Saturday, July 16, 2011


Sometimes, in the midst of getting through the enormous workload, I wonder why it is taking so long to accomplish anything. Then I cut something that really points out why I am feeling behind. Here's the latest example. Cuffs. Simple right? No, the end result will look simple, but in reality there are seven layers to be cut for these particular cuffs. They need structure otherwise they will floppy and sad, and the fabric is too thin to give any help, so I had to experiment a bit to see what would be the best solution. Experiment = time.
Okay, once I decide, then I have to cut all the pieces out, which means drawing around the pattern for each layer and either cutting out with a seam allowance or carefully cutting exactly to size, which means cutting inside the pencil lines (if you don't cut away the pencil line the piece gets bigger). It means locating the materials to use- which could be a trip to the cage for support fabrics, and then a bit of pressing, then laying them out to cut, keeping track of how much is used for budget purposes, returning them, and then doing the same with the fashion fabrics. Next thing you know, most of the morning is gone, and you have two cuffs cut out.

The order of layers:
1. white woven crisp sew in interfacing- pattern drawn out on it, cut with seam allowance.
2. stitch wichery - cut exactly to size (4 pieces)
3. hair canvas- drawn and cut exactly to size (4 pieces)
4. fusible canvas- drawn and cut exactly to size (4 pieces)
5. duppioni silk, background colour
6. beaded silk inset- separate pattern made for stitcher to have for marking placement
7. lining silk.

The hair canvas was stitch-wiched to the white woven interfacing, then the fusible canvas was fused to that. Theses layers were stitched together to prevent delamination from occuring. This structure layer was then flat mounted to the background silk. Since the canvases were cut to finished size, the white interfacing it is attached to gives us a seam allowance to use when bagging out the edge. It also provided a smooth surface for the thin silk that we are using.

Once the background silk is flat mounted, the placement of the beaded silk inset can be marked. The next step is to baste on the beaded silk, trim excess seam allowance, remove the pearls from the seam allowance by crushing them, then stitch down through all the layers.

Then the trims can be applied. When all is satisfactory, the outer edge of the cuff can be bagged out with the lining, turned and basted in place. Next, the cuff can be sewn to the sleeve, the hems sewn and the lining finished.

Repeat for the other cuff.
Repeat in variations for all five coats.

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