Progress has been a tad slow on my men’s Vogue jacket V8940. I mentioned this project last October but only started it 3 weeks ago and I reckon I still need to allocate a substantial amount of hours over the next 10 days or so to finish it by mid-December. This is the stage I am currently at:
Done: Main garment construction (front, back and sides), under collar, one sleeve including shoulder pad (the other one being pinned in at the moment).
Still to do: finishing the sleeves, lining the whole garment (including facing), upper collar, buttons and buttonholes, finishing touches (the ones that take ages as we know…)
So what I can I say about the process of making this jacket so far. Let’s break it down:
21 pieces including side fronts and an Upper front part attached to the jacket front. The rest is pretty standard. I used to cut all pattern pieces to my size but bearing in mind the shipping cost from the U.S. being quite high, I now make each piece sturdier by gluing thick paper interfacing behind and do several cuts along the grading lines which I can turn and pin onto the fabric directly before cutting (my size being 36, I can keep the bigger sizes intact in case I make this same jacket for someone else). I like this method but I would not recommend it for curvier or more “complex” pieces which I redrew to my size on separate paper (dressmaker’s carbon is great but I sometimes simply use tracing paper).
I’ve finally upgraded to medium weight iron-on cotton interfacing. The quality of cotton is so much better than the awful paper version. In hindsight I could have chosen a heavy weight cotton as this is a jacket after all but it sits very nicely and looks professional. I’ve heard good things about non fusible interfacings such as hair canvas, something I’d like to explore for future projects.
Look what I’ve chosen…it’s quilted lining! It’s certainly quite thick and should keep me very warm this winter. The texture is buttery so I don’t think this will be a problem using it on my Bernina but I will have to get rid of half its thickness for the sleeves otherwise it will look too bulky.
I’ve never spent more than £25/$40 for any of my previous sewing projects. Would you believe that the cost for this winter jacket (pattern, fabric, interfacing, lining, buttons) is now amounting close to £150/$240? Now I understand why some coats are so expensive!
I cut everything along size 36 adding an extra 2 inches length on the front, back and sides as I am quite tall. The fitting was very straightforward and I only ended up cutting a little bit off the shoulder length.
Nothing too tricky surprisingly and it does help if you’ve done shirts or blouses before. I got a great tip for my friend Rita who advised me to sew a curved piece of felt fabric (or any thick fabric) around the curve of the shoulder sleeve area: this apparently helps shaping the shoulder area into a more prominent way as it should never look flat.
I’ve already made an appointment with Rita next Monday as I need some serious tips about attaching the lining to the garment as I am not too familiar with the slipstitch technique and the thickness of the lining worries me a little.
I know it’s a usual requirement in men’s jackets but I’ve decided to skip the inside welt pocket section. It may sound lazy but frankly, I have no use for it and have more than enough space with my two front pockets.
And to conclude this long post, I’d like to leave you with something a little different, a little surreal and possibly quite supernatural!
What is this? A scene from Close Encounters of the Third Kind? Someone from a different dimension? E.T. on magic mushrooms? No dear readers, it’s only me…a brilliant picture from photographer Bill Cooper catching me in my alien form just before using a human body as a host and possess….ok, I was just dancing…apparently(!)… and Bill captured the laser lights so beautifully that it created that arty effect. It’s quite amazing, isn’t it? Bill will use this picture as an open entry in his club competition tomorrow so I’d like to wish him the very best of luck!