Saturday, January 27, 2007

The jacket slowly progresses

Without thinking too hard, I can come up with many excuses for why this jacket project was stalled most of today (head cold, new doggie playtime, reading some of my "new" sewing books which have been arriving for the past few days) but the main reason is because I was in a state of severe frustration with it and I needed time to work through in my head exactly how to proceed. Let me back up …

Problem #1: I didn't read the cutting chart closely enough when I was first cutting out. If I had, I would've noticed that the back yoke and peplum pieces were to be cut twice. Once as the garment and another time as a facing. Oops.

Problem #2: I was out of fabric. I mean down to tiny scraps. I had to get creative just to cut the 2 collar stands. I definitely didn't have enough for those "new" pieces. Plus, I really didn't want another layer of denim to sew through and even worse, this denim is flocked so I would have Velcro butt if the flocked side is worn against my backside.

Problem #3: I had already sewn the two stands to the two collar pieces, attached the undercollar unit to the jacket body, trimmed seam allowances, and topstitched when I later figured out that the Burda WOF instructions wanted me to sandwich one whole collar unit (top and undercollar) in between the facing and jacket. Too late! So the WOF method was out. As if it was ever actually in, seeing how my eyes cross every time I read those instructions.

So then I decided that maybe I'd just line the whole thing. I was already sewing it together in the way that you would for bagging a lining. Except …

Problem #4: The front facing pieces which incorporate the lapels are "all in one" and thus shaped very oddly and so it would be a big headache to redraft those pieces to match up with the front side panels that would be needed to fully line the jacket. Plus, like the collar pieces, they were already sewn, trimmed, etc. In the pic below, the jacket is turned inside out and you can see the shaping of the front facings.

So, many times today I went up to the sewing room, fiddled with the jacket pieces, thought about solutions (sneezed, coughed) and then left the room. My head was already stuffy with this cold and was too full to process this information. But I got my night-owl second wind a couple of hours ago and I think I've got a workable solution that not only should work but will look good on the inside too.

Below is a pic of the facing pieces the instructions want (right sides together, with the bottom facing just pinned into place to show this). Per Burda, the top facing hem would be turned and handstitched to the bottom seam allowance of the yoke and the peplum facing to the bottom seam allowance of the middle section. Stupid looking, isn't it?

So what I've come up with is this: I'm going to make a middle back section from the lining/facing fabric, quasi-bag the front facings and collar units (already done), and quasi-interline the back. When finished, the shoulder seams will be encased wrong sides together within the back yoke and front facings (like you would a shirt with a back yoke). The back "lining" seam allowances will be sandwiched between lining and garment (IOW wrong sides together), and I'll sew the back lining sideseams and armhole seams with the corresponding jacket seams, like an underlining. I think I'm also going to incorporate a pleat in the middle section of the back to allow for spread when wearing it. The peplum is semi-bias so it will have some give. It's too late to incorporate a pleat in the back yoke but my posture is pretty darn erect so I don't think that area will be a big problem. But if it is and it rips, I'll just deal with it later.

So there you have it. Progress, very little. ;-)


  1. Urrrrrrggggh! But having a blog and broadcasting to the world helps keep you motivated, doesn't it? Looks like you came up with some creative solutions that are better than Burda's :) I have the same hiatus now with pants I'm tissue-fitting. I began to wonder... how does Debbie fit herself so well? It's such an annoying process sometimes! You must be really patient.

  2. Yes, the blog (and posting in public in general) is very motivating. As for pants, I don't tissue fit them. I cut a full muslin. Pants are so quick to cut and sew for testing that it's just not worth wrestling with the tissue. And it's not patience that keeps me going because I am so NOT a patient person. Rather it's obstinance and OCD. ;-)

  3. If you walk away from the problem you can usually come up with a solution with a fresh mind. Which you did! I try to find better ways to sew BWOF after reading through the instructions. But if I want to use them or at least partially I scan and blow them because I have problems reading them too. I was always taught to keep the garment flat for as long as possible but Burda doesn't seem to have heard that little tidbit!
    Keep going it is looking good.

  4. Whew! I would have totally given up by now, but that's why I have a gazillion UFOs. Sigh.

    Whatever trait you have that makes you keep trudging through, I admire it! I have no doubt that the jacket will be well worth all your time and efforts!

  5. Debbie, I think this post is yet another example of why it's important to think through the construction of any garment. Pattern instructions present only one way of doing things and don't take into account variations in fabrics, etc. It's probably best to use the instructions only as suggestions.

  6. Velcro Butt? You have a problem with this? You crack ME up!
    It's really coming together great. I know, I's been alot of work/headache, but it IS going to pay off in the end and you're going to have a GREAT looking jacket!! Hang in there and keep posting, for goodness sake!!
    PS. I've been home with bronchitis since Wed. Now you know how I posted 9 reviews on Fri!!! Take care of your head cold.


Thank you for each and every comment. I appreciate them all, but I have to be honest and let you know that I'm usually bad about answering questions. I hope you understand that there just isn't enough time in the day to do everything I want to do.

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