Sunday, November 8, 2009

We have a problem!

My husband says my latest project, in progress, looks like a cartoon drawing of a coat.  Proof is in the picture to the right. 

I'm not so troubled by the look - what you see is the Thinsulate, which has been sewn to the lining and facings.  It'll be covered by the fashion fabric, once I get further along.

My problem is the fact that the sleeves leave me with virtually no mobility.  The depth from shoulder point to underarm is about 11" (28cm) which is FAR too much.  The arm parts from the body just a bit higher than my bottom rib.  Methinks I will have to insert a gusset.  This does NOT make me happy!

I'll have to read up on gussets.  To free up the sleeve from where it is tethered next to my ribs, I figure I'll need to slice at least 9cm (3.5") up on either side of the underarm seam.  I'll first open the seam, figure out the placement for the cut, and sew a line of stitching on either side to anchor the lining fabric and Thinsulate.  I'm not looking forward to the sewing of the gusset.  I think I'll underline it with something less bulky than the Thinsulate - perhaps some 100 weight Polartec. 

What say any of you experts reading this?  All advice including references to articles or books will be gratefully received.


  1. Remove the thinsulate from the undersleeve part. Apparently this is standard stuff - I also had to slash away the lower sleeve's polarfleece underlining in my Stalingrad greatcoat (and lowered the side panel's fleece armscye). It wasn't my brainwave by any means - the info's somewhere out there in internetether.

  2. Gussets are much easier than you're thinking. Truly.
    I think I wrote a tutorial for one way back when I made that black wool dress pattern from EvaDress. They used gussets a lot in the 50's when clothes had a lot less ease and lycra hadn't been invented yet.
    Another consideration for getting the thinsulate out of the underarm is: That's where many outerwear manuf put vents as this is not the area you want overheating! ;)
    Tonight when I get home from work I'll look for the info on gussets.

  3. I just sent you an email with written directions on making a gusset. Couldn't find a tutorial, which means I didn't write it.

  4. I think there's a thing on gussets on Fashion-Incubator. As Marji and Digs have said, it's not rocket science, and not nearly as fraught as many would have you believe. I think your lining alone looks very Vivienne Westwood.

  5. Kay, I never ever thought I would give you a hand on a sewing project once in my life ! Remember my beautiful velvet jacket (Emanuel Ungaro Vogue 1018 from the 1990's) it has a gusset. It has a kimono sleeve with a gusset. IF, I as a beginner was able to sew a gusset in velvet (imagine the difficulty with a highly freing fabric :-( ) Well you can do it. I will scan the instruction sheet tonight and send it by email. As I remember they were very clear and detailed. Do you want pictures of the pattern pieces as well? Tell me what you need. In my book, the trick for gusset is not using pins or basting. Once your are ready, do it with both hands holding each little corners and zing, it will be done. You will be needing to stabilize the Thinsulate before cutting. Can you iron knit interfacing on it ? How this is exiting !

  6. I have less than no experience with anything that looks so warm, but here is Marji's tip:

    I think that it looks very vintage (original) Star Trek.