It's about exploring and sharing my creative adventures (mostly sewing these days) ~
~those activities that sometimes obsess, usually inspire, occasionally frustrate
~and always provide a delightful maze to wander through.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Peony and I - Our First Fight (We need Help!)

Well, maybe more like a misunderstanding; hopefully just a little bump in the road.  We've both agreed to counseling, so any professional help (or unprofessional, or even totally from left field suggestions) are welcomed here.  I'm afraid I'm going to have to accept full responsibility for this mishap :(.

I clipped the seam allowances from the interfacing on the pigskin, to reduce bulk - in retrospect, this may have been my first mistake (more on this don't always see it coming with your first innocent misstep.....).

Actually, yesterday was "one of those days" from the get-go.  My cat had a last minute vet visit (we're awaiting biopsy results) and I didn't get the cording for the piping until late afternoon, so the daytime sewing I was hoping for didn't happen.   Making the piping, though, went smoothly.
I basted it on to the leather, using a zipper foot.  (Note:  sewing the seams - leather to leather - was a breeze with a walking foot)  It was dragging a bit in places; my low-tech solution was to place some tissue paper from an old and never-to-be-used pattern.

Piping basted in place.  So far, so good:

Next step, add the lining.  Uh oh.  This is where the problems started.  Again, I was using the zipper foot, to get close to the piping seam.  I mentioned in an earlier post that I had interfaced the leather because is was pretty stretchy.   Pigskin, apparently, does have a grainline.....sort of.... and I tried to cut accordingly, with the maximum stretch on the crossgrain.  As I was sewing the leather, piping, and lining, the skin was puckering in some areas, stretching in others, and creating a totally wonked out match with the lining.   Did I mention that the lining is silk?  A relatively thin silk?   Probably something like a thin habotai?  With no stretch at all?

Now, I've done this before - tried to marry a lining with minimal stretch to a fashion fabric with lots of stretch.  I made it work (because that's what I do, whenever possible), but I swore I wouldn't try that again.


I thought I had taken care of the leather stretch with the interfacing.   Nope.  Especially not (I think) when I removed the SA from the interfacing.   Here's what's happening at the bottom edge:
The rounded flap is designed to fold over.
Nothing is pressed, but even a good pressing won't solve the problem here

And here's the problem:  the bottom edge.
See how the leather is folded over the lining?
I've already unpicked everything along that bottom edge once,
 shortened the leather piece, & resewed, but it wasn't enough.

Here's a better look at how the leather is folded over the lining,
and see how MUCH lining fabric is extending out?
These pieces matched when I started!
Note that I had already removed the piping from the lower edge of the other side front - and I haven't sewn the lining to the leather on that edge.   So the problem here is that I have pieces that are designed to have the leather & the lining sewn together on all sides, but the leather & the fabric don't want to match up.  And I'm afraid the leather might continue to stretch.

Soooooo...... do I just undo the lining from the leather at the bottom edge & finish them separately?  In which case, how do I ensure that the area of the lining that shows on the folded over flap stays smooth & nice-looking over time?   Do I unpick this lining & use a more suitable fabric?   Frankly, the main reason I chose this lining was the color match - these were all fabrics from my stash, & it just didn't even occur to me that leather & silk weren't going to play well with each other (picture me rolling my eyes, and really truly swearing to remember this lesson!!!!).    I am willing to unpick everything & change out the lining if that's what it takes.  I can be tenacious that way.

I still think this relationship has good possibilities - the attraction is, shall we say, a strong one.  ;-)  And I'm willing to take responsibility for my lack of forethought - going for looks over practicality, as it were - and make some changes.  We're open to all suggestions!

Oh, & btw, while I was buying the cording I found the perfect button, and I have what I think is a fabulous idea for the buttonhole brewing in my brain.    I do have hopes.  :)

I'll leave you with the 'diamond in the rough' shot I took after laying out the cut pieces:

I hope your relationships are all moving along smoothly :)

Lynne was SO spot on with her analysis (in comments below).   Here's a shot of the rounded front lining piece after I unpicked it, & laid it on the pattern piece:
The curve on top, & the extra bit at the point, match the wonky bits after it was sewn on....go figure, eh?    A new piece has been cut & sewn on, (using Steam-a-seam lite) & we seem to be back on track :) :) :)  Thanks Lynne!!!


Peggy L said...

First up - I have never sewn on leather:) Now that you know I am totally clueless - is the lining too short? If it was a little longer in that area would the leather lay smoothly? Do you have enough of a seam allowance on the lining that you could sew the lining portion with a smaller seam allowance?

This is going to be gorgeous when you finish!!!!

Jilly Be said...

Thanks for taking a stab Peggy :) The lining IS too short, because the leather has stretched. I'm afraid that the leather will stretch more over time, so that even if I get it evened up now, this same 'fold-over' will occur again over time.

shams said...

Ack, I hope a leather-sewing expert will come along and make some suggestions. I have zero experience and do not know what to suggest. It would seem that your interfacing the leather would help minimize this effect, but maybe it was not heavy-duty enough. Did you use a "stretchable" tricot sort of interfacing? Or a more serious, stay-here-cause-I-mean-business sort of interfacing?

I feel your pain!

Jilly Be said...

shams I used a couple of sample interfacings, and ended up using Pam's "Pro-Weft". The I-mean-business interfacing made it stiffer than I (thought I) wanted. I think that removing the interfacing SA affected the stretch at the stitching line, but the entire piece still has a lot of give in it.

Lynne Williams said...

Okay, I will take a stab at this.

1. The leather should not stretch on you while wearing. Never had this problem, especially when interfaced.

2. I believe the fold over is happening because your lining curve is not matched to your suede curve properly, causing the lining to be to short and pulling the suede to the inside.

3. Try releasing the pressure on your machine foot. Use 1/4" steam a seam lite to "pin" your layers together and try sandwiching your seam between wax paper. The wax paper will tear away when you are done.

4. Before doing the above and after ripping out the seam, check both the suede and lining against the pattern pieces and true up as they may have stretched on you. Additionally you may want to cut an 1/8" off of the lining curve to allow for the turn of cloth. I am not sure Diane's patterns allow for this.

Hope this makes sense and that it works. They do make a special foot for sewing piping on leather, it looks like a scored wheel that sits upright, it rolls along, helping with the traction issue, while allowing the needle to be close to the piping.

This relationship is certainly worth patience and counseling:)

Jilly Be said...

Lynne those are some awesome-sounding suggestions; thank you!!!
1. This gives me hope :) :) :)
2. The lining & leather not matched up correctly sounds spot on. I'm pretty sure I have enough of the lining fabric to recut a new piece(s) if necessary.
3. I played around quite a bit with the pressure & think I finally got that, but :::::headdesk:::: I should have read my own notes on sewing with leather from when I made my faux suede jacket. Steam a seam - I KNEW that!!! :::headdesk again::::
4. Yup - will check & possibly recut.

I'm not sure about the turn of the cloth, I'll have to wrap my head around the fact that the upper portion of the curve is folded over - like a lapel that can be worn open or closed. I'll think on this one.

Thank you SO much - very very helpful suggestions, & I'll be spending some slow sewing time this evening unpicking :)