Last week I began teaching a class at Sew With Vision on the Jean Jacket (V1036 – Sandra Betzina, Today’s Fit).
In our first class we spent time tracing the pattern pieces [HINT: rough cut each complete piece in all sizes, with a highlighter mark the size corresponding to your largest measurement, tape the rough cut piece to your cutting surface, place tracing paper (I find the paper used in the doctor’s office for examining tables excellent – crisp and sturdy) over pattern and tape corners (to prevent paper moving while you’re tracing), then trace the size you’ve marked, including all markings. In another highlighter colour, trace those areas of the pattern which correspond to your smaller measurements. With a pencil use a French curve to link the different sizes as smoothly as you can]. Then cut out the traced pattern pieces (return the original pieces to the envelope uncut!).
Next we joined the traced paper pieces together – pinning on seam allowances – and checked the fit. We made adjustments wherever they were needed (shoulder, princess seams, side seams). We marked the pinned adjustments on the paper pieces, and retraced the pattern pieces if the adjustments were substantial.
We spent the afternoon practicing sewing technique – sewing curves (I’d precut the lower sleeve elements of the jacket which has sharply rounded curves to sew), edge stitching (using a narrow-edge foot), and top stitching – in preparation for constructing the jacket itself. (The photo below shows a finished sleeve bottom and collar for my jean jacket.)
Homework for the second class: cut out fronts, backs, collar, front pocket, front facing, front side lining, back lining, back side lining, and back yoke. My instructions were to leave the sleeves uncut until we had a chance to fit the jacket body. If we need to make substantial adjustments to the shoulders the sleeve pattern will need to be modified…
Sew the fronts, the backs (without edge/top stitching so that size adjustments can be made easily). Because I know my jacket fits (having already made two), I did the edge and top stitching as I went along.
Then I made shoulder pads using a technique I found in The Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing, 1979, pp: 376-377.
Because the two outside front pockets are decorative (not useful) I want the gals to learn how to construct a hidden zippered front pocket which gets inserted between the front facing/front side lining panels. I did one side, and set up the second. I prepared instructions for the gals to follow since this pocket is not included in the original pattern.
I also shared a great article from Threads Magazine – Armani Jackets: The Inside Story which shows in detail the internal construction of an Armani jacket. (Click here for the original link to the article online.)
Here are some useful links for sewing techniques used in constructing this jacket:
Richard The Thread (this is the only source I could find for ice wool/woven lambswool for sleeve headers – by far the best material for this job – expensive, but it shapes wonderfully well and a yard will last 30 years!)
I’ll share more as we continue building our jean jackets over the next three weeks.