Tag Archives: jacket

A Linen Jacket for my Friend: Simplicity 8172

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A Linen Jacket for my Friend: Simplicity 8172

It’s not too often that I sew for someone else, but today’s project is one of those rare ones.  I can probably count on one or two hands the people I’m willing to sew for, and my friend Jo-Alice definitely makes the cut.  If I listed all of her wonderful qualities, this blog post would become a book, but let’s just say that she’s one of those rare people who manages to be both very real and very loving—not an easy feat.

A Spring Jacket in Irish Linen:  Simplicity 8172

When she mentioned that she liked some of the views of Simplicity 8172 after I made it last year, I mulled it over and then asked her if she still liked the pattern and would want me to make one for her.  She said she did still like it, and after I convinced her that I really wanted to make her something for her birthday, she agreed.  Being a maker of things herself (you can see some of her pottery and knitting here), she knows the time that goes into creative projects, and she didn’t want to pull me away from my personal to-make list, but this was a gift I was happy to spend the time on.

A Spring Jacket in Irish Linen:  Simplicity 8172

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A Spring Jacket in Irish Linen:  Simplicity 8172

I found some beautiful Limerick Linen by Robert Kaufman Fabrics at Pintuck & Purl as well as a floral rayon by Rifle Paper Co. for Cotton + Steel (this one I think?).  Jo-Alice chose View C, because it had some nice waist shaping, and I made a muslin out of an old sheet to check the fit.  We thought we were going to have to shorten the pattern, but the muslin showed that the length was good as drafted.

A Spring Jacket in Irish Linen:  Simplicity 8172

It was important to think about seam finishes on this project since the pattern doesn’t always specify what you should use.  Because the linen was on the lighter side, I chose to use French seams throughout.

A Spring Jacket in Irish Linen:  Simplicity 8172

The fabric itself is a slightly loose weave, which made it a bit shifty, but it was such a beautiful fabric, that I loved working with it regardless.  I kept my eye on things to make sure that everything stayed on-grain, and it was fine.

A Spring Jacket in Irish Linen:  Simplicity 8172

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A Spring Jacket in Irish Linen:  Simplicity 8172

I decided to make my bias tape from the rayon which, admittedly, I stalled on.  I really wanted to teach myself how to make continuous bias tape, but I was intimidated by learning a new process.  My co-worker, Bea, an accomplished quilter, gave me a few tips on using starch on my fabric, which was the push I needed to keep going.  She let me borrow some Linit starch, which she said to mix 1:1 with water in a spray bottle.

A Spring Jacket in Irish Linen:  Simplicity 8172

Next she told me to spray the back of the fabric (testing in a small area first) and then press the fabric.  I didn’t use steam.  This stiffened the fabric enough to make it really easy to work with.  It was still flexible, but wasn’t overly shifty or slippery.  After that, I used the tutorial for making bias tape in Learning to Quilt:  A Beginner’s Guide by Lori Yetmar Smith.

A Spring Jacket in Irish Linen:  Simplicity 8172

I made single fold bias tape to the size I needed using a bias tape maker (I got assorted sizes on Amazon—similar to these).  One yard of 44″ wide fabric make A LOT of bias tape.  I definitely could have used less, but you don’t know until you try.  And…it’s not like I mind having all this beautiful leftover bias tape.

A Spring Jacket in Irish Linen:  Simplicity 8172

While my bias tape was uniform on the visible side, the edges that were folded under weren’t perfectly even.  To help myself out when applying it, I sewed a line of basting stitches 3/8″ from the edge where I was going to attach the bias tape since that was the seam allowance there.  Then I lined up the folded edge with my basting stitches so that everything would look nice and even.

A Spring Jacket in Irish Linen:  Simplicity 8172

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A Spring Jacket in Irish Linen:  Simplicity 8172

The one area where I wasn’t quite sure what seam finish to use was the cuffs.  I did a quick experiment with some scrap fabric just to see if all those layers would be too bulky, but with the lighter weight of the linen it seemed OK to me, so I was able to use French seams there as well.

A Spring Jacket in Irish Linen:  Simplicity 8172

Overall, this was a very simple and pleasant project.  I was worried at the end that the fit would be different than it had been on the muslin, but Jo-Alice loved it, and it looked beautiful on her.  I like this longer view much better than the short view (View A) that I chose the first time I made this.  And, although I told her that she didn’t have to pose for blog photos, she has always been a huge supporter of my creative projects and assured me that she was more than willing.  She makes a great model.  We had lots of fun shooting these pictures even though it was gray and rainy out.

A Spring Jacket in Irish Linen:  Simplicity 8172

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A Spring Jacket in Irish Linen:  Simplicity 8172

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A Spring Jacket in Irish Linen:  Simplicity 8172

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A Spring Jacket in Irish Linen:  Simplicity 8172

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A Spring Jacket in Irish Linen:  Simplicity 8172

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A Spring Jacket in Irish Linen:  Simplicity 8172

 

 

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Sapporo Coat in Wool

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Sapporo Coat in Wool

Today’s post is almost the last winter clothing post.  (Oh, wait.  I just realized I’m sewing sweatshirts right now.  Well…this is one of the last ones I sewed during the winter.)  I saved this one for early spring because it’s a great transitional garment…the Sapporo Coat from Papercut Patterns.

Sapporo Coat in Wool

This is a pattern I have had my eye on for awhile, so I put it on my Christmas list, and my husband was kind enough to order it for me from Pattern Review. (He’s the best.)  Papercut always has really interesting patterns, and this one is no different.  Cocoon coats are sort of a funny shape, but I like trying new types of clothing, and the possibility of color-blocking and highlighting the cool seamlines really drew me in.  It was an added benefit that I had fabric in my stash that I could use, so I didn’t have to get any new fabric for this.

Sapporo Coat in Wool

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Sapporo Coat in Wool

I chose gray and black wools from my stash for the outside with a polyester lining.  The wool was given to me by friends ages ago, and the lining was purchased for another project, but never got used.  It’s originally from Fabric Place Basement in Natick, MA.

Sapporo Coat in Wool

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Sapporo Coat in Wool

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Sapporo Coat in Wool

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Sapporo Coat in Wool

When choosing a pattern size, I nearly always have to grade up a size for the waist and hip.  According to my measurements, I should have done that for this pattern as well, but it’s not the easiest pattern to do that with, so I went with my bust size (S/M) and hoped for the best.  It helps that this coat is oversized and meant to be worn open.  I think it turned out alright.

Sapporo Coat in Wool

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Sapporo Coat in Wool

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Sapporo Coat in Wool

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Sapporo Coat in Wool

The sewing itself was pretty easy and enjoyable.  I saw online that many people used different tailoring techniques and interfacing to make this more like a coat, and less like a lightweight jacket, but I decided to mostly trust and follow the instructions as written.  The one thing I did change was the sleeves.

Sapporo Coat in Wool

The pattern has you line the sleeves with the same fabric as the outside, but I noticed that the seam that joins the sleeves to the body really stood out from the body on many Sapporo coats that I saw online, and I hoped that using lining in the sleeve would soften that area so it didn’t stand up so much.  It didn’t actually have the effect I had hoped for, but I did learn how to bag a lining after a few missteps.

In order to line my sleeve, I created a facing for it using the sleeve pattern piece and then a shorter piece for my lining.  In step 12, I pinned my lining to my sleeve facing and stitched, thinking I could flip everything right side out.  I came out with a tangled mess, so I consulted the Easy Guide to Sewing Linings by Connie Long, and followed her directions.  That helped me fix everything.  I just have to say…bagging a lining is MAGIC!  I can’t even remember how I did it, but now I know where to find the information (and you do, too!)!  (By the way–that link is to an eBook, but you can find used copies of this book pretty easily.  Mine came from Amazon, I think.)

Sapporo Coat in Wool

I really like this strange and interesting coat.  I like the hidden pockets and the unique shape.  I wasn’t sure if I would like the shorter sleeves, but I do.  They work with the silhouette.  And I LOVE the color-blocking.  Originally I had planned to do a lot of topstitching, but decided against it when I started making the jacket.  I still think it would be interesting to add topstitching near the seam lines and edges, but that will have to be an experiment for another time.  The top of the collar seems like it wants to roll out, so topstitching would probably help with that.

Sapporo Coat in Wool

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Sapporo Coat in Wool

It will be interesting to see if this jacket becomes a staple of my wardrobe or more of an occasional piece.  I really enjoyed making it and would consider making it again someday.  One of my goals is to make more jackets in general, so this is a good start.

The Refashioners 2015 Contest Submission

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It’s finally time to show you all my secret project!  Are you ready?  I’ve been putting a ton of time in on my submission for the 2015 Refashioners Challenge, and I finished on Tuesday morning at 1 a.m.  Hooray!

Oh!  You want to know what I actually made?  That does seem important!  Here it is:  I made a jacket using Simplicity 1699 as my base pattern.

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The challenge was to make something out of a men’s button down shirt.  Several bloggers were asked to participate and show off their refashions.  Then the contest for the general public began.  I like turning old things into new things, but the original deadline wasn’t one I could meet.  However…when the deadline changed to September 27, I was IN!

Now you know there must be an onslaught of pictures.  Ready?

I began my process with Simplicity 1699 and four men’s button down shirts from the thrift store.

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

 

I wanted a fairly simple silhouette for my garment so that I could do some interesting piecing with the fabric.

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

My husband helped me take a screen shot of the line drawings on the fabric so I could draw in style lines.  I lengthened the sleeves from 3/4 to long and then worked on color blocking on the body and sleeve.  You can see that faintly on the tracing paper.  I put a lot of thought into how the various parts would interact with one another visually from different angles.

I also decided I wanted all my seams covered in some form or other.

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The original sleeve placket from the cuffs became a secret detail on the inside.

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

It took a little head scratching to figure out the sleeves because I also decided that I wanted to learn how to put in some exposed zippers for added interest (a.k.a. “flair”).

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The pattern originally had pleats in the shoulders, which just seemed off with the look of the jacket.  They always bothered me, but I didn’t know how to get rid of them.  When I asked for critiques from my husband and my Moms’ Group (we’ll call them my “design group” from here on out 😉 ), they all agreed the pleats would have to go.  Luckily, my friend Maggie from Pintuck & Purl knew what to do and helped me understand the steps I needed to take to chop off those pleats!

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

I also wanted to learn to do bound seams for the insides of the sleeves.

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The sleeves were a ton of work, but I am so happy with how they came out.  Look at the finished sleeve binding!  I love it!  I can definitely see why people love this finish in jackets.

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

As for the body of the jacket, I added color blocking for interest and practicality.  I was worried that I might not have enough fabric in each shirt to do a solid color.  I’m so glad I did the color blocking.  I love how is looks and it’s so awesome when you line of those angles just right.

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

I also added a lining to the body, per the pattern instructions, which I did manage to get out of one shirt.  I even preserved the pocket in just the right spot.  It was nice to have that lining to cover all the seams in the main part of the jacket.

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The back seam also required some attention when, after piecing it, I realized that the button placket on the seam did not look as cool as I’d thought it would.

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

My solution was to add a strip of red, which also made a nice design detail.  I basted it with a washable glue stick (So awesome!  You should try it!), and then topstitched it.

The Refashioners Challege 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

After some thought and discussion with my design group, I realized the front needed…something.  How about some more exposed zippers?!  Perfect!  I was learning how to put them at an edge; why not in the middle of fabric, too?

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

It got pretty crazy over here.  At one point, I even had two machines going so I could go back and forth between them without changing thread.  I always thought that was crazy, but…it’s more like CRAZY AWESOME!

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

When I finally finished and cleaned up on Tuesday (not at 1 a.m.–after I had actually slept), I made myself a little pattern envelope for all my pieces.  It seemed like this was now its own pattern, rather than a slightly altered version of the original.

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

Because I’m sure you haven’t had enough pictures yet, here are the fancy, polished-looking ones, so you can get a full view of everything.

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

How about some outside shots?  Let’s do the calm ones first.  🙂

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

What do you think?  Reversible?  I’ve had several people say yes.

And now for how I really feel about this project:

The Refashioners Challenge 2015

I’m hoping to revisit that face (with happy jumping and screaming) if I win, but either way, I decided that I needed to define how this could still be successful no matter what.  In order to do that, I needed to create a garment that I would love and be proud of whether or not it was chosen as the winning piece.  I’m happy to say that I’ve met that goal!  I really like this jacket.  It’s some of my very best work.  I didn’t cut corners, and I made something of a higher quality than most of my past makes, not to mention all the new skills I’ve learned.  Of course, I still hope to win the contest, too.  🙂  Keep your eye on the Makery blog to see how things progress.

Oh!  And of course I’ll update you, too.  🙂