Sunday, 20 July 2014

Jackie Coat Sewalong - Pattern Hack! Lengthening the Sleeves

One of the modifications to my second Jackie is to lengthen it - both the sleeves and overall length.

I've been making my pattern alterations this weekend and this post is specifically for the sleeves.

I measured my existing sleeve length on my first Jackie, which sits just below my elbow with the cuff turned back and I need to add 7" or approximately 18 cm of length the get the cuff resting just above my thumb joint.  This will give me another nearly 2" of length when the cuff is left unturned, perfect for when it gets chilly.

The Jackie Sleeve pattern piece looks really long but a large part of the bottom sleeve is for "fold back" allowance.  Because of the size of the actual sleeve I made up a little mock up for pictures as well as some drawings.

 Here are the steps using the little mock up sleeve:

Here is the sleeve as is. The main fold lines are the ones on your pattern piece indicated with the arrows.  You also have a couple of notches that are guides for your folding as well, which I have marked as a red line for clarity.   The lines for the interfacing piece is shown in a light blue.

Cut along the top line.

Use a ruler/straight edge to keep the grain line lined up and insert a filler piece of paper and measure gap to your appropriate amount.  My extension is 7".

Fold the sleeve up along the line at the start/bottom of the two arrows.  This is the fold back for the sleeve hem. Of course, when you are making the actual jacket, the sleeve hem gets folded under and the cuff gets folded "up" but when I took these photos I did them both "up". 

Fold up again for the cuff.  You are are lining up the bottom fold line to the top fold line marked on your pattern piece and shown by the arrows. 

There is your nice cuff, and your pattern edges for this section should all line up nicely in a nice smooth line.

With a ruler/straight edge, draw in the line for the extension sleeve seam.  To keep the line true you will find you will trim off a little off each side of the cuff fold back.  How much you taper in your sleeve is up to you, I only did the bare minimum as I like the full raglan sleeves. 

True your seams/cut off the excess.  You should have a nice smooth line.

Fold you pattern pieces back down and you can see you have lengthened your sleeve and also trued up the cuff and sleeve hem turn backs.

Here is my actual pattern piece lengthened. It's looonnnng.

For the sleeve lining, I just extended it 7" and then laid it over the top of my lengthened sleeve pattern piece to make sure the width matched on both pieces.  And it does.

Here is an infographic of the above if that helps.  Just click to enlarge:


So that is my sleeve extended to full length.  I will show how to extend the coat length in another post, as I think that is long enough for now.  Any questions (or corrections), just leave a comment.

Jackie Coat Sewalong - Pattern Hack! Patch Pockets
The welt pockets on Jackie are a beautiful design element but can be tricky to execute well.  If you would like an easier pocket option for your Jackie coat, or would prefer patch pockets for design reasons, then Lena from Iconic Patterns has a lovely free pattern hack for you today.

Not just any patch pocket, of course.  Lena has a tutorial on her website for "a self-faced, lined, interfaced pocket that will look great, last a long time and will give you another sewing technique to squirrel away for the future projects".

Hop on over for a beautifully written and illustrated tutorial that will take your patch pockets to a whole other level here.

  • A list of all the sewalong posts is here.
  • Join the Flickr Group to share progress photos here.
  • Ask any questions on any of the sewalong posts or email me at cageofwords-at-gmail-dot-com (you know the deal, you need to swap -at- and -dot- for the actual symbol, I'm justing ducking the spam bots).

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Jackie Coat Sewalong - Interfacing Recommendations

You will often read experienced seamstresses comment about the important of using the right interfacing to achieve a lovely result when sewing.  I have certainly learnt this the hard way - using poor quality interfacing that either over-stiffens up my fabric, and not in a good way, or that really cheap thin stuff that you can pull apart with your hand and melts permanently to your iron at the drop of a hat. 

So I had a couple of sewalong-ers ask about some more direction with interfacing so we decided to look around online and provide some quality links to "the good stuff" that is suitable for the kind of sewing we are doing - we need a good quality woven fusible interfacing that still maintains the nice drape of our fashion fabric.

For Australia - 

I purchased a professional grade weft interfacing from Pitt Trading for $10/m.  It is lovely and soft, does not need preshinking, and adds good body and support without adding stiffness or changing the hand or feel/drape of the fabric.  They do not have it on their online store, but it can be purchased by phoning them.  (Just ask for the professional grade interfacing suitable for using with suiting/coating and they will send you the right one).

You also should get good recommendations from places like Tessuti Fabrics who sell this one online recommended for coats and heavier fabrics.

Another excellent source for quality interfacing for Sydney is EM Greenfields, which is a sewing supply wholesaler but they do sell by the metre to the public. They ship to anywhere in the world and if you send an email to them detailing what you are after (a good quality woven fusible interfacing suitable for jackets/coats with drape) they will be happy to help out.

For the US readers - 

Fashion Sewing Supply sells high quality professional weft interfacing.  The recommended one for coating and suiting is this one here.  It is the company owned by Pam Erny, who wrote this tutorial about interfacing on Gertie's Blog for Better Sewing.

Another recommended source is A Fashionable Stitch, who also sells professional grade interfacing like this one here which would be also ideal for us. Sunni has blogged extensively about using good quality fusible, in fact her latest post is about using this particular interfacing with her latest tailored jacket.

All of these links are for independent sewing companies that will be able to offer you advice about your particular fabric and project and recommend the best choice for you.  It's the kind of service that you don't find in the larger chain stores and why I try to buy from these places.  If you are not sure, phone before you order and have a chat, or order a swatch and test it on your fabric to be sure you are happy before placing your order.

For everyone worldwide -

If you really don't want to buy online I highly recommend that you try to buy from an independent sewing shop like the ones listed above.  Usually the staff are extremely knowledgeable about their products and you will (in most cases) find that their recommendations really helpful.  If you take in a sample of your fabric and ask for professional interfacing, you should end up with the "good stuff".

What NOT to use - 

Don't use non woven cheap chain store fusible.  Don't choose anything really lightweight or really stiff.  If you can pull it apart with your fingers and looks like really thin felt I would steer clear. 

I hope this helps and if you have any questions, just leave a comment, Maria, Lena and myself are all lurking and happy to help out. 

Monday, 14 July 2014

Jackie Coat Sewalong - PDF Pattern is on sale!!

Just a quick public service announcement for those interested in the sewalong - Lena from Iconic Patterns has put the Jackie Coat PDF Pattern on Sale.  There is still plenty of time to get your pattern and join the sewalong.  We are planning a relaxed and leisurely pace so there is lots of time to join in at any point.

We are also planning some great prizes for those who sew with us, so stay tuned for more information about that soon.

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