Monday, April 11, 2011

How to stay busy while the fabric is at the drycleaners

My linen has been renamed a "tablecloth"  by the cleaners, and it will be ready in about a week.  In the meantime I'm moving forward by "preparing the canvas."

 Canvas is the name given to the understructure of the jacket.  It's composed of layers of different interfacings intended to give the jacket shape and also reduce wrinkling and stretching.  The process is described step by step by Mr. Cabrera.  A base of wool canvas is cut 1/2" larger than the jacket front piece.  A piece of hair canvas is cut to a specific shape and placed over the upper chest.  This is known as the "plastron" or shield.  Over this is layered a bias strip of French canvas.  My French canvas from Steinlauf & Stoller is a fusible, so I substituted another layer of wool canvas.  The whole mess is then covered with cotton flannel and basted into place. 

Of course, it's possible to buy a ready made jacket front for about $10, but to have something custom made is completely intoxicating.  I loved every bit of this process (even though I totally screwed up my first attempt!)  The next step is pad stitching the plastron into place, and that deserves a post of its own.  


  1. Glad to see you back and in sewing action. Looks like its going to be a beautiful jacket.

  2. Exciting, exciting! What does the cleaners need to do with the linen though?

  3. Peter, I'm having the linen drycleaned and steamed to preshrink it. I was worried that if I washed it, I would never be able to press the wrinkles out of it. Everything else, so far, has been soaked in cold water. OMG the kitchen smelled either like a wet dog or a barnyard when I soaked the wool canvas, couldn't figure out which! :)