I’ve recently started thinking about the sewing-together part of this project. Thinking about logistics, I mean. By a happy coincidence, Laura brought her embroidered jacket as part of her show & tell this session. I mentioned that I’d been comparing the original paper pattern pieces to the tensioned embroidered ones and that some stretching has occurred. I wondered aloud how much “spring back” we’d have when all the pieces are cut out of the frames.
Laura, who has actually done quite a bit of this work herself, said she thinks most of the stretching/distortion will remain, because the stitching will help to hold the piece in that position, even when the lacing that ties the piece to the frame is gone.
This started an in-depth discussion of construction techniques and choices. I wish we’d started earlier in the day – this was just as we were cleaning up to go for supper, and all very hungry and Laura with a severe headache that couldn’t have been helped any by delaying her meal. Laura showed me her jacket and described how she put the pieces together, and Robbin and Jen, who were still there too, looked up photos in various books and helped compare details between the Laton jacket and jacket 1359-1900 (the embroidery pattern jacket).
Here is a detail of the inside of Laura’s jacket, showing the center back seam. Laura folded in and hemmed down the raw edge of the pieces before stitching the hemmed edges together with extremely tiny overcast stitches. (Does that make sense written that way? She turned in the edge of the embroidered back and hemmed it down; turned in the edge of the side that should be seamed to that piece and hemmed that down, then overcast the two together. Then she did the same with the linings for each piece. This detail shows the linen lining. Each half was hemmed and then the hemmed edges were stitched together.) You can see from the right side that she also chose to apply a braid of silk over the seams and around the edges of her jacket. The Laton jacket has embroidery over some of the seams (but not all), and of course has the lace trimming the edges; 1359-1900 doesn’t have embroidery over the seams.
Before we talked, I had already decided to sew a trial jacket, cut out of the same linen we’re embroidering, and sew it up with a silk lining. This will of course only be a distant approximation of the real thing, but it will allow me to practice setting in the gussets (more on that another time) and work out how the cuffs and collar should be sewn (among other questions I have) before I’m dealing with all the embroidery etc. In fact that was why I was comparing the paper pattern pieces to the embroidered pieces in the first place.
Yesterday I cut out the linen for this trial piece. I’m thinking about which, if any, other construction methods to try (aside from the one Laura used) and I’m also thinking about whether we should embroider over some of the seams. Mmm. More embroidery.