Things Learned on the Kinsman Project…
Posted: 08 June 2013 07:03 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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I found the information people posted on this forum super helpful, so I thought I’d include some of things I learned…

- There is no shame in using a seam ripper to dismember large sections of your jacket. It will come out better.

- Ironing can really make your project go smoother, so to speak…

- Walking foot - get one!

- Corresponding seams have to be the same length. Pretty obvious but you’d be surprised how long it took me to figure that out. Or maybe you wouldn’t be surprised. In any case, I used some thin cord to measure the curved seams to ensure that corresponding seams matched. I also used a French curve to draw them, which resulted in much smoother curves than my initial hand-drawn ones.

- Seams, continued.. it also took me awhile to figure out that the seam length that matters is the one you’ll sew, not the one you’ll cut. The reason is because some corresponding seams might have extra seam allowances to account for, ie, the side seam from arm pit to waist has no seam junction on the back panel but does have one where the upper and lower fronts meet. So that cutting seam would have to be 1” longer than the same back panel seam to account for that seam allowance. If you use the “sewing seam”, you can ignore any seam junctions. I ended up making a lot fewer mistakes when I figured this out.

- When aligning multiple layers, if they don’t all align perfectly (as if they ever would…), I found that using the “shortest” of each layer worked best. That way, you just end up with a little extra fabric but are assured of catching all layers. Of course, that does mean that you’ve shrunk the original pattern measurement a bit…

- When sewing the liner/insulation layer, sewing scrim-side down worked well for me because I could clearly see the fabric edge better for achieving an accurate seam allowance.

- Before I got the serger, I trimmed all the Primaloft out of the seam allowances. It is pretty painstaking and once or twice I accidentally sliced into fabric but I was able to remove a 0.5 ounce, softball-sized amount of Primaloft that added weight and bulk but little in the way of extra warmth. A half-ounce is not insignificant on a jacket which might weigh 8-9 ounces, a 5% weight reduction.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/97152865@N05/8990457562/in/set-72157634009876955

- The serger I bought was a Brother 1034D which was about the cheapest out there at $200 but it actually does a very good job for simple tasks like finishing edges. I wasn’t 100% satisfied with the 3 thread overlock I was getting on single-layer M90, so I brought in a sample to the local sewing shop and she said that it was nearly perfect. She said even her far more expensive machines would not improve on that. Granted, a machine this cheap probably won’t last as long but if you just want to get your feet wet, this might be a good bet.

- If you are going to serge, don’t forge to add about 1/8” to the seams so you have something to cut off.

Nick

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