Hello again. I am pleased to announce I have finished my first ever jacket. You can read about day 1 below where I traced, cut, seamed, darted & had a stab at the double welt & flap pocket (the results weren’t all that pretty, but a new process was learnt. I’m very much looking forward to doing them again with thinner fabric and a working steam iron).

Day 2 starts with sleeves. They went together easy enough.

As well as my sleeve press I also managed to root out my mini steam iron. #sewingessentials.  

It was the gathering stitches and easing into the shoulders that I wasn’t looking forward to. I’d tried it once on a very early attempt at a shirt. I didn’t like it. It looked like a Snow White costume! Every other shirt I’ve made has the sleeves put in at the shoulders first, then sewn up with the sides. Much easier.

I actually enjoyed it though! Probably because of the ridiculously spongey fabric I’d mis-chosen, it all eased in rather nicely, I thought… 

Heartened as I was, the cotton lining attempt that followed ended up more Snow White again. There aren’t any pictures of that!

The hems were easier than I thought too. I don’t mean to sound smug, but I was dreading it all lining up. I added some binding where the pattern suggested overcasting. I will bind the main body seams in the next version too as the half lining doesn’t cover them. The bottom hem went up with the blind hem stitch & foot on my machine.

Now, I’m not a massive fan of hand stitching. It’s ok if it’s a few neat stitches somewhere visible giving a hand finished look. Anything more than that and I start to get really scrappy looking. As a rule, if it’s not going to be seen, I’ll try to find a way to machine stitch it! I remembered reading online somewhere a method for attaching linings at cuffs by machine. There was no chance I’d find the piece again, so I tried to work it out.

I put the jacket on (leaving a trail behind me in case I got lost in it!) so that the linings were smooth. Took it off carefully, folded the lining inside to the outer & pinned it. The next bit was tricky, I turned both sleeve & lining inside out and re-jigged the pins so the edges matched & I had enough turn-back to sew on. It worked. By the time I’d worked it out I could probably have hand sewn them!

Once finished (no buttons, not much final press- still using the mini-prym iron!) I took it round to my cousin as he’s a bit taller than me and about a size bigger. It was still massive on him, but at least I could see that it was a jacket.

I’m going to keep it as a reference for the next one. I’ll cut out a small, then, I’ll have a go at fitting it to me. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this practise run, but the next one has to fit me!

   Lessons learnt:

  • Take more care choosing fabrics.
  • Finish seams as I go.
  • Read instructions until understood.
  • Research before, not after! (I am now reading the a david Coffin book on tailoring).
  • Don’t just make… Fit.
  • A big task is only small tasks grouped together.

I’ll be less afraid to try new patterns in the future. Thanks for reading.

Until next time …