Stabilizing Tweed

I was chatting with my son Charlie yesterday, going over in a bit more detail the notion of finishing the edge of the tweed. I realized that the goal is to stabilize it. The first step is to finish the edges – stabilize that edge so it doesn’t unravel. But there are other steps too. The next step is to stabilize the garment pieces. Claire Shaeffer covers this quite well in her classes and in her book. It’s Chanel all the way. The concept is to mount the tweed to a firmer fabric on the back. A silk lining works well because it is both comfortable to wear and it has a firm weave. But any firm fabric will do.

The goal in mounting the firm fabric lining to the tweed is to have a completely flat mount – no wrinkles, edges lined up evenly. To do that, I started with the front pieces. One at a time, I laid them flat on my table. Then I laid the lining on top. I pinned the lining in verticle lines starting a few inches from the top and going straight down to within a few inches of the hem. The I did a diagonal basting stitch, removing pins as I went along. Then I stitched the lining to the tweed using a somewhat relaxed stitch, something that I hoped would vanish on the right side of the fabric. Do a test to see what vanishes best on your tweed. I’m using a dark grey thread, which blends well with the lining – a silk charmeuse. Below are pictures of the wrong side and right side of the front piece. (pardon the crosswise fold – the fabric is sinking in to the table’s crease).

The lining is mounted to the inside of the jacket front
The stitching is not visible from the right side!

I love that I cannot see the stitching on the right of the fabric. Tweed is so forgiving that way. Working with tweed can be complicated but at least stitching can be less than perfect and work just fine. Notice that the stitches are parallel, about 5 inches or so apart. Your project may require more or less support than mine.

There is more stabilizing to do. I’ll get in to that next week. Have a great weekend.


Published by Peg Jarrott

I'm a lifelong student of the art of sewing. It satisfies my creative urge. I've studied with Claire Shaeffer in Palm Springs. I respect her ability and her attention to detail, especially in planning, and they are the basis of my thinking now. I have also studied in Paris, the 6th arrondissement, at the Paris American Academy. I learned from top professionals from design houses around Paris - Yves St. Laurent and Chanel, to name two. There, I improved my tailoring techniques and received an introduction to draping. These experiences transformed both me and my sewing. I'm still a hobbyist, but my goal in every sewing project is to make the best quality garment that I can imagine, plan, and execute. And that is my definition of "couture" - a well-planned and well-executed garment - starting with the concept and planning of each detail and then executing it to my best ability. And most of the time, it works....!

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