I have a lengthy story about the 3rd challenge of the PR Sewing Bee – A Lined Jacket in 10 days! but let me cut to the Cliff’s notes.
I was totally intimidated by the challenge and time constraint, so I thought it would be wise to make a pattern I already knew and loved, the Butterick 6169 moto jacket. But I second guessed myself when I realized so many contestants were making moto jackets. So I chose another pattern and totally constructed an amazingly difficult wool jacket with bound button holes, then hated it as soon as I put it on. I went back to my original plan of the B6169 with 3 days left and decided to just kick it up a notch.
Plaid is everywhere this fall, and so I was especially ready to use this beautiful soft wool blend that I had been saving, but I only had 1 and 1/4 yards. So, bring on the leather and mix it all together with some fit adjustments and new techniques.
I’ve been terrified of matching plaids for years. You must make sure it is perfect before you cut it out. And cutting is so final! When it came right down to it, I did actually have fun with it, like putting together a puzzle, once I got my pattern pieces marked and I thought to turn the front and back on the bias. My side front, upper sleeve, and side back were the pieces I matched and I’m pleased with how they turned out.
A note for all of us to remember — Wine is a great idea lubricator and helped me in my late night creative planning process. It is not, however, helpful when trying to determine if your plaid is balanced or not. I thought it was balanced, but realized in the full light of morning that it actually wasn’t quite. And this accident lead to the leather strip down the back! Since my back pieces didn’t seam into perfect chevrons, the addition of the leather piece and a little pleat ended up being my favorite part of the jacket.
Alterations this time: I went down another size (2 sizes down from my measured size) shortened the sleeves, took out sleeve head ease and cut down the neckline by 3/4 an inch.
And of course I added lined sleeve zipper vents, which I claim is a new to me technique because, even though I put zippers into the seams of my tweed pants, these vents are lined and I used a facing. And it was darn tricky. You know – those wouldn’t have been so tricky if I had a pattern. But not only was it the first time I tried it, but I was winging the facing pattern. You don’t know what to watch out for before you’ve gone through the process at least once. I now know to make your facing plenty wide so it is easier to turn. And lay your zipper in before you sew it in to check for length. I almost ran out of zipper.
The lining is a special piece that I got from a sewing meet-up at Amy’s house from Sew Well. I’m glad I used a piece of Seattle in my jacket as I’ve been a bit homesick (for the people, not the weather!) and I know that Jennifer from My Sewing Suite has the other half of this fabric and I can think of her and my Seattle Sewing Peeps when I wear it.
The jacket really was kicked up a notch, even over my bright floral one. This one is more designed and very me! It fits well and I know I will be wearing it a lot when it finally dips below 80 degrees here. That is something to look forward to, certainly!