I want to share an ongoing make with you today. A project that is taking a bit longer than first imagined.
A few years ago I got into my hands 3-4 meters of a flowered upholstery fabric from Italy. It is rather old, but still nice, and not smelly ( until I took the iron to it, that is). I thought right away that I wanted to make a jacket with this fabric, event if it originally was meant for sofas and such like. It has a beautiful classic flower pattern woven into the weave, and a good thickness to it. I took it home and put it in my fabric stash and forgot all about it..
That is, until this autumn.
Browsing the web I found a rather nice biker jacket style on Burdastyle.com. The style is called Silk Motorcycle Jacket 03/2012 #115, and looks like this:
I usually think that it’s the styling that makes the models on the Burda site look good, and not necessary the cut or the style, but I wanted to try it out. I purchased the PDF pattern, printed and assembled it, and THEN started to think about what fabric I wanted to use -and whether I had one in my stash (I’m not always logical, I know, but what can you do ). When checking around what I had available at home I found my flower upholstery fabric again, and a firmer plan started taking shape. Considering the thickness of the fabric it would have to be an autumn jacket, which was perfect, ’cause of the season, obviously.
I started by making up a toile. I always do this on new projects of a certain size. It would be so frustrating to do all that work and then find out the fit was less than great.
Trace and try
I traced a size 40 and made my rough sample in unbleached cotton. What I found was that the jacket was too small to be a autumn jacket worn outside sweaters. This was no great surprise because when you look at the photo on the pattern, the style is made as a summer jacket in thin silk. Undoubtedly I could have found a more suitable pattern, but getting this far I decided I had to work with what I had. I made the length 4 cm longer at the waist, and each panel widened with 1 cm – which amount to 8 cm extra in total. The shoulder part was additionally widened with 0,5 cm on each side as the shoulders weren’t wide enough for my taste. I was now ready to move on to the real fabric.
Not a cut in the park
The upholstery fabric was a pain to cut out, partially because of the thickness, but also the weave makes it fray like h*ll. My serger fixed the fraying problem but I think I will have to resharpen my scissors. But for now I was good to go. I found a polyester satin in my stash to – in a beautiful burgundy colour that would be a perfect match to the flowers in the main fabric.
Think and rethink.
After thinking about it a second time I wanted to use an complimentary outer fabric for some of the details -to reduce the bulk at critical points like collar and welt pocket, as well as the front facing.
And what would be better than leather to contrast the flower fabric and give the jacket a more rough look. -Also, I have seen more than one jacket with leather sleeves the last year or so.
Due to my budget I had to make do with fake leather. I went to my closest fabric store, Stoff & Stil, which is only about 10 min. away by car, and bought 1 meter of a stretch fake leather with jersey backside. It has a really nice and soft hand-feel.
Even so, the details aren’t a work in the park. I used the original welts in the pattern, but forgot to interline them (doh*). That means they are way to floppy and once I put them in they stretched out of shape. I also discovered that I had by mistake bought two different zippers for the front pockets. One with shiny silver teeth, and one with dull olive green teeth. -I had to take a substitute zipper and shorten it to fit. The sliver teeth are approx. the same shine, but the zipper puller if different.
I also bough a too short front zipper, so I will have to go back to the store and change it for a longer one. Luckily I kept the receipt.
So that’s where I stand on this project so far.
To be continued…