I have quite a few jackets and coats lined up in my pattern stash / ‘to make’ queue. I’ve been watching various online courses on Craftsy about tailoring jackets and all the techniques involved, as well as reading up on tips from various sewing blogs. I also bought this book:
So I thought it was about time I dived on in! It is also one of the patterns on my make nine list, so it will be a doubly satisfying tick when I finish this.
I am starting with the simplest of my jacket patterns though, with no collar, no closures, three quarter sleeves with no plackets and a cropped length. It is the jacket that comes as part of pattern New Look 6390.
It has the slight feel of a Chanel style French jacket but with more shaping via princess seams, which will be better for me than the boxier shape.
The pattern is for a lined jacket but not including the sleeves. I want the whole thing lined so will add a sleeve lining as well.
I also want to bag the lining as this is a technique I want to learn. From reading up on it, you need to have a neck facing to be able to bag the lining, which this pattern doesn’t actually have. I therefore redrafted the back piece to create the neck facing, which I think will give it a better finish and more structure anyway.
Plus I added in a 1 inch pleat to the centre of the back lining, which is the advice for the best linings, giving more movement and wearing space.
I also did a two inch FBA (so 4 inch in total) as this pattern doesn’t go up to my size so I needed to increase that. Plus I usually need to do one anyway!
The main fabric I’m using is a cheap poly jacquard, £5 for the metre of fabric I need for this jacket. It is a darker navy than I wanted but at £5 a metre I’m not complaining!
And I did actually make up a muslin first! Yay me! I really want to nail the fit of this jacket as I think / hope it will be a really good shape for me and one I can make up in different sorts of fabric to get completely different looks.
As you can see from the pen, I did make a fair few adjustments. The pattern size I cut was basically too big, which was a nice surprise! I had to reduce the FBA down a bit and remove some from the side seams. The shoulders are also sitting out a little wide but I think a small shoulder pad will sort that out and again shoulder pads are something I want to learn how to insert.
It looked much better after those adjustments. I think the sleeves may need some alterations too but I decided to press on with making the wearable toile, where I should be able to see the required changes more easily.
So on to the cutting out. I’m using a lovely dusky lilac for the lining.
There is a lot of pressing involved in jacket tailoring! My trusty ham and seam roll (sounds a bit like the girls’ lunch…) are being well used.
I tried the garment on as it was coming together, to check the fit. Turns out it was still too big and not the fitted look I was after. So I made more adjustments by pinning the jacket.
Basically, the princess seam didn’t sit in the right place. I would need to move that seam across including removing some fabric from the seam where the centre front meets the side front and also removing about a further inch from both sides. I also would need to move the front opening edges in by around an inch.
Having worked out what changes were needed and pinned / marked them on the fabric with chalk, I then unpicked the seams involved and worked out how to to recut the relevant bits (a bit tricky on the princess seams!). Then I transferred the adjusted marks to the pattern itself so it is ready for the next one.
It looked much better after this last round of adjustments.
I then trimmed the unsewn facing and lining pieces the same way – much easier doing these whilst still flat!
And so onto constructing the rest of the jacket.
A few glitches, like forgetting about the allowance for the pleat I had added to the back lining and just sewing it in flat to the facing. Whoops. I contemplated unpicking it all but I didn’t think the lining would stand up to that very well so I recut more back lining and neck facing pieces and resewed them. Correctly this time.
I also have a sneaking suspicion I may have sewn the main fabric sleeves on backwards. Ie the back of the sleeve is facing the front. It isn’t obvious and I’m not completely sure that’s what I’ve done. Basically I mistakenly cut an extra notch in the front of the sleeve when cutting out so it ended up with a double notch the same as the back of the sleeve. Hence two double notches instead of one single and one double! As there was a couple of days gap between the cutting and sewing of this I forgot about the notch issue and only remembered after the first sleeve was sewn in.
Anyway, it isn’t too obvious and lesson learnt!
So it has all come together well so far (above issues aside!).
I’m not sure whether to use the shoulder pads or not. I may leave them out this time as the jacket isn’t designed for them and I don’t want to inadvertently make the armsythes too high / tight. I will wear this one around for a bit to get a proper feel of it and then decide what to do on version 2.
And now for the biggie! The final step of attaching the lining to the main jacket, by bagging it.
I am still slightly unclear on how much shorter I should cut the lining so that when attached it acts to pull the main fabric up and under, hiding the lining. I think 5/8ths of an inch is the right amount, but we shall see!
I’ve also adjusted the sleeve hem lining to remove the hem allowance of 1 1/4 inches and then add on the 5/8ths seam allowance. Again, I’m hoping this is right because of course none of this is covered by the pattern instructions. Winging it, is the phrase…