Sunday, August 3, 2014

Blue Collar Fashionista

Oh that ubiquitous jeans jacket...... This garment which started for the blue collar worker a century ago, has enjoyed a long illustrious path throughout fashion history. Once reserved solely as a uniform for truck drivers and farmers, it became the ultimate anti-establishment symbol to Woodstock hippies and 70's activists, this after surviving the "cool factor" of the 1950's thanks to iconic rebels like James Dean and Marlon Brando.
The guys check out the cars at Detroit's "Woodward Dream Cruise." This year's event is Aug. 16.
Whether we see it in the pages of the glossies, the fact is...the jeans jacket has never gone out of style. It is now a classic, a necessary fashion staple. And it is also an amazing garment that keeps us cool in the summer and warm in the winter. No other garment can boast the same! In the recent  menswear collections, the jeans jacket was, once again, the focus of Spring/Sumer '15's hottest trends. With that in mind, I thought it necessary to get my guys up to speed. Again, this is not difficult to make. You simply need the patience to carefully mark each pattern piece then double check that you are assembling this together correctly. Again, I am hand-holding you through the entire process. Not just with the pattern but with the assembly as well.

Before we get started, I would like to point out that my jacket is the most basic design. There is no one look. You can have as many panels in your jacket as you feel you can handle. Just be aware that for a 12-inch doll, real estate is scarce and you do have to worry about bulk created by seams. So you might want to keep the number of seams to a minimum. With the male doll, you don't have to deal with darts. Think of it as a jigsaw puzzle whereby you cut the basic sloper into pieces, add seam allowance then sew everything back together. So feel free to cut your center seams on the diagonal or design the yoke to have western style V-shape or design patch pockets instead of flaps. Anything goes so long as it is cut from a denim looking fabric. Once again, working with traditional denim is likely to make you cry. I've used the same silk twill I used for the jeans.

Trace your men's bodice sloper onto paper.

1. Mark off the front yoke. Mine is simple. I've marked it 3/4-inch down fom the CF, indicated by the red dotted line.
2. Decide where you want the front panel to be. Mind is 1/2-inch from the center front line and is perpendicular to the yoke (red line). Remember, you can also make this a diagonal line.)
3. The top of the waistband will be at the top of the hips (red line).

4. Straighten the side by connecting the lower armhole point to the top of the waistband (blue line).
5. For the front placard, I extend the center front by 1/2-inch (green).
6. For the waistband I would like it to be 1/4-inch long (blue line).
Now we will either cut and paste down or trace off the individual sections to create our patterns pieces.
7. Cut or trace off the yoke, front, side front and placard. Add seam allowance.

8. Let's design the back. Again, I begin with the back yoke. Mine is 3/4-inch down the center back line (red). I've divided the back into two. The line is 3/4" from the center back (red). The top of the hip falls at the same point it did in the front.
9. Straighten the side seam by drawing a straight line from the armhole to the top of the hip (blue).
10. Mark the waistband by making it 1/4-inch long (blue)

11. Cut and paste or trace the yoke and bodice sections. Trace the one side to the opposite along the CB so that you have the full yoke and the full center back panel. Add seam allowance to each pattern piece.
12. Cut and paste or trace off the front and back waistbands. Join them together at the side seam making sure the back is first, then the front. Double the length of the waistband. (I added an additional 1/4-inch to my 1/4-inch band.) Now double the width by folding your paper at the CB to trace off the other side so that the waistband is in one piece. Extend the CF line (on both outer edges)  by 1/2-inch on both ends. Add seam allowance all the way around.

13. Trace off the sleeve. Cut off 1/4-inch from the bottom to make the cuff. Trace this and double the length. Add seam allowance to this and the rest of what's left of the sleeve.

1. Attach the front panel to the side front. Topstitch
2. Tack the pocket flap in place over where the front seams join.
3. Attach the front yoke.

4. Press with seams pointed upwards.
5. Topstitch
6. Attach placard to front bodice.

7. At the very top of the placard, turn the edge down and tack or glue in place.
8. Now fold the placard over the seam onto itself.
9. Topstitch.

10. Attach the side back panels to the center back panel. Press both seams to one side.
11. Topstitch.
12. Attach back yoke. Press seam upwards direction.
13. Topstitch.
14. Join jacket together at shoulder seams. Press seams to one side. Topstitch.
15. Shave 1/8-inch from cap of sleeve (to flatten it slightly).
16. Set sleeve in armhole and sew. Press flat.
17. Topstitch top of sleeve.
18. Fold garment down as shown above. Pin then stitch underarm seam of sleeve and side seam of garment. Press seams open.
 19. Turn garment right side out. Attach waistband.
 20. Press seams down. Turn side edges inward, then turn waistband over seam onto itself and topstitch.

21. Pin length of 1-inch fabric, preferably cut on bias along the neckline of the jacket from edge to edge. (The rectangle of fabric for my collar measures 3-3/4 inch wide by 1-inch long. Place wrong side to wrong side of jacket. In effect, you will attach the collar to the inside of the neckline, allowing it to roll over to the right side of the jacket.

22. Fold the sides under as well as the top edge. When you have finished it will extend in between (but not on) the placards. Press. Topstitch. Add mini brads or pearl stickers for the "metal" buttons.

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Oh my! What's that on his head??? Why, it's a baseball cap and we'll be back with the pattern and a mini-tutorial for anyone who wants to make one for their special doll! (It also fits Barbie!) Stay tuned!!!!


  1. Replies
    1. Take your time and have fun with this and the jeans!

  2. I appreciate how much work went into one tiny garment! I couldn't do it.

    1. Normally I shy away from posting garments that are so intricate, choosing instead to find a shortcut to each style. But because it is menswear, I wanted to make a more "authentic" garment. It really isn't as hard as it looks but it is the kind of project where you have to take your time. On the other hand, if you want the look of this jacket without all the bother, do it "Mattel style." Make a simple, straight, hip length jacket (using the front, back bodice+sleeve), topstitch all the details, and add the studs!

  3. So true! Normally I do a single row of top stitching because if you go off a bit, it's not as noticeable. If you're having problems with the under layer moving while you sew, you can try using a fabric glue stick + a light pressing to hold the under layer in place while you stitch.

    1. That is such a good idea. Thank You!. Im new to your blog and I'am going through all of your old post and my mind is on overload. LOL. I love it.

    2. Hi Vinny and welcome to my blog. Happy you were able to find your way here where we have LOTS of fun! If you look the title, "Tutorials" on the upper right hand side of this page, and click under things likes "Patterns," "Slopers," "Dolly Textiles," and the like, you'll find a treasure trove of tutorials, techniques, tips and trend reports filled with fashions that inspire! Come back as often as you'd like and have yourself a really good time!


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