I’ve been working on my Amy Butler Raincoat for MONTHS! This is one project that seems to have dragged on and on and on…
I had the pattern back in March for my birthday, and my lovely Dad agreed to pay for the fabric for it as my present from him. I ummed and ahhhed over various laminated cottons for a few weeks, there are so many beautiful ones out there, but in the end I went with this cute little owl print I found in a local shop that sells curtains and home dec weight fabric. I also picked up a few metres of home dec weight cotton to make a practice version first to check the fit whilst I was there. The lady there had never heard of anyone making raincoats or clothes from her fabrics, so she had no idea how well the fabrics would work!
I sped through the home dec weight coat, up to the point of all the side seams being sewn so I could check I was making the right size, then instantly threw it to one side to crack on with the proper raincoat in time for my holiday. This was probably a big mistake, all the difficult bits in making this coat seem to come right at the end, and I definitely could’ve done with a practice run for all the top stitching and hemming! Although on second thoughts, even that might not have prepared me for the trouble of hemming laminated cotton with a walking foot! 6 hours later I think I can safely say it doesn’t work!
Up to this point, even though it had dragged on for months, it was all working beautifully. Then I got to the horror of top stitching down the front edges, from then on I think I can sum the project up with one word STICKY! No matter what I tried the fabric would not go through the machine at the same rate, the cotton underneath was dragged up by the feed dogs whilst the laminated cotton on top stayed firmly stuck to my walking foot! So with all the pushing, pulling and tugging to get it through the machine this meant the stitches are totally uneven in length, and lets not even mention the tension issues! Of course you can’t unpick too much on the laminated cotton as it leaves little holes and scuffs on the fabric, so I had to make the best of it and carry on, grrrr! Here’s where I should’ve stopped and tried to find some different kind of sewing machine foot, like a Teflon coated one maybe? But of course I didn’t, I was so determined to get it finished that I plowed on regardless, then began the epic 6 hours of hemming! The fabric just stuck top and bottom to the machine and walking foot! I unpicked it so many times I even considered cutting off the bottom of my coat to start again, or even just throwing the whole thing in the bin in a massive rage quit! I tried so many things to get it through the machine – masking tape on the foot, new needles, heavier duty needles, sewing with tissue paper top/bottom/both, even spraying it with water in the hope it would slide through easier!
In the end I got it through by sheer physical force, and a lot of lifting the foot up and down to unstick it yet again! I can say without doubt that it is the worst hem I have ever sewn in my life! To me it looks awful! To my husband it looks fine. From about a foot away it looks fine. So I guess as long as it keeps me dry I’ll just have to live with it, and not look too closely, but I’ll always know!!!! GRRRRR!!! (The hem isn’t as uneven as it looks at the front – its just caught up in the photo’s.)
I’ve also made a few tweaks to this top I made a few weeks ago, there’s the before above, and the after below. Much better…
Linking up with Finish it up Friday!