Summer’s End

I have a little navy blue linen jacket that I wear in the summer, I made it somewhere in 2013 – I think.  I’ve tried looking for it on the blog, but I can’t find it, so I couldn’t have blogged it!  Anyway, it wasn’t the first time I’d used that particular pattern, and certainly wasn’t the last!  The pattern in question is 116/7 from April 2009!  (edit -*- I’ve found a picture of the blue jacket in this post, and an unlined version with Hong Kong seam finishes here!) I’d always loved the shape, the fit was good and three quarter sleeves for summer are perfect.  It’s a jacket that lives on the back of a chair in the dining room, in easy reach for dashing out if the weather is a bit inclement.  I really wanted a jacket that would do the same for the winter, but couldn’t choose a pattern.

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Jacket 116 Burdastyle April 2009

The problem with winter jackets is that they tend to either be smart blazer types, or loose, floppy, outdoor utility types.  I needed a casual jacket that I could wear with dresses, skirts, jeans and trousers.  Something in a colour that would fit seamlessly with my winter colours and not feel too smart.  And it needed to be warm – obviously!  While in Plymouth on the way to Cornwall in September I bought a piece of textured black cotton with the required weight and that became what I wanted to work around, but I still wasn’t having any luck with the style of jacket.

Two weeks ago, I was trying to work out what I could make with some small, left over pieces of various fabrics when I uncovered a piece of smoked paprika coloured corduroy.  This I’d bought last year at the sewing show at Ally Pally in October, and made a pair of Kana’s Standard trousers. (That link, apart from showing you the lovely colour of my trousers, also has a boiled wool version of the above jacket!) There was leftover because I’d bought 3m of that gorgeous colour.  I realised there was enough for a cropped jacket and offered it to the girls for a denim jacket style jacket.  They politely refused…. That’s when I had one of those lightbulb moments!  I would make my own cropped jacket!  But not too cropped – and with long sleeves.  And I knew exactly where to start.

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Burdastyle jacket 116 04/2009, lengthened!

I dug that jacket pattern out of the files and grabbed the pattern paper.  The jacket body was lengthened 5cm, I basically just traced the hem and curved front details and stuck the paper down 5cm from the original hemline.  I moved the patch pockets down by the same 5cm, it actually makes them much easier to access!  The sleeves have a “built-in” cuff, which I never really used, so I worked out that I needed 10cm more in the sleeve length and proceeded to lengthen by extending the seamlines on the sleeve patterns.  I checked the final width and was happy with where it came to, I want to be able to wear jumpers under this jacket, so I want room!  I didn’t toile but I did pin the paper together and do a quick paper fitting!  I have to add here that the pattern in the magazine is unlined, I made my own lining pieces, and so far have only made one version (out of 6) that isn’t lined!

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Scraffito lining

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With everything sorted I got cracking with cutting out, making the upper collar 3-4mm bigger on the outer edges, I’d already enlarged the front by the same amount.  This helps with “turn of cloth”, making sure the under collar stays under!  I also cut the under collar on the bias, with a centre back seam.  The jacket was definitely going to be lined, so I decided to interface properly with canvas chest pieces and a back stay.  I also interfaced the hems to get a nice sharp line and prevent “soft” hems.  I chose a black and white scraffito print viscose lining from the stash that I’d bought originally from Fabworks for the other half’s non-existent coat.  It’s non-existent because he still hasn’t chosen a lining.

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Topstitching and patch pockets with flaps helps to make the jacket feel more casual.

Anyway, the putting together went well, and I decided to add all the pockets and flaps this time, to emphasise the casualness of the jacket.  I put a few pictures on Instagram in my story highlights of the construction process, it’s by no means all of it, just a peek.  I had a headscratching moment for the buttons, trying to decide between vintage bronze dome buttons from the local antiques shop, or cool timber buttons a friend sent from a trip to Canada a few years back.  In the end I liked the change of size with the bronze buttons, and that they lend a sort of military look to the jacket.

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I really love this new jacket!  It has taken the place of the navy linen jacket for the cooler weather and has been worn on numerous occasions already!  The rich colour goes perfectly with my blues and greys and inevetable black for the winter with ease.  It’s going to be a top star in my winter wardrobe!

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Work in Progress Wednesday

I realise that all of the posts in the last few years have been completed projects. I used to photograph as I sewed, I even posted as I worked, with the finished project at the end, nicely modelled on the daughter for whom it was made. So I thought, I might start that again! I’ve been working on a jacket for daughter no 1 using a 1m length of Linton Tweed. I like mixing things up a little, so I suggested we make a biker style jacket with the fabric, rather than something more predictable. That got the thumbs up!

I’m using the same Burda pattern as I did last year when I worked on the Refashioners project. This time, however, I’m not changing the pattern, because I don’t have to! 😀 So how far have I got? Well, I’m almost done… I cut and interfaced yesterday, block fusing so if there was any shrinkage it wouldn’t affect the pieces too much.

Pockets!

Today I did most of the construction, I thought I wouldn’t get as far as I did because I had ordered the zips online from Jaycotts and wasn’t sure when they’d arrive. Luckily, they came today! I used a black piece of wool for contrast and bulk reduction in certain areas, the welt for the pocket, facings, inner cuffs, waistband pieces & inner collar.

Setting the sleeve

I think it’s worked rather well! I needed the bulk reduction, this tweed is chunky! I’m actually using the wrong side here, we decided it was less busy, and more likely to be worn this way around.

This is what it looks like tonight, with just the lining, waistband, cuffs & snaps to go. Now my eyes are tired and it’s time for bed!

Mid-Century Inspired Jacket

I’d marked this particular jacket in the August 2016 issue of Burdastyle when it first came out, but wasn’t sure I had the fabric, or who to make it for!  It’s got a lovely 50s-60s look to it.  In the photo in the magazine, it looks loose, big and comfy, but the sleeves look too long.  That worried me, so I left it – for two years!

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Burda Jacket #114 August 2016

This year I decided it would look fabulous on Daughter No 1, sent her a photo of it and remarked that I’d shorten the sleeve as it looks a little hinky there.  The reply was instant – yes please!  I traced the 36, the smallest size and toiled in a piece of mystery content fabric I’d bought years and years ago.  It was used as toile because every winter when I brought it out of the stash, I got wrinkled up noses and doubt.  So it was obviously not going to be useful otherwise.  I’d also tried to dye it blue-er, which didn’t work because it isn’t a natural fibre…  this I found out when I tried dyeing!

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Little Details

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Long story short, I toiled quickly using scraps of previous projects for the pocket linings and the flaps, red thread so I could see where I’d sewn if I needed to adjust or unpick.  When she came home for a long weekend, she tried it on, and pronounced it perfect – almost.  The sleeves were definitely too long, but we fixed that by turning up 8cm instead of the 4 for the hem, and then turned back another 4, essentially making a fold back cuff.  The lower section of the sleeve is straight on the sides, so it’s easy to turn back more, and to make a cuff, no faffing with angles.  She also decided she really liked the toile, and could she wear that please…?

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I should have known.  How often has this happened to me?  I use a piece of fabric that’s otherwise ugly, or they haven’t noticed before, make a toile – and suddenly it’s the best thing since dairy free cheese!  There was no attempt at matching the stripes, placing the pockets and tabs in the right place to line things up, just a toile, right!?  I huffed a little – there’s no point in making out that this is easy too often, they might get the wrong idea! 😉  I found a suitable piece of lining in the stash, ended up unpicking the original pocket flaps with their red linings, as well as the pocket pieces themselves.  Then I recut the flaps and pocket linings, resewed them in and finished off the jacket.  One thing I did not do was interface.  I was in no mood to go fiddling around with already trimmed and sewed bits to do that, it will just have to do!

 

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I have to admit it looks good.  I just wish we’d all had a better idea of that fabric before I’d started that particular job! 🙂  Never mind, at least the fabric has been put to a good use, and it wasn’t wasted.  Things to note from the toile:

  • Make the sleeves shorter, 8cm hem, 4cm turn back for cuff – optional as with the 8cm hem, the sleeve is now a good length.
  • Recut the shawl collar/facing pattern pieces with 3mm added to the outer edge to allow for turn of cloth.
  • Recut pocket outer flap pattern pieces and all outer (top) belt pieces with 3mm added to edge to allow for turn of cloth.
  • Consider interfacing shoulder areas to reduce chance of stretch on the bias over the shoulder

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The pattern lay in the magazine doesn’t show any interfacing apart from  the facing pieces, and this doesn’t want to be an overly structured garment, but I felt it needed a bit more support in certain areas.  So I interfaced a 2cm strip on the back shoulders, the front, front and back facings and the undercollar.  I also added a 5cm wide bias cut strip to the hemline areas on the jacket, and a deeper bias strip to the sleeve, giving support to the area that would be turned up as the cuff, if she wanted to.

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The final fabric for the jacket came from the deep stash, and I think I originally got it from a charity shop.  It’s wool, grey on grey houndstooth.  I’d pre-shrunk it with steam, so this will have to be drycleaned.  For the lining, I raided the stash again.  The initial idea was to have something dramatic, rust or copper on the inside, but I couldn’t find something in the right shade and fabric in time.  So I dug out a piece of gold and blue shot lining I’d bought from The Lining Company to line a camel coat – as yet still unmade.  It works pretty well, is warm and still interesting when the light catches it at different angles.

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The jacket didn’t take long to make.  I’d cut out the pieces and interfaced one evening, started sewing the next morning and finished the shell in time to cut the linings the next evening and sew them in.  All I needed to do the next day was to hand sew the linings to the hem and attach the buttons, all of which came from the stash and are vintage.  So it’s a quick jacket to make, the only fiddly (time consuming) thing is the welt pocket, if you haven’t done one before.  The rest is really straightforward!

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I cut the tabs on the bias this time, and I like it!

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Both jackets have been really well recieved.  We had a full house with both girls home for a weekend, and the jackets got well and truly drooled over.  The colours work brilliantly with her wardrobe of neutrals (much like mine) and they look fabulous with her strawberrry blonde hair.  I know they’ll get well worn this Autumn and Winter, a real winner!

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Kana’s Standard II – A Rusty Jacket

Right, I am finally ready to show you my Japanese Jacket. I had been hoping to get pictures of it on our little Cornish break, along with the cropped trousers from the last post, but it was way too hot for that!! In the end, I had to give in to the weather and just go for it. The jacket is the perfect layering piece for those typical English “summer” days, or slightly breezy days, and when Autumn finally arrives, I have no doubt that it will get a lot more wear. I visited Daughter No2 in her new flat in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham last week, and on a little walk we found the perfect place for photographs. I love the feel of that area and I’m happy to see so much regeneration of the old workshops, warehouses and industrial spaces. The colours the Victorians and Georgians used are pretty fabulous too!

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Kana’s Standard II Jacket A9

First of all, the pattern. In the Kana’s Standard II book, the sizing is in Japanese sizes up to 13. On checking the measurements for that size band I realised that if I graded up two sizes I’d be in the right ballpark, without having to redraft. Time saved! So off I went and graded the tops pattern, A. Basically there is one standard pattern with various little differences, length, sleeves, sleeve width and sleeve length. The jacket is A9, with a longer version that has pockets to make a coat, A10. There is a section of photographs of all the different versions of Top A, styling shots all featuring the author wearing the clothes from the book.

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Images from the book featuring the author wearing the jacket
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Order of work, cutting layout and instructions

I did a quick “wearable toile” of A1, just a simple top with short sleeves, to check the fit. Width was more than enough, if not a little too much for a top. (Need to remember to take in the sides or reduce the width across the shoulder before using the pattern again) But it needed length across the bustline for a fuller bust than the books will ever cater for!

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I added 3cm in length, creating a bust dart in the front side to allow for the fullness, this was then rotated to the waist and then removed in the side seam, so it’s dart-free. I also widened the sleeve by 2cm, I have fuller upper arms than the pattern allows for. In the summer this is not so bad, because of all the allotment work, digging, etc. My arms shrink in the summer, but when winter comes again, I don’t want clingy sleeves. Those were the only adjustments I decided were needed.

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The pattern pieces fitted perfectly on the remaining rusty coloured linen. I thought briefly of binding the seams on the inside with bias, a Hong Kong finish, but as I really, really wanted the jacket for the Cornish trip and was up against the clock, left that and just overlocked everything instead. The pattern is quick to make, even without English instructions. The diagrams are clear, marked with numbers that indicate the order of work. Seam and hem allowances are marked in the cutting layout in the book, and it’s all metric. For some translation of the instructions, there is a handy page on this website which I used.

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I am very happy with the finished garment, the colour is perfect, just as it was with the pants! For now I’m rolling the sleeves up a bit. I could probably make them more a 7/8 or 3/4 length for the summer, I’m always pushing up long sleeves, even in the winter! For the closure I used the last of the dark bronze snaps I got for Daughter No2’s orange coat last winter. Sewn on with buttonhole stitch, they’ll not be getting pulled off in a hurry.

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I’m already making plans for more of these, possibly using some pinstripe wool suiting (and making a lining pattern) to make a winter version… The loose casual feel of the jacket is something I really like, although hubby would prefer me to wear something more fitted. Not in the summer!!

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I’m off now to complete some more of the Burda challenge 2018 patterns on my list, July’s edition this year is a bit good, better than last month in it’s offerings!

Burda Love

How often do you wear matching items?  Some of you might wear suits for work, I never have!  In an attempt to bust a little stash fabric, and to have more items made for my Sew Seasonal Wardrobe, I originally wanted to make two pairs of trousers from a 3m piece of stretch cotton sateen from Croft Mill Fabrics that I’d bought last year.  Unfortunately, there just wasn’t enough for both pairs so while I sat there looking at the laid out fabric hoping to find a way, inspiration hit.  There could be enough for a jacket & trousers…

 

It took a little playing around, pattern piece tetris is a real thing.  The left picture shows the layout I ended up with and the little pile of skinny scraps on the right is all I was left with once it was all cut out!  I cut the inner waistband and both pocket pieces from different fabrics in the scrap box to save space.

The trouser pattern is 109 from Burdastyle magazine March 2010 and the jacket is my old staple, 116 from Burdastyle magazine April 2009.  I think this is the fifth version now!  I decided to leave the jacket unlined, and to use Hong Kong finish on all the internal raw edges. A piece of pansy print Liberty lawn was liberated from the scrap box that worked perfectly against the beige.  I cannot tell you how many metres of bias I cut in the end, suffice to say it was a lot.  Because the jacket was unlined, the shoulder pads were covered in the same fabric.  I had thought I’d get away without them but the jacket looked all frumpy and structure-less.

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Burda Addict

So, trousers.  I went for the shorter version and still chopped out 4cm.  A remnant of silk was cut for the pockets, and a pocket facing was added, using the cotton sateen so you don’t just see silk at the opening.  The pockets are of the in-seam variety.  The inner waistband was cut from a remnant of printed cotton sateen that had made a pair of trousers and a skirt for the daughters in the past.  The button closure and trouser hook & eye came from the stash.  I overlocked all edges before starting to sew, that way I don’t have to stop and start and can get a pair of pants made in a day.

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I really like the colour it goes with all my new handmade tee-shirts!  The stretch is really comfortable, I like the stitched seam on the front pieces, it gives a sense of length, which is sorely needed.

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Trouser details, contrast inner waistband, trouser hook & eye, silk lined pockets

The jacket pattern is one I have made many times now.  I think this is the most crisp though.  Even my linen one, lined, is softer.  Just means I need to work harder to remove that darn double chin my family genes is/are so fond of….   I really wanted a light weight jacket, so no lining.  That also means far less structure and interfacing than I’d normally use.  Only the facings and collar pieces are interfaced, relying on the structure of the fabric to give the jacket a good shape.

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I love the insides!

The jacket was actually made fairly quickly, considering the metres and metres of bias that needed to be attached!  The reason why it hasn’t seen the light of day until now (apart from no photographer) is that I couldn’t for the life of me find the right buttons.  Beige buttons on a beige jacket are BORING!  Metallic ones just looked too bling.  White looked insipid and black too much of a contrast.  So I was stuck.  Help came in the shape of a friend who went through my buton stash with fresher eyes than mine.  She found these interesting regtangular buttons and practically dared me to use them.  Challenge accepted!

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Burda jacket details, covered shoulder pads, Hong Kong seams finish & rectangular buttons.

The shape and texture on the buttons makes them far more interesting than ordinary brown round ones, so I’m happy with the result.  I also sort of want to wear this jacket inside out! The only time anyone will see the pretty insides is when I take it off and lay it flashily on the back of a chair.  🙂

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Tee 138 from Burdastyle magazine March 2011 in grey viscose jersey

On to the last item for the day!  I’d ordered two pieces of grey viscose jersey from Croft Mill Fabrics, dark grey, & a lighter, silvery piece at the beginning of March.  Can I just say, these jerseys are so soft!!  They have the most amazing drape which means every bit needs to be stabilised!  I chose a tee-shirt pattern I’d liked before but not got round to tracing, 138 form the March 2011 Burdastyle magazine.  It’s in the plus-size section.  I liked the twisted neckline treatment and the tab on the sleeves.

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I made the 46 with a 6cm FBA but with this soft fabric I wonder if I could have got away with the smaller size.  The armhole seams, front and back, are stabilised with Vilene bias tape, having learnt the hard way last year that this sort of fabric keeps going down….  Initially the neckline wasn’t stabilised, but as the day wore on I realised that wasn’t my brightest idea, so back to the ironing board it went.  Now the neckline, while a little low, doesn’t try to migrate any further south.  The neck band is simply a rectangle that isn’t folded symmetrically.  Once the centre back seam is stitched, instead of folding and pressing you move the seams 3cm apart which gives a little pull on the folded edge.  This creates the “twist”.

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The sleeves with tabs are easy to sew, if using a soft fabric like this though, I suggest you iron on a bit on knit interfacing where the tab goes to stop the fabric stretching as you do the topstitching.  Unfortunately, this fabric doesn’t work folded up.  It’s too soft!  I don’t really mind, the sleeves are a good length and I like the detail left with the buttons and stitched squares.  The only other adjustment I made was to remove length.  I took 5cm off the bottom and still turned up a 4cm hem.  I get that some people prefer longer tops to hide things, but on me I’d look very, very short and definitely feel like I was wearing a tent!

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All said, I am happy with my new outfit, not 100% sure if I will actually wear the matching jacket and pants together, but I have that option.  All items are in my suitcase for the holiday as with colours like this you can wear anything!  Score more for busting some stash & scraps, making a matching outfit and using freshly bought fabric before it found the stash!

Miracle

A double Christmas present, the fabric was a gift a few years ago!
A double Christmas present, the fabric was a gift a few years ago!

Well now, would you look at this.  I have actually made two of the items I had planned to do lately..  This from someone who doesn’t plan!  I finished this jacket on Tuesday, but the weather was not playing ball for photos.  With a breather in the clouds and rain today, Daughter No1 & I decided some fresh air and photos was in order.  I still had cards to deliver too!

Delivering Christmas cards in my new jacket!
Delivering Christmas cards in my new jacket!

This is the pattern I made back in November – last year!  I had been toying with the darted sleeve head idea and ran up a toile, but realised with the extended shoulders that the rever and collar were going to need adjustment. No problem, but I couldn’t make up my mind on the fabric.  I eventually used the original collar and rever and made a different sleeve, which resulted in this jacket.

Jacket unbuttoned.
Jacket unbuttoned.

I finally chose a fabric to use for the darted sleeve version,  a duck-egg blue fine wale corduroy from Ditto Fabrics that a friend had given me for a Christmas present.  But I had no lining or buttons so it languished in the cupboard for a while.  More than a while, actually!  If you check out the other jacket photos you will see the difference in the collar and revers.  I actually prefer the width of these ones, I think the previous revers were too narrow for that jacket too!

A walk in the park, loving my big shoulders!
A walk in the park, loving my big shoulders!

I did lengthen the front of this jacket, something I noticed after wearing the other one was that it could have done with being about 2-3cm longer in the front. I also added welt pockets.  I realised at the first fitting that the jacket was looking a little plain and boring, so I quickly got cracking with the welts!  Note to self – decide on pockets before making up fronts and attaching to backs…     The pocket bags use some left-over silk from my Pattern Magic blouse.  I know you’re supposed to use some of the shell fabric so the lining fabric isn’t seen, but this is way too pretty to hide!

Dotty silk from the Pattern Magic blouse
Dotty silk from the Pattern Magic blouse

The extended sleeves have some fusible wadding sew into the sleeve head seam to add support, and I moved the shoulder pads over slightly too, nothing worse than a collapsing sleeve head!  The lining was a bargain from the Fancy Silk store in Birmingham, Jaeger cupro for just £3.99/m!  Buttons are metal from Fred Winter’s in Stratford.  I would have prefered to have a matching set, but so few places sell the same styles in different sizes.  So I have horses on my sleeve vents and pretty ones down the front.

Lining & pretty silver buttons
Lining & pretty silver buttons
Silver horsey buttons, appropriate for living in the country.
Silver horsey buttons, appropriate for living in the country.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love this jacket.  I love the colour, love the fit and love, love, love the sleeves!  What is it with me and sleeves?  :s  Anyhow, I now need to move onto the herringbone twill for Daughter No1’s biker-ish jacket from the Burda mag, but I will be pattern cutting it to her measurements.  Maybe I will wait a couple of days first, something tells me there is an important date approaching sometime next week.  ;p

jacket

jacket

So, Happy Christmas to everyone, I hope you all get loads of what you’ve asked for (fabric & some new books in my case…).  Enjoy spending time with your families and friends.  😀

Autumn Leaves Jacket

After a flurry of finished projects, and some tidying up of my “fix-it” pile, I’m ready to get going with my leaf print jacket.  Maybe.  I had these two sketches in my sketchbook, either would work for the jacket, but neither was 100% right.

Jacket idea no. 1

As you can see I have copious notes!

Jacket Idea no2 (with alterations)

Ok, so what I’m really thinking of is a bit of peplum detail, but not a wavy, fluffy one.  I like structure, so I like the pleats in version 2.  I also am definitely having the neckline detail in version 1.

So here’s a version with the bits I like together:

“Final” design

Sleeve…  I’m hankering after the Crater Sleeve from Pattern Magic 1.  But full length, or 3/4 with a turn-back cuff?

Crater Sleeve from Pattern Magic 1

I really love that sleeve, and I think with the neckline from the first design it will look fabulous!  I just need to decide on the length…  Also, I need to decide if the style lines actually work on my body, rather than the skinny-minny croquis from my sketch book.  So I put together these:

Autumn Leaf Jacket design sketches

So what do we think??  Here’s another picture of the fabric.

Leaf print for jacket

And here I thought the pattern was ready, and I could cut out this weekend!  Now I’m not so sure.  :s

Rise Above This

Ok, so the 2 for 1 jacket finally has a name!  Sometimes you just need some space and good music to get the ball really rolling.  And I have to confess to having a most bizzar collection of tunes.  The one that got my steam up was Seether’s, Rise Above This.  Does anyone else listen to music while they sew?  I cannot work when it’s quiet.  So here is the rest of the jacket.  I must also confess that I sort of lost track of taking photos as I got more and more into the making up process!  Oops!  I will be better next time, promise!

I had left of the last time at the shoulder stage, ready for the collar. The under collar is cut on the bias in two pieces, and is slightly smaller than the top collar.  If you have a pattern that uses the same pattern piece for both, trace it off and put a seamline down the centre back of the under-collar and change the grainline to bias.  Add between 2.5 and 5mm on the outside edges of the upper-collar to allow for turn of cloth.  Do not be tempted to just make the under-collar smaller.  I interfaced the under collar with weft insertion on the bias, then sewed the two together at the centre back.  To ensure a good stand, I use a fusible canvas on the under collar.  This is cut without seam allowance, on the bias.  The upper collar gets a lighter interfacing, I used the fine sheer, but if you find your collar is not keeping shape, you could reinforce with some fusible canvas.

Under collar showing interfacing, already applied to jacket neckline

I clip the neck edge of the jacket at approx. 1.5cm intervals to the stay stitch line and then pin the collar on from the centre out – from the jacket side, not the collar side.  the clipping helps to open out the curve and allows for easing.  When you sew the under-collar on, start and stop exactly on the podmark for the collar attachment on the neckline.  Next pin the upper collar to the under collar, taking care to line up the outside edges.  Because you have cut the upper larger than the lower you will have to ease the extra in.  Pin parallel to your edge, instead of perpendicular as this will help to avoid catching tucks.  Then snip the neckline edge of the facing and sew the upper collar to the facing.  There will be a teeny tiny gap at the junction of the collars and the revers.  This you hand hand-stitch closed.  Layer your collar and neckline seams and press them open over a ham.

Upper and under-collars in place, seams trimmed and pressed open

Now we come to the part where I got carried away with the making and forgot to take pictures!  With the collar done you can sew up the side seams of the jacket and do the sleeves.  The sleeve heads should be interfaced with a crescent shape, 10cm deep at the centre.  You can’t see all of this so clearly on my sleeves because I inserted a contrast pleat panel.

One piece sleeve with contrast pleat back showing interfacing on sleeve-head

And that was my run of photos!!  I will take some of the next jacket I do, from the sleeve stage onwards, promise!!  Basically from here on the sleeve seams need to be joined, and the gathering stitch on the head.  Now for jackets you can follow the normal 2 rows of gathering stitch, or try something different.  I do one line of gathering, 2cm from the edge of the fabric.  I ease the fullness along this line, making sure there is no actual gathering, no tucking or puckering.  What I am after is for the sleeve head to form the sort of shape it will have when in the armhole.  When the shape is right, I pin it into the armhole from the sleeve side.  Once the sleeve is in, I use an interfaced bias cut strip, about 5cm wide of jacket fabric and fold in half lengthways.  Then this is sew into the sleeve head to support the cap.

I was going to try to continue without pictures, but I don’t think it is working!!

Here is the finished garment!

The finished jacket.

It was a rather windy day to take photos, I kept getting hair in my eyes, or my mouth!  there are more pictures on Burdastyle, until I pop more on this blog, but they will be in their own post.

And I promise to take a better photographic record the next time! 😀

2 for 1 jacket update

While I was “away” making curtains and doing alterations and making nice things for other people, this project was burning a hole in the back of my mind!  Now the new year is here, the kids are back at school and making for others has quietened down a bit, I can finally get cracking again.  I decided to track the progress of this jacket, to show the internal workings of speed tailoring a jacket.

First things first, if you have a wool or wool blend fabric, you need to prepare it.  During the making the fabric will be subject to a lot of heat and steam, and it will inevitably shrink.  There are different ways of going about this.  Usually I cut a  10x10cm piece, zigzag or overlock the edges and pop into a basin of warm water.  If the water doesn’t get absorbed, there is a coating on the fabric, and it will need to be dry cleaned.  If water is absorbed, pop it in the washing machine on a cool, woolens or handwash cycle.  Then check it, has it shrunk?  Has the finish/feel of the fabric changed?  Has the colour run?  If the answer is yes to any of these, dry clean only!  For preparation you will need to steam this fabric.  If not, you can wash it.  Now some fabrics can be shoved in the machine, and others need a different approach.  (Most of the wool I buy gets the machine wash.)

I have a cashmere that is definitely not going in the machine.   I dampened down 2 double flat sheets (you could use old duvet covers) and sandwiched the wool between them.  I rolled the whole lot up like a Swiss Roll and left for the damp to get through the wool.  Then opened it up and draped over a balustrade/handrail.  If you have to use the washline, first cover the wire with a towel, and if possible, drape over two lines, not just one.  Leave to dry, then dry iron to remove creases.  Iron on the wrong side, and check for any imperfections.  Mark these so you can avoid the area when laying out the pattern pieces.

It really is worth taking time when preparing wool for a jacket.  The fabric is rarely cheap, and considering the amount of time you will take to put the item together, it will be pretty soul-destroying to have it go wrong.

Your next job is the interfacing.  I use a speed tailoring jacket pack that I get from Gill Arnold.  On this particular wool I have used her Weft insertion on the jacket shell and the fine sheer fusible on the facings.  I have also used some iron on canvas, and some non-iron canvas.  I interfaced the “T-zone” and all the hem edges with the weft insertion.  This covers all the areas of the jacket that are put under strain or will be sat on and crinkled!  Then I made up the fronts and back.

The next step was to apply a fusible cotton tape to the front seam, this prevents stretching on the front seam.  It is applied about 5mm in from the fabric edge and if you have a curve at the bottom, you will need to snip into it to take the corner.  Once that was done, I made the canvas chest pieces.  This is done to plump out the hollow in the chest that women have just below the shoulder.  You will need the non-iron canvas and some weft insertion for this part, and each pattern needs a different shape chest piece.

The pieces are cut on the bias.  The weft insertion interfacing is a different size to the canvas.  It is 1cm larger on the armhole side, and 2.5cm larger on the neckline side.  Fuse the canvas to the weft insertion, taking care not to attach the overlapping interfacing to anything.  Trim the top corners, cut a box 1×2.5cm and 2.5×2.5cm.  Place the chest piece on the jacket front with the armhole side on the edge of the fabric and fuse the overlapping interfacing to the jacket on both sides.

Preparing the canvas chest piece
Chest piece fused in place
Taped breakline

Next fuse cotton tape to the breakline of the rever.  This helps the rever to fall in the right place, and to stay there!  There is no need for padstitching the create the fall. Now staystitch the neckline on the facings, jacket front and back.

Once that is done, pin on the facing.  The facing is between 2.5mm and 5mm bigger/wider than the front on the rever up to the breakpoint only.  This is to accommodate the turn of cloth.  You don’t want to see the seamline or any of the fabric from the front rever peaking out.  The fabric needs to be manipulated carefully so you don’t get any puckering, pinch the excess at the corner and pin the “blister”.

Sew the front facing on from the podmark for the collar join to the hem.  Snip the seam allowance at an angle at the breakpoint and layer the seams.  Trim both of the seam allowances down by 5mm.  Then trim the seam allowance of the front facing by a further 5mm.  The rever needs to be trimmed too, but trim the front by a further 5mm, and not the facing.  Press the seams open and then  flat.  Ensure you roll the fabric when steaming so there is no seamline showing.

layered seams
Seam layering on front and facing front

Now for the shoulder seams.  Pin the canvas away from the shoulder line and pin the fronts to the back.  Stitch and press open over a sleeve roll.  Remove the pins from the canvas and let it extend past the seamline onto the back.  Turn the right way round and put your hand under the shoulder seam.  Pin along the seamline, going through all the jacket layers as well as the canvas.  Turn to the inside and pin the back seam allowance to the canvas.  remove the pins from the outside and then stitch the canvas to the seam allowance, close to the shoulder seam line.

Canvas pinned back, shoulder seam sewn and pressed open
Canvas extended over back seam allowance and pinned from right side
Canvas stitched to seam allowance, close to original seamline

So that’s the body of the jacket, ready for the collar and then the sleeves.  Happy sewing until next time!