Completed Sewlution: A Tailored Jacket

Last year, Karen devised a brilliant challenge – the Sewlution.  It was basically a pledge to complete one self-chosen sewing accomplishment sometime during 2013.  Somewhere in her jar is my pledge that I was going to sew a lined, tailored jacket.  I’m happy to report that I did it!

Jacket

Jacket

Actually, I finished my jacket a few months ago, but for a number of reasons, never got around to photographing and blogging it.  Oops.

After deciding that I wanted to make a jacket, I discovered my local community college was offering a class on jacket tailoring last February, so I signed up.

I periodically posted my progress through the class as we covered cutting, pad stitching, welt pockets, more pad stitching, and shoulder pads, among other topics.  The class was fantastic.  I learned so much.  Even though my finished jacket doesn’t fit perfectly, I’m really proud of it.  (Because we had limited class time, we didn’t spend a lot of time fitting, but rather focused on construction, which was fine with me.)

Jacket

Jacket

The sleeves turned out too big.

Here’s a brief recap of the progression:

Cutting Wool

Pad Stitched Lapel

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And finally, the finished jacket!

Jacket Details

It’s made out of a wool crepe that I found at a local fabric shop, and lined with my trusty Bemberg rayon.

Here’s the inside:

Jacket Details

Jacket Details

Jacket Details

Back pleat in the lining, for ease of movement.

Jacket Details

Hong Kong finish along bottom of front facing/hem.

Jacket Details

Jump hem.

Jacket Details

And some more details:

Jacket Details

Jacket Details
Jacket Details

Jacket Details

I feel like so much work went into this jacket, yet I’m a bit short on words to explain it all.  As I recall, everything went together fairly smoothly, up until the very end when it was time to make the buttonholes.  For whatever reason I could not bring myself to sew them.  I think I was terrified I’d ruin the jacket and waste all the hours I put into it.  It hung in my closet for months before I sewed them.  Turns out, there was nothing to worry about!

Jacket

I loved sewing this, and I’m still a little surprised that I actually pulled it off.  Making a suit jacket was one of those ‘pie in the sky’ ideas I had when I first started sewing.  It was more of a “wouldn’t it be cool if I could …” type of goal, rather than an actual goal.  But once I changed my mindset, and made it a real goal (thank you Karen for the push), I did it!

Jacket

The bottom line is, don’t be afraid to try new things with your sewing, and set big scary goals, even if they seem out of reach. (And if you’re thinking about trying tailoring, I found the book we used for class was really helpful.)

Next up… the big Shedquarters reveal!

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Jacket Tailoring – More Pad Stitching

My jacket is coming along.  This weekend I got caught up on my homework, which entailed a lot of hand stitching.  I pad stitched the lapels:
Pad Stitched Lapel

And taped and stitched the roll line:
Pad Stitched Lapel
I think I’m about done with the inner construction of the jacket front now.
Pad Stitched Lapel
Here you can see the roll of the lapel (this is without any pressing or steaming).
Pad Stitched Lapel
Pad Stitched Lapel
It’s amazing to watch and feel the fabric transform into a structured garment.

Jacket Tailoring – Welt Pockets

This week in tailoring class we covered welt pockets.  I did a test run with some scraps of my wool.  It turned out pretty good, I think.  The biggest problem I had was seeing my stitching.  The black thread really gets lost in this black crepe.

Practice Welt

Practice Welt

A little peek of my purple lining!

Oh, and here’s a preview of my latest dress project.  So close to being done!!!
Almost Done!

Jacket Tailoring – The Wool is Cut

Finally got my tailoring homework done — I cut out my wool!  I was nervous about cutting the jacket for some reason, but everything went fine.

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I even made Tailor’s tacks.  I think I am going to start using these on a regular basis.  They are really quick to do.
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I love how the white tailor chalk contrasts on the black wool.  Makes me feel like I’m really making something high end here.  🙂
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Next week the actual sewing starts, I’m excited!

Jacket Tailoring

Two of my goals for this year were to take another sewing class and to make a jacket. Well, I found a way to  knock out both at the same time!  I’m taking a class on how to sew a tailored jacket.  I’m really excited for this one because reading about hair canvas and pad stitching and roll lines makes my eyes glaze over a bit.  I feel like I need a little hand-holding to learn this stuff.
Tailoring class

For this class, the teacher didn’t want to get bogged down trying to fit 30 different patterns, so she provided the pattern for class.  It’s a fairly classic men’s style jacket, with a notched collar, double welt pockets, and a full lining.  Check out this mess of pattern pieces!
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Since we don’t have time this semester to spend weeks in muslin madness, we were instructed to trace our closest size, make a few alterations and get sewing!  Our teacher had pre-made muslins of the three available sizes, and we tried them on in class and pinned them out to determine what changes to make to the pattern.  I think it was a pretty efficient way to get through fitting.  My jacket probably won’t fit perfectly.  But that’s okay.  The goal here is to learn the techniques.  I can drive myself mad with fitting another day.  🙂

That being said, I did make a muslin of my own, to test some of my flat pattern changes.  I think it’s good enough.
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This weekend I’m planning to cut into my wool fabric.  I’m excited, this will be my first time sewing with wool!

Also, I want to say thank you for the kind and supportive comments on my last post about Abby.  They really meant a lot to me.  I’m doing better and am getting back to my normal routine.  Hopefully you will see some more sewing soon!