2012 Spring 6PAC: Blue Jacket

SO I”m starting my blue jacket.   I knew I wanted to make a blue jacket as soon as I found this fabric on the sale table nearly 2 years ago.  I have an interesting denim-y jacket now. But It ‘s a good 12 years old and was created with fast tailoring techniques.  Tailoring short cut have some real advantages.  I’d never get a real Channel type jacket done. Never. For most of my working life traditional tailored jacket would have taken about 2 months. But when I started incorporating some tailoring short cuts, I could complete a jacket in about 2 weekends.  The downside is that every time I substitute a traditional technique, I seem to degrade the jacket either in appearance or life span.  So time for a new one.


I believe the fiber in my jacket is all cotton. It is an upholstery fabric and like many upholstery fabric has a coating on the back side.  This coating would cause the fabric not be rated as 100% cotton and it would certainly skew any burn test I made at home.  So I’m treating it as 100% cotton.  I’d say it was a jacquard weave, but it has not floats.  It has a wonderful texture.  The background is a plain weave that is overlaid with solid dime sized circles of various weaves.  No other fibers. No other colors.  It is definitely a tight weave but a medium to heavy weight fabric.  I mean it’s not as heavy or stiff as a canvas but definitely more body and heft than a dress wool crepe.  It is such a dark navy, that the fabulous weave can’t be seen until you are up close.  For that reason, I’m showing a second photo of the same swatch but greatly lightened.

I wanted to use Louise Cuttings A Cute Angle jacket pattern:


I love the collar, just love it. But I hesitated. I have just spent weeks measuring, remeasuring, and making muslins.  I’m really not in the mood for a lot of work just getting the tissue ready for use.  Secondly, see those lovely points at the bottom of the jacket?  I’ve got a couple of vests which feature similar ideas i.e. the front hem is lower than the back and comes to a point.  What I’ve noticed is catching a glance of myself in the mirror and thinking I’m standing stooped over.  So I stop correct my posture, and damn I still look just a bit stooped over. It looks great straight on from the front or back, but looking at the side, I look stooped over.  I think this is a result of my actual posture (created from 40 years bent over a desk) combined with the lower front which makes the back look like it is rising.  My conclusion is I need to stay away from garments with front hems greatly lower than back hems. (I have a blouse pattern that I’m anxious to use because it has a much longer back peplum resulting in the back hem being much lower than the front. I want to see if that ameliorates the stooped over visual.)


So for 2 reasons, I’m hesitating to make the jacket which I really want to make.  My solution was to dig out my trusty Kwik Sew 3386

I’ve had this pattern in my stash for a number of years and used it through several sizes.  It was my choice about this time last year for my Red Jacket.  Happily, I know that the bones of this pattern already fit and satisfy me.  I’ve lengthen the body some; squared off the hem; narrowed the shoulder and made my back waist length adjustment. I skip the fake pockets and usually skip the darts. Funny, I buy patterns that are pretty fitted, but then I sew them semi-fitted.  I’ve never used a belt (probably never will).  This is a one piece sleeve with elbow dart.  Sometimes I make the dart, sometimes I ease the dart.  I decided to forgo the beautiful deep pleat on the CLD pattern and use the center back shaping.  So the back and sleeve are the same as the 3386.  For the front however, I made the pattern sandwich.  I placed the ACP on the bottom,  my 3386 on the top and aligned the two along the center fronts and horizontal balance lines under the armscye.  Then I taped a bit hunk of tissue paper to the top of the 3386.  Sleeve, shoulder side seam and hem were copied from the 3386, neckline and center front were copied from ACP.


That was it for creative work.  After that I spent close to 2 hours cutting first the fashion fabric, stacking it and hanging in the closet; ditto the lining and finally the interfacings.  I wanted to take this jacket up a step from the jacket in the closet and even last year’s Red Jacket.  These existing jackets have the huge facings which at one time were promoted byNancy Zieman.  They don’t have linings and the interfacing is all on the facings with a scant 1-1/4″ line in the hems.  My new jacket will have full linings, front facings; interfacings in the facings, but also the jacket back will be interfaced across the back and shoulders and under the arms; ditto the front which will also have a 3″ wide interfacing extending down the front.  In the hems will be a 3″  strip of interfacing.  I am using fusible weft interfacings from The Fashion Sewing Supply.  Fusible interfacing is one of the few quick tailoring techniques which do not degrade the jacket.  I should say a Good  fusible interfacings. The stuff FSS sales actually adds to the beauty of the garment and I hope the life.  I do like to use my pinking blade to cut along any lines that will be fused to the interior of the jacket.  Pinking helps avoid that straight line which forms and can’t be gotten rid of.


So change the needles and the thread. I’m ready to begin this jacket.


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