Here you can see my mom/tailor placing the back side pattern onto the dark grey wool.
Day 3 and 4 of the jacket-making process were all about re-making the pattern into neater shapes, making sure everything fit exactly the way we wanted, planning out the construction of the real jacket, and sorting out the details before we got too far into the process.
As we went, we cut the pattern out of the final fabric (two tones of worsted wool) and pieced it together, checking it against the muslin dummy we had made from my original pattern/design. What’s worsted wool? It’s a lightweight, smooth wool fabric made from yarn that has been spun in such a way to remove wool fibers’ natural kink. The wool we have has a plain weave (not twill or anything else interesting) and has a pretty powerful “memory”, meaning it will bounce back to its original shape. We washed it in hot water before doing anything to eliminate shrink. The fabric barely shrunk from this process, but we wanted to be sure.
We started by piecing together the back of the jacket. There are seven panels in the back: three across the midsection and four in the yoke, counting the same-fabric lining. The midsection panels were sewn together first. Then the two outer yoke panels came together, and were sewn to the midsection as a single piece. The lining would be added on Day 5.
In the above, you can see the chalk hashmarks that are made when sewing together curves. If you’ve ever sewn anything on a curve, you know it’s tricky business, and can be confusing. Thankfully, I didn’t have to do any of that. You can also see the topstitching on the light grey wool; most of the seams in the jacket are topstitched for strength. You wouldn’t see that in traditionally tailored jackets (suits and such), but this is a different garment. I think it looks cool, anyhow.
We then placed the pocket and determined how it was going to be finished. Pockets and zippers are a complex business; definitely not something for the faint of heart. A piece was sewn to the face of the jacket, and then turned inside, giving support to the pocket edge. We were going to do zipper garages (little light grey covers on both ends of the zipper), but a fully-hidden zipper was more appealing (you can see it, pre-final sewing, in the 3rd shot). A folded layer of light grey hides the zipper, and the pocket is made from black satin, which we bar-tacked into place.
After the pocket was perfect, we attached the fronts to the yoke, and then the sides to the back.
Nothing is pressed yet, but you can start to see how it’s coming together.
Next up: the articulated, three-piece sleeves.
Here’s the inside of one.
And the outside of two. I changed the shoulder shape somewhat from the first pattern, bringing it up my shoulder about an inch. The higher shoulders should make that part of the jacket appear softer; it’ll be shaped more by my actual shoulder than by the seam. You’ll note in the photos that the cuffs are angled: this should show off a little cuff (traditional style) while giving the extra length needed to keep warm during more athletic pursuits.
Day 5: collar, lining, bottom band, sleeve attachment, zipper!