Jackie Coat Sewalong – Choosing and prepping your fabrics

Hi everyone.  Just a few more days until Maria and I commence the sewalong “officially” on 15 July, and I am busy getting myself organised to make myself one lush Jackie Coat, glamour edition.

Prior to actual sewing, there is a little bit to be done in selecting and prepping your fabrics and interfacing.  Proper fabric choice is a key factor in ensuring a good outcome (another one is proper pressing as you sew).

The recommended fabric is “a soft coating with good drape” which is allows for a wide range of fabrics.  I have the advantage of having made this coat before, so I have a good idea of what would and wouldn’t work.  The raglan sleeves need a nice soft fabric to drape and fold well.   Something with a nice degree of body – medium to heavyweight coating would be ideal.  Anything too lightweight will not drape well.  Check out this great post on choosing a suitable coating fabric by Tasia for a good review of the kinds of fabrics that work well (and those that don’t).

For my first coat I used a wool coating from fabric.com, similar to this one:

Wool coating from fabric.com

Although it frayed alot while sewing it worked perfectly for my Jackie due to its lovely soft drape and the textured weave pressed beautifully and hid all mistakes. 

Whatever fabric you choose, you will need to pretreat/preshrink it.  Skip this step to your everlasting regret (ask me how I know).  The method you use can vary depending on your fabric and how you intend to launder your finished garment in the future.

For some great tips on pretreating your coating, here are my most referred to/favourite links:

Pam Ermy and the Dryer Shrink Method  (I do this one usually or carefully handwash)
Carolyn’s definitive guide for preshinking wool. 
Colette Patterns great tips on prewashing

For my Jackie for the sewalong I am using a lush stretch cotton velvet (which will present some challenges as velvet can be a tricky fabric) in a deep cherry pink which can be machine washed, so I will be putting it through the washing machine on a gentle cycle prior to sewing.   

For interfacing you need to select something that works well with your chosen fashion fabric.  I am using a professional grade fusible interfacing I purchased from Pitt Trading for $10/m.  It is already preshrunk so I don’t need to pretreat it and it has a lovely soft hand a bit like flannel.  I have aleady used in in a few projects so I know it adds stability without affecting the drape or adding stiffness like some cheaper interfacings I have used in the past.

For some great tips about using interfacing here are some excellent references:

Interfacing Tips from the Fashion Incubator
Some great tips about interfacing by Pam Erny, on Gerties Blog
How to preshrink your interfacing if not already preshrunk

As my velvet has a bit more stretch than I would like I am planning on block fusing my entire coat (or alot of it, pending swatch tests) with my soft interfacing to stabilise the stretch factor and also to give it a bit more body.  I have often underlined in the past for this reason and this will be the first time using a fusible interfacing so I will check the finished effect first on some swatches before I plough ahead with the whole coat.

For your lining, you can choose from a wide range of lining choices, its totally up to you.  For this Jackie I am going for a silky lining but keeping my desire for an easy care coat I am going with a polyester charmeuse satin.  It is just what I have in stash but I love the navy interior against the bright exterior so I am happy to just use it.

Fabric.com Polyester Charmeuse

You will want to prewash your lining fabric using whatever your preferred method is.  I generally find a hand wash for most fabrics is completely fine, and Laura Mae in Threads Magazine gives some excellent suggestions which you can read here, which I now follow with great results.

If you still need to get the Jackie Pattern you can get it here.

You can join our Flickr group here (there are tumbleweeds blowing through there at the moment but its a private space if you want to share progress photos or discuss fabric choices etc).