Puffer jacket

My puffer jacket fabric is from Elliot Berman Textiles, bought at least 2 years since my last NYC visit. I was freezing this week so I decided I needed to make this jacket pronto.

Eugenia and her staff at Elliott Berman Textiles were really accommodating when I visited their store. I visited their store twice that week as I had to think about their fabrics and choose pieces I can’t buy locally. This is one of a few of their fabrics in my stash.

The key notion I needed was the zipper and thankfully Pitt Trading had a range of metal zippers for coats available last year. Pitt Trading has an amazing range of notions off loaded from local designers. 

I did a bit of research while I made this jacket this week and realised very few puffer jackets have a defined waist hence I had to choose a jacket pattern that I could slightly shape. 

I used Butterick 6062 as the basic jacket shape. The darts weren’t sewn. I have a habit of using this pattern for longline coats to keep me warm.

The pocket is the same as the pocket in Butterick 6062 but it’s 2.5cm wider along the seams.

I used the scissor magnet to cut the pocket to size.

The collar is 12cm wide shaped from folded piece of the quilted fabric. No collar pattern was used.

A few months ago I ducked into EM Greenfields and bought a reel of navy bias binding 25mm wide for the jacket edging. I’ve got plenty left although I did used plenty on this jacket.

While I love the metal zipper, I felt it needed a zipper shield so I made one ‘on the go’.

The fabric wasn’t going through my sewing machine properly so I lowered the zipper foot to ‘level 3’ and it then sewed through the machine perfectly.

The initial WIP jacket showed me the pockets were too high for a coat. Uhm, the front was too short as well.

You can see on the finished jacket a new ‘design feature ‘at the base of the coat.

I had a similar gold bias trim in my stash so I used this for the coat hook and also to finish the front panel seams.

And that’s it really. Bias bound seams and bias bound edges and this puffer jacket is done!

Now to rug up and get rid of my head cold before it turns nasty.

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A coat with colour

This week Winter came to Sydney and my new teal coat using Minerva Crafts fabric is ready.

I call this fabric friendly coating because if you’re scared to make a coat, this fabric can be easily molded into shape as you sew.

The weave is firm, open and soft. It looks like a knit fabric but it’s woven.


When I needed to ease the sleeve into the jacket, the fabric was quite obliging and sat in across all the notches. Hand-stitching the lining and the press studs didn’t tire out my fingers and that’s why I felt this fabric is friendly.

Paisley lining
Minerva Crafts has recently purchased a huge range of paisley linings. Finding a matching lining for this coating would have driven me to distraction and this antique gold that was easy to choose from their website.


Butterick 6062 is a classic styled jacket but I prefer to use it for coats. There’s just enough shaping for my height.

Thick fabricThis coating is thick. Very thick so that can seem scary. How will my little sewing machine cope with sewing through 4 to 8 layers of this fabric?


The collar is where I had to sew through many layers of this coating. But I simply slowed down my sewing machine speed dial; took in a deep breath; relaxed; and started sewing slowly. Slower than usual.

This coating doesn’t fray so it held together nicely as I sewed through each construction stage.

Collar
I bet you noticed Butterick 6062 doesn’t have a collar? You were right. It doesn’t.


When I made the Burda jacket last month, the collar pattern was a simple rectangle folded lengthways and sewed onto the neckline. Such a simple concept!

That’s all I did.

Prepwork
While there are always constructions hurdle to tackle as you sew a coat, I love the detailing.
This is where I can add or subtract the details I want to add.


I really don’t like patch pockets. You have to be accurate and I’d love to find a patch pocket pattern where the lining doesn’t peek over the pocket opening.


Once I start sewing on the Berisford grosgrain ribbon, I got an idea of how the coat might look.

Interfacing
The pattern suggests minimal interfacing, but it suggests softer fabrics.
I wear coats and jackets all the time and what makes them long-lasting is using interfacing to keep it’s shape for longer.


There’s interfacing in the collar, on the facings and I’ve added interfacing across the front and back shoulders. 

The interfacing Minerva Crafts provided was a medium-weight iron-on woven. It irons on easily with some steam. The interfacing glue doesn’t seep onto my iron. 


The prospect of sewing welt buttonholes wasn’t in my plans because this fabric is quite thick so I chose these 15mm Prym snaps.

We don’t have a lot of Prym products in Australia so it’s a treat to be able to use these for this coat. They were easy to sew on too.

Thanks for keeping me warm again this Winter Minerva Crafts!

Bronze biker jacket

Pauline’s quart coat can be made into a biker jacket as she’s shown here. So Sylvia at Pitt Trading was happy to provide what I needed to make a ‘glossy’ biker jacket and skirt.

Pauline’s biker jacket version is cut 4″/10cm below the waistline. I initially through 8″/20cm would work and then I rejigged the jacket body pieces to 6″/15cm. It’s Winter and I wanted a bit of hip coverage but I decided to go with the shorter version instead.

Susan of measuretwicecutonce chose the lining colour.

The pocket pieces were adjusted so there’s a 2.5cm band of the fashion fabric used at the jacket seam and then the lining for the rest of the pocket bag.

No shoulder epaulets or back waist epaulet this time. 

Sleeve seam prep front
Close up, this fabric has a repeat that this took a bit of time to make sure I cut each piece out so the fabric repeat remained fluid across the jacket.
Sleeve seam reinforcement for the zipper

After working on my brother’s RTW formal jacket sleeve, I have no guilt using iron-on interfacings or hemming tape. That’s what’s used within the industry.

Close up of the metal zipper in the sleeve seam line.
Pitt Trading got bags of these great metal zippers in recently so I was able to pick up these matching metal zippers with black teeth and lovely zipper pulls. They’re still sorting these zippers out and they have them in a few colours.

During the construction process I got really annoyed with the time this jacket was taking me to make. Not a real ‘dummy spit’ but close. 

You see, by the time I sewed in the collar, sleeves and zipper, I just wanted to wear the jacket ‘pronto’. Ok, that sounds like a dummy spit but I’m glad I put the effort into getting the dimensions right.

So after a night’s rest, in the morning I did a bunch of steam pressing, waxed threads for hand sewing, relaxed and got back into it. Did I say that I sew during the week before and after work? I’m a morning person:)

I’ve used bias binding on the coat hook and on the hems so the metallic threads didn’t unravel during wear.

A close up of the exposed zipper on the front of the skirt.

The fabric is a modern brocade and it’s easy to match up. I’ve used McCalls 9356 for the skirt.

Thanks Pauline again for the Quart coat pattern. Your biker jacket tute was easy to follow.

Thanks again to Pitt Trading for the fabric, lining, zippers and Rasant thread. Rasant thread is new to me so I was really pleased with how this thread held during machine and hand sewing.

It worked:) #phew

Creating clothes is what I do. Altering RTW is not, especially if it’s a formal mens jacket. But I’ve done it #phew.

As the eternal pushover, I said yes to extending the sleeves on a formal jacket for my ‘little brother’. I could not have completed this alteration without the style and sewing advice of those very able sewing men: Joost of make my pattern and Thomas sewingdude. Thank you both for all your advice last week. 

First attempt: moved the top button down.

On the left is the original sleeve. The right is the first attempt at adjusting the sleeve. 

Joost advised me to move the top button down after lengthening the sleeve. When I took this pic, I then decided to move another button down so the button placement matched/was closer to the new sleeve length.

What I discovered

The buttonholes are sewn and not cut, making moving the buttons easy. 

Here’s the original insides showing the buttons stitching.

This jacket had a layer of armoweft under the buttonhole stitching.

A piece of fusing is used to keep the lining and sleeve seams together.


Here’s the stitching for the entry point on the sleeve lining. The lining pocket inside the jacket is really cute.

Both sleeve linings had an entry point. The stitching was in a contrast colour and easy to undo. So I was able to unpick the sleeve without affecting the sleeve seams.

The sleeve corner had a row of handstitching so I made sure I did a row of hand stitching to keep the sleeve looking RTW.

Reattaching the lining to the jacket sleeve

Stash benefit

I didn’t have exactly the same fabric at home, but I did have a similar dark grey piece to use on the inside of the sleeve. There is a 1/2cm fold on the inside where I joined the stash fabric to the jacket fabric. 

Finished sleeves; to be professionally pressed.

The verdict
My little brother wore his jacket last night to a formal event. He was really pleased the sleeves were at the right length for him. He didn’t feel at all self conscious wearing his re-engineered jacket and had a great night with the ‘missus’ while we babysat the kids. They both beat us at Xbox and ‘Game of life’ in a big way.

Jacket fav: Vogue 8931

Finally. I found a jacket style I like and a pattern I have already fitted (Vogue 8931) for this month’s Minerva Crafts project. This French crepe and buttons worked together well. The fabric is soft, resilient and was a confidence builder. 

These buttons in two different sizes take this jacket from ordinary to being ‘just a bit different’. My idea was to take ‘ordinary’ navy to a more interesting look.


My wardrobe plan is to have a work jacket for this dress too.

The purple jacket gets worn regularly in the office and the shape has held up really well. I’ve worn this jacket for over a year so I know the fit works. This time I’ve made the 3-button version with the buttons ‘on show’ and adding ‘real’ pockets. I went for a riding jacket style.

The jacket


So here’s the new jacket with my highland inspired dress looking ‘highland-like’. Ok, I’ll stop smiling now.


Here’s how the new jacket looks up close and I’ve blued up the colour so you can see the contrasts.

I still can’t believe my piping worked. It really did.

I always get my jackets and coats professionally pressed once they’re made.

Here are the main areas where a deep breath and a calm atmosphere helped me along the way.

Pockets

I used the pocket pieces from Vogue 8732, because that’s what I had available to me. The welts were made thinner.

I’ve used a contrasting thread to guide my sewing.

Here’s the underside that I have to contend with.

Below is the corner pocket stitching that keeps the pocket square.

I call these two happy smiling pockets.

Facing detailing

This is something I enjoy doing as my signature detailing.
I also felt I needed to use the navy ribbon I had order for the highland dress but didn’t use.

Collar notches

Now this isn’t the collar technique I used. I followed the instructions and below is my checking to make sure they matched.

Sleeves

I don’t usually handstitch along the sleeve stitching line but this time I did to make sure the sleeve was puckerless. This crepe is beautiful and very pliable.

Buttonholes

These are the markings I made to make sure the buttonholes all started and finished in the same place.


I love these buttons.

So you could say I love this jacket style and it goes with a few pieces I already have in my wardrobe. I could use this jacket as a riding jacket, and I’ll show you what I mean in July.

Thanks again to Minerva Crafts for supplying everything to make this riding jacket.

Now this jacket is a work staple.
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Quart Coat: Autumn

Finally Autumn has arrived and I’ve jumped into coat making – Paulinealice Quart coat.

I hope you’ve already read Sewmanju’s Quart Coat review. Or maybe Claire’s review. There are a bunch of great Quart Coats around now. Beth’s reviews have lots of good.


Paulinealice Quart Coat is certainly distinctive and requires good sewing skills to achieve but she’s done the leg work with her pattern pieces (separate lining pieces with wiggle room) and since the Quart Coat was launched last year, Pauline has developed a few more distinct styles from this pattern.


Did you see her biker jacket version? She’s such a helpful designer that Pauline has posted a ‘how to‘ so you can create your own biker jacket version.


Pitt Trading

The first Autumn fabric haul at Pitt Trading was too good to ignore and coats are something I adore making because of the work that goes into them. Each coat extends my sewing skills – or at least that’s what motivates me to keep making coats and jackets. Thank you again Pitt Trading for these fabrics and notions.

If you’re looking at planning posts, Sewmanju, Claire and Beth have great posts to learn from.


Dualling coats

I did test this pattern on some navy wool fabric I purchased in New York two years ago. Let me clarify this. I wanted to test and practice bound buttonholes, the pleats, check the centre back seam and following the sleeve zipper instructions correctly on the real version. 

The test navy coat

I do make a lot of mistakes and my handy unpicker saved me on a number of occasions as I wanted to get the stitching right. Having a test coat prepped at the same time as the real coat let me relax a bit when I started working on the ‘real’ fabric. So I was sewing ‘in parallel’.

Once I had constructed the sleeves and bound buttonholes I got stuck into the real coat. The real fabric from Pitt Trading was much easier to work with. There are lines in the weave so I used this as an additional sewing guide.


Bound buttonholes
The technique Pauline suggests is easy to follow. You can make this coat without bound buttonholes but I decided to include these. After practising on the navy test version, my bound buttonholes became more accurate. Both fabrics had varying thicknesses and movement so when I sewed machine buttonholes on the epaulets, they were a welcome relief. Making bound buttonholes means I have to be accurate (#anxiety) and hand stitch them closed (#sorefingers). 


Swayback adjustment

On the pattern, the centre back is cut on the fold. To cater for my sway back, I’ve created a centre back seam to follow my curve ie no fabric pooling. Yay.

Epaulets

I love epaulets. I added a longer epaulet to the centre back waist as an additional military feature. Pauline suggests using the lining as the underside of the epaulets. I did this on the grey version but I used a lighter weight dark purple for the navy version.


Pleating

On the test version, the pleats threw me. They have to point to the back so by the time I made them with the real fabric, they worked out.
The ironing press made these pleats a whole lot sharper. I’ll be using the old ironing press again for a future pleated project #hint.
As Beth did, I initially sewed the lining onto the pleats and then I took them off.


Petite change

The only change was to make the pocket bag shallower, but still keeping the bag part, if that makes sense. 
I left the coat length, sleeve length and collar width as is. When is frightfully cold, this coat style is going to come into it’s own. 

The main part I focused on was getting the shoulder positioning and kept the lengths as is.

Excuse my ‘zipper in sleeve’ joy.

Zippers
Any jacket with zippers on the sleeves has me at ‘hello’. 
I collect unusual zippers and buckles because they can be difficult to get when you actually need them. These zips were just what I needed for the navy version.
Pitt Trading provided me with their zippers for the grey version.

Navy coat lining.

Lining and trims
Let’s just say, great colours under a dark cover keeps me motivated.


The fabric used for the grey version wasn’t lining fabric but when I saw it on the shop floor at Pitt Trading both Sylvia and I loved it as lining.


Hems

Pauline suggests interfacing the hems and this gives a much sharper finish. I know a good press at the dry cleaner will make this coat look less home made. 

Thank you Pitt Trading for providing the fabrics and notions for my grey coat. Their new website is being filled with fabric every week.
Pauline’s done it again with a lovely and unique coat pattern.

Jackie – It’s orange

Jackie is my ‘just grab it’ jacket for Winter.

My head cold dictated being rugged up in a warm, soft jacket with a collar that hugs me was perfect.
Here’s how I’ve worn Jackie during the week.
Orange really lifts my spirits on a cold and very grey winter’s day.

Jackie has also been a fun casual jacket too.

My ta dah picture.

The plant behind me only flowers at the end of Winter. Yay.

See what I mean about a great colour making grey look amazing.

Lena has some prizes up her sleeve for Jackie sewalong-ers. I’ll give you those details shortly.

Have you see Janelle’s jacket yet? 

I’ll add Janelle’s photos here once her post goes live. Her work is impeccable. Take a peek on the Flickr group.
When I make Jackie again, I’ll get my hem right. 
I got my measurements wrong so I had to redo the lengths are here’s the result. I didn’t make a test jacket so I’ll just have to live with these results.

Hi five if you’ve started your own Jackie. Or finished it as the case may be?

I’ll update our sewalong posts soon.

Go to the flickr group and add your version – whenever you’re ready.