March 6, 2013

Masamune's coat pt.2 - Small fixes!


Did some more progress today. Having slept on the collar dilemma I decided to make it a bit smaller, it probably would look better this way.. and behave better. I went to get the measurement tape and randomly figured cutting off 4 cm from the upper edge would be sufficient. Because the fabric marker pen is missing (it's in the same bag as the missing seam ripper..) I just took an ordinary pencil and drew a line that followed the curve of the collar.

Cutting line ready..
... and cut!
For some reason I always hesitate cutting something in case I screw up and regret it... it just isn't easy to reattach something without making it obvious it was at some point cut out. Yeah, I worry too much. Oh well, I quickly put the coat on and noticed it looked better than before; my worries flew out the window! With that I stitched the cut collar closed again with this special stitch that is a combination of zigzag and straight stitch.

Closing the collar again after being cut..
With the collar fixed I went, again, to quickly try it on. This time I took photos. Excuse the dirty mirror...

Now I don't need to bend it at the back and it still looks pretty cool! I say win-win!

The next and last thing to finish before I can start adding the trim around the edges is to hem the arm openings. This task was... more troublesome than I had thought.
Okay, first off I went to iron the shoulder seams open.. then again this technique isn't very effective on this fabric because it doesn't take heat so well (plastic coating so higher heat is a no-no...) but oh well, at least it does some difference so ironing the seams on low heat is still better than not doing it.

Ironing shoulder seams..
With the shoulder seams looking a bit nicer I went on to hem the arm openings.

Arm opening before hemming
I started at the arm hole and worked my way up to the shoulder and down again. Before starting the sewing but after I had put the fabric in place under the presser I experimented with how to do the hemming. Seeing how I made that horizontal stitch earlier at the arm hole/side seam beginning it seemed to me it would be harder to fold the fabric at the seam (aka so that the zigzag will be hidden) nicely. I figured that if I folded the starting point (where side seam starts) just once and then sewed a bit and folded the rest twice it worked without screwing up the fabric on the outside.

Here you can see what I mean. At the start single fold and after sewing a bit I turned it double so that the zigzag would be hidden. (clicking image larger helps)
Oh, speaking of hiding the zigzaged edges.. actually I didn't really care about the zigzag being visible or not; my main reason for wanting to fold it double was to gather more fabric at the edges to get more stiffness to the arm openings, so that the shoulder part could possibly stand up a bit better and not be as.. floppy. I don't know how to explain what I mean clearly or if it even makes sense. xD I also wanted to fold it double because otherwise the arm openings drooped a bit at the shoulders.. a bit too long. Hiding the zigzag or not doesn't matter because when the trim is added it will cover almost the whole folded part anyway.

When I got to the shoulder seam it got troublesome...
When I originally cut out the shoulders they had a slight rise and were quite angled at the shoulder point. This became a bit of a problem when hemming because that shoulder point turned into excess fabric that had to disappear somewhere because it's not really possible to suddenly hem an upside down V-curve without major bumps around it. It just wouldn't lay nicely and the only thing I could figure out was to just live with the unavoidable bumps.

Like this...
... and this.
Oh well, at least on the outside there was no signs of the bumpy inside:

~  The horrors that lie inside ~
Having the inside imperfect doesn't bother me that much... the trim should cover a good chunk of the mishaps anyway. Hah, bullshit. Meagre consolation for the perfectionist inside me...

Oh, I almost forgot. While I thought I had finished hemming one of the arm openings I took it out and noticed this:

I don't even
Okay, so what happened was that when I got to the side seam/arm hole point the coat fabric had gathered there and I just continued to sew, thinking if I moved parts of the fabric away while sewing it would be alright. So I sewed to the point where I started, a few centimeters away from the seam, and backed. What I didn't know was that the fabric had bunched up and created a fold exactly on top of the starting point and I sewed on that fold instead. Fabric troll!
Oh well, nothing to do but to unstitch the part that made the troll!fold. After unstitching I realized there actually wasn't even a need to sew all around the arm opening. It held up just fine without being fully stitched around and besides the trim would keep it all in place anyway.. not to mention it's hard to get it neat because when I originally cut out the front pieces I didn't accomodate for arm openings.. aka I made no soft "arm hole" curves to make life easier when hemming. So yeah, Masamune coat arm openings end in a sharp V-shaped point. Yeah, try to hem that nicely...

Just to show what I mean + how much I left unhemmed around the side seam.
Oh well, with the arm openings almost hemmed I put the coat on quickly and noticed that my "hemming-should-make-the-shoulders-hold-their-shape-better" theory seemed to work to a satisfying degree. I had thought while working on the coat today that if the fabric wouldn't support the shoulders to stay up by its own powers I could add shoulder pads to give a little support. But it seems it does just fine without so for now I'll let it be. I'll see if I change my mind after I'm done adding the trim, which I have planned to start on tomorrow. I must say.. I'm not looking forward to it, it will most likely be a pain in the ass. I mean it.



Arawn Elidd said...

Looking gooooood!! :D Trimming the collar down a bit helped a great deal!
To eliminate the bumps inside of the shoulder seam, usually cutting a few small darts into it will help it lie flatter.
Oh noes, not the dreaded V-shaped point on the arm openings. xD I'm always fighting against those too. I accidentally kinda made one on my Tokiya shirt recently, but fortunately it will be covered by my jacket.

Best of luck adding on the trim tomorrow! Just do your best and you'll get through it~ ^o^

Valkoinen Samurai said...


I thought about cutting darts but my mind told me it wouldn't work because it wouldn't make the excess fabric go away and that's where the problem lies. xD The fabric has to go somewhere and because it is formed differently (the shoulder point) it fucks up everything closest to it no matter how much I try to make it neat.

I hope it will not be hell with the trim.. but I'm pretty sure it will seeing how careful I have to be with those. It will be so tedious.

Monderleuchtet Verwandler said...

I give the updated collar a ten out of ten. It looks purr-fect. (I speak cat language, nyah :3) The fabric troll made me laugh, but I imagine it wasn't as funny for you.
Good luck with the trim! ^_^