Moto Jacket Sleeves

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The sleeves are ready to go! I put a zipper with a gusset, which is standard for motorcycle jackets. If you’re interested in technique, Shams did a great tutorial on sleeve zipper gussets.

Sleeve zipper

Sleeve zipper

sleeve zipper open, showing silk gusset

sleeve zipper open, showing silk gusset

Collar and Lapels!

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The collar and lapels are on! It’s starting to look like a real jacket.

back view.  I like how the collar comes up at the back neck.

back view. I like how the collar comes up at the back neck.

back collar

back collar

back undercollar.  I stitched the seam allowances to the undercollar to hold them in place better.

back undercollar. I stitched the seam allowances to the undercollar to hold them in place better.

gorge line.  It's hard to tell in the photo, but the lapel is silk satin and the collar is the same velvet as the rest of the jacket.

gorge line. It’s hard to tell in the photo, but the lapel is silk satin and the collar is the same velvet as the rest of the jacket.

collar

collar

front overlap

front overlap. You can see that the printing is a little blurry.

A Lovely Get-Together and Moto Jacket Project

On Saturday, I went to the city to meet up with Elizabeth, Peter, Kat, and Sarita for some lovely conversation and fabric shopping. The company was unparalled, but we were all fairly restrained in our purchases. I purchased 3 zippers for my new jacket: one for the front closure, and 2 for the cuffs. Above is a photo of the whole group at Paron. I am second from left, wearing my recently-completed knit hoodie.

I’m chugging along on my jacket. I now have the front zipper halfway installed, and the undercollar attached.

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Moto Jacket — Welt Pockets

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Since you are all so nice about expressing your interest in my project, I am motivated to post my progress. I’ve finished the side front seams and one of the welt pockets. The jacket will be unlined, so I’m putting a Hong Kong finish on the seams, using bias strips of black silk organza. The pocket bags are silk twill.

left side front, inside view.  You can see my Hong Kong seam finish and the pocket bag for the welt pocket.

left side front, inside view. You can see my Hong Kong seam finish and the pocket bag for the welt pocket.

Printed Moto Jacket — Printing

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If you want to keep your sanity, never screen print on velvet. The end result is OK, but it was a bit maddening getting there. The screen kept moving on its own because of the nap, resulting in several double prints. After I finished, I realized that if I had ironed each piece immediately before placing it on the platen, that would have made my life easier. In this case, they actually look OK, and I think I can get away with acting like I meant them to be that way.

The print is adapted from a photo I took of the trees in my back yard while lying on the trampoline with my kids.

upper collar

upper collar

Printed Moto Jacket — Lapels

This is the square of silk that I washed on top of the unwashed silk yardage.

This is the square of silk that I washed on top of the unwashed silk yardage.

As I was laying out my motorcycle jacket pattern on the velvet, I remembered some black doubleface duchesse satin that I bought at a silk mill in Sudbury, UK. I went there a few years ago when I lived in London. I blogged a little about the trip here. The silk is actually the kind of silk that is meant for use in tuxedo lapels and racing stripes. It is heart-stoppingly gorgeous. I had a lot, but then I made this coat, which used most of the fabric. But anyway, I was thinking about lapels, then about this silk, and thought, why not?

I took a square of the silk and washed it in the machine. It came out with almost the same hand, but with a cool marbled effect that will go well with the design of the jacket. There was very little shrinkage. Now, the plan is to wash a larger piece of the silk, and use it for the lapels and the facings.

Embellished Moto Jacket — The Beginning

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Here’s the start of another epic project. It will be a motorcycle-style jacket made with custom printed cotton velveteen. In order to place the motifs properly when I do the screen printing, I will need to know where the seam lines go. So far, I have thread traced all the seam lines onto the velveteen fabric.

a warm, fuzzy collar

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It all started when I saw an ad in February Vogue featuring a model wearing the comfiest, fuzziest sweater in existence. So I thought, and flipped back to it, and thought, and realized that I have a knit in my stash that would be perfect for a sweater like that.
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I made some changes to design in the photo. I wanted a skinnier sleeve. It is hard to wear a big sleeve like that under a coat (at least any coat that I own). And if I can’t wear it under a coat, that would limit its utility for me as a winter garment. I also wanted a hood. I’m always cold, so I actually use a hood to keep warm whenever I’m wearing a garment that has one.

I entered my sewing room, lapsed into a trance, and emerged with a sweater several hours later. As far as I can tell, the sweater made itself.
sweater-hoodie-8799

sweater-hoodie-8797

instead of darts on the sleeve, I used pleats.

instead of darts on the sleeve, I used pleats.

hood

hood

pocket

pocket

pocket

pocket

hook that has a matching eye to hold it closed

hook that has a matching eye to hold it closed

inside out view, showing the silk charmeuse sleeve lining.

inside out view, showing the silk charmeuse sleeve lining.

Variation on a Shirt

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I’ve been thinking about shirts for spring, and am looking for a slightly more casual take on the classic shirt. I’ve seen some interesting use of contrast out and about from designers, and thought it would be nice to try it. Looking in my fabric closet, I did not seem to have any shirting fabrics that I could see together, so I took some shirting and dyed part of it to create the contrast in the collar, placket, and cuffs.

The pattern is based on Ryuichiro Shimazaki’s shirtmaking book (the one that Peter is working with now), but I made some significant modifications. I cut the front in one piece, with the placket extending halfway down. I added a bust dart, shortened the sleeves, shortened the overall length, and added a barrel cuff. These changes make the shirt much more casual.

barrel cuff

barrel cuff, which is just a short tapered tube with no fasteners

Closeup of placket with the metal buttons.

Closeup of placket with the metal buttons.

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triangle at side hem.

triangle at side hem.

inside view of triangle at side hem.

inside view of triangle at side hem.

Creating Contrast

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My current project is a shirt with a contrast placket. Rather than picking 2 coordinating fabrics, I took some of my shirting fabric and dyed it orange to create the contrast.

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