Monday, February 24, 2014

Look What Seth Made Me!

Seth is an inveterate yard sale shopper and if he sees sewing notions he usually buys them for me. The sleeve board on top was one of those purchases. It was  shallow, maybe an inch between the top and bottom, so not very useful except that it was very narrow.  He took it apart and used a leftover piece of balustrade from my parents house.  We are talking about the mid fifties when they built their house.  My dad saved the leftovers and they were handed down to Seth when they sold the house some years ago. He used the top, rounded part for a very nice seam roll long enough to press a leg seam open without having to move it.  The bottom of it was left and he used it vertically to make this sleeve board usable.  The lower board is larger and just what I needed for my pressing table. I'ts more for pants and anything that isn't completely flat. I had him make it the height of the old sleeve board that you can see behind the new ones.  He made this one from scratch with some oak he had left over. I drew out a template for the size I wanted and he cut it out along with a base large enough for stability. He used two pieces of the balustrade back to back. He's nothing if not frugal!  My Dad would be appreciative of Seth's inventiveness. I padded it and lazily, just stapled the covering down.  It's really wonderful to have good pressing tools.  To quote Kenneth King, good pressing can save bad sewing and bad pressing can ruin good sewing.

Fortunately I test interfacings before deciding what to use in a project. My coat is all cut out and I started making bound button hole samples since it's been awhile since I made any. In the process I noticed that my fabric had become flat and shiny after applying the interfacing for my samples.  I tried pressing against a piece of self fabric.  No improvement.  I changed the interfacing to a low temp fusable. No improvement.  Then I hit on the idea of using my needle board. That worked, but it's not practical for a whole coat. It's small and if I hit the edge it showed.  I need some fusible for the buttonholes and the welts so that the fabric doesn't shred away so I will use my needle board for that. So, what to do? This is not a coat that will be pad stitched since there  are no collars or lapels.   I looked at all my tailoring books and came up with no solution.  This morning I kept searching and pulled out Sandra Betzina's Power Sewing.  She loves to underline a jacket with cotton flannel and since it is not a substitute for interfacing she suggests fusing the interfacings to the non fuzzy side.  Perfect for the front of my coat and just the flannel for the back and sleeves. I was planning on using cotton flannel to interline the lining for warmth, but I'll apply it to the coat fabric instead.   I will still use hair canvas for the facings.  I will either apply them as Kenneth King suggests by zig zagging it to a light weight cotton at the 1" mark and trimming out the interfacing.  The thin cotton will then be sewn into the seam.  Faster than hand sewing the interfacing to the seam allowance.  I will apply bias hair canvas to the hem by hand.   While waiting for my hair canvas to come I'll cut out the flannel.  Thanks to Pam from Fashion Sewing Supply it will be sent out this morning.  I had  added a pleading comment when I ordered it yesterday. She happened to be in the office when my order came in and she responded immediately. Thanks for the speedy service Pam!

My buttonhole samples worked out well. I tried several different methods and decided on using the welt method. This involved the least amount of pressing, an advantage here and I was able to get uniform buttonholes.  I came up with a nice variation that made it easier.  But, another post for that.


  1. Well, my comment disappeared in cyber space?
    The pressing tools are great, so nice that Seth can make them for you. Couldn't agree more on Kenneth Kings' quote. Good pressing tools are essential.
    Glad you worked out what to do with the interfacing, it was such a bummer to start for real after all the preparation/fitting work and then find out that the interfacing didn't work well on your fabric.

  2. I am so jealous that you have dad's miracle skills around. I miss that!

  3. How many sleeve boards does it take....? I love mine too. It's similar to the folding one in the background there and I've had it for so long I can't remember when I got it. 35 years ago maybe? I recently gave my most-used side a new muslin cover.

    Oh and I also love my Handy Man! They are totally priceless. :)

  4. Wow, what a fabulous project! That is true love. Your board looks so useful for a million projects.