Double Cloth Coat Hem
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Double Cloth Coat Hem

Have you have ever wanted to alter a double cloth coat but weren’t sure where to start? I recently hemmed a coat made from a gorgeous wool double cloth and thought I’d share my experience.

Double cloth is basically two different layers of fabrics intertwined to form one heavier fabric which has a supple yet supportive hand to it.  In other words, it is rarely lined because it handles so well on its own. It is mainly used for coats and jackets.

The fabrics can be different or they can be the same. In this case, the fabric is double-faced and it’s the same fabric on the inside as well as the outside.

Because the two layers are treated as one, the hems and seams are handled differently than other fabrics. Many coats and jackets are made reversible because of the construction.

This coat needed to be hemmed about 7 inches, so I first cut off 6 1/4 inches. Then I peeled the two layers apart about 3/4″. You can peel about 1/2″ using your fingers, but then you need a sharp razor blade to cut the fibers to peel more. It’s very easy to peel apart but for your first time, I recommend you practice on the part your scrap first.

Here is the double cloth peeled apart.
Here is the double cloth peeled apart.

After the layers are peeled apart, I stitched some 1/4″ organza ribbon on the outside layer to stay the hem and keep it from stretching. I also stitched the inside layer about 3/8″ from the edge. This helps to keep the fabric from stretching and also gives me a “lip” to fold. I trim about an eighth of an inch from the edge first because in this case, I wanted the inside layer to fold just slightly to the inside of the coat. Some double cloths are folded evenly.

Here you can see the stitching line on the inside layer and the organza ribbon stitched to the outside layer.
Here you can see the stitching line on the inside layer and the organza ribbon stitched to the outside layer.

I pressed the outside layer 3/8 inch to the inside, creating a nice smooth hemline.  I folded the inside layer so that is landed slightly to the inside of the hemline and pinned.

Here are the two layers folded and pinned, awaiting the handstitching
Here are the two layers folded and pinned, awaiting the hand stitching

The entire hem is then hand stitched in place, using 1/4 inch stitches.

Here is the finished hem compared to the original.
Here is the finished hem compared to the original.

Working with double cloth is a lot of work but especially if you like hand work, it’s very satisfying to do.

 

 

 

 

Barbara Stone Designs has been a full service Alterations and Custom Clothing business since 1981. Barbara started her training at UC Santa Barbara, where she majored in Art. Wanting to work with her hands, she then earned her Dressmaking and Alterations Certificate at Shasta College in Redding, CA. After that she honed her craft by taking workshops and classes all over the United States, studying with teachers from all over the world. Some of the classes included advanced tailoring, pattern making, image consulting, design and color, moulage, proper fit, and many classes on specific construction techniques such as lace applique, working with sheers and satins, interfacings, and dye techniques. Barbara continues to advance her skills. Her most recent workshop was on teaching an on-line class which she hopes to offer very soon.

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