The further good news is that the Sewing Workshop Soho Raincoat I started last winter (when we had NO rain) is realllllly close to being finished. Several of you have asked about it, in no small part because you have the same fabric, and I suspect are using me as a guinea piglet to figure out just how the heck to work with it. I don't mind....really, I don't. Just give me a challenge!
Here's the fabric:
This is a water resistant nylon (or something like it), purple on one side, black on the other (it also came in green, and I think a blue and maybe an orange?). Several of us bought yards of the stuff at Fabrix - I don't remember the cost, but it was a great price! I immediately earmarked mine for the Soho Coat - that's my next post (coming soon!). Meanwhile, I thought I would make some notes as to what I found while working with the fabric.
Last year, when I started cutting the pattern out, and experimented with the flat-felled seams called for in the pattern, I went into minor freak-out mode trying to figure out how to get all those teensy little pleats to behave. My angst, combined with the fact that we had NO rain last winter, resulted in everything being shoved into the corner, aka Area 51, aka UFOland.
When I dug it out again, I decided that angst just didn't work for me, so I put some comedy on the telly and just dove right in. (I was listening to/watching the TED Talks Smart Laughs series on Netflix, but here's a link directly to some funnies on the TED Talks website - highly recommended...actually, pretty much any TED Talk is highly recommended by me).
What I discovered:
- All those teensy criss-crossing pleats really aren't that hard to work with. They're actually a combination of forgiving and challenging, so it sort of balances out.
- Washable Wonder Tape is a miracle tool. I've never really worked with it before, and I found it to be nearly perfect for this fabric. Definitely better than Steam-a-Seam for this fabric!
- Most of the pleats run crosswise (selvedge to selvedge), which means that most of the stretch is actually in the length. If you're making a garment that requires more stretch across the body, I think this fabric lends itself perfectly to laying your pattern with the grain line laid selvedge to selvedge.
- Because of the crosswise pleating, I found that the fabric stretched a bit along the length, and I ended up shortening the sleeves and the overall length a bit more than I had planned on with the initial cutting. Whether it stretches even more in the long run remains to be seen......
- Because of all the pleating, paying close attention to the grainline while cutting really isn't that important.
- You can iron the fabric. Pressing alone, without steam, isn't very effective, but it will hold a crease (at least for awhile) if you use steam and a medium hot iron. However, doing so runs the risk of flattening some of the pleats enough to change the shape of your pattern pieces, so do it carefully....
- I definitely suggest using a pattern that has simple lines and not a lot of tailoring. That should be a no-brainer with this fabric, but knowing me, it's something I would try anyway!
Some of the details in pictures:
|Sleeve seam - trying to press it open. |
Not such a great result, with out risking flattening the pleats.
|Same sleeve, with seam pressed to the side. |
I opted to do a faux flat-felled seam on the sleeves
to keep the seam flat.
1. I measured, folded, and press the hem at the hemline.
2. I finger-pressed the Wonder Tape (WT) to the edge of the fabric.
3. On the ironing board, I then folded under the edge (with the cover tape still in place on the WT), measured the hem depth, and pinned the edge in place.
|4. I pressed the hem, just enough to hold the creases in place, and removed the pins.|
|5. I removed the protective tape from the WT, finger-pressed the WT in place, and added pins on the Right Side of the fabric. I had already learned my lesson about top-stitching from the Wrong Side - being able to keep your eye on the pleats is very helpful!|
Finished Soho Coat post will be coming this weekend :)