Monday, October 31, 2011

A Not-So-Ugly Denim Jakcet

Using the same pattern that yielded the Ugly Green Suit I made a second jacket that's much, much better. The fabric made all the difference in the world. This time, I used a print denim from Emma One Sock with a yellow Bemberg rayon lining. The fabric is smooth, almost silky, with a bit of horizontal stretch.

I left off the bottom strip of the jacket, because it didn't look good with the large-scale print. If I had it to do over, I'd probably lengthen the jacket a bit, to make up for the lost bottom strip.

I wore it yesterday with yellow pants, but I think it will look better with a straight skirt.

I found some glass buttons at an ebay shop. I wish I could have found something similar in a periwinkle color. I do actually have 3 buttons that are exactly the right size and color, and I suppose I could have used them an put a snap at the top.

What I learned from this project:

1. When using fabrics with large or asymmetrical prints (or stripes or plaid, for that matter), carefully consider the layout before cutting. If I were going to do this project again from the beginning, I would cut out tissue patterns, omitting the seamlines and overlaps, and lay them out so I could see exactly how the pattern would match up at the seam lines and where the left and right fronts overlap.

2. I already knew this, but the project made it even more clear: choice of fabric is SO important. If one is on a limited budget, it's far better to save up and buy one length of nice fabric than to buy several lengths of low-quality fabric. However, if the high-quality fabric is expensive (which usually seems to be the case) it's also good to make the best use of the expensive fabric by making test garments first with inexpensive fabrics.

3. When setting in sleeves, I find it very helpful to hand-baste the sleeve into place before sewing it on the machine. I end up actually saving time, because if the sleeve is basted in, I don't have problems with puckered seams that have to be ripped out and re-done. Maybe as I get more experience I won't need to do this step, but for now, I'm going to hand-baste my sleeves.

4. When sewing very light-weight, slippery fabrics, such as rayon lining, always put tissue paper along the seam line when sewing on the machine. Don't try to save time by omitting this step.


  1. Your jacket looks really beautiful! I just love that pretty patterned fabric; so fresh.
    And those are really excellent tips you have here. I think I should print them out in bold, and stick them up on the wall... they are all so TRUE

  2. I meant, I should stick them up on the wall, in my own sewing room, not that I was telling YOU what to do, of course :)