This weekend I hope to sew together all the components. I like to make jackets in units, a system which I am sure I have seen in some sewing books.
I tend to sew a jacket using my own mental checklist, no matter what the instructions say. Here is my order of tasks for making a lined jacket. First step, of course is cutting out the fabric.
- Mark tailor's tacks on all pieces, chalk mark wrong side of fabrics
- Apply interfacings
- Jacket fronts - finish welt pockets, bound buttonholes if needed
- Jacket back, sew seams and apply upper back shoulder stay
- Shoulder seams, sew fronts to back
- Attach under-collar, trim and tack down seam allowances
- Sew and press sleeves, set aside, sometimes stay tape on this seam
- Cut out lining - using pattern pieces now removed from fabric
- Attach upper collar to upper lapel, trim and catch-stitch down seam allowances
- Sew collar and lapels together, press and turn
- sew side seams
- attach sleeves, with sleeve head and shoulder pads if required
- sew lining pieces together
- sew in lining, by machine or by hand
- jacket hem, lining hem
- tack lining down at shoulder seams
- machine buttonholes and buttons
- hem sleeves and sleeve lining
- final pressing!
Did I miss anything? whew, it does seem like a lot of steps, but a lined tailored jacket has a lot of components, inside and out. The reason I do the jacket in this order is mostly to be able to work "in the flat", possibly one of my made-up technical terms? But I like to be able to sew the collar/lapel and then do that pressing without the side seams sewn up, which restricts the way I can move the jacket over my ironing board and tailor's ham. Just so much easier. If you are interested in tailoring or just want to make a jacket using a great method, I recommend Sherry's Ready-To-Wear Tailoring Sew Along, on her fantastic blog, Pattern-Scissors-Cloth. She is a great instructor, and I really appreciate her analysis of fitting and the fixes to apply.
Here the jacket back with undercollar, so you can see the way I have tacked down that seam using a catch-stitch, which is a hand stitch that uses an X pattern to keep the seam allowances flat. I used turquoise silk thread, so you can see it better plus it is fun to sew with a bright color that will later be hidden. You can also see the back stay which is cotton and I cut out on the fold using that back pattern piece. I find the back stay makes the upper back nice and smooth, so if there are any shoulder pads they disappear under the fabrics. This pattern calls for shoulder pads, and I think they work well in a tailored jacket, to help it hang on the body better and support the jacket weight. Also the sleeves look very good on a well-designed jacket pattern with shoulder pads.
The woven interfacing is cut on the bias on the undercollar, same as the fabric, however I did add a crossgrain piece which you may be able to see in the photo, at the lower part of the collar. If I had used hand-stitched hair canvas for the interfacing that is where the extra shaping would be, to give the collar a roll line and structure. Time now for a brief rant on patterns, which never include the roll line on collars. If you look at this post from last year on my black wool coat, I had a little rant on this topic and showed the roll line I created.
Even though I love this grey fabric I need some pop of color somewhere, so I put a line of bright blue piping inside. I cut a bias strip 1.75" wide, folded in half, stitched at 5/8" and then have a nice line of blue on the black lining. On the upper lapel and collar I used Pro-Sheer Elegance fusible knit interfacing, see photo on the right.
So what's next? According to my list above I am about in the middle: Sew upper-collar/lapel to jacket, then press and turn. And onward!
This morning I took a quick trip to Britex Fabrics in downtown San Francisco as I am making a dress for a "creative black tie" event for someone and we were in search of some interesting fabric. Driving in over the bridge the city was spectacular and I wanted to get a photo of it all but for once there was no traffic and we were zipping in too fast for a nice photo of the Golden Gate Bridge with hundreds of sailboats and a cruise ship docked at the pier. So instead, despite the "no photography" signs posted in the store here I am among the lovely rainbow of fabrics that is Britex. Wearing my blue/black houndstooth jacket, same pattern as the one in grey I am making now.
No purchases for myself there, a triumph. I averted my eyes and thought about all that fabric at home!
Happy Weekend Sewing, Beth