Monday, March 11, 2013

Coat closet: The Basic Jacket

So far, we've only the basic bodice sloper to make a simple top. That same sloper can be used for a multiple of different garments including a straight, basic jacket or coat.

This exercise is a little bit more involved than the others. However, it remains rather simple and only requires 3 pattern pieces.

With doll in hand, decide the length of the jacket. (Measure down from the waist.) Trace the slopers onto a piece of graph paper and extend the CF and CB according to how long you want your garment.

At the lower point of the armhole on the front, drop a straight, vertical line perpendicular to the hem (ignoring the slant of the existing side seam). Repeat on the back. When you have finished, measure the side seams of both and adjust to ensure the length is the same from front to back.


Extend the shoulder by 1/8 inch on both the front and back slopers. Then lower the armhole by 1/8 inch on both shoulders. Draw a new armhole curve. Then check to make sure both shoulders are the same length.

On the front pattern, draw a line which is 1/4 inch from the Center Front line. This represents the overlap of the jacket. (Add more for a garment that crosses more over the body as is the case with the white coat, above.)

Fig. 2
Create your pattern pieces. Trace off your draft and add 1/4 inch seam allowance as shown in Fig.2. The sleeve sloper is used without any modifications except for the addition of seam allowance. Stitch the front to the back of your garment at the shoulders. Press the seams flat.
Fig. 3
Make a running stitch along the cap of each sleeve (Fig. 3). Pull the thread to contract the fabric at the cap which will make tiny gathers.
Fig. 4a

Fig. 4b

Fig. 4c

Fig. 5

Fig. 6
With the bodice flattened, pin the sleeve so that the underarm of the sleeve meets up straight with the underarm of the bodice (Fig. 4a). Pin the midpoint of the sleeve so that it lines up with the midpoint of the shoulders as shown in Fig 4b, and pin in place (Fig. 4c). Adjust the gathers, shifting the fabric so that the sleeve fits in as smoothly as possible.  Hand baste, using a running stitch, then machine stitch in place. When you flip the jacket over to the right side, it should look like Fig. 6.
Fig. 7
Turn the jacket back inside out. This is a good time to stitch or glue the hem of the sleeve. Match the side seams of the jacket and sleeve and stitch as seen in Fig. 7. Finish the jacket with either a machine stitch or simply turn and glue. Personally, I prefer to put a bit of glue around the neck and gently roll.

Here is my finished jacket worn over a pair of jeans, and then, belted over a pencil skirt. This jacket can be made as short or as long. The white coat at the top of this post was cut from ultra-suede. I extended the front about 1/2 inch beyond the center front and belted it in place.

And just in case you didn't noticed....all of the outfits featured here were created using the patterns you've learned to make thus far!

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