Friday, 1 August 2014

Jackie Coat Sewalong - Cutting out fabric and fusing interfacing.

OK friends, today the good stuff starts - cutting into your lovely coating fabric.  I am posting this today so you have plenty of time over the weekend to get your fabric cut out and interfacing fused.

For those perhaps joining us now, we have covered:
Choosing and prewashing fabric and lining. 
Printing your pattern.

*Make sure you read all the pattern hack posts along with the post about Proportions  - I ended up ditching all my lengthening plans due to this proportion issue.
If you have your Jackie sewing instruction book you will see that there are no cutting layout diagrams so you get to work out the best layout for you, your fabric and your Jackie size.  Its like a giant jigsaw puzzle and it can be slightly different for everyone.

If you have a plaid, tartan or check fabric you will need to consider if you want to pattern match or not.  I personally feel that the extra effort is well worth it. If you want some guidance on matching plaids you can't go past this series from Sunni at A Fashionable Stitch.

Our pattern pieces include your main jacket pieces and facings, plus your lining pieces.  Marked on your jacket pieces are the cutting lines for additional interfacing pieces.

Fashion Fabric, pieces 1 - 10

Be particularly careful if your fabric has a nap or directional print, to make sure all your pattern pieces are facing the same way.

Because of the asymmetrical opening, most of the pieces need to be cut on a single layer (cut one only) and facing the same way up (right side of fabric up and printed side of pattern piece up for your single pattern pieces). These are:

1. Right front
2. Front right facing
3. Front left facing
4. Left front
8. Back neck facing
10. Pocket bag

The following need to be cut on a double layer (or cut two identical pieces).  If your fabric needs pattern matching it is better to cut them out on a single layer to ensure both pieces are the same.  If you are cutting them on a double layer, then make sure your fabric is right sides together.  If you are cutting them twice on a single layer, make sure you flip your pattern piece face down for the second one so you get both a left and right sleeve for example.

6. Sleeve
7. Collar
9. Welt

And only one needs to be cut on the fold:

5. Back on fold.

It is a good idea to layout all your pieces and plan before cutting.

I cut out all my pieces in a single layer, using my notches to help me pattern match.  I laid out my pieces as I went, so I don't have a layout to show you.  Here is a work in progress shot:

When cutting out my sleeves I cut one, then flipped the cut out piece so it was right sides together and used it to cut the second sleeve identical to the first one:

When cutting out my collar, I trimmed 3.5cm off from the buttonhole side and moved it over to the other side like this:

Centre front opening collar adjustment to ensure notches in correct position

Centre front opening collar adjustment to ensure notches in correct position
This was purely my lazy way of making sure my notches on my collar are in the correct position for my adjusted front pieces.  The centre front opening is the only change I have kept after muslining my other changes and deciding that Lena's way was better.

Interfacing, pieces 1 - 9
All your jacket pieces except #10 pocket bag needs to be either fully or partially interfaced.   If you haven't already read the interfacing posts make sure you check out Matching interfacing to your fabric. (this post is important to make sure your interfacing is not too heavy for Jackie)

So from your interfacing you need to cut out the following:

• Right and left fronts (1, 4)
• Right and left facings (2, 3)
• Back (5) (partially, as shown, follow the markings on your pattern piece)
• Sleeves (6) (partially, as shown, follow the markings on your pattern piece)
• Collar (7)
• Back neck facing (8)
• Welt (9)

Make sure you use a lightweight interfacing that maintains the drape of your fabric.  We are not tailoring here, so you don't use the same interfacing you would for a jacket.   I ended up using McCalls SheerWeft Fusible from my local Spotlight store and it seems to be working well.  The instructions recommend testing it first on a swatch, which is highly recommended.

When fusing your interfacing to your pattern pieces make sure you follow the directions and ensure a firm bond.  I always use an organza pressing cloth.  Make sure you use something so you don't end up with glue all over your iron plate.

All my fabric and interfacing cut out and ready to go.

My welts fused

I love using my organza pressing cloth as I can still see what I am doing underneath.
Fusing interfacing to fabric, especially when you are doing so many pieces takes a fair bit of time.

Lining, pieces 11 - 14

You can cut out your lining pieces now or do it later on when you are ready.  I'm going to do mine later as I am all cut and fused out today.

I hope this helps and if you have any questions, just leave a comment!

You can find all the posts of the sewalong here. 

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Jackie Coat Sewalong: Our prep is all done and muslin updates

We have now uploaded all our "prep" posts with a heap of information to help to make some great choices for your Jackie.

Make sure you check out this series of posts by Maria:

We are getting some activity on the Flickr Group so if you are making a muslin to check the fit and any resulting pattern adjustments, now is the time to get those photo's uploaded.  If you don't have a Flickr account you can also email them to me at cageofwords -at- gmail -dot- com and I will upload them for you!

I've been testing my Jackie alterations in a muslin and found that I didn't like the added length AT ALL.  In line with Maria's Proportions post, it just didn't work on my frame.  So I hacked the length off back to the original pattern and it looked soooo much better.  I am sorry I don't have a photo to post about that as I chopped off the length before I thought to take a pic of the before.

One thing I found is that when changing the opening to centre front it changed the angle that the collar buttonhole sat at and it looked hugely off-line on the muslin.  Keep this in mind if you are making the centre front change to check the position of the buttonhole that it is straight.

Jackie muslin testing changes

[Click on image to go to  Flickr photo with my comments on buttonhole position.]

So, just to recap, here are all the "Prepping for Sewing Jackie" posts

Janelle - Choosing and prewashing fabric and lining. 

Flickr Group - Making a muslin for those who would like to check the fit and any resulting pattern adjustments.  Post any photos of your work in progress here (don't be shy!).

If everyone is ready to move on, I'll be doing the next post tomorrow and we will be cutting into our fashion fabric.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Jackie Coat Sewalong - Important correction about interfacing!

One of the benefits of a ssllllllooooowwwwww sewalong is that there is plenty of time to get things just right.  I noticed in the Jackie instructions, the designer specified not medium weight interfacing, but lightweight, so I asked for some more information about this, especially as in my post about interfacing I recommended a number of medium weight interfacing options (which is what is awesome about indi pattern companies - you can ask a question and will get an answer right from the source within often minutes, its just great customer service!). 

Lena provided the following very helpful clarification:

"I chose lightweight interfacing because I didn't want to change the hand of the fabric, I just needed to add a bit of stability. The fabric I used was very soft and drapey, but heavy and with time under its own weight it would deform. So mostly I used the interfacing not to change the fabric, but to "hold it together" better. It is much different from the tailored jacket sewing, when the goal is to make the fabric to look more like a shell."

This makes so much more sense to me and so I have edited my original interfacing post to clarify this.  Your exisiting interfacing may still be perfect, it depends on your fabric.

But the new links to the lightweight interfacing options, which would be particularly important for your jacket fronts are: 

For Australia - 

Pitt Trading or The Fabric Store - Just ask for the professional grade interfacing lightweight suitable for using with a raglan sleeve coat that you do not want to add any stiffness to or change the fabric and they will send you the right one.

You also should get good recommendations from places like Tessuti Fabrics who sell online these lightweight options: the white one is here, the black one is here.

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 lightweight 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 lightweight interfacing I think would be suitable for our purposes for the jacket fronts is here

Another recommended source is A Fashionable Stitch.

As I mentioned in my previous interfacing post: 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.

There is still plenty of time to be sure you have the right interfacing - I  actually used my medium weight one on a test jacket front and it was too stiff but my lightweight one was perfect so it pays to test a couple of options on a largish swatch and handle it a bit to see which one works best for your project.   As mentioned above, your exisiting interfacing may still be perfect, it depends on your fabric.  In my case I needed to go lighter than I originally thought to maintan the hand/drape of my fabric.

I hope this helps and if you have any questions, just leave a comment.

You can find all the posts of the sewalong here.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Jackie Coat Sewalong - Changing to a centre front opening and rounding the Collar

For my rounded collar points, I just used my french curve to draw a curve that I like and trimmed it.

Very easy.  I want a slightly different collar to my first Jackie, but still wanted the high collar - it is brilliantly warm in cold weather, and especially lovely with a soft coating. I may even wait until I am making the collar before making this adjustment - it is easy when an adjustment is just a trim/taking away fabric.  I can't stick it back on if I change my mind mid-sew, I would have to recut a new collar piece.  In any case, this is the shape I am considering.

Next up: Changing the opening to centre front.  This is also very easy to do and is my last modification to my Jackie.  I love the pattern exactly as is, the asymmetric button closure looks lovely on my first Jackie but I am playing around with this version so I have two distinctly different coats in my wardrobe.

I laid the two front pattern pieces on top of each other and measured the difference in size. For simplicity I am using metric measurements for this post (even though I usually think in imperial).  the difference is 7 cm.  Half that is 3.5 cm (which I think is 1 3/8").

You can see my pencil line on the photo above showing the new line.

On the Right Front pattern piece (#1) I trimmed off 3.5cm.  I also moved back the buttonholes 3.5cm to reposition them the correct amount back from the seam.

I actually checked my change by sticking the cut off piece onto the Left Front pattern piece:

When these pieces are mirrored on top of each other, they are now identical.  I will now cut 2 of this pattern piece rather than cutting one each of Right Front and Left Front. 

For the facing, I took my Right Facing pattern piece (#2) and folded back the same amount of 3.5cm.  I will now cut 2 of this pattern piece instead of cutting one each of the left facing and the right facing.

Everything else stays the same.

That is my final adjustment post.  I hope it is useful to others who may want to make similar changes.  That is what is great about a pattern with excellent "bones" - they become a stepping stone for design, and a great base for whole variety of looks in your me-made wardrobe.

You can view all the posts so far in the sewalong here.

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