To catch up, read Part I of the Ponte Knit Vogue Jacket Sewing HERE.
BEFORE starting to construct a garment, STABILIZING edges is VITALLY IMPORTANT! Boring…but important.
For this garment, the back neck of each of the upper back pieces, and the front angled edges of each upper front NEED stay-stitching. Stay-stitching is stitching through a single layer of fabric, a tad inside the seam line – WITHOUT stretching the fabric as you are doing the stitching. After stitching, compare to the pattern. If it stretched during stitching, then pull the upper thread and distribute the fullness until it is the same size as the pattern along that edge.
To do this stitching, I use needle position, moving my needle a tad to the right. Then…I guide the edge of the fabric right at the 5/8″ mark on my throat place, and the stay-stitching is then exactly where it needs to be. I always chain-stitch when possible, going from one piece to another without clipping threads in between.
Selvage Used as ‘Piping’ in Horizontal Seams
In the first installment of this project, I hinted at my thought of using the ‘hairy’ selvage inserted like a ‘piping’ into the horizontal seams of this jacket. To give this a try, I cut 1″ strips of the selvage. As you can see in the photo at right below, you can see I placed the selvage at the lower edge of the top pieces and stitched, but not AS close as I would ultimately want it to be. To do this, I again utilized the needle position on my machine ( a Pfaff 7550 that offers 17 positions!) See in the photo at the right that I moved the needle just 1 increment to the right. Having done this, all I had to do was to locate the right edge of the fabric at the 5/8″ seam line on my throat plate.
Happy with the look of that, I did the same on all of the lower edges of top sections: both Front pieces and both Back pieces.
Next, it was time to join the top and bottom sections together for both the fronts and the backs. EZ. Just move the needle back to center position, guide the fabric at the same place, and the placement of the stitching was PERFECT yielding the interesting defining seams of this jacket as shown.
The thickness of this ponte double knit fabric MUST be dealt with for a successful garment. With what I just had done, I KNEW it would be necessary to GRADE the seams. I learned from Judy Barlup to understand which layer to leave the widest by considering which fabric lies closest to the ‘public’, or outside of the garment. In this case, with the seams pressed towards the top, the longest (widest) seam would be that which belongs to the upper bodice piece. Next longest: the selvage insertion, then the shortest (least wide) would be the seam allowance belonging to the lower pieces. After grading, I serged this seam with a 2 thread overcast using the left needle for as wide and lightweight of a ‘finish’ as possible.
Decisions – Decisions
Since I love the look of couching on a garment I considered couching one of the available Oliver Twist yarns that I offer at my website. Here’s what the yarn with closest coloration would look like:
My answer is what I ALWAYS share: IF IN DOUBT, LEAVE IT OUT!!! To my eye it was too much. Simple answer.
Shall I topstitch these seams to hold the seams in place? Here’s what that would like – with, or without. Again, my answer was NO – leave it out.
Center Back Seam
One of the things I really like about this pattern is the upward angle of the center back seam. Realizing this would need to be matched EXACTLY since I’d added the selvage embellishment, it required hand basting to hold everything in place AT THE SEAM LINE.
Setting the Sleeves
Honestly, I was ‘on a roll’ and enjoying every minute of stitching on this scrumptious piece of fabric! I had cut the Sleeves a tad larger, thinking with a knit, this would suffice. Let’s just say that after taking as small of a seam as I possibly could, the sleeves STILL felt too tight, so I added an extra piece under the arm which I cut from one of those large pieces of excess fabric. NOT something I’m proud of. Since the air conditioning is now on to stay here in west TN, I have my dumb bells back in use to get these arms back in shape! Hopefully, I’ll be able to take that extra piece OUT of the sleeves in a couple of months….
Nonetheless, here is a ‘private’ You-Tube Video for you. I keep it off my ‘channel’, as it is given as my Thank You when one subscribes to my Newsletter. But, as a Blog follower, here it is for you as well! Enjoy…..IT WORKS!!! Especially in a knit, it is super super EZ to do this technique.
Tune back in tomorrow for Episode 3 of my Ponte Vogue Jacket as I share applying the front and back neck facings and my finishing techniques.
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