This phase of my Wedding Jacket Chronicle may not be that technically challenging, but it sure was emotionally challenging. I’ve clearly been dragging my feet on actually getting started on the jacket and I think a big part of it had to do with fear of failure. I’m scared of ruining my precious (expensive) fabric. I’m scared my tailoring attempts will fall short. Once I figured out that I was being stopped by fear, I gave myself a talking-to and (finally) dove in.
The first step was to pre-shrink the hair canvas and the fabric. I used a spray bottle to mist the hair canvas and held the iron in place until it dried. Like a total doofus, I managed to burn a small bit of it as I got distracted by my cat trying to jump onto my precious wool brocade and left the iron down while I shooed her away. Now that I have that big mistake out of the way, I’m hoping there won’t be more to follow (knock on wood). I pre-shrunk the wool (the jacket outer fabric) by generous steaming with my steam iron and pressing it dry. It would have been better to do this on a pressing table so I didn’t have to worry about the fabric pulling and stretching while it cooled on the tiny space of the ironing board, but that wasn’t an option at this moment in time since we are mid-packing.
I pre-shrank the tailor’s tape by soaking it in hot water. Then I allowed it to dry completely before pressing out a few wrinkles. Fortunately, I did this on a rare sunny day so it dried on our patio quite quickly and I didn’t actually have to be patient.
Then came the terrifying moment. I cut the fabric. Eep! I was so very nervous. I even had to get a pep talk from Adam. He wondered what I was stressing about since I cut out fabric all the time. I reminded him that the fabric was very expensive and he told me not to worry about it and that he would buy me more fabric if I needed it. So, I cut. You can see that I cut it on a single layer since it is easier to control and uses less fabric. I didn’t worry about horizontal pattern matching since that would have been a nightmare with the number of pieces in this jacket but I did attempt to match them vertically, so we’ll see if that ends up working out later!
Since I’m tailoring this whole thing the old-fashioned way (and since the fabric is white) I used tailor’s tacks to mark all of the darts, notches, and some of the seam lines.
Finally, I got a start on the sewing with the darts. The red tailor’s tacks are the dart seam line. I made sure that they lined up perfectly with lots of pins. Then I basted along the seam line with purple in an even basting stitch. Then I got to remove the pins and the tailor’s tacks and sew the seam!
Since I finally dove into the project, I’m finding I’m enjoying all the handwork (and the excuse to watch old episodes of Murder, She Wrote while stitching). I’ve moved on from scared to excited. So, dear reader, do you have any projects that were terrifying until you actually started on them?