The Jacket Project (Part 1)

Ok. Actually Beth Smith has the great jacket project. I’m just riding on her coat tails… pun intended.

I like sewing and I definitely like new blazers. I’ve been working towards more handmade garments as well. In that desire for more handmaid I want to do more woven garments for myself. And on top of that I want to be drafting my own so everything fits how I want it to.

In 2012 I talked about my working on a tank in “Progression of a Garment”.  In that I got so far as taking an old jersey tank, making a pattern from it, then resizing it into a woven garment pattern. I had all the intentions of making that into a woven garment but ended up accidentally selling most of the linen I was going to use. I never took it out of shop stock and I was left with not enough for the project. Eventually I acquired a different yarn but the wind had left my sails and there sat that project.

Something else was missing. I couldn’t put my finger on it but the missing element was probably wool. I do prefer to just work with wool. Now, I don’t want a wool tank top necessarily but I do want a wool jacket. When Beth started to talk about her jacket plans my little lightbulb in my head went off. That’s the PROJECT I’ve been searching for.

Beth will be working on a more complicated garment and handspinning the yarn for it. I want a simple cut, thicker garment, and while I might use handspun at some point, right now I’m happy with using handpainted commercial yarn. I’m also planning on making my pieces on a rigid heddle. I have 2 floor looms but I want to show that weaving cloth can be super accessible.

Here’s where I am at in this project (yes this post is looooong)
I used Simplicity pattern 8093

This is my first sample jacket:

Cute right?

It’s a woven material much like I’ll be making. The pattern needs a few modifications. This is why we do test run muslins! The way the shoulders fit my dummy, is exactly the way they fit me. Those definitely need to be changed.

I wore this jacket all day and I kept putting my hands right there…. Why? I was expecting pockets. The way this pattern is laid out it’s an easy upgrade. The way the jacket is constructed, it has a piece set into the side. Pockets shouldn’t be at a side seam that’s set further back but they would work well at this seam. The jacket construction just screams pockets.

I did, least minute after the jacket was all together, hack in a pocket in the front.

I like this pocket… well, I would if it wasn’t an afterthought and it looked good. I will probably be making an inside pocket on my final jacket but I’ll do it before I put it all together and make it look neat.

All in all, I like how the lining goes in and I like the way it fits in general. I need a few modifications and this is one reason I sew. I can tailor a jacket to fit me exactly. The one modification I made to the pattern right off was the lapel. It is supposed to have a notch and I didn’t want that.

Really, what this jacket left me knowing was that I really needed to draft my own pattern.  I think it will be reminiscent of this one but it will be just so different as it will have

  • Modified shoulders – I think these are just slightly off (sorry MimiG).
  • Longer length
  • More shape in the waist area because of the longer length
  • modified back shaping
  • longer and more tapered sleeves
  • inner pocket
  • 2 outer pockets

My next material was a flocked denim but because of the “Year of Plaid”, I will find a new sample material. It won’t be just like my woven sample but I have an idea from this one exactly how my woven sample will work. Though it’s possible I will need to make a couple of these as I’m testing out my new draft. That’s ok. I like blazers and jackets.

If you too are working towards more tailored woven clothing I want to recommend this pattern. It uses a moderate amount of fabric while still managing to be tailored. It’s also not super tailored so if you’re not really experienced in sewing you can still sew this. This particular piece is a great transition between blocky garments and the super duper tailored jacket. I’m going to keep talking about and working towards showing how to set up weaving for commercial tailored patterns.


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