Tag Archives: jacket

Sewing with Vintage Buttons Something Old, Something New

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Something Old, Something New

A Vintage Button Adds Interest

Navy Linen Jacket and Slacks

Earlier this week I finished up another linen jacket over the same Kwik Sew pattern I used recently.  It’s plain and simple with a nice clean look.  To add some interest I found a special vintage button in my button stash that went perfectly and added a good bit of interest.  Years ago my Great Aunt Squeak (yes, that’s what we called her) gave me her rather large button collection.  I remember thinking it was a great gift at the time and I have used many of her buttons on various garments over the many years her collection has been in my care.  This particular button was a one of a kind and just the right size and color for the buttonhole and I imagine that Squeak would be happy to see that it is in use again.vintage buttonI am not a fan of pull-on pants; I don’t really know anyone who is.  When it comes to casual unlined linen pants, I put vanity aside  both because this style is easy to make, comfortable to wear and doesn’t need to be ironed if you don’t mind the wash and wear look that is so popular here in the northwest.  To go with my new jacket, I found a nice putty colored linen for coordinating pants.   To provide detail, I created a slit at the bottom side seam and added top stitching.  All in all not a bad look.

pant detail

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Sewing with Linen

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A New Jacket For Springtime

jacket front view

Generally I don’t use Kwick Sew patterns much, not for any particular reason, I just am not that familiar with them.  Earlier this week while at the pattern counter in my local fabric store a helpful clerk  thrust the latest Kwik Sew book into my hands and was insistent that I look, so I did.  I don’t know if this is a new pattern or an older one, but I liked the look of and am happy to say it’s a breeze to sew with.  It couldn’t have been easier to put together and it fits nicely.

jacket pattern

The fabric you see is the photo is a great piece of linen I bought four or five years ago.  At the same time, I also purchased a yard of the striped fabric not knowing exactly how I would use it, but it picked up the colors in the main fabric well and I figured it would come in handy.

 I’m not a huge fan of the deep angled line on the front opening, so I adjusted that to be more traditional.  I also decided to apply simplified techniques I learned when sewing with Vogue American Designer, Adri.  For those of you who may not know of her, she uses simple elegant finishing techniques that are perfect for unlined linen garments.  I eliminated the two front facings in favor of the bias bound edge and used French seaming techniques for all the seam to add to the clean look of the interior.

French seam finishes

I removed 5/8 inch seam allowance (except for the hemline) around the entire jacked and applied the bias binding made from the striped fabric around the raw edges mitering at the corners.

bias binding

Because I eliminated the facing I had to add some stabilizer for the button and that was done by sewing a small interfaced square to the inside of the left side of the jacket front.

stabilizer for button

I was pleasantly surprised by how compatible the pattern was to the fabric.  They both have a bit of an Asian feel and I hadn’t really noticed that about the pattern until it was completed.  I’m thinking maybe I’ll make another in solid black.  

jacket back view

Chanel-Style Jacket

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Streamlined Couture

Applying Braided Trim Tutorial

I’ve been working for the past week or so on a Chanel-style jacket to go with the skirt I made recently.  I studied Vogue designer Claire Shaeffer’s pattern with the wonderful couture details, but decided instead to use the much simplified Vogue 7975 which has the Chanel look without all the extra work.  I thought for my first effort at making a Chanel jacket choosing the easier pattern might be the best option.

Chanel jacket

I used the same fuchsia boucle that I used in the skirt I made recently; I’m thinking Spring suit.  Easter comes early this year and the prospect of shivering in the cold made a wool suit seem like practical, if not entirely seasonal, option.  Finding a suitable trim proved to be a challenge.  I began with one that unfortunately didn’t provide the look I wanted bringing about a full scale city-wide search for the perfect Chanel braid.  I lucked out by finding this particular piece in the home decorating department of Fabric Depot on a clearance rack. Clearance is good as it takes in excess of 5 yards of braid to complete the jacket.

fuchsia boucle and trim

After studying the pattern, I decided that I preferred the look of two square pockets on each side as shown in Vogue 8804, so had to make size and placement determinations.  I interfaced each pocket square and then pressed the 1 inch pocket facing.  Before stitching the facing in place, I determined trim placement taking care to pre-shrink the trim first.  Some trims stretch out quite a bit from being stored on cards or spools; a good shot of steam will draw up the slack and avoid unwanted puckering.

braid placement on pocket

Using a basting stitch, I attached the braid to the pocket and then permanently attached it using two rows of back stitching.

applying braid by hand

back stitching braid into position

After securing the braid into position, I completed all four pockets and hand stitched them into position on the jacket front.  Lining them up was a little tricky, but after measuring like a Turkish tailor, I finally got it.

completed pocket

I decided not to apply braid around the bottom of the jacket, because I had made the longer version and preferred not to draw the eye to the hip line.  If I were to make the shorter view, I would definitely put braid all the way around.  To my surprise, this jacket has no shoulder pads and wears more like a sweater than a jacket.  I also want to experiment with the sleeves,  I really like the braid on Claire Shaeffer’s vented sleeve and will be experimenting with adding a vent to the basic design sleeve pattern… the next time I’m feeling adventurous.

finished jacket after a final press

I highly recommend this pattern and intend to make it again.

I’m In This Big Art Coat

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I Look Incredible

What-what?  What?  What?      What-what?  What?  What?

I'm in my big art coat

I Look Incredible

This is freakin' AWESOME

Before you start groaning…

please understand that this blog entry is fashioned after the lyrics and musical refrain in the hit tune, Thrift Shop, by Macklemore

(The “unclean” version is more fun to watch in video, but the lyrics are decidedly unsuited to my refined audience)

bring the music up and enjoy

(my lyrics go with the part that starts around 3:04 minutes and goes to the end)

  Thriftstore

Thread Shop

I’m gonna sew some clothes
Only got forty dollars in my pocket
I-I-I’m huntin’
Lookin’ for some buttons
This is freakin’ awesome

I’ll wear my own made clothes
I look incredible
I’m in this big art coat
From that thread shop down the road
I’ll wear my own made clothes
I look incredible
I’m in this big art coat
From that thread shop down the road

I’m gonna sew some clothes
Only got forty dollars in my pocket
I-I-I’m huntin’
Lookin’ for some buttons
This is freakin’ awesome

By the way, I did make this jacket for just under $40 dollars.  How’s that for poppin’ tags!   Not bad for a freakin’ awesome big art coat.

Sewing on Velveteen

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The Velveteen Jacket

(or How Clothes Become Real)

I recently purchased a pair of leggings.   I know leggings have been popular for a while now, but sometimes I am slow to warm up to current fashion.  Lots of women wearing  lycra and let it all hang out, but I’m not really comfortable with that, so I decided I needed something with a bit more coverage.  I thought about making a long tailored jacket (and I still may do that), but I have been short on time lately so decided to work with a relatively simple pattern that would be quick and easy.  With that in mind I decided to use my tried and true Tribeca jacket pattern with a few inches added to the length.

1.  I started with some printed black velveteen that I had in my stash. I found a nice black shimmery satin for the interior and a complementary rayon-acetate to use as a bias binding.  The rayon-acetate is quite subtle, although it looks less so in the photo below because of the flash on the silver threads.

2.  The Tribeca jacket has a neckline that opens back on itself and it is perfect for two-sided fabrics, but not so suitable to one-sided fabrics like velveteen.  Because of this feature, I had to find an interior fabric to face the velveteen with.  That is where the shimmery satin comes in.

3.  To secure the face fabric with the interior required careful basting of the two pieces so that they could be handled as one piece of fabric.  This step has to be done with care to ensure that the two pieces lie flat with no wrinkling occurring.   It’s not hard, just time consuming.


4.  Once the interior was secured to the face fabric, the darts were sewn in and French seams applied on all seams.  French seams are not the usual technique for most jackets t but I really like this finish for an unstructured jacket… it’s very clean.  Even the sleeve is inserted with a French seam application which not only looks great, but also provides structure along the seam line much like a mini-shoulder pad would.

French side seam application

French seam on set-in sleeve

5.  Once the jacket was constructed, I created a bias seam binding to apply as a finishing detail.  To find the bias of a fabric you fold a straight edge back on itself at a right angle; the folded edge is on the bias.  Bias is used in bindings because it shapes more easily around curves and contours.

6.  Apply bias to edge with raw edges of garment and bias together, mitering the corners.  Basting stitches remain in place until after the bias binding is applied.

7.  I applied the binding with machine stitching and hand stitched it into place.  I take the time to stitch by hand (and it does take quite a bit longer) because it allows for more control over the fabric, but this is optional, it can certainly be stitched down by machine if you prefer that look.

8.  I then made decorative buttonhole patches, and hand stitched them into position.

9.  I recycled buttons I had used on a coat I made serveral years ago.  They are a dark gray and silver combination and work perfectly for this jacket.

The loose style and all the handwork gives this jacket a certain Bohemian feeling that works well with leggings.  This jacket gives me good coverage, but still feels fashionable which is what I was trying to achieve.