Sunday, 27 July 2014

Jackie Coat Sewalong - Important correction about interfacing!

One of the benefits of a ssllllllooooowwwwww sewalong is that there is plenty of time to get things just right.  I noticed in the Jackie instructions, the designer specified not medium weight interfacing, but lightweight, so I asked for some more information about this, especially as in my post about interfacing I recommended a number of medium weight interfacing options (which is what is awesome about indi pattern companies - you can ask a question and will get an answer right from the source within often minutes, its just great customer service!). 

Lena provided the following very helpful clarification:

"I chose lightweight interfacing because I didn't want to change the hand of the fabric, I just needed to add a bit of stability. The fabric I used was very soft and drapey, but heavy and with time under its own weight it would deform. So mostly I used the interfacing not to change the fabric, but to "hold it together" better. It is much different from the tailored jacket sewing, when the goal is to make the fabric to look more like a shell."

This makes so much more sense to me and so I have edited my original interfacing post to clarify this.  Your exisiting interfacing may still be perfect, it depends on your fabric.

But the new links to the lightweight interfacing options, which would be particularly important for your jacket fronts are: 

For Australia - 

Pitt Trading or The Fabric Store - Just ask for the professional grade interfacing lightweight suitable for using with a raglan sleeve coat that you do not want to add any stiffness to or change the fabric and they will send you the right one.

You also should get good recommendations from places like Tessuti Fabrics who sell online these lightweight options: the white one is here, the black one is here.

Another excellent source for quality interfacing for Sydney is EM Greenfields, which is a sewing supply wholesaler but they do sell by the metre to the public. They ship to anywhere in the world and if you send an email to them detailing what you are after (a good quality lightweight woven fusible interfacing suitable for jackets/coats with drape) they will be happy to help out.

For the US readers - 

Fashion Sewing Supply sells high quality professional weft interfacing.  The lightweight interfacing I think would be suitable for our purposes for the jacket fronts is here

Another recommended source is A Fashionable Stitch.

As I mentioned in my previous interfacing post: independent sewing companies that will be able to offer you advice about your particular fabric and project and recommend the best choice for you.  It's the kind of service that you don't find in the larger chain stores and why I try to buy from these places.  If you are not sure, phone before you order and have a chat, or order a swatch and test it on your fabric to be sure you are happy before placing your order.

There is still plenty of time to be sure you have the right interfacing - I  actually used my medium weight one on a test jacket front and it was too stiff but my lightweight one was perfect so it pays to test a couple of options on a largish swatch and handle it a bit to see which one works best for your project.   As mentioned above, your exisiting interfacing may still be perfect, it depends on your fabric.  In my case I needed to go lighter than I originally thought to maintan the hand/drape of my fabric.

I hope this helps and if you have any questions, just leave a comment.

You can find all the posts of the sewalong here.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Jackie Coat Sewalong - Changing to a centre front opening and rounding the Collar

For my rounded collar points, I just used my french curve to draw a curve that I like and trimmed it.

Very easy.  I want a slightly different collar to my first Jackie, but still wanted the high collar - it is brilliantly warm in cold weather, and especially lovely with a soft coating. I may even wait until I am making the collar before making this adjustment - it is easy when an adjustment is just a trim/taking away fabric.  I can't stick it back on if I change my mind mid-sew, I would have to recut a new collar piece.  In any case, this is the shape I am considering.

Next up: Changing the opening to centre front.  This is also very easy to do and is my last modification to my Jackie.  I love the pattern exactly as is, the asymmetric button closure looks lovely on my first Jackie but I am playing around with this version so I have two distinctly different coats in my wardrobe.

I laid the two front pattern pieces on top of each other and measured the difference in size. For simplicity I am using metric measurements for this post (even though I usually think in imperial).  the difference is 7 cm.  Half that is 3.5 cm (which I think is 1 3/8").

You can see my pencil line on the photo above showing the new line.

On the Right Front pattern piece (#1) I trimmed off 3.5cm.  I also moved back the buttonholes 3.5cm to reposition them the correct amount back from the seam.

I actually checked my change by sticking the cut off piece onto the Left Front pattern piece:

When these pieces are mirrored on top of each other, they are now identical.  I will now cut 2 of this pattern piece rather than cutting one each of Right Front and Left Front. 

For the facing, I took my Right Facing pattern piece (#2) and folded back the same amount of 3.5cm.  I will now cut 2 of this pattern piece instead of cutting one each of the left facing and the right facing.

Everything else stays the same.

That is my final adjustment post.  I hope it is useful to others who may want to make similar changes.  That is what is great about a pattern with excellent "bones" - they become a stepping stone for design, and a great base for whole variety of looks in your me-made wardrobe.

You can view all the posts so far in the sewalong here.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Jackie Coat Sewalong - Lengthening your coat.

The Jackie Coat is a stylish hip length, which has been carefully designed to complement the glove length sleeves.  When speaking to Lena about lengthening the sleeves she stressed the importance of keeping the proportions in balance.  So this post is to be read together with the sleeve lengthening post.  As I am lengthening the sleeves to full length, which for me is 7", I am adding a similar length (8") to the coat to bring it from hip to mid thigh level.  As I am a pear shape and a size 12 in the hips, I am cutting the size 8 for the coat and tapering out to the size 12 at the hemline.  I can always bring it in later if that flare is too much.

 As the pattern pieces are so large I did a simple infographic to demonstate the lengthening process, just click on it to enlarge:

This is different to using the lengthen/shorten lines if you are petite or tall, which is going to be covered soon in a special post by Maria, as she has alot of experience with this adjustment.

So here is what my (well used) pattern pieces are looking like so far:

Front jacket

Back lining
So all I have to do now is convert the opening from an asymmetric button closure to a centered one.  This is very easy to do but I will do a quick post about that and my subtle collar modification tomorrow.

So far we are still in the pattern preparation stage.  Many of you will be making  the Jackie without alterations so most of these posts are not relevant to you yet.  Once we finish with all our pattern prepping, have selected and prewashed/shrunk our fabrics, we will be moving on to taking scissors to cloth.  We are taking a slow approach to the sewalong, coat making is definitely in the "slow sewing" category.

You can view all the posts so far in the sewalong here.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Jackie Coat Sewalong - Pattern Hack! Lengthening the Sleeves

One of the modifications to my second Jackie is to lengthen it - both the sleeves and overall length.

I've been making my pattern alterations this weekend and this post is specifically for the sleeves.

I measured my existing sleeve length on my first Jackie, which sits just below my elbow with the cuff turned back and I need to add 7" or approximately 18 cm of length the get the cuff resting just above my thumb joint.  This will give me another nearly 2" of length when the cuff is left unturned, perfect for when it gets chilly.

The Jackie Sleeve pattern piece looks really long but a large part of the bottom sleeve is for "fold back" allowance.  Because of the size of the actual sleeve I made up a little mock up for pictures as well as some drawings.

 Here are the steps using the little mock up sleeve:

Here is the sleeve as is. The main fold lines are the ones on your pattern piece indicated with the arrows.  You also have a couple of notches that are guides for your folding as well, which I have marked as a red line for clarity.   The lines for the interfacing piece is shown in a light blue.

Cut along the top line.

Use a ruler/straight edge to keep the grain line lined up and insert a filler piece of paper and measure gap to your appropriate amount.  My extension is 7".

Fold the sleeve up along the line at the start/bottom of the two arrows.  This is the fold back for the sleeve hem. Of course, when you are making the actual jacket, the sleeve hem gets folded under and the cuff gets folded "up" but when I took these photos I did them both "up". 

Fold up again for the cuff.  You are are lining up the bottom fold line to the top fold line marked on your pattern piece and shown by the arrows. 

There is your nice cuff, and your pattern edges for this section should all line up nicely in a nice smooth line.

With a ruler/straight edge, draw in the line for the extension sleeve seam.  To keep the line true you will find you will trim off a little off each side of the cuff fold back.  How much you taper in your sleeve is up to you, I only did the bare minimum as I like the full raglan sleeves. 

True your seams/cut off the excess.  You should have a nice smooth line.

Fold you pattern pieces back down and you can see you have lengthened your sleeve and also trued up the cuff and sleeve hem turn backs.

Here is my actual pattern piece lengthened. It's looonnnng.

For the sleeve lining, I just extended it 7" and then laid it over the top of my lengthened sleeve pattern piece to make sure the width matched on both pieces.  And it does.

Here is an infographic of the above if that helps.  Just click to enlarge:


So that is my sleeve extended to full length.  I will show how to extend the coat length in another post, as I think that is long enough for now.  Any questions (or corrections), just leave a comment.

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