Sewing: Orange coat

IMG_6930My friend D. saw this fabric in my studio the last time she visited. She asked if there was enough to make a coat or a jacket for her. I thought that there was. She asked if I could line it in purple. I said that I thought I could. It took me a long time to find a good purple, though.

This is likely not something I could get away with wearing. It is loud, proud, and vibrant. Even though I am making it in my (and her) size, it’s not a thing for me to wear, though I’ll try it on a lot for fit and design as I make it.  Given that I think of D. as a divine communicator, it seems appropriate. There is a larger set of goals involved in making this for her, though.  One, I’m learning to make a lining for a garment whose sewing directions didn’t include a lining.  Two, I’m learning to make something for someone who isn’t here. Three, I’m learning to alter patterns to suit the needs of a specific customer.


The business of sewing a lining to the inside of a coat has got me flummoxed, though.  You need a lining to be facing inwards, with the seams facing the seams of the shell of the coat.  The sleeves of shell and lining have to be attached first, and then the coat  – shell and lining – have to be involuted through four dimensions (length, width, depth and time) to get it so that the two sleeve linings are each inside the sleeve shells, that the opening in the lining is facing the opening in the shell, that the seams on the inside of the lining are facing the seams on the inside of the shell of the coat, and that the raw edges of the coat lining and the coat shell all roughly line up.

I haven’t gotten it right yet, despite three tries.

I’ve said before that MakerLabs, MakerSpaces, and Maker programs in schools should really teach sewing, because it’s one of those places where students really get to learn to think in three dimensions.  The three-dimensional thinking thing is really important, and it’s not something that you can learn through abstract mathematics or writing about it.  It only happens when you actually do it.

And, apparently, do it wrong a lot.

So, back to trial four. Maybe this time I’ll get it right.

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