Saturday, October 12, 2013

The black denim jacket, final version, Part 2

Yesterday I did a post titled black denim jacket, final version however I ran out of time for blog writing so here is the real final version. In that post I have links to some of my previous posts with details on how to copy an existing garment and make a pattern. It is a really useful skill, particularly as it gives you a fitting shortcut since the original item usually has the fit you want. Even if you don't recreate exactly you can learn a lot by making a pattern from clothes you already own in terms of proportion and shape.

Denim jacket self-draft pattern on me
This is exactly what I wanted in a lightweight denim jacket, something to wear with black pants or prints that included black. I like that the fabric is not a solid but has slight charcoal grey tint and a linen-ish weave. Plus a touch of lycra which is nice as this style is very fitted so the lycra makes it very comfortable and not too tight across the shoulders. I wore this jacket on my vacation to Hawaii where you don't need a jacket in September but I always need something on the plane or airport since the AC is cranked up to ridiculous levels (to me who is always cold).
As I mentioned in the previous post, I made this pattern from an existing RTW jacket that I had in my wardrobe. I made the pattern from that jacket and actually sewed this very fast because the hem length, sleeves etc. were all done exactly as the original, so no measuring, no fitting, just quick sewing and a bit of topstitching. 

Denim jacket black with buttons finished front

Here is the original jacket that I used to create the pattern. The blue denim fabric is a bit heavier and so it holds its shape on the dress form but when worn they look pretty much the same. I never button it, not that type of jacket but it looks nice here so I did. 

Blue denim jacket front buttoned

Back view of new jacket. You can really see the fabric with all the slubs that make it different from plain denim. 

Back view black denim jacket
The original jacket had welt pockets and then pocket flaps that were sewn on above the welts. Which seemed like an odd way to do it, but actually is good because often with thick fabrics and a lot of layers, the pocket flap does not want to lay flat on a welt pocket. So the welt pocket is finished and then the flap is sewn about 1/4" above the welt. 
Pocket flap with button
I did have one oddball issue during construction. I put the sleeve on and it seemed kind of twisted, so I shifted the sleeve head, moving what I thought was the top of the sleeve about 1/2 inch forward. 
In image below, sleeve on left, not shifted and sleeve on right is shifted. Problem solved! I will chalk that up to slight issue with my patternmaking or marking. But happily not a big problem. 
Sleeve discrepancy
A look at the inside, unlined and all seams serged. I played around with the pockets on the inside and did a bit of improvisation, turning the seam allowances inside so there were no raw edges on the pocket bags.

black denim jacket inside out on form
Lastly the buttons. I think they cost more than the fabric for the jacket but that is OK, I am still under about $ 25 total. I brought my fabric swatch over to Stone Mountain and was looking at all the possible buttons but couldn't decide on anything. One of the women that works there came over and took a look at my choices, thought none of them were working and pulled out their latest shipment they had not even put on the shelf. She dug through the box for this exact button and insisted I use them (in the nicest possible way).  So almost $ 16 for buttons but I am very glad I bought these which are an interesting shade of brushed metal. 

Front pocket with buttons and hem
That is the last item for summer sewing, to me the weather is turning chilly (OK I know that is a relative term for all of you in the great northwest or east, not to mention Canada or parts of Europe). So time to change gears and pull out some wools. Confession: I just bought a nice wool tweed at Stone Mountain in a kind of pale plummy mixture, and so far have auditioned a number of patterns from my stash but so far no decisions. 

Happy weekend sewing, Beth

Today's garden photo is gardenias. A big planter box next to the front porch of my house holds 3 bushes so the smell is intoxicating as you come up to the front door. The gardenias in both the front yard and the few scattered around the back bloom profusely in the spring, kind of retreat in the super hot summer months and then go wild again in autumn.  More blooms to come, at least for the next month or so. Intoxicating!

Gardenias in October


  1. Love your jacket and fabric. I like your jacket style instead of the typical jeans jacket. Your review on the Craftsy course was helpful, too. Thank you.

  2. Looks terrific, and thank you for documenting your process! I really like the detail about the welt pocket, I would never have thought of that and it's very clever. I love the buttons, they were totally worth it (but I hate it when that happens - spending more on buttons than on yarn or fabric!)

  3. I *love* the smell of gardenias! I had a gardenia bush last year by my front door and I know what you mean about that intoxicating scent that greets you as you approach. Sadly mine did not survive the northeastern winter.

    Your jacket looks great and I meant to say with the last post that I liked your goldilocks analogy!

  4. That's a great looking denim jacket. You did a really good job with the welt pocket (that's a scary area for me).

  5. Great jacket! Oh, Beth! I like so much the way you finish all your garments. I always learn a lot from your proyects, apart from them being as nice as this one. And it is great when you can copy the items you have in your closet and you know are going to fit well. Must learn to do that!

  6. Nice rendering on the jacket and that's a very nice , soft black. I read your post on the Janet Pray class and you viewed it almost the same way I did. The only heartburn I had with the pattern was that it was printed in two different size modules and I needed a size in each module. I'm going to do a trial run in an unloved fabric from the stash to check seams and fit before I go using up my nice denim. And I agree whole heatedly on the pins; porcupine and slow sewing when needed; little or no pins for straight runs and uncomplicated construction.

  7. p.s. I meant to add, I'm cold all the time too!!

  8. Beth, stunning jacket and a very impressive project! I bow before your rub-off skills! Bet this jacket will become a favorite, just as its ancestor has been.

  9. This is such a beautiful jacket with such lovely details!

  10. That's a really great little jacket! I use to copy things from RTW a lot but haven't done it for a while since joining club bmv; so many patterns, so little time!
    ps; wrt to those coral sandals, I think you *can* actually buy them online.. with your climate I'm sure you can wear them most of the year, like we can here :) you can see them here

  11. Love your new jacket. Very beautiful. That fabric is lovely too.

  12. Wow, Beth! You've made such a great copy - I wouldn't have been able to tell which is the original and which is the copy. Also, I'm glad the woman at Stone Mountain found those buttons for you. I think they compliment the jacket perfectly!

  13. What a beautiful result! I am amazed by your skills.

  14. Great jacket! I love the fabric you used -- the texture is really cool -- and the buttons are perfect. I have garden envy -- my gardenias keep turning brown really quickly -- they may be in the wrong place in our yard. I'm sure yours smell wonderful!

  15. I would love to be able to copy RTW! ...someday... love your flower pictures!

  16. I always feel I learn such a lot whenever you post about your makes! This jacketis no exception. It looks fabulous, on, off and inside out! And the buttons are definitely worth it. Not worth a compromise !

  17. What a great jacket Beth! inside of your "unlined jacket" is better than some RTW! Everything about this jacket is great and I would have paid that plus for gorgeous buttons that complete this really nice jacket! Beautiful work!

  18. Oh ,this jacket is perfect! I love everything about it. Those pockets are so eye catching. I'm workin on a denim jacket too at the moment. so I've loved having a good look at yours.

  19. Beth, I appreciate so much about this project. Thank you so much for sharing your process with us. When I read it, I thought, it would take me at least a month to make a jacket like this (and that doesn't mean it would be as well made or as perfectly fitting). Then I realized, what am I waiting for? A month from now, I'll wish I had started something like this now! You are inspiring me, and I thank you. Love those buttons: they were the first thing I noticed in seeing the jacket on your manikin. Love the pocket treatment. Love the fabric. LOVE the shape! I hope that you enjoy wearing it for many years.

  20. It looks great! Also the bit about the pockets was really interesting; thanks!

  21. So much sharper and easier to dress up or down than the standard denim jacket shape. Love it.


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