Friday, April 15, 2011

Making a Sweater Coat Part 8 Sewing the Hood and Facing

I lay out my hood pieces.
I sewing patches starting with the center front and working my way back. 
At this point, I realize the order I should have used to piece together the back of the coat.  Start at the top, piece like a Log Cabin quilt block, make alternating strips that are sewn, left, right, left, right, … until you get to the bottom of the coat or the back of the hood.  After sewing together four patches around one of the points of intersection (corners), I find that it bulges out and looks completely absurd.  (Forgive my blurry photo; it was about 2AM when I snapped it.)
This corner was the one on the top of the head where I made dart-like adjustments, but I didn’t cut away nearly enough fabric with my wimpy darts.  So, I pinned it the way I wanted it, drew in some lines with pencil, ripped the seam open, and sewed them again to make all four pieces smaller.  I took off about a half inch on each piece, and it worked like a charm.  Remarkably, all of the other corners sewed together well, and fit smoothly around the head.  Here is the side of the hood pinned to the pieced top of the hood.
 I had some problems with the spot where seven different patches meet.  It’s not so perfect.  
Actually, I would have been quite impressed with myself it had been.  Any time you have four or more patches meeting at a single point, it gets harder and harder to match everything up correctly. I knew seven was a long shot when I designed it, but what the heck?  I liked the way it looked.  Although the corners slipped and I didn’t achieve perfect symmetry, the seam is strong and it doesn’t ripple or bulge oddly, so I left it as good enough.  The teacher in me reminds myself that you only need 94% correct to get a straight A. So far, the worst of my mistakes that I haven’t fixed was a slipped corner here and there.

I noticed that the upper looper on my overlock machine doesn’t always work properly over the bulkiest seams.  It skips stitches, but no thread breaks, and it sews properly on the flat, smooth parts.   
To fix this, with doubled thread, I hand whipstitch over the bulky seams where the overlock missed.  I can catch some of the loops with my needle and sew them into my stitches. 

I use my regular sewing machine to add some darts on the hood lining, two on each side.  I snip the top darts open a little to reduce bulk.
I sew the hood to the hood lining on the seam around the face and set the hood aside.

I decide to make the front facing as patchwork because I’m down to scraps without a lot of extra to spare.  I use the cashmere for about the top third, and then run out of all but the lime green, which is really thin.  I blend the colors from top to bottom, while I use my pattern piece to check how to add each patch.  I use the thin lime cashmere on the bottom to reduce bulk on the hem.  Only after I get all but the last patch attached, do I cut out by two front facings for my scrappy patches. The facing is done after I sew the two front facings to the back neck facing.


  1. I'm so over the edge impressed with you!!! This is looking great so far.
    I guess you're beyond a simple hem!!!!

  2. ShoesZan, thank you for your comments. I haven't hemmed anything yet but the hood. I've learned that hemming anything with a lining takes a little planning and is never quite as simple as I'd like it to be.

  3. You're in the home stretch now! I was surprised to see that you carried the patchwork into the facings. But since it will show, it make sense! Looking good, no great, Gwen!

  4. I suppose that I could have used all lining and no facing, but facings on a coat are generally made with the fashion fabric. So I thought it made sense to do it this way. Thanks for you're encouragement Sally. I'm looking forward to being finished with this project. I always enjoy tying the last knot!


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