Sway back your jacket

Sway back sewers are a shapely lot. Getting the curves of a garment to meet our needs is a basic adjustment that I do all the time. 

I’m working with Vogue 8931 and the pattern has a fold on the centre back. Easy peasy.
If you need to do a sway back adjustment, you’ll need some shaping hence, convert the centre back fold to a centre back seam.

On the lining piece above, I’ve marked where the centre back seam should be. But I’ve also allowed for a centre back fold for a bit of jacket wiggle room.

The result is the lining pieces match where they should but you have a fold so the lining moves with you. I’ve had it rip before and I’m still haunted by that sound (shudder).

This new centre back seam gives you more shaping for your sway back. I also lower the centre back hem by 1.5cm. Now that’s shaping where I need it.

By the way, I apply this same technique on knit fabrics too.

Don’t just look at what I’ve done, go to some real references.
Singer Tailoring – 1988,
Jackets for real people by Alto, Neall and Palmer – 2006,
New Simplicity Sewing Book – 1979
Easy, Easier, Easiest Tailoring by Palmer and Pletsch – 1977

Zipped up

While planning to make Vogue 8931 I wanted to include some pockets. This pattern has fake pockets or no pockets. I’ve added pockets in the front waist seam and I’ll show you how.

I used three sewing feet to achieve this pocket – an invisible foot, a zipper foot and a normal sewing foot.
With pins, I marked where the zipper would start and finish on both pieces. I made sure the zipper wouldn’t interfere with buttonholes, centre front lines or seam allowances. 
 
 
I pinned the zipper in place and made sure the zipper closed at the front, so you can see the zipper pull. The choice of how you want to open/close the zipper is yours.
 
Here’s where the invisible zipper foot helps sew the zipper on, stitching under the zipper coils.
Then it was time to match the other side of the zipper and darts.

Then I closed the top and bottom front pieces using a zipper foot. I sewed from the zipper to the edges to ensure the seam sewing matched – no puckers.

Here’s the pocket bag, sewn onto the zipper seam allowances and then the side seams are sewn closed. Again, my measurement of the pocket bag was just deep enough for a card and some money to buy coffee in the morning. It’s more aesthetic than functional.

And here’s how it looks on the front. Phew!
Don’t just look at what I’ve done, go to some real references.
Singer Tailoring – 1988,
Jackets for real people by Alto, Neall and Palmer – 2006,
New Simplicity Sewing Book – 1979

Pad stitching

Here’s how pad stitching looks if you do it by machine on the under collar. And as an after thought…

So the rough plan on this roll collar is to add another crescent shaped interfacing and stitch rows of curves, starting from the centre.

See what I mean? I’m working on the right side of the fabric and using the zipper foot as my width guide. Yep, crude but it works.

And that’s all that you need to do before continuing on your jacket construction journey.
Note to self – plan ahead of time and sew the pad stitching before constructing the jacket – Doh!

Don’t just look at what I’ve done, go to some real references.
Singer Tailoring – 1988,
Jackets for real people by Alto, Neall and Palmer – 2006,
New Simplicity Sewing Book – 1979
Easy, Easier, Easiest Tailoring by Palmer and Pletsch – 1977

Staying in shape

No matter what fabric you use, you can make your jacket last longer and keep its shape by interfacing it.

I’m working on Vogue 8931 and my fabric breathes well and is the colour I want but just a bit light-weight to stand the test of time.

Interfacing is normally used on collar, cuffs and waistbands but over time, I’ve seen how jackets can keep their shape when every piece is fully interfaced. I’ve fully fused 2 jackets made of double knit and they still hold their shape even after the fabric starts to pill.

This cotton linen-look fabric from Minerva Crafts is soft and great for summer. It’s dress weight. Normally you wouldn’t use the same fabric for a jacket, but I have.

Above is the ‘before’ fabric. It looks a bit wrinkled right so I’ll steam it before I interface it.

I interface each piece separately but there’s no reason why you couldn’t interface the fabric before you cut out each piece – if you’ve planned it ahead of time.

See how the nicely steam pressed piece looks. Smooth…

Above is this piece is ready to steam press with a layer of interfacing. The interfacing you choose is your choice.

Above I cover these two pieces with a moist pressing cloth.

See the bubbles? This piece needs more pressing time.


Above is how the inside of the jacket looks once each piece has been fused and sewn together.

See how smooth these pieces are to work with? From here on in, these pieces stay smooth and make my sewing life a bit easier.
I always keep a bit of whisperweft, sheerweft, armoweft and textureweft in my stash.

This jacket will also resist creasing when I take it to work or wear it in the car.

Don’t just look at what I’ve done, go to some real references.
Singer Tailoring – 1988,
Jackets for real people by Alto, Neall and Palmer – 2006,
New Simplicity Sewing Book – 1979
Easy, Easier, Easiest Tailoring by Palmer and Pletsch – 1977

Speed marking

Firstly, if a pattern has markings – use them.

I use good old pins to mark dart and notches. I also mark the size I’m working on too because different patterns have different ease so I need to note this on the pattern. When I’m making lots of changes, I date them too.

I make sure there are pins on both pieces when I cut two layers at a time.
Here’s the pin on the under layer.
Below are the pin marked darts.
This method works fine if you complete this work in the same sitting. If you’re doing this over a few sessions, use a marker or use tailors tacks because pins can fall out – and they do.

On the lining piece above, I’ve marked the start of the dart and I’ll fold this into the seam but not sew it up, so there’s some wiggle room in the lining.

There’s a note to staystitch the front facing at step 16.

So again, I’ve used pins to mark the staystitch points.

Don’t just look at what I’ve done, go to some real references.
Singer Tailoring – 1988,
Jackets for real people by Alto, Neall and Palmer – 2006,
New Simplicity Sewing Book – 1979
Easy, Easier, Easiest Tailoring by Palmer and Pletsch – 1977

Flowers and flounce

Here are some more details about Fifth Avenue.
When I make up a project with lots of pieces, I use the sewing stand to see how it looks as I go. This keeps me motivated and I get a better idea of the proportions on new patterns and adjustments. The eyelet peplum is on the stand because I’d just made it so the proportions were correct.
The collar, skirt draped pieces and flounce are constructed before the dress is sewn together.
This earlier bodice version above shows the embroidered flower on the bust point. Below the collar hovers over the bust point so I could have left it there but I replaced this piece at the time.

The dress is fully lined the dress and used bias strips to cover the armhole seams. The pattern only suggests lining the bodice but I decided to line the skirt because it sits better.

The collar is understitched so it sits nicely.
And the hem is machine blind hemmed.

Flounce
Without a bit of hand sewing, the flounce sadly flops. A bit of hand sewing makes it more floral and soft. Below I’ve divided the flounce in 5 places.

Then I’ve handsewn the flattened flounce edge seams to the skirt

Below you can see the fabric is fairly stiff so the flounce has a bit of life to it.
On the weekend I’ll take proper photos showing this dress worn.

Bamboo shoot Peony

Here’s a partnership – Colette Peony and Pattern Magic Bamboo Shoot – in a lined cotton dress for summer.
Shown after working for the day.
Ironed nicely before work



The bodice folds needed a bit of work when I tested it. They’re still a WIP. I wasn’t 100% sure about the waist so I added the cumberbun with 3 pearl buttons.

The front bodice came to a v point at the waist – unintentionally – based on the Pattern Magic istructions. That’s been fixed. The dress is fully lined because the fabric is light weight cotton for a top or blouse.

I’ve added the bamboo shoot treatment to the sleeve, but I’m not sure this is good idea. This feature need editings. Sleeve or no sleeve?
The pattern change below shows you the sleeve treatment I’ll try next. The pleats will fall from the sleeve head and not the sleeve hem.

The zipper was short so I’ve added a 3 button button closure to the back neckline.

Making totes, bags (no more UFOS left in 2012) and purses is fun but making clothes is more my cup of tea.

Merry Christmas y’all. It’s time for a break when there’s a fish face pose.