Category Archives: Simplicity

The Year of the Jacket 2010 – in Review

I will probably finish one more jacket yet before the end of the year but I thought it would be fun to look back at what I have already completed. I know some people were concerned about joining the Stitcher’s Guild sew-along for 2011 because they thought they’d have to make 12 tailored, lined jackets – not so! While I love making them, they are not really wearable here during the warmer months. A jacket can be as complicated as a notch-collared style with welts and hand padstitching or as simple as a linen shirt jacket or jean jacket. There are no rules so join in – the more the merrier!


#1 McCall’s 5984


#2 McCall’s 5984


#3 Simplicity 2443


#4 Simplicity 2443 (modified)

#5 Simplicity 7715 (vintage)

#6 Simplicity 2443 (modified)


#7 McCall’s 5860


#8 McCall’s 5635 (modified)


#9 Simplicity 5440 (vintage, modified)

#10 Hot Patterns Riviera Blvd. Jacket


#11 Simplicity 4109


#12 Simplicity 2508

#13 Burda Style 10/2009 #109
duffle coat



Filed under Burda WOF, Hot Patterns, McCall's, Simplicity, Vintage Patterns, Year of the Jacket

Simplicity 2508 – Final!

I am finally finished with this jacket, just in time to wear to the football game tonight and (drumroll, please) I get to move the ticker to twelve! But, as I said before, I will be passing twelve by at least one, probably two pieces. Not only did I really enjoy making all of these jackets but they have also really upgraded my wardrobe. A jacket makes even jeans and a tee look put-together, don’t you think? So, I think I may do another Year of the Jacket in 2011!

I am really pleased with how this jacket turned out. Working with velvet, even cotton velvet, requires more patience than most fabrics but it was worth it.



Here’s a closeup of the collar. These vintage buttons are just perfect for the fabric and style, don’t you think? They’ve been in my collection at least 10 years!


Hang chain:


Question: do you ever do something and look at it later and wonder what in the heck you were thinking? Especially something you’ve done many times before? As I started to hem my jacket last night I realized that I sewed the hair canvas into the hem backwards. Yes, I applied it the way you would a fusible, duh on me. Thankfully, it only took a few minutes to correct.



On the side front I wanted the hem to have the same soft roll but didn’t want the stiffness of hair canvas so I used bias-cut strips of cotton flannel (leftover from my Isabel Marant jacket) instead.


The lining in my jacket is Ambiance with a Tahari logo that I purchased at Mill End in Portland about ten years ago. Since I started using silk (especially charmeuse, yum) for linings I haven’t been as satisfied with Ambiance but I will try to use up what I have so that it doesn’t go to waste.


Next up, a quick duffle coat before I get to the leather jacket. It’s freezing here! This will be a fast project as the pattern is easy and I’m using wool (which practically sews itself). The wool will be a joy after working on velvet, that’s for sure.


I was hoping to emulate a Burberry duffle coat (which is double-sided wool with bound seams) and underline my fabric with a pretty plaid wool but no luck finding anything locally. I did find this yarn-dyed Burberry-inspired lining fabric at Cynthia’s so I will just line as per the pattern.


I found these fabulous horn toggles on Ebay HERE. Six pieces for under $8 with shipping! I ordered them two days ago and they arrived today. They are the real thing and beautiful!


Out of desperation, I bought some JHB horn toggles at JoAnn’s last week and they are real horn but they’re laminated (thin layers of horn are glued together and then shaped) and cost $3.59 each. I liked these from Ebay so much (and the seller was awesome!) that I ordered two more sets because I know I want to make another duffle coat somewhere down the line. The shipping was the same for two sets so it was an even better deal. I’m happy to return the others to JoAnn’s – I really wasn’t happy with the color or the quality anyway.



Filed under Simplicity, Year of the Jacket

Simplicity 2508 – Part VI

Yes, I’m still laboring along on this jacket but I do hope to finish it up tomorrow. All I have left is attaching the collar, front facing and putting in the lining. My next project is going to be a quick wool duffel jacket (it’s cold!) and, after working with cotton velvet, the wool will practically sew itself! Don’t get me wrong, I love velvet but it’s not the easiest thing to tailor.

Last night I made buttonholes in the tabs and pocket flaps and attached the pockets and flaps. And, woohoo, I really did have enough of these vintage buttons!



I also let out the seams in the back to get rid of that pulling. I had tried to nip in the waist a little too much. It looked fine when I pin fit it but I didn’t have the belt pinned on which made a huge difference.



Filed under Simplicity, Year of the Jacket

Simplicity 2508 – Part V

Well, I’m not going to finish today but that’s okay. I changed my mind about a few things as I was sewing so that took extra time ripping and recutting. Also, you just don’t realize what a huge time-saver fusible interfacing is! It takes a lot more time to interface your hems when you have to sew it in by hand. Thanks, Vivian, for gifting me this lovely hair canvas!


I used a firm piece of cotton for the back stay.


The back is finished. I took it in a bit at the waistline and now there are a few pulls but I’ll take care of that later. This fabric is pretty forgiving when it comes to ripping.


I have one front sewn. This is where I started from scratch. I had my fronts finished with the welts and I just wasn’t happy with them. This cotton velvet is pretty thick and there was too much bulk with the in-seam welts. So, I made the decision to redo it rather than just finishing it and being unhappy. I also changed my interfacing plan. Originally, I was just going to put weft insertion onto the facings. Now I put it on the front and underlined the side front with silk organza and will do the same with the facing. I will use patch pockets with flaps instead of the welt pockets. I’ll have to look for some other buttons because I don’t have enough of the vintage ones, darn!


This is why I always like to have extra fabric. I know some people grouse about having to buy full yards from some online vendors but I don’t mind it at all. I often change my mind about things as I’m sewing or don’t like the way something looks (remember all the bias pieces I recut a few days ago?) and need extra fabric to recut. I had an extra yard of this fabric and will end up using every bit of it!


Filed under Simplicity, Year of the Jacket

Simplicity 2508 – Part IV

I didn’t get as much done today as I’d hoped – my washing machine flooded my kitchen! And I had to fix a toilet problem at DS’ restaurant! Please, dear readers, send some positive energy my way because this is freaking me out. :-O

Since I heard it would be in the 40’s on Friday I am determined to get this jacket finished tomorrow (haha, from my mouth to God’s ears). Everything has been fitted and I finished the sleeves tonight (and I heart them!). Tomorrow is another day! Let’s hope it’s a day without plumbing problems. 🙂


I dug through my shoulder pad stash today looking for some thin raglan pads for this jacket. I cannot wait to share with you the 1980s throwbacks I found. Stay tuned!


Filed under Simplicity, Year of the Jacket

Simplicity 2508 – Part III

The sleeve ruffles are done – aren’t they adorable? They will be topped by a buttoned tab, one of my favorite details.


The finishing was very easy as they are fully lined. Although I will probably be using an aubergine lining in the coat I used black here since it will likely be seen and I didn’t want it to compete with the rest of my outfit.


I have the next two days off so I should make some really good progress on this.


Filed under Simplicity, Year of the Jacket

Simplicity 2508 – Part II

I did manage to get everything cut out last night, woohoo! The pattern calls for several pieces to be cut on the bias (which is very cool if you are working with corduroy) but didn’t work out so great with my velvet. The pieces rippled unattractively so I recut them on the straight of grain. Fusible interfacing would have tamed them but this particular velvet didn’t fuse as nicely as I would have liked. Instead, I fused Armo Weft (I still have several bolts of it!) onto cotton batiste and then attached it to my fabric with little dots of glue stick. Actually, my “cotton batiste” was some old Touch of Gold interfacing that I had lying around. I’ll never use it again so I figured this was a good way to use it up.

I completed all of the little detail pieces: the collar, welts, tabs and back belt. Tomorrow I’ll work on the sleeve ruffle and interfacing the body of the jacket. I love getting all the little bits finished and then, voila!, you have a completed garment.


Last week I finally ordered some of the Japanese basting thread that Claire Shaeffer recommends in her new DVD and it arrived today! I found the best price and lowest shipping charges for this at The Sewing Place.


The YKK Excella zips I ordered from Zipperstop also arrived. These will be going on my black lambskin jacket that I hope to make next month.


That’s it for today. I’m saying a little prayer that the rest of my week is b-o-r-i-n-g so that I can finish this project before the weekend!


Filed under Notions, Simplicity, Year of the Jacket

Simplicity 4109

Sorry I’ve been absent for so long but life has been so busy the past few weeks! Not only are my classes going very well (yay! and thank you to all of my wonderful students) but I had to cut and sew the upholstery for my son’s new restaurant to boot. His soft opening was on Friday night and I’m so happy with the way the booths and chairs turned out. And, of course, I’m so proud of him to have done so much and not yet even 23 years old.

Now that the dust has settled (only temporarily as I have to decorate for Christmas!) I decided that I needed a quick and easy project before going back to my outerwear jacket. Of course, my project queue is a mile long but this cute little swing jacket from Built by Wendy caught my eye!



I used a hot pink mid-wale cotton corduroy that I bought from Kashi at Metro a few years ago. I interfaced the facings, both collars, pockets and flaps with Pam’s fabulous Pro Sheer Fusible. The pockets are cut on the bias and just wouldn’t behave (they kept twisting) so I had to fuse them. Which reminds me, lately I’ve been reading so much online about not pressing corduroy. Where in the world did that come from? There is no problem pressing (even fusing!) corduroy. I generally press it from the wrong side or steam it and brush it with my hand or a self fabric scrap from the right side. You do not need a Velva or needle board.


Notice that I omitted the 5th button down the front. You really do need that 1.5 space (at least!) between the last button and the hemline. The 5th button just made the jacket look homemade, IMO. And, ahem, please note that the original BBW jacket in the pattern photo only has 4 buttons with the correct amount of spacing at the bottom so I am at a loss as to why Simplicity added another button.


I had overlooked this pattern in the past but it is a real gem. The back neck facing (not shown) is quite large and nicely shaped, the pocket flaps and collar (there is a separate two-piece bias undercollar) are very well shaped and the sleeves go in without a hitch. The pockets are cut on the bias,


as are the sleeves.


Of course, since I am on a mission to bind everything in sight, I bound all of my seams with a 1″ double-fold binder. I wanted some orange (I’m on an orange and hot pink kick) and found this orange/pink/purple Hoffman Bali batik in my stash, yum.


I started with a size 8 and made a 3/4″ full bust, forward shoulder and sway back adjustments. I went back and forth over whether to move the horizontal dart to a vertical dart and the horizontal dart won out because it’s barely noticeable when the jacket is being worn. A vertical dart in corduroy is a bit more fussy since you want to avoid a wiggly line down the front.

Okay, now it’s back to work on the outerwear jacket in between getting my Christmas decorations up and planning my Thanksgiving menu!

Yes, I know this is jacket #11 (woohoo) but I have at least three more jackets that I want to complete before years’ end! And, lucky me, Ann found a chiffon to match the red charmeuse for my Milly blouse so I have to squeeze that in before the big party!


Filed under Simplicity, Year of the Jacket

Simplicity 2508 – Part I

First, thank you all so much for your wonderful (and plentiful!) comments about my HP Riviera Boulevard Jacket and my Isabel Marant jacket. I am so pleased with the way both of them turned out and can’t wait for cooler weather!

I’m already working on my next project, a new outerwear jacket. This is not something I’ll have a need for too often but I like to be prepared. I’ve chosen Simplicity 2508 and a pretty cotton herringbone velvet from Cynthia’s Fine Fabrics because it will go with just about anything. The vintage buttons (which are black IRL) are from my stash.



After I finish this, I am going to start on a black lambskin jacket (Ann is picking up the riri zippers for me when she’s in NYC next month) and then (hopefully) get back to the Milly blouse. Still no luck finding the red chiffon so I will probably have to go with the taupe charmeuse instead. I’m disappointed but that’s the way it goes.


Filed under Simplicity, Year of the Jacket

Isabel Marant Jacket – Final

Once I got the pockets in, everything went so quickly! I felt like I was trudging along for awhile there and then, bam!, I was finished. The original jacket had that horrible, puckery, pouffy mess around the neckline (you can zoom in at Net-a-Porter to see what I mean) so I knew I’d have to come up with something else. I decided that a simple 5/32″ piping would be the best way to go and I’m pleased with the result. Actually, I’m pleased as punch with the entire jacket!



When I got to the point of choosing a lining, I was going to go with plain old black and then I found this piece of crepe de chine in my lining stash. Realize that, by this time, I was so deep into this project that I could no longer see the forest for the trees and couldn’t decide if this was crazy good or just plain old crazy. So, I consulted with Ann and Phyllis and it was decided that, yes, it was crazy but we liked crazy.


This is proof that, sometimes, you just have take risks (remember, it’s only fabric). Yes, it’s totally crazy and unexpected but I like it. Besides, a little Michelangelo is good for the soul.


I modified the front facing to end at the raglan sleeve seam for a couple of reasons. First, I didn’t want a back neck facing and, second, metallic brocade is scratchy so I wanted as little of it as possible on the inside of the garment. I used plain black China silk to line the sleeves. I thought cutting up the lining fabric motifs for the sleeves would spoil the effect.



Filed under Simplicity, Vintage Patterns, Year of the Jacket