! In Melbourne Australia we expect 31 degrees C (around 88 fahrenheit).

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  27. I love this project. You look great in the coat - and it's done really well. The style and fabric look very flattering on you. The fabric reminds me of some of the coats I like (but can't afford) at Burberry. The lining sounds like a real pain - but you made a great choice.

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  28. You made absolutely the right decision about lining-- the rayon looks perfect! I hadn't thought about hand-sewing a lining for ease of removal, but that's really smart and will make it easy to extend the life of this beautiful coat!

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