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!

January

#1 McCall’s 5984
blueboucle

February

#2 McCall’s 5984
redboucle

April

#3 Simplicity 2443
violetlinen

May

#4 Simplicity 2443 (modified)
whitepique

#5 Simplicity 7715 (vintage)
redwindbreaker

#6 Simplicity 2443 (modified)
tealpique

June

#7 McCall’s 5860
jeanjacket

September

#8 McCall’s 5635 (modified)
anorak

October

#9 Simplicity 5440 (vintage, modified)
isabelmarant

#10 Hot Patterns Riviera Blvd. Jacket
riviera

November

#11 Simplicity 4109
corduroyjacket

December

#12 Simplicity 2508
velvetcoat

#13 Burda Style 10/2009 #109
duffle coat

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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.

front

back

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!

collar

Hang chain:

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.

hem1

hem2

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.

hem3

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.

lining

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.

dufflecoatpattern

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.

fabriclining

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!

toggles1

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.

toggles2

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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!

button

pocket

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.

backbelt

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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!

hem

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

backstay

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.

backbelt

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!

front

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!

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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. 🙂

sleeves

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!

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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.

sleeveruffles

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.

rufflelining

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

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Simplicity 2508 – Part II

OMG, I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since I posted! But, I wasn’t worried about not sewing because I had this awesome sewing weekend planned starting the day after Thanksgiving. Yep, just me, my jammies and my sewing machines! Alas, the Gods had other plans. Here’s the short version:

*No electricity until 11 a.m. on Thanksgiving
*Kitchen sink and dishwasher backed up, greasy water all over floor
*Snaked pipes so many times I know their twists and turns intimately
*Wash dishes in the tub
*Replace disposal
*Call plumber to snake from roof
*Dishwasher broke, spent entire morning trying to fix to no avail
*Eat dinner on paper (gasp!) plates again

I finally threw my hands up just after lunch today (yes, this drama lasted all weekend!) and headed to my sewing room to, FINALLY, work on my velvet jacket. I don’t care that dishwasher parts are all over my kitchen floor. Watch me ignore them for the rest of the week as I am blissfully holed up in my sewing room. 🙂

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.

velvetjacket

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.

bastingthread

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.

zips

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!

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