Friday 11 December 2009

Interfaced on the inside

Today I start making my burgundy pinstripe Tennant Suit jacket. Now I KNOW it’s not a screen accurate colour - don’t write in! - I’m only doing it as a dry run before cutting into a single inch of my blue fabric.

I have dyed the blue fabric to the right colour, so have dyed some red pinstriped fabric (from the same source as the blue) to a burgundy so I am comparing like-for-like material (see below).

Having started (but not finished) a similar jacket earlier in the year, and a Calico Test only a couple of weeks ago, making it up should be relatively easy and quick.

Before I can do any cutting I need to stiffen the fabric. It is, in reality, a shirting fabric, so quite a lightweight cotton. I did initally wonder if I had found the right material, but a friend pointed out that there was a publicity still where you could see the inside of the trouser ankle - and it was white, which had puzzled him (see below). This made perfect sense to me - it had been interfaced! What I needed to work out was how stiff I needed to make it.

In the UK we have a main manufacteurer for interfacing, Vilene. Their basic range is a Light-weight, a Medium-weight and a Heavy-weight version. This determines the thickness. Each then comes in either a Standard or Ultrasoft option. This controls it’s flexibility.

Since the fronts of jackets are usually interfaced, I am going for a Medium Stanard for the body, but I want the sleeves to be more supple, so I will use a Medium Ultrasoft for the arms.

Usually you would cut the fabric then cut matching shaped interfacing and press them together. But since I need to interface everything I am going to press it first, then cut the pre-interfaced pieces after.

Annoyingly the fabric and the interfacing come in different widths, so I do a strip of the fabric and save the off-cut for later.
These off-cuts, once interfaced with the Ultrasoft, will be fine for the sleeves, so nothings really going to waste.

I start by cutting the fronts, making sure I line the edge with the pinstripes just like the real suit. (see right).

I then cut the side underarm panels and all the smaller fiddley bits relating to the pockets.

I need to do a bit more work on the pattern for the back, so will cut that a bit later.

Finally, after interfacing the off-cut part of the fabric with the Medium Ultrasoft, I cut the arms of the jacket.

This now gives me enough to begin work assembling the jacket, but I'll save starting that for another day. . .


  1. I really cannot wait to see this start to come together! Exciting stuff!

  2. So Iʻm thinking since burgundy converse go with the blue suit, you shall be wearing blue converse at some point with this if it all turns out okay? ;)