Here it is: the jacket I spent more than a decade dreaming of making. After more hours than I care to say, it’s 99 percent done. And it measures up to my expectations, which is pretty fantastic.
You know that feeling of sliding on a coat or jacket that feels exactly right? The right fit in the shoulders, the right sleeve length, the right drape? The right color, proportion, style? I have that feeling wearing this.
When I finished this jacket late this afternoon it was sleeting–awful for outdoor photos– and dim indoors in my makeshift photo space. I rolled out the seamless and Jack took a few shots. I will run more photos when we get better light conditions.
Once again, this project took many more hours to complete than I expected. How come I’m so terrible at estimating project times?
I just wanted to show you some of the inner workings of a jacket. I decided to underline the front, back, and upper sleeve lining pieces with thin flannel for extra warmth. I had some thin, cheap cotton flannel just right for this application. The flannel-backed lining has a nice weight and feels luxurious.
I also wanted you to see that much of the work of making a jacket comes from the “supporting cast” of hair canvas in the under collar, sleeve and bottom hems, muslin interfacings, sleeve heads to plump up the sleeve caps, shoulder pads, and the flannel-backed lining. In a finished jacket you don’t see these things, but they affect drape and performance so much. Kenneth King, frequent Threads magazine contributor, says “The fashion fabric is only along for the ride!” That’s such a good way to put it.
There is something left to decide before I can call this jacket truly done. There is too much play between the upper and lower collars. I could stabilize the collar with topstitching or with a method called “stitch in the ditch.” I’ll get advice on this at my next coatmaking class in a couple of days.
Tomorrow I’ll vacuum up the thread snippings and fabric scraps, fold up the jacket pattern and clear the work tables. I have a trench coat to sew.