2018-03 March

MAKE 14 – Men’s Casual Jacket – Wearable Toile

  • Pattern – Burda 6813
  • Materials – Denim and Viscose
  • Notions – Bias Binding, Shoulder Pads, Button

 

So, I’d bought these absolutely gorgeous shoes (don’t judge me!)

shoes-1.jpg

in a lovely blue canvas and suede (with dark blue leather on the heel) and decided that I needed to make something to go with them, so decided on a Jacket.  (Trust me, the shoes are blue, I know they probably look grey in the photo….)

I searched for a pattern that I liked and found Burda 6813 online and so I buy it.

Pattern 2

Sourcing the fabrics was a little more problematic as my usual places for buying fabric didn’t have any.  I even went so far as to contact the shoe manufacturer direct to see if there was any way that they would identify the fabrics and the pattern on the lining so I could make a better match.   Sadly the factory declined to reveal this information, so I resorted to buying via the internet.  This isn’t my favourite method as it’s much harder to judge colours and you can’t identify the thickness of the materials – however, as you can see from the feature image, I found a linen, a lovely faux suede (who can afford real suede?) and a leatherette in complimentary blues.

Yes, they are much lighter than the shoes and more blue, but they work nicely with the shoes.

Pattern 1

Having never made a jacket before I was singularly unprepared for the number of pattern pieces that was required – 17 in the packet of which 14 were required for view B – the more casual of the 2 jackets.

I thought that I’d better make a Toile first so as not to waste my precious fabrics – so back to the fabric shop (they know me by name now! lol) and back home with some denim (the weight of which most closely resembled the materials I wanted to use) and a lovely contrast viscose fabric in a subdued pink with blue and red butterflies.  (Neither fabric was particularly expensive; however both were good enough that I could still wear the finished Toile – I hate wasted effort….. 😉 )

Jacket 1

The first bit of construction is quite simple – basically attach the fronts and back together (allowing for the vent at the lower centre of  the jacket) – however, you have cut a slit into the fronts (for the pocket) and have to stitch a dart from the slit (to shape the front of the jacket.  When sewing back to front you have to ensure that your slits are held together and you need a new tacking technique:

Jacket 7

Once you’ve completed that, you then turn your attention to the pockets.   I had to learn several completely new processes and skills for this jacket.  I’d made fake welts before (the SteamGoth jacket) but had never created working welt pockets.  I followed the instructions and was quite happy when I achieved the following result:

Jacket 3

Apologies for the slightly blurry photo, but you can see the welt pocket (the ends are a little rough) and the dark running upwards from the pocket about a third of the way from the left hand end.

From here on in it gets quite a bit trickier.   The collar – oh the collar!  You have an internal and an external collar piece and you also have an internal and an external collar stand.  (This is pretty normal so far!)  However, you are attaching an internal curve to an external curve, which is decidedly tricky to pin together, let alone sew!

To give you an idea of this, draw a curve across a piece of paper, and cut the paper into two halves across the curve line.  Now try and pin the two pieces together as if you were to stitch them so that the raw edges are together……!

Curves 1

In reality, the curves aren’t quite this severe, but it’s still somewhat tricky!  Once this has been done and it’s clipped and pressed, it lies flat and looks great.

Jacket 2

The above shows the inner collar attached to the jacket facings (which become the lapels) and the outer collar attached to the neckline.

Jacket 4

Above you can see the jacket with the facings fully attached and the sleeves inserted.   There are a number of tutorials for this jacket so I’ve not gone into great detail for the Toile.

Finishing Touches on the (wearable) Toile jacket.   The half lining has been added and all the raw seam edges have been finished with bias binding.  I know that a lot of casual jackets are finished in this manner, but for me it’s not ideal.  When I make the full jacket I’m going to fully line it as I prefer that sort of finish.

 

MAKE 15 – Men’s Casual Jacket

  • Pattern – Burda 6813
  • Materials – Linen, Faux Suede, Cotton, Liberty Lawn
  • Notions – Shoulder Pads, Sleeve Heads, Button

I was relatively happy with the Toile – it is at least wearable, although the reverse of the lapels slide around a bit and don’t sit fully flush with the outer lapels.  Now it was time to make the actual jacket.

I’d created an image of how I wanted it to look, to try and match the shoes as closely as possible.

Jacket Idea 1

I created this in a simple Word programme, making shapes based on a Jacket template.  The colours come from screenshots of the actual fabrics that I was using, so you can see the linen and the faux suede – the leatherette (that I was originally going to use) and the half lining is a lovely blue Chambray that I was going to use, but am now going to keep for a shirt.

Fabrics 1

You can see how well the fabrics go together and, with the exception of the Chambray, I’d purchased them all online with only the pictures to go by!

I decided that the first thing that I should do is try those tricky collar pieces as these were going to be in the leatherette, and it was quite thick and may not have worked.  I can’t say that it was easy, but I managed to get both upper and lower collars stitched to the stands and topstitched (twin needle again) along the stitch line.

main-31.jpg

Not ideal, but good enough, or so I thought!  Anyway – more of the leatherette saga later…..

If you look at my design, you can see that the fronts and back pieces have a diagonal where the 2 fabrics are joined – I wanted this to reflect the ‘overlaid’ feel of the shoes where the fabrics sit on top of each other rather than flush with each other, so this meant that I was increasing the number of pattern pieces that I needed to cut.

I basically took the pattern pieces and folded along a diagonal until I was happy with the angle.  I then put the pattern piece on the fabric and cut out – however, I added an additional 1.5cm (5/8″) at the fold line to allow for the layering of the fabric.  Once I’d cut one fabric, I then cut the other half of the pattern piece (again adding 1.5cm to allow for the layering of the fabric.

Once both pieces were cut, the linen was interfaced (to match the weight and thickness with the faux suede, and the fabric that was going on the top (in this case the faux suede) was folded (at the 1.5cm point) and pressed along the diagonal.  This was then pinned over the raw edge of the linen and top-stitched with a twin needle using white cotton, to mirror the stitching on the shoes.

main-21.jpg

You can see the effect in the picture above, this is the centre back of the jacket – I was having a little trouble with tension hence the visible stitches in the linen section and I was fractionally out with the alignment. Gutted!  I should have un-picked and re-stitched but I was impatient to get on and didn’t…..

Main 1

Front and back pieces pinned to check that everything would be ok and at this point it was all looking good.  Now it was time to try the pocket welts for only the second time, but with the leatherette – eek!

If I thought that the collar would be the trickiest bit of the Jacket with the leatherette, boy was I wrong!   Pocket welts can be tricky at the best of times – as they need precision to look right and clean and crisp – not easy to achieve with 3mm leatherette.

So, I thought I’d more or less gotten away with it – first picture, then I decided that I’d try and make it look better by going over with a twin needle – not my finest decision to date or my finest hour as you can see in the second image.

I was one un-happy bunny.  So, the leatherette was out – I realised if I’d tried to stitch the collar pieces together no amount of pressing would have made the seams lie flat against each other, I would have had to topstitch along the edge.  That might have sorted the outside seam issue, but joining that material to the faux suede would have meant it would pull and the neckline would be out of shape – time for a re-think!

I also decided to scrap the side piece that I had stuffed up and re-cut a whole new front panel.  This was good because when I came to trial the new welt, I did it on this now scrap piece.

Do you have any idea how many blue fabrics you have to buy before you find the one that is perfect for your collar when you are not using the leatherette??

Turns out the answer is eight!  Yes, Eight!

Main 12

The material I ended up with is actually a cheap pillowcase from a well known supermarket – 2 for £2.  I of course had to interface it to make it thick enough, but the colour was perfect for what I wanted.  I’d also been asking about making welt pockets on the SITUK (Sewing in the UK) Facebook page and was given some top tips.  (Thanks Patricia!)   The Burda patterns calls for 2 pieces to make your pocket welt, a top and a bottom, Patricia gave me a method where you use 1 piece – which gives (I think) a much cleaner and neater finish and is easier to manage.

Main 13

One beautiful welt pocket (even if I say so myself!)  However the issue of the lining still remained.   What on earth was I going to use?  The lining material was needed on the inside of the pockets and I couldn’t really go any further until I’d found it.  Lots of different fabrics had been purchased as ‘potentials’, but nothing was really quite right.

Then I saw the ideal material in a Charity Shop of all places….

Charity!

I found the blue buttons in one Charity shop for £1.45.  I almost missed the fabrics in another charity shop as they were tucked away in a basket – and only just caught my eye as I was leaving the shop.  The fabrics felt like lining material and were ideal for the jacket.   I was originally only going to buy one piece but at only £1.99 per piece, I thought that I should get both as it would be silly not to.  When I got them home I was thrilled to find that each piece was approximately 4 square metres and plenty enough for lining.

I posted my lovely ‘finds’ on the SITUK Facebook page and was told that they were Cotton Lawn and both Liberty prints!  I was flabbergasted (good word!), so of course had to check this out.  It was perfectly true.  The blue is called ‘Elysian’ and the other print is ‘Poppy and Honesty’.  I was advised that these fabrics normally retail at about £20 a metre and were too good to use as lining material – but I’d already lined my pockets with ‘Poppy and Honesty’ so that was that.

Main 7

I am pretty happy with the finished Jacket.  If I was making it again, I would do a few things differently, but overall it was a very successful make.  I achieved what I wanted to do – overlaying fabrics, creating a bespoke statement jacket to go with my shoes.

Picking and using a lining material that most people would not even have considered but that works so incredibly well, that you would think that the fabrics were all designed to go together.

Main 8

I absolutely LOVE this Jacket – and the fact that I made it myself makes it even more special.  In fact I wore it to the wedding of a lovely friend of mine:

bue-jacket.jpg
The Jacket with the Shoes!

 

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