I *Knew* It!

& now the boring stuff

Continuing the photo-journalling of Sophie’s linen jacket – you can find the previous post here – I enter a long phase of handsewing as I underline the garment pieces and line the jacket pockets.  For those new to sewing, underlining is essentially using an additional fabric (or fabrics) beneath the pieces of the shell of the garment. This is done to add body and structure to the garment, and allows – in my case – the freedom to use the exact fabric I want for a garment that requires a bit more weight to it. You can underline all or part of a garment.

This means for each piece of her coat, I need to attach an identical piece of underlining. A word about underlining: there are rather elaborate and time-intensive traditional tailoring methods to apply it. Given this is a child’s project (and therefore will be outgrown soon) I wanted something relatively quick yet sturdy. In the past I have accomplished underlining using a serger, a sewing machine, a machine with walking foot, and by handstitching. Attaching underlinings by machine (top example in picture below) and using the serger (bottom example) worked fine for the pockets. But due to the lightness of the linen and its slightly open-weave tendency to distort, I have elected to do the majority of underlining by hand. In my post title I use the word “boring”, but it’s actually quite lovely to sit and watch a video or listen to music while handsewing, and a welcome respite from all my time on my machines.

The batiste underlining (in red) gives body, eliminates transparency, and subtly changes the color of the shell linen.

The batiste underlining (in red) gives body, eliminates transparency, and subtly changes the color of the shell linen.

When I am finished with the mini-Herculean task of underlining I will then mark the pattern pieces with tailor’s tacks* and then, finally, get to construction seams by machine.

There are a total of seven patch pockets in the blazer and pants set.  All pockets were interfaced along the facings; the blazer pockets (three in all) were also lined.

To make sure the finished pocket is symmetrical along the grain, each pocket must be carefully cut out and pressed.

To make sure the finished pocket is symmetrical along the grain, each pocket must be carefully cut out and pressed.

Besides diagnosing the appropriate weight for a project, I don’t know much about interfacings; I often use what is available to me at my local Quilt Shop (which is, sadly, the only local business besides Walmart I can get any sewing supplies).

The blazer pockets are first underlinined in grey cotton, then lined in the same.

The blazer pockets are first underlinined in grey cotton, then lined in the same.

I am still deciding what color thread to use for the topstitching on this project – a muted grey to fade in, or the off-white shown above?

The finished pocket; if in topstitching any of the underlining shows through, the grey will keep the gaffe near undetectable.

The finished pocket; if in topstitching any of the underlining shows through, the grey will keep it subtle.

At the end of the day, besides a careful pile of underlined garment pieces (with still several more to go), I did have my seven pockets all finished:

Pockets finished and pressed!

Pockets finished and pressed!

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