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Beginner needing lots of help with pattern project!!
rachelt816
rachelt816
Member since 9/20/12
Posts: 2
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Date: 9/20/12 4:11 AM

My question has to do with interfacing for a men’s jacket I plan to make. Specifically, I’m making my husband a “Buddy the Elf” jacket for a costume (from the movie “Elf”—if you haven’t seen it, one, you MUST, if not, google image it so you know what I’m going for!)

I’ve ordered a pattern online for a coat that looks quite similar – this will be my first time using a pattern and as soon as I read over the instructions, I realized I might be a bit over my head!

I’ll probably be on here a lot asking additional questions, but for now my question pertains to interfacing. I’ve researched online about the types of interfacing, but am unsure as to weight I should use. I will be using a flannel fabric for the coat. The instructions say to use a “woven press-on interfacing for the front and back coat sections”, but does not mention weight. What would you suggest for this?

My next question also relates to interfacing, in this case with the lining of the coat. The instructions do not specify what type of lining to use, but I’m assuming I can use a silk polyester for this (please correct me if I am wrong). Here, the instructions say to “Use canvas sew-in interfacing for the lining”. What weight of interfacing would you suggest here?

Oh, and also, how much (yards) of interfacing and lining do you suggest I buy?

Thanks for any help…and sorry if these aren’t completely silly questions!

Sauvage
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Sauvage  Friend of PR
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Member since 7/22/09
Posts: 718
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Date: 9/20/12 11:45 AM

"Elf" is a classic, no two ways about it. Even the teen boy in our house looks forward to watching it every year.

Interfacing generally: (note that I'm still a lot closer to the beginning end of the sewing-skills-spectrum but will add my bit for what it's worth.) Patterns assume a certain amount of knowledge.* With interfacing, I'm still guessing (but reading PR posts is helping a lot). I'd say get something the same weight as or less than the "face" or "fashion" fabric. Match the type--woven or knit--but don't sweat it otherwise. If you read widely you will find that there are sewists here who just leave it out altogether! Preshrinking interfacing by steaming is recommended--and while I don't do that much, I've started to after a bad experience with interfacing in a rayon shirt. (Apparently rayon just keeps in shrinking in washes after you've prewashed it....)

A jacket seems like a tough thing to start with--but if it's a costume for a particular occasion, or just a couple of wearings, it doesn't have to have some fine touches that make something hold up over years of wear. A costume is more like a sketch or caricature than an oil painting. The visual quirks are key (for Buddy's jacket the distinctive bits are probably the white collar and cuffs, and that neat curve of the hem) and sometimes can be added easily (fabric paint instead of embroidery for instance). So have fun! Don't fret over ragged inside edges or seam blips unless such things really bug you. And welcome to the tribe.


*The omission that really drives me nuts is "Baste. Then stitch" directions. Would it be so hard to add a sentence in between about why you baste?? "Check if the gathers are even/if the sleeve looks smooth from the other side/if the thing hangs correctly....if not, rip the basting stitches out and do it again....."

------
Jeanne
2014 yards in inventory: (to be counted)
Yards cut/sewn:58
Yards purchased: 46.3

"People....so much bigger on the inside." Doctor Who, "The Doctor's Wife," 6.04, by Neil Gaiman.

heathergwo
heathergwo  Friend of PR
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California USA
Member since 11/14/11
Posts: 958
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In reply to rachelt816 <<


Date: 9/20/12 9:44 PM

Interfacing, in general, should be of a slightly lighter weight than the fabric you intend to use. So, for flannel, I would suggest a medium weight interfacing. Keep in mind also what the interfaced sections are being used for. For example, if it's for a collar that you want to stand up really tall, then you might need something heavier to achieve that. Or if it's for just a facing, you could probably do with something slightly lighter weight. In this case, for a jacket, I would suggest something midweight.

As for the amount of interfacing needed, that information should be included on the back of the pattern and if not there, then somewhere in the pattern instructions. There are probably some pieces (facings, collar, etc. I would guess) that need interfacing and the instructions will tell you which pieces you need to cut out fabric AND interfacing for.

As for the lining, that's kinda up to you. I think a poly silk blend would be fine, maybe a little tough to work with for your first big project, but it sounds appropriate. As for the "canvas sew-in interfacing" that you mentioned, I have to say I'm not familiar with that product. I would wait until you get the pattern to see exactly what you're interfacing for the lining and then see what might be appropriate. Maybe your local fabric store could recommend something? Sometimes the really experienced sewers at those stores are helpful and can provide some direction. Or maybe someone else here can chime in!

HTH!!! Good luck!!

------
Brother Innovis 1250D
Babylock Enlighten
Singer Curvy 8763
Brother 1034D
Janome 385.19606
Brother 2340CV

rachelt816
rachelt816
Member since 9/20/12
Posts: 2
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Date: 9/20/12 10:35 PM

Thanks so much for the input! Yep, I’ve quickly realized that I’m probably starting with a pretty hefty first project, lol! (and exactly why I’m eager to get started on it as early as possible!). I thought about leaving out the interfacing all together, but am starting to think it might be helpful to give the coat it’s “shape”. I’ll definitely go with a medium weight interfacing for the main body of the coat, though. Luckily I won’t have to worry about the collar, since I’ll be covering that with faux fur (I’ll hand stitch that on). Also definitely plan on making a “trial” coat just to get a feel for things—hopefully with that I’ll be able to iron out (no pun intended!) any major problems that arise. Going to get started on that tonight!

Thanks again for the help, and I’m sure I’ll be back for more help very soon!!

meleliza
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meleliza  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/23/12 9:04 AM

A lined men's jacket is a really ambitious project. But if that's what you want to do, why not? Make a muslin first and take it slowly.

Can you link to the pattern? It would help to know what youre working with.

------
Melanie

DonnaH
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DonnaH
Intermediate
Texas USA
Member since 10/1/03
Posts: 1236
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Date: 9/25/12 5:52 PM

I agree that for the flannel, you want something about the same weight as the material (most likely medium weight).

The canvas interfacing is something I've only read about (never used), but it's my understanding that it is commonly used to give a coat (like Buddy's, that's more shape than drape) the body it needs.

I agree that you should start with a muslin - and go slowly. If you are not sure about a particular seam, change to a contrasting thread and sew using a LONG stitch length. That makes it easier to pick out the stitches if it didn't work the way you expected!

Elf is not just a classic in my family - it's tradition. Every Christmas Eve we heat up a variety of appetizers (and cookies, lol) and watch Elf, put kids to bed, then watch It's a Wonderful Life.

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