There are two walls in my sewing room, one of them has windows and the second one is a movable wall hung on barn door track. The surface is homosote and I pin various things on it, including this design canvas. I took some muslin and use it for pinning fabrics, moving them in and out to see what combinations I like best. The photo pinned to it is my current inspiration, pulled to the front when I got some lovely wool gabardine samples from Michael's. You can see the blue Italian cashmere and wool gabardine above. Gabardine is definitely not my favorite wool to sew with. It's hard surface is difficult to press and it doesn't have the same drape as plain weave worsteds or even better yet, wool crepe. But, it was the exact color of the photo and hell, I am tired of black and gray for pants. You'll recall the leopard print? I didn't have a green quite as vibrant as the tweed coat, but I did have this green wool blend doubleknit in my stash. It's the sample above the black, gray and white knit print on the board. It's much brighter in real life, much greener than the photo shows. That will be a zip front cardigan and the knit a top. That black and white tweed to the left of the blue is a silk charmeuse that will eventually become a blouse for this collection.
Lots of steam and pressure is necessary for pressing gabardine flat, but by the same token it marks very easily. Press as sewn first and then press it open.
Gabardine presses flat better on a hard surface. I have this on a wood cheese board(don't know why it's called this, but it's not for cutting cheese!) with muslin covering it. The envelopes keep the seam edges from imprinting on the outside. Lots of steam, a clapper presses it flat and then I leave it until it's cool before moving. It's worth it. In the picture above you can see the seam that was pressed and clapped on the left, the envelopes still in place and the pressed open but not clapped seam to the right. It's open, but it doesn't stay flat. Lots of time but it's worth it. Sometimes I think I spend more time pressing than sewing.
I have not given up my color blocked coat but I needed something easy to sew, and for me that's a pair of pants. I found a pattern for the coat in an old Burda and I'll trace that and make a muslin while I sew this group.
Next up, the latest class with Kenneth King.