Robson trench – day 3 progress

First of all I want to say thank you for your comments on these posts – it is a real motivator to know that you’re keeping an eye on my progress and to be honest I didn’t think anybody would really be interested, so it’s lovely to hear from you.

That being said, I have not made a great deal of headway today. Basically I have managed 1 seam… but it was quite a seam!

I am going to claim mitigating circumstances here. We had a power cut earlier, which rather stopped me in my tracks and when the electricity came back on I had lost a bit of momentum. Then poor light led to frustration, which led to mistakes, which led to a vow to buy a natural daylight bulb tomorrow.

I started, as per the instructions with the back seam. I am sure you already know that the seams of this coat are finished with bias binding, and then topstitched. Having done a bit of a test I decided that binding all my edges together would result in a very stiff finish, so I am doing  the two sides of my seam separately and then topstitching each side down. As a result, my one seam was actually one seam, applying bias to two edges and topstitching twice – with all of the very careful pressing this also required it took me well over an hour to get this far! (I then started my pocket welts, but that did not go too well…)

Now, I am sorry to say that the shortcuts have started today; For a start I am using purchased bias tape (this is what the pattern calls for, but most people who have posted about this pattern seem to have gone the extra mile and made their own). This I can live with, but with the way the coat goes together, if I were to use thread to match my bias tape (I chose hot pink) I would need to keep changing over the thread in my machine. I therefore decided that with the lining I have chosen I could get away with using my blue thread on my pink tape – it is just one more stripe of colour and it’s right next to a loud plaid, after all. But it does highlight my wonky stitching. And with the topstitching, too, there is a double wonky line…

(I would like to give a shout out to Seamstress Erin at this point, who applied all of her bias tape before sewing her seams, thus eliminating this problem. And she gave great instructions how to do this. Unfortunately, owing to my badly cut plaid I needed to sew my seams first in order to get the allowance right and then had to trim them to even them up before I could attach my bias).

… I’ve procrastinated enough; here’s the pics:

Robson trench day 3_1 Robson trench day 3_3

Apologies for the quality – I had to use the flash; I’ll try to get some better details pics in daylight tomorrow.

So, with my mis-aligned checks I kind of think that the visible blue stitching on the pink tape is the least of my problems. I am reasonably happy with the topstitching (it is just the flash that has given it those paler tramlines), as it is straight, though it is about a mm further from the centre seam on one side than it is on the other. heigh-ho.

Ah what the hell – when I’m wearing it you won’t be able to see the mis-matched plaid or blue stitching on the back seam. But tomorrow do I get out my hot pink thread and make the next seams better?

Hopefully I’ll have a bit more to show after another day.

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6 Responses to Robson trench – day 3 progress

  1. sewbusylizzy says:

    Good for you! This is such a big project – but we are all cheering you on!!

  2. nishi says:

    Wow! I look away from blogland for five minutes and you’re making an awesome coat when I get back! I LOVE that hot pink bias with the plaid! I really do think this is going to be fantastic when you’re finished so keep going!

  3. Yes, we are checking on you ;o) But don’t get stressed about it…if you can’t sew one day it won’t be a big deal…the learning process is part of the game. And I like this because it feels like watching episodes of my favorite series about sewing (no that doesn’t exist yet…but maybe it will one day!)
    Now…they are really making your life hard with the coat construction there…. stitching and then topstitching is certainly harder than one row of stitches. I am thinking…couldn’t you simply machine baste the bias, then topstitch it all together making sure you catch the bias…and then remove the basting? You would only have one row of stitches in the end. To edgestitch precisely I use a blindhem foot that came with my machine. It’s very similar to an edgestitch foot ( If you don’t have anything like that simply use your regular presser foot and move your needle close to the edge. Then align your bias to the foot edge and start stitiching. I would also do the topstitching from the inside, using the center back seamline as reference so your outside stitches are parallel to that. Sorry for including so much information, I don’t mean to say you have to do it. I agree with you that nobody will see it in the end! Keep going, it’s looking great! BTW…I hate making my own bias tape!

    • rachsews says:

      Hi Silvia,
      thanks for that idea – I can see how that would work. Having slept on it I am definitely going to remove my blue stitching from the bias tape and will see how I go. Glad i am not the only one who shies away from making my own bias!

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