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Forum > Sewing Techniques and Tips > Machine Washable Suit Jacket - How Would You Constuct It? ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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Machine Washable Suit Jacket - How Would You Constuct It?
If they can do it in RTW, surely we can too!
lorrwill
lorrwill
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California USA
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Date: 2/14/11 11:36 PM

A quick search on Google will reveal there are A LOT of RTW machine washable suits for men and women. Reviews say some are great and some not so much. I am looking to recreate the better of the lot. (I am kicking myself for not taking apart the one jacket I had instead of giving it away. Yes, I have thought about buying a suit just to reverse engineer it.)

I have been working on this idea of making my own and am ready to move from research and into development. I have some idea of how to approach this - such as using only machine washable fabrics and notions - and am seeking construction ideas for the most important part: the jacket.

What I would like to know from more those of you more experienced wonderful people is how would you sew this beast together so that the inner supporting structure survives washing?*

My idea is to stitch the interfaced parts into the seams or darts whenever possible. I am not 100% sold on fusible interfacings since the fabrics I will be using will be at least 50% synthetic and previous experience has not been good with the fusibles staying stuck on these kinds of fabrics.

However, I am not an expert and look forward to any and all suggestions, cautionary tales and of course encouragement you may care to offer.

Obviously the end product will not be of bespoke quality, but if it is on par with decent (better, bridge, etc.) RTW, I will have met my goal.

Thanks!


*These garments will be laundered like lingerie in their own bags and then air dried.
-- Edited on 2/14/11 11:37 PM --

petro
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petro  Friend of PR
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Date: 2/15/11 4:08 AM

I'd be interested to know how you get along with this. The last few jackets I made I used a well washed very fine wool as interlining/interfacing. I know it wouldn't shrink because it was repurposed from several old pairs of pants, which had themselves been machine washed quite a lot. I wasn't particularly thinking of machine washing the jackets, but it occurred to me part way through construction that having a washable jacket could be handy. I made shoulder pads out of layered bits of wool (thicker stuff this time). Random thoughts are finishing of seams on jacket and lining, would a lining fray and give bunches of unravelled thread to make bumps which show through? How should shoulder pads be fixed to not shift in laundering? Maybe it would be necessary to think out the design carefully so that as much as possible has some top stitching to hold things in place? Another thought is that maybe if you find a suitable top fabric, it could be used in a double layer as interfacing, instead of having to worry about different fabric qualities working against each other.

mastdenman
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mastdenman  Friend of PR
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Date: 2/15/11 10:34 AM

You could start by using removable shoulder pads. I've put them in with snaps before. When you need to remove the shoulder pad for laundering, just unsnap it.

------
Marilyn

January 2009 to January 2010 81 yards out and 71yards in January 2010 to the present 106.7 yards out and 146.5 yards in. January 2011 to the present: 47 yards out and 69 yards in.

Kathleen Fasanella
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Kathleen Fasanella  Friend of PR
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In reply to lorrwill


Date: 2/15/11 11:26 AM

I've been making washable RTW suits for years. In fact, I specialize in it.

Take another look at fusibles, pass on the stuff at the fabric stores, it's mostly junk. Another issue home sewers don't realize is that fusibles are highly specialized and specific to given fabrics and performance. It is not unusual for us to use a different fusible in each garment of a given collection. A suit coat can take as many as five or six different kinds of stabilizing materials.

You don't mention your goal; is this personal or a professional product? If it's personal, all you can do is test wash all of your inputs. You need to apply given fusibles to fabric before washing to gauge performance. Speaking of, I did an expert chat here on PR that may be helpful. There is a preamble to it on my site (read the comments!) as well as a follow up -a refresher on basic industrial sewing concepts. For that matter, I wrote two entries on interfacing (how to apply and ten tips) that may be helpful.

I strongly encourage you to buy a better suit coat from a thrift store to reverse engineer it. I'm a big fan of reverse engineering. I've written at least 15 tutorials about it (scroll down).

------
http://fashion-incubator.com
Lessons from the sustainable sewing factory floor

lorrwill
lorrwill
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California USA
Member since 9/14/05
Posts: 17
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In reply to Kathleen Fasanella


Date: 2/15/11 5:10 PM

Thank you for all your input. My goal is a professional product for personal use.

I not seeking information on the techniques used for making a bespoke tailored suit. I am familiar with the techniques and materials used to create a jacket of this nature.

The jacket I spoke of was a machine washable suit jacket but not of very high quality.

lorrwill
lorrwill
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California USA
Member since 9/14/05
Posts: 17
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In reply to petro


Date: 2/15/11 5:13 PM

Brilliant! I seem to be on the right track. Thank you for these ideas. I am so used to a fully fused or floating canvas that it didn't occur to me to use the same fabric for the interlining as the top.
-- Edited on 2/15/11 5:14 PM --

lorrwill
lorrwill
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California USA
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Posts: 17
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Date: 2/23/11 10:30 PM

I found much of the technical information I need here
and was pointed to Judy Barlup's Japanese Tailoring DVD and workbook.

This is definitely doable!

AnneM
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AnneM  Friend of PR
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In reply to Kathleen Fasanella


Date: 2/24/11 8:54 AM

Quote: Kathleen Fasanella
I've been making washable RTW suits for years. In fact, I specialize in it.

Your links are going to be fun reading! Thanks.

------
With a great wardrobe that's still in the flat-fabric stage.

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