Friday, October 11, 2013

Another contest, a cool jacket, and buttons... the controversy

After finishing up my mini-wardrobe, I decided to check out the next contest that is running.  The October contest is to create a lined jacket.  Perfect, I thought!  I have winter wear and I have rain wear, but I don't really have much in the way of light fall jackets.  That said, I didn't much want to spend a lot of money so I raided my stash and found a heavy red wool that I had picked up from the clearance table of Virginia Marti before they closed and some lovely red leather I bought from Fabric Mart when they were running a sale about a year ago in the EXACT SAME SHADE!  Given that these fabrics were not purchased together, and one was bought online at random, this is an astonishing match. 
The next step was to decide on a pattern.  At my disposal I had one skin that made for less than a yard and just under 2 yards of the wool.  After looking through the many interesting jacket patterns in my stash, I decided to tackle the asymmetrical jacket with overside collar in view B of M5759

This pattern is pretty good and has the potential to be amazing.  I was initially attracted to the asymetry, the (always flattering) princess seams, the two-peice sleeves and the pocket flaps.  That said, I made some alterations to take this jacket from merely pretty good to extaordinary.  I continued the front band along the back of the jacket and altered the "pocket flaps" into full pockets with a double welt and flap. 
After altering the pattern (FBA and adding 2 inches of length to pretty much every relevant peice) and cutting out my fashion fabric, the next step is assembling the front of the jacket by sewing and pressing the front and front-side panels which connect via princess seam.
Note to self and everybody... this is the beauty of working with actual wool.  It stretches.  It shrinks.  It can be shaped by steam. This is just gorgeous fabric to work with.
I then attached the front band (cut from the red leather) to the jacket front.

After the fronts are completely assembled, I also assembled the back.  (More princess seams.)  As I extended the back band,  also sewed the leather band to the back of the jacket.  Once both front and back were assembled, I sewed the shoulder and side seams attaching the front to back.

After the structure of the shell of the jacket was assembled, I tackled the pockets. I had drafted internal pockets which I cut from the lining material.  I then made the pocket flaps from the same wool as the body of the jacket and LOT of interfacing.

I decided to create the welts out of remaining leather scraps.  I cut long 1" strips from the leather, folded them in half and sewed along the seam line.

I then marked the location of the pocket seamline on the outside of the jacket with tailor's chalk.  

I sewed the pocket flap (with previously sewn upper welt) along the seamline. I also lined up the lower welt and stitched it to the jacket shell along the lower seam line.  Meanwhile, I also constructed the inside of the pockets so I could assure that they were attached with the same seam as the welts.  

Finally, I cut the pocket open, flipped the welts to the inside, and  finished the inside of the pockets.  I didn't work on making the inside neat here though.  As a fully lined jacket, I figured nobody would see and it wouldn't much matter.

 I then attached the sleeves.  I am pretty proud of these very neat sleeve caps if I do say it myself.  The trick?  Gather along the edge of the sleeve cap and then baste in along the "bend" of the gathered section.  I've found that even if I am generally using a 5/8" seam allowance, the seam allowance might increase to as much as 1 inch or more at the shoulder seam. 


 Then I added the shoulder pads... I don't usually like shoulder pads, but in this case I thought I'd like the extra structure in the shoulder and I think it was a good call.


I sewed the outside of the collar to the collar stand and attached it to the shell of the jacket.

And then I built the lining...
Finally I attached the lining to the shell along a 5.8" seam line, leaving the center back of the jacket open.

I then hand-sewed the lining to the shell along the center back...

So this jacket is pretty much done.  Now I have to decide what to do about fastenings. On the one hand, I could use large snaps and keep the front visually clean. 

On the other hand, I bought these gorgeous buttons!  They are 24k gold plated and red enamel.  They are interesting.

And the buttons also look good.  So, any input?  Anyone have a strong feeling about buttons v. no buttons?  Please let me know.  I can't enter the contest until I've finished my garment and I'm having some trouble deciding on what said finished garment should look like...

2013 Lined Jacket Contest


  1. I love your jacket! The color and the style is really nice. I'm not sure about the buttons - although they are pretty - I think they blend in with the color of the jacket and in the photos aren't very noticeable. Maybe something in a neutral color (like camel or nude) so they pop?

  2. I agree with Jenny. The buttons are nice, but I don't think they have the chutzpah to stand up to the fabulousness of the red wool and leather. Maybe a bold gold or silver. I know, that's so '80's. Maybe a tortoise shell/amber...

  3. So, if you use buttons would you make in-seam button holes? I like the look of the buttons on the card, but I prefer the clean lines of the jacket without buttons. The leather is the star of the jacket and the buttons just get in the way, IMHO.