I am finished with the Koos class, but not finished with the jacket. It’s not because of the pattern, though, it’s because of some fabric I used that wouldn’t cooperate. The class was very fun, and the coat is coming along.
I haven’t been blogging as I go because sewing for eight hours a day wipes me out. When I get home from class, I am totally exhausted. It made me think of the statue of the garment worker in New York City and what it must have been like, working in a sweat shop bent over a sewing machine 12 hours a day, seven days a week. Hard work, indeed!
This Koos pattern is pretty amazing in so many ways. The most interesting part is the sleeves, though, and the way Koos made the sleeve seam curve around the sleeve on the diagonal. The other appealing part of the jacket is the fact that the coat is really one major piece that becomes the jacket lining, and then you place smaller pieces on top of it to make the design. The way Koos designed it, you could easily put any shape you want on the main piece to create your own unique design.
Here is the sleeve. You can see how the seam curves around diagonally:
**My sewing instructor, Marla Kazell, took a class from Koos, himself, to learn how to construct the jacket, and the way he constructs it is very different from the Vogue pattern instructions. Koos adds 1/2″ seam allowances to his patterns, then lays out the main pattern piece and glues the individual design pieces on top of the main piece, and then sews on the bias tape. Vogue added full seam allowances so that you can sew the individual pieces together before adding the bias tape.
**Another change that Vogue made to the pattern was to put some of the pieces on the straight of grain and some on the bias. The Koos pattern has each center back on the bias. I’m not sure why Vogue would make that change, since you would want the back on the bias for the drape effect.
In my sewing class, we put all pieces on the bias and we glued the pieces on, which meant that we had to trim some of the seam allowances off. There are options to glueing. One option is to use a permanent glue (which is what Koos uses), which will give your jacket more body. I didn’t want that look (I wanted my jacket to drape more) so I used the Sulky Temporary Spray adhesive, which was the good news and the bad news. The good news is that the jacket will be drapier, the bad news is that the pieces don’t stick very well, especially if they are silk. Most of my pieces were wool, but I did have a nasty little piece of silk that caused me CONSIDERABLE trouble.
If you use the temporary spray, you will need to add stitching (like quilting) to hold the pieces together. Then you will need to pin, pin, pin, as well. Here is a picture of my jacket at the stage where I had finished glueing and was beginning to pin bias strips on the jacket.
I forgot to take a picture of the lining, but it is the same shape as all the top pieces put together and is laying underneath these pieces. As you can see, the piece at the hemline is actually two pieces that are sewn together at the center back, then the piece is sewn along the hemline to form the hem. That piece is then turned and glued to the lining, as are the rest of the pieces, overlapping by about 1/2 inch. As I said before, I had to trim some of the seam allowances away, since Vogue added them to their pattern.
Here is how the back turned out:
By the way, I used an extra small size.
So now, I have the basic jacket put together, one sleeve sewn on, and tons of things (like Hong Kong binding) left to do. I’m not sure how much of this I’m going to get to until after Christmas, but I’ll keep you posted on the progress.
**These paragraphs were edited after the orignal post.