project winter coat: the roll line

okay, computer is back and fully functioning… woot!

i believe last week i posted about what coat pieces need fusible, so i’m just going to expound upon that for a moment. for the main pieces i did a block fuse, which just means that you fuse a large piece of fabric and then cut your pattern pieces. to do this i figured out my pattern piece placement, traced around them, fused them, then cut them out precisely. easy peasy and most accurate!

if you’re following sherry’s RTW sew-a-long i’ve roughly covered steps #4-7 at this point. i didn’t really follow the pattern amendments as i wanted to keep my full seam allowances (she has you reduce them) because i am a ninny and don’t trust my own muslin fittings that much.

moving on… one thing you’ll want to note from your muslin is where the roll line falls. evidently many patterns are now just putting a randumb dart in the front piece that gets stitched into the collar instead of marking the roll line. side note: i finally found that step in the directions where it tells you when and how to stitch that dart: halfway through the collar insertion! obvious.

no idea what a “roll line” is? it’s the line where the collar folds down and the lapel folds out.

it’s really one continuous line that begins just over the top button and goes up and around the collar. on the collar i’ll use an extra piece of fusible later. the collar line must meet the line on the lapel. if there isn’t some treatment here (tape or dart) the collar won’t lay nicely. with your muslin on you or a dress form, pin the collar and lapel where it naturally falls, making sure the ending point on the lapel crosses about 1″ above the top button at the seam line. then pin right along the fold line so you can lay your muslin flat and transfer this line to the pattern pieces. on the under collar we will fuse a small strip (essentially the collar stand portion) after it has been sewn, since the under collar is two pieces.

i marked the collar stand on the upper collar because i am cutting
my fusible on the fold and my under collar has a seam in the middle.
this piece will be fused to the under collar.
sorry if that is confusing!

to tape the roll line, you can use a strip of fusible cut on the straight grain or you can use twill tape and do it by hand. whichever you do, cut your tape 1/4″ (smaller bust)-1/2″ (larger bust) shorter than this line. then pin it in a few places inside the line (toward the body, not the lapel) and with your iron, ease the fabric in (catch stitch if you use twill tape). press and steam on the body side of the taped line to ensure that it lays flat without wrinkles. the collar side will be slightly wavy.

marked roll line and seam allowances


catch stitched

after pressing

sorry if it feels like i’m moving at a snail’s pace here and you are effectively bored out of your mind (or just disappointed upon realizing that i am not famous). i’ve noticed other coat sew-a-longs are moving at the pace of a slow rocket ship and i see comments like: hey! i don’t even have my pattern yet! i just want to detail all the small bits that sometimes get glossed over and cause confusion. bear with me! actual sewing is NEXT!

like i said from the beginning, all this prep work will make the sewing zip right along. you will spend more time on the muslin/fitting/cutting/fusing/more cutting/tailoring bits then you will actually constructing this baby. i feel like the prep work is something sewists don’t talk about much, so those new the whole sewing thing are easily discouraged by all this extra work the more experienced people forget to mention. after my muslin, i worked on the fabric cutting and fusing in bits and pieces over the course of 5 days. or maybe i’m just slow. or have four kids so it takes me forever since i occasionally have to do things like feed and dress and clean up after them. or whatever.

—lisa g.

p.s. sorry about my crappy pics. white and black are very hard to photograph!

5 thoughts on “project winter coat: the roll line

  1. Gail says:

    Block fuse – genius! Never heard of this!I for one appreciate the slow pace you're taking. It's too much new information to absorb otherwise!

  2. lisa g. says:

    the block fuse really is a timesaver! as boring as it is to fuse those huge pieces of fabric, it's really worth doing it that way. things will speed up a little as i show the sewing bits… anxious to have my finished coat, it's getting cold here!

  3. lsaspacey says:

    I was wondering, were you happy with that tracing paper you ordered? It is an incredible price and they still have some left. I'm thinking about getting it but wanted to know what you think about yours?

  4. lisa g. says:

    i have been very happy with the tracing paper! it was slightly thinner than i had anticipated, but still more substantial than regular printed pattern tissue paper. you can mark and erase but still pin to fabric easily. i just had the roll out this morning tracing a burda .pdf print out and kept thinking how glad i was that i had this stuff. it is very handy to have around! i'm only mad at myself for not having bought it sooner!

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