Over the years, I have accumulated quite a collection of fabrics, patterns, buttons and other ingredients. I recently cleaned out my fabric and pattern stashes and thought it was high time to go through my huge zipper collection. FYI, those are mostly 2 gallon ziplocs. 🤦♀️
Ever since I started using really nice zippers – Riri, Lampo, Excella – I’ve become dissatisfied with anything less. It’s just so easy to order what I need or stock up on my annual trip to NYC. I plant Bryan at Ben’s and head over to Pacific and Botani with my fabric swatches and buy what I think I’ll need for the coming year. If only he knew how much money was invested in those little shopping bags. 😳 I mean, the Riri room at Pacific is like a candy store for me, I want them all!
Since I’m in a purging mood, I decided that today was the day to tackle the zipper stash. Once I got going, it was pretty easy. Now, the stash consists only of zippers that I will actually use!
And the purge pile. Nothing wrong with any of them, but I know I will never use them so better to pass them on to someone who will!
Wow, I feel like this jacket went together so quickly. I’m usually such a slow sewer as I just like to relax and enjoy the entire process and not just rush through to the finish line. It’s always nice when a project turns out exactly as you envisioned. Actually, it turned out better because I never dreamed that I’d really be able to make that metallic organza behave! Yes, I made a few mistakes along the way but that is to be expected when one is a bit out of practice. Okay, maybe a lot out of practice!
Moving onto the back, I assembled the back panels, attached the back yoke and bound the seams for a little extra flash. (The front seams are mostly covered by the pocket bags so I opted for the flatter mock flat fell seams there instead)
Next I joined the front and back at the shoulder seam and attached the collar. I apologize, I somehow neglected to show the steps for finishing the front facings and the neck edge but it’s very straightforward.
The sleeve vents are pretty standard for this type of jacket. The upper and under sleeves are stitched together in a conventional seam to the dot/marking and the seam is pressed flat, then open.
Then, the undersleeve seam is clipped to the seam allowance, turned under twice and topstitched.
Next, the upper sleeve seam allowances are turned under in a mock flat felled seam, being careful not to catch the underlap. The last step is to make a bar tack – or two – to secure the small bit of raw edge at the top of the underlap. Sometimes, I will substitute a rivet but I didn’t think I needed more metal in this jacket.
Once the sleeves were set in, I bound the armscye. I did have a little trouble here and had to recut my binding yet another 1/8″ wider before it would cleanly bind the seam. I’m very happy with the way it looks.
Next, I reduced the under cuff seam allowance and bound the edge before stitching the outer cuff to the outside of the sleeve. I used a heavier interfacing on the outer cuff and a lighter one on the inner cuff. I would ordinarily use the lighter interfacing on the entire cuff but I seem to be low on the lighter weight, which is my favorite.
I stitched the ends, folding under the bound edge as gracefully as possible.
Once again, instead of clipping across the corners, I folded the seam allowances over each other and held them together as I turned the cuff right side out. This results in a good square corner that isn’t weak at the point.
The cuff is then closed up by stitching in the well of the seam from the right side and topstitching all around.
The waistband is attached in the same manner.
After making the remaining buttonholes, my favorite part: sewing the buttons on by hand and hanging it in my closet!
The inside is my favorite!
Sources: Irish linen and Cartier-inspired buttons from the (sadly) long-gone Maggi’s for Fine Fabrics in Boca Raton; Kona cotton pocketing and metallic organza from JoAnn Fabrics; fusible interfacings from my friend Pam at http://www.fashionsewingsupply.com.
Parting shot: I am so in love with this Gucci bomber jacket. I have been searching all of my favorite online fabric vendors for just the right fabric and, unfortunately, I didn’t find anything suitable with a black background. But, I did find something really fabulous with a white background so this will be going in the queue!
Before attaching the front yoke, buttonholes must be made in the pocket flaps. My beloved 1961 Singer Rocketeer was a birthday gift from my friend Greg 10 or 11 years ago. I keep her set up for buttonholes at all times because I find her buttonholes far superior to those of any of my other machines, including my Berninas.
Next, I played around with the binding. My metallic organza has a scratchy metallic face but is smooth on the backside so I decided to use the backside as my right side. It took a few test runs to get it just right.
I started with a 1 1/4” binding plate and cut my bias strip 1 1/4” wide (far right) and ended up with a lot of threads poking out. Next, I cut my bias strip to 1 3/8” (center) and that worked out perfectly but I thought it looked too wide and heavy.
I then switched to a 1” binding plate and cut my bias strip 1 1/8” wide (left) and that gave me the look I wanted.
Here’s a quick video of the binding operation. I keep this industrial single-needle machine set up for binding all the time. Sorry, I was filming with one hand and guiding the fabric with the other but you get the idea.
The finished bound pocket.
Now, it’s time to attach the pocket flaps and the front yoke.
I find the front yoke seam too bulky to run through the binder so I prefer to use a Hong Kong finish here instead.
I then topstitched 1/4” away from the seam. Next I’ll move on to the jacket back and the shoulder seams.
Now on to the fun part – assembling the fronts and installing the welt pockets.
First, I joined the three front panels in a standard 5/8” seam and pressed the seams open and then away from the center panel.
Next, I trimmed the under seam down to a scant 1/4” and then folded the top seam allowance over it and edge stitched to make a mock flat felled seam – less bulky in this heavy fabric than a traditional flat felled seam. I have also bound these seam allowances in really heavy fabrics like velveteen.
Next, the pocket facing is applied. To reduce bulk, I used a firmly woven cotton. I generally use Symphony broadcloth but I wasn’t able to find the right color. I serged around three sides but it’s only necessary to finish the bottom edge because the sides will be finished off by the pocket anyway. Stitch, trim, clip into the corners, turn and edge stitch.
The pocket edges are turned under 3/8 and then applied to the wrong side of the garment and topstitched into place.
I need to make buttonholes in the pocket flaps yet but you get the idea.
Now, onto the welt pockets. First, lay you pocket piece face up onto the right side of the garment. I like to clearly mark my stitching lines with a chalk pencil.
I have also added a piece of very lightweight fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the jacket front. I like to do this anytime I add a welt pocket. I’ve pinked the edges to prevent any show-through on the right side.
Then I stitch around the box, using a stitch length of 2 on the long sides, with smaller stitches around the corners. It’s a good idea to begin your stitching on one of the long sides to avoid thread buildup in one of the corners.
Then, cut down the center of the box and into the corners. Turn to the inside of the front and press.
If your corners are not perfect, it’s okay because this pocket will have a bartack across the top and bottom of the welt which will hide any imperfections. If you are scared of welt pockets, this one is for you.
Next, fold back the straight edge of the pocket back over the opening and press well. Turn it back again towards the front edge, forming your welt. Fold the garment back from the welt and secure those little triangles. I like to use a few lines of straight stitching here.
Then I edgestitch around the top, bottom and front of the welt before laying the pocket lining – again, a firmly woven cotton – on top.
The lining is attached to the pocket with a straight stitch about 1/8” from the edge. No need to be super neat about it since it will be hidden underneath my binding or enclosed in a seam at the front and bottom. You can also just serge them together, if you wish. Now, it’s time for the bartacks. My stitches are very short as I like more of a satin stitch here but you can use a longer length if you prefer.
The finished product!
Next up, I’ll be setting up the binder and buttonhole machine. I’ll be interested to see how this metallic organza works out as a binding.
Parting shot. Cattlianthe Gigi Andrae Louis ‘Maverick’ HCC/AOS. My dear friend Thanh named this beautiful hybrid for me a few years ago and I so wanted to be the first to have it awarded. The orchid gods smiled on me a year ago and awarded this flower an HCC (Highly Commended Certificate). I gave it the clonal name ‘Maverick’ because, of the many blooms of this cross I have seen, it is the only one that is not a deep red.
I love a trucker jacket and Jalie 2320 is one of my favorite patterns for this style.
I made this in red linen a few years ago and it’s been well-worn and is now ready for retirement.
For this project I chose a charcoal Irish linen and Cartier-inspired buttons. For the seam binding, I am auditioning two silk duppionis and a metallic polyester organza. I’m leaning towards the organza but we will see how cooperative it is going through the binder!
First up: all the little pieces. Pocket flaps were first. Because I want them to be twins rather than cousins, I mark the stitching lines. I often make a template out of manila paper to make it easy.
Next up was the collar. After pressing all of the seam allowances open, I graded them. Note that I do not trim across the collar points. Instead, I fold the seam allowances on the stitching line and turn the collar out over them. This makes for a nice point without weakening it. Note: this method will not work well on very pointed collars as there isn’t enough space in the point for the folded seam allowances.
I did cut the under collar slightly smaller than the upper collar before sewing but I like to roll the collar as it will be worn to see if there is any addition trimming that needs to be done. I ended up trimming off an additional fat 1/8”.
Lastly, I stitched the waistband tabs, gave everything a good press and then topstitched 1/4” from the edge. Next time, I will continue with my favorite part: the fronts and front pocket.
Parting shot. My little mini is getting so big. Jess is loving fatherhood!