Saturday, December 17, 2011

Koos Coat – Construction Day 1


Taking this slow and steady.

For me, that means I do a bit and walk away. Do chores. Run errands. Cook a meal. Visit with my daughter home from college and my husband who has the next week off work. This is not one of those projects where I can obsess and work till the wee hours of the morning.

Yesterday: I cut and constructed a size medium muslin. I did not petite it. My usual petite is one inch above bust plus one inch above the waist. I determined that I would cut a size extra-small at the shoulders and a medium elsewhere. Holding my breath that this is a good fix to the armscye issues on the muslin – they were too large and needed to be cut much higher. I think it will be fine.

Today’s advancements include:

1. Deciding to rearrange the order of fabrics. I will use the black speckles as the main body rather than the red/grey. The red/grey does not have much body. I think it would be great for a one-layer jacket, but not quite suitable as the base of this construction because there will be NO sew-on or ironed on interfacing used. We’ll see it in the piecing as the days progress.


2. I cut, sewed, folded the bias tape. Pain in the tuchas (!) as the wool did not want to keep a crease. I ought to take a photo of my process: using one of those 1/2 inch bias turners PLUS about 5 or 6 pins in the ironing board to keep the folds in place while drying to set. I hope I don’t have to fiddle with it too much once I start using it.


3. I ran out to our town’s little quilting shop to be met with a sign on the door: Jeannine and her husband Jean are both in a nursing home and the shop may never reopen. I plan to pay them a visit tomorrow. I learned quite a bit from Jean about machine repair. The loss of this shop will be a great loss. In order to complete my errand, I needed to venture to the next town to Walmart. The week before Christmas. I had quite a mental debate with myself about the greater need – but forged on singing along with my radio’s Christmas carols. Thankfully, it was just 10am so that the crowds had not yet descended, though the parking lot was jam packed. There was no line at the registers as I paid for my spray fabric adhesive.


4. Attempted to spray adhesive on the facing fabric (the silky leopard print) to stick on the wool, but it was too windy outside (and cold!) and the fabric kept blowing away. Rethinking options, we shuffled cars so that we could use the garage. The adhesive didn’t end up sticking very well – we’re debating whether the cold has anything to do with it, or the time it took to fiddle with the silky facing fabric in order to place it properly onto the wool.  (The “we” is my hubby.)


5. Pinned the wrong side of the facing to the wrong side of the wool, cut a wide margin around the pattern pieces, traced the pattern with chalk and pen, then ran a couple of lines of free form quilting to adhere them permanently.



6. I re-attached the paper pattern to the quilted piece to cut more precisely….remembering to place the pattern face down on this one layered piece.


All of this quilting of facings is because I do not plan to line the coat. I’m following Koos’ methods.

Mental note: Cut off the 5/8 inch seam allowance on the outer edge before placing the final bias tape. I’m leaving it for now – to allow this seam allowance to ravel during the construction and manipulation of the coat.

This is what I accomplished thus far:


Did you notice that the facing doesn’t complete the circle? I don’t know why I opted this – I think I felt it unnecessary to have the facing along the bottom back. Hopefully this will be a good decision. 

Tomorrow: Sew these pieces together and start construction of the basic coat.

I’m still undecided about what to use for outer-edge bias and for the sleeves. I have options but I’m not thrilled with any of them.

I’ll take more photos tomorrow of the process. I forgot about taking photos till this evening and missed recording some interesting details. 

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