Saturday, August 28, 2010

Let's Get This Coat Party Started.

Today I cut the dark charcoal wool /cashmere blend fabric and interfacing for this winter coat:
The interfacing is non-fusible hymo which has horse hair in it.  I looked for it, and yep, it's really there.  There is black hair wrapped around the thread.  It's the hair from the horse's tail and it helps keep the fabric and the interfacing snug together.   The horse hair kinda snags the fabric at a microscopic level.  When I laid the fabric on top of it, the two fabrics immediately stuck together really well. 

Do you ever wish you were close to the garment district so you'd have access to all the right supplies?  Yes, I do, too.  But I remembered that LindsayT has a detailed directory of stores in the NYC garment district, so I went right to her blog and found Steinloff & Stoller's phone number.  I called them on Thursday morning and I had the hymo at my house by Friday afternoon!  And  their prices are good, too.
I am going to interline the body of the coat with the hymo, and the sleeves with muslin.  I am using the technique that Kenneth King describes in Cool Couture to attach the hymo to the muslin by machine.  I'll show pics in my next post so you (and I) can see what it looks like!  This is all new to me.

I am following his methods to the extent I can (this old dog only learns some new tricks :)
For example, he has you prepare the paper pattern piece so that a scant 1/8th inch remains outside the stitching line.
The reasoning is that you will be tracing on the stitching line with a serrated tracing wheel and you need a little paper there for traction (for lack of a better term).  In this next photo, the colored side of the tracing paper is face down, beneath the pattern but on top of the muslin fabric.  I tried using the double blade serrated tracing wheel, but I couldn't seem to get the hang of it, so eventually gave up on that method.  I was pressing so hard I was losing precision.  So I switched back to the single blade tracing wheel.
The blue dots are faint, but you can see how it comes out.
Then I used a new toy to cut.
This is the most wonderful little gadget!  I fell in love with it- it maded such quick work of the cutting.  I saw these things online and wanted one forever, but never saw one in my travels.  Recently, Belinda (Sew4Fun) blogged about it and I made up my mind I would get one for myself.
She provided the details I needed, I googled it and I found a vendor immediately and bought it online.  It's a 28mm Olfa rotary cutter (RTY-1/G) with an attached guide arm. Both pieces are purchased separately.

How did I live without it for so long? I love it!

Now, do you like dogs?  If so, you must read this post about a very clever dog.

Til next time, Happy Sewing!

ps. Thanks for the feedback on the swimsuit fabric.  I will be careful about what I buy next time- and thanks for the link to Needle Nook Fabrics in Wichita, Kansas. 


  1. I don't know how you lived with this gadget either. I certainly couldn't sew without mine. Well actually I could sew. :) I just couldn't sew so many Burda patterns.

  2. I forgot to say. I'm glad you were able to find one on-line.

  3. ooo! I have to get one of those!

    looking foward to following along and seeing your coat - good luck!


  4. I found that this method doesn't work well with a double tracing wheel too. It's just not accurate. If you can find the same style 45mm cutter the arm will work with that one too. I like cutting with the larger one better for most of what i cut. So, you marked the seamlines, and then cut off the allowance? This method is great for Burda mag I would think. Steinloff and Stoller haven't exactly come into the 21st century with the internet, but calling them is easy enough and here on LI it's overnight with UPS.
    Looking forward to seeing how this coat comes out. What fabric are you using? I don't remember if you posted it.

  5. More and more convinced that I should (partially) change from using scissors only to using a rotary cutter.
    I can't follow the 1/8 inch exactly, but as I work mostly with patterns without seam allowances anyhow, I'll stick to my method.
    Think you'll like the way the hymo is attached.

  6. aren't rotary cutter arms just awesome? :-D

    I can't wait to see the coat!

  7. I love following along to your projects. That arm sounds like something I need to get.

  8. OMG, I have been looking for that rotary cutter with the guide arm everywhere and forever!

    Great to know they actually CAN be found.

  9. I enjoyed the dog link. I recently fostered a pit mix that was abandoned that was not big enough to be away from the mother. I took him to the grass just to see if he would go and was amazed that was all it took to crate train such a tiny puppy. He just understood what to do immediately. I took him out every couple of hours while I had him and his crate stayed clean and dry. The people who adopted him say no accidents. We've owned and fostered lots of rescues but this tiny pit puppy amazed me.
    I am going to see about getting one of the rotary cutter gadgets for seam allowance cutting. I have bought a few burda and ottobre that require tracing if I ever use them so one will come in handy for that. msssewcrazy

  10. That is a great KK technique. I used a slightly modified version for my silk Wedding suit jacket. It worked beautifully - all the support of the hymo/horsehair, but not the stiffness in the seams and seam allowances. Good luck - this will be a lovely coat.

  11. The history of the dog is hilarious! I am fascinated watching your new "toy." It seems very comfortable and easy to cut fabrics, lycra, above all, good idea!


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