Majestic, isn’t it?
This project was a HUGE pain, I battled with this fabric for months. Sometimes I felt like it was winning, but nothing a swift blow to the head with an empty beer bottle couldn’t fix. Get it? Biker brawl? It’s a motorcycle jacket, I was fighting with the fabric… whatever, it’s done and I’m satisfied and have already worn it out of the house a number of times, which in my book is total victory!!
I learned a number of new techniques and got real friendly with hand sewing, which, is good, we had sort of a stand-offish relationship before. For this project however, this fabric was so finicky there were a number of times I opted to hand sew because that seemed easier than machine sewing and would give a nicer finish. That’s how f-ed up this fabric was. EASIER TO HAND SEW. You may be able to see from the photos that it has a bit of a sheen to it. It’s a wool blend that I picked up in…ahem, PARIS… It’s really soft and beautiful but that sheen is caused by plastic. Strips of plastic woven into the fabric. Gad.
Any time I hit one of those strips dead on with a needle, the plastic would get pushed through by the needle and start causing all kinds of weird puckering and pulling of all the other threads around it. I had to cut a new back piece because by the time I got done sewing the first one, it was a mess. Even hand stitching or putting pins in would cause this problem, so I had to be very careful to wiggle sharp pointy objects and find the space between the plastic threads instead of ramming the needle right through them. Stressful. I was so relieved to start working on the lining knowing how much easier the lining fabric would be to work with. I lined it in a flannel backed satin, (I’d heard all these fancy sewing bloggers mention it and had to try it). Totally awesome. Especially since it’s still hovering around 40F here at night, I’m happy for the extra warmth.
I wanted to handle this fabric as little as possible, which was a little difficult considering I had to re-set the sleeves about 3 times and even then had to do some weird tweaking to get them to hang right AFTER I had already finished the sleeve seams thinking it was A-OK. Also, I ignored my tailor tacks indicating the placement of the zipper and sewed the zipper on with the bottom abutted right up against the raw edge of the fabric. Seam allowance for sewing the waistband on? Who needs it. I noticed my mistake early on, but I had already top-stitched the zipper down and didn’t want to undo those stitches, cause that was also a real b- with this fabric as well and decided I could work around that issue later. Uh, no. Wrong. I got all the way to having the lining and facing all inserted and just needed to attach the waistband and snap and realized that anything I could some up with to work around the zipper issue would look wonky and lame and mean that I would never actually wear the jacket. So instead of just having to unpick the zipper like I would have done had I decided to fix the problem when I noticed it, I had to take off the waistband I had already attached, undo the hand stitching on the lining, et cetera. But I managed, finagled the zipper and moved it up 5 measly 8ths of an inch and finished this puppy up right. Sigh.
See how you wouldn’t be able to use the zipper if it were all the way down where the coat has to attach to the waist band? Duh.
More detail shots:
And the finished look:
I’m pretty happy with it.
See? Exhausted bliss. I’d never done a collar like this before or zippered pockets or a full lining with facings or that thing with the piping between the facing and lining or really anything like this! Also I know I must be getting better at this garment construction thing because I could easily follow the Burda pattern instructions! Only a couple made me scratch my head, but they were easily figured out. And actually I really like this pattern. I left off the tabs it was supposed to have on the back waistband because, let’s be honest, I had forgotten to cut them out and wanted to be done with this mofo. But I like the shoulder tabs and the elbow patches and this pattern actually had separate pieces for the lining and with that pleat in the back for ease of movement! Ooh, which reminds me, it has these shoulder pleats in the back:
(Don’t know if you can really make them out here, but they’re there, trust me). I wasn’t too sure I liked the look of these at first and almost took them out of the pattern, thought it might be too dude-ish, but they’re great for sticking your arms out to reach your bike handlebars, they spread with your shoulders! No tightness! Genius!
But the best part about this jacket is… it’s kitty-approved: