Opening Edges

I have been enjoying the process of making this jacket! I’m a lot further along than my posts would show. I’m working to get the posts caught up now. Funny thing happened on Sunday – I was sewing the lining in, which I’ve been working on for a few days, and I finished. That may not sound unusual to you, but for me, it is unusual. Ordinarily, I’m counting down to when I’m done – one sleeve lining done, another sleeve lining to do, hem to do, etc. But this jacket is so friendly. The weave is so loose that threads don’t get tangled while hand sewing. Nice! It kind of surprised me that I was completely done with the lining.

But let’s get you caught up. Way back, about a week ago, I turned the opening edges. That’s the fronts, the collar and the hem. I think it works well when they are all done at the same time. I do this by hand. It’s a process and here’s how it goes.

First, I sewed in the interfacing. And I did some experimenting to see how the tweed folded. It was good. It made a nice, almost crisp fold. But the tweed needed interfacing for stabilizing. I did a running stitch along the opening edge and a catch stitch of the inner interfacing edge. And at the fold line, I did a smaller running stitch. The goal here was to make sure that the interfacing went well down in that fold. Here are some photos.

This photo shows the process well. First I pinned the interfacing, then I did a diagonal basting stitch (not shown). Then I sewed the edges – running stitch on the opening edge, running stitch at the fold line and a catch stitch to the inner garment edge.

This is a photo of the opening edge at the hemline. Same process, pin and diagonal baste, followed by running stitches and catch stitch.

Next, I turned the edges inward. This second picture shows exactly the corner where the turn is to be made. I inserted a pin at the marking, folded the edge inward, and I mitered the corner. As you can tell from my basting, I turned the front edge in 5/8″. Same for the collar. Then a larger turn for the hem. I basted the edges in place and then did a catch stitch of the whole thing. It worked for me because of the fabric, but something to think about – baste the fold first. Then, when you are satisfied with the fold, baste the inner edge. Then catch stitch the inner edges to the garment. That’s guaranteed to work perfectly.

I could have inserted a twill tape or bias binding at the opening edge. And if I’m in my couture classes, that would have been a requirement, pretty sure. To do that, measure the opening edge of the pattern piece and cut the binding or twill tape to that measurement. Then insert it on the fabric using a running stitch on the fold line, making sure that the fabric has not already stretched out of shape. If it has, schmooze it back to the proper measurement. In my jacket’s case, I had already put in the interfacing and sewn it to the fold line. I made the decision that I didn’t need the additional binding.

More on inserting lining and further stabilizing to come next.

Take care,


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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