Project 9, part 11 – Dragonfly (Part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9, part 10 here)
Welcome back to the Edo period coat restoration project! I finished the hem facings! It took me MUCH longer than a week. 😀
Originally, the hems of this coat were all turned in, so there were no raw edges. However, after adding the quilted lining, the coat took on a very unfinished appearance. Looks aside, the edges of the quilted cotton would have begun to fray and shed after a while, so it was imperative for me to enclose them. The fabric needed to be rugged, to stand up to some usage, and also to match the aesthetic of the jacket.
I don’t think of myself as being particularly sentimental, but when I thought about what fabric to use for the facings there was only one answer. The first thing my Iaido sensei ever gave me was a canvas fukuro (bag) to hold my wooden practice sword in. It’s been a long time since that small bag was enough to hold all my weaponry, but I couldn’t bear to give it up. And it’s lucky I didn’t, since it was absolutely perfect for my jacket! The print is ivory dragonflies on an indigo background – the colors are ideal for this project, and dragonflies are a beloved symbol of the samurai as they fly unwaveringly toward their prey (and apocryphally never retreat).
So I carefully removed all the seams from the bag, ironed out the fabric, and then cut it into strips! I ironed creases into the strips, folded them over every raw edge on my jacket, and got to work securing everything with invisible stitches. It took a LONG TIME. Even with the ironed creases and Wonder Clips holding everything together, I had to constantly readjust the facing strips and pinch in new creases which caused my hands to cramp after too long. I could tell when it was time to stop for the night because every time I was getting too tired, my thread would knot up on itself from being held under tension at an incorrect angle!
At last, however, I managed to finish the job, and I’m SO happy with how it came out! It looks so stylish edged in the dragonfly fabric, and every time I wear it I’ll be reminded of my sensei’s generosity, as well! ❤
I also had to sew these little silk patches back onto the inside upper corners, and tack down all the silk facings – luckily this at least didn’t take too long, and now I don’t have any more chunks of jacket laying around my sewing room!
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but there’s only one more step to finishing this project! I just need to add interfacing back into the collar to give it some stiffness, and then secure the collar back to the jacket (and reinforce it where it’s fraying). If you haven’t already, please subscribe below to get a notification each week about my latest post, and I look forward to seeing you next week here on Mukashi no Sewing! ❤
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