It’s been slow going here. Still suffering with insomnia so I haven’t trusted myself to do too much sewing. I felt kind of energetic today so I thought I’d get the collar and cuffs attached, at least.
This is really nice, medium-heavy rib knit that I ordered from Pacific Trimming. It’s the perfect weight for a light jacket but not heavy enough for an outerwear jacket.
I am glad it’s starting to come together. Hopefully tomorrow I will feel up to attaching the waistband then I will have to set this aside for a bit, which I *hate* to do but I’m doing a sew along in the Hot Patterns FB group and our deadline is Thanksgiving! I don’t like starting something new before I finish but I’m so anxious to wear this jacket so I think it’ll be okay. 🙂
In the past when I’ve sewn with leather, I’ve used paper clips or binder clips to “pin” things together. I bought these cute little Clover clips on a whim awhile ago – I think they are for quilting – and they worked so perfectly here!
Not a lot has been happening in the sewing room this past week. Work has been really busy and I’ve been suffering with insomnia, ugh. I don’t like sewing when I’m tired because I just end up making mistakes that I have to fix later.
I did manage to stitch my sleeves to the back and fronts yesterday. I glued down the leather seam allowances and catchstitched the fabric seam allowances. It was nice doing a bit of hand work while watching Ratched on Netflix. I’m not removing the basting but you could if it bothers you.
Next up, I’ll be installing the zipper – as soon as I figure out where I put it.
I took a day off from work today to work on my jacket. This year I find myself in the unusual situation of having a lot of PTO that I’m going to lose if I don’t use it. I’m sure many of you are in the same boat!
I decided to start by cutting out my leather sleeves and then work on my single welt pockets. Now, I can crank out single welt pockets all day long so I went into this feeling a bit over-confident. Big mistake.
My first mistake was thinking that I would use my usual welt pattern.
Here’s my disappointing result. Really, I should’ve guessed this would happen.
So then I just cut some rectangles and folded my seam allowances in on the sides and glued everything together. Very easy with a good result.
That wasn’t the end of my difficulty. Let me tell you, single welts are much more difficult to make when you are using leather. Yes, I should have made a sample first but I didn’t and once I cut into the first front there was no changing my mind.
Just for fun, I whipped up a double welt sample. I didn’t measure the welts, didn’t mark my stitching lines, used no interfacing, my stitching was wonky because I didn’t have my Teflon foot on and I didn’t press anything. It looked pretty good with zero effort and was much less bulky than my single welt. Lesson learned! The next time I want to use leather, I will make double welt pockets!
I did finish them so now I can move on. Can’t say that I’m 100% happy with them but that’s okay. You can’t learn from mistakes if you never try anything new.
I finally just took a deep breath and cut and I’m really happy with it so far. The back really *had* to be cut this way as I couldn’t imagine it cut any other way. (Sorry for the wonky photo – panoramic while standing tippy toe on a stool!)
Ordinarily, when I want to match a pattern across a center front I use the CF line as my guide. But the front of this jacket veers off-grain in the upper chest plus I’m using a zipper so there is no overlap. So, instead I cut one front, lining up the lower CF line with the center of the medallion, and then laid it face down on the fabric, matching the pattern, and cut my second front. It looks weird now but once the zipper is installed it will look better, I hope.
I chose a cotton batiste as the underlining for the body of the jacket. I love using an underlining because I can make very clear markings without worrying about show-through.
Before I hand basted the layers together, I fused a small piece of interfacing where my welt pockets will be. My fabric ravels pretty easily so I wanted that extra reinforcement. Again, I pinked the edges to avoid a hard line showing on the right side.
I also stabilized the bias edges with strips of fusible interfacing. If your fabric doesn’t want to be fused you can always fuse to your underlining – another bonus to using an underlining.
The last step before my favorite part – the welt pockets – basting the layers together. I use either silk or cotton basting thread but I definitely enjoy using the silk thread more as it glides through the layers so easily. I couldn’t locate my basting needles (hence the tiny stitches) so I just used a #9 hand needle and basted within the seam allowances. I really recommend basting needles as they are longer and make fast work of this somewhat tedious job.
I fell in love with this pattern the moment I saw it and immediately thought of using leather for the sleeves.
I have this gorgeous bronze lamb skin in my stash and thought it would be perfect with this stunning fabric that I initially bought to make a skirt. Truth be told, I don’t wear too many skirts but I wear a lot of jackets. And, of course, a Riri copper zipper, right? Yes, please.
I thought I had it all planned out in my head how I was going to cut this. Still, I’ve been staring at the fabric for a couple of hours, playing around with my pattern pieces, and now I’m unsure. There are so many beautiful motifs in this fabric that I’ve become indecisive. I’ve added a shoulder dart to the front which would go through one of the paisley motifs, grrr, but would give me the bronze motif in the upper chest and upper back. I don’t want to move the dart to the side seam so I need to decide whether I can live with the distortion of one of the paisley motifs. Or perhaps shift it slightly to make it less distracting.
This jacket really went together very easily and quickly. If you eliminate the trim it would be an afternoon project. Here are the changes I made (or would make next time around):
*Shortened body by 2″ (not a usual adjustment for me)
*Shortened sleeves 3.5″ (I usually shorten 1″)
*Narrowed the shoulders 2″ (they were just too overwhelming on me)
*Raised the sleeve cap 1″ (it was much too flat once I narrowed the shoulder)
*If I made this again, I’d use a fitted shoulder and standard sleeve. As much as I want to like the dropped shoulder, I don’t and think a fitted shoulder would give a neater, slimmer appearance to contrast nicely with the front drape.
*Eliminated the crossover bands. They are supposed to control the drape but I’d rather train the folds (much as you would a drapery or Roman shade) than have to fuss with them. If your fabric refuses to be trained, a few well-placed, hidden stitches would do the job.
All in all, it’s a wonderful pattern to showcase a double-sided fabric or even a bulky sweater knit. I’m very happy with the embellishment. It gives me that over-the-top look that attracted me to the original jacket without being stiff or heavy. I rarely embellish anything so this was a fun departure from my usual work.
Some of you have asked about the hot-fix studs. They are 10mm silver donuts and 10mm grey squares that I purchased from Qiagraphix on Ebay. I highly recommend them! Their prices are excellent and I received my order in two days (from California, no less!). BTW, so you don’t overorder like I did, you need 84 10mm studs (placed close together) per yard, per row.
So, what’s next? Well, I’m trying to decide between the leather jacket and the navy duffle coat…
I am really enjoying my mini-sewcation and, despite a slow start, actually accomplished quite a lot this weekend. A couple of people had asked about the sizing of this pattern and, yes, it is a tall. I had to take 2 inches out of the length of the torso and I also narrowed the shoulders by an inch. I know they are supposed to be dropped but they were a little overwhelming on my short frame. I haven’t cut the sleeves out yet but it looks like I’ll be taking 2″ out in length there as well.
The body goes together easily and quickly but, of course, I had to make it harder by flat-felling most of the seams. Not only does it look nice inside and out but the flat-felling also adds a little structure to the wool crepe. I can’t remember if I mentioned this in a previous post or not, but I prewashed and dried the fabric three times. The texture is absolutely wonderful but since I have a front-loading washer it is naturally not as fulled as it could have been in a washer with an agitator.
I added 5/8″ to all outside edges and turned it towards the trim side and hand-stitched it down. In the front where the collar turns, the trim/hem must change direction so I staystitched and clipped that spot so that all of the hemming is hidden under the trim.
Speaking of hand-sewing, I did an awful lot of it on this jacket! Normally I do very little handsewing, only when it adds something to the garment. I don’t like to do it as a work-around. In this case, machine stitching the petersham to the garment left it too stiff so I decided to attach it with a hand-felling stitch instead. Many episodes of CSI later, I’m glad I did. I should mention that the pattern calls for 2″ wide petersham and I accidentally purchased 1.5″ (forgot my glasses again!) which really worked out perfectly. I think the 2″ would have been much too heavy.
I shopped around quite a lot for trims last week. Not only did I not find anything that I really loved but, due to the yardage needed, anything decent-looking would have been cost-prohibitive. I was looking for better than decent (more like over-the-top) and those trims started at $50/yd, eek! So, I decided to use hot-fix studs which give me lots of impact, are reasonably fast to attach and quite lightweight. Plus, mitering the corners is so easy (too bad they cover up my pretty petersham miters!).
Tomorrow I will finish attaching the studs and then cut and set the sleeves. I’m pretty pleased with this so far!
I have always said that, when it comes to printing .pdf patterns, I need a remedial class. No matter what I do, the patterns never seem to print out at the correct size and I waste hours of time, kill a tree or two, and end up with nothing. So, years ago, I filed .pdf patterns in my Life’s Too Short folder and moved on. Until today, that is. But then, who could blame me? How could I pass up this little bit of deliciousness on Burda Style?
Oh sure, I could have found something similar in my vast pattern collection or just drafted it myself but I wanted *this* pattern. So, patiently I sat printing out test square after test square until I got it just right. Twenty-eight pages later, I am ready to tape! I don’t think I’ll be making a habit of this but I’m happy that I was able to get it right (or so I hope!).
Now, I just need to find the proper over-the-top trimmings and put this one in my jacket queue.
1/5/11 ETA: Okay, I feel like an idiot! Elizabeth commented that she thought this jacket was in the Burda Style magazine a few months ago. I didn’t remember seeing it but I had misplaced both 9/2010 and 10/2010 so I tore my house apart last night and and, lo and behold, there it was in the October issue. Looking at the photo now I can see why it wasn’t very memorable. I think this may be one of the worst garment photos I’ve ever seen in Burda Style. It looks like some weird jacket with suspenders.
I have decided to make this in black wool crepe which I’ve now washed and dried three times – it’s so yummy soft now! I bought the petersham ribbon today but I’m really going to have to put my thinking cap on when it comes to the embellishments. This requires nearly 6 yards of trim and anything as heavily embellished as what Burda used would be cost prohibitive so I’ll have to make my own.