Jacket-Making, Day 1

For some time now, I’ve had a pretty strong desire to make clothing. I repair my clothes by hand relatively frequently, know a bit about fabric thanks to my mom being a quilter, and am pretty nerdy about men’s fashion, particularly when it comes to construction and quality.

And every winter when I’m home, I have access to both a huge stockpile of fabric, knowledge, equipment and ideas, all belonging to my mom.

It’s hard for me to find clothes that I like. It’s especially hard to find clothes that work in quasi-athletic scenarios (commuting, hiking, etc.) and function well in quasi-professional scenarios (working at a marketing consultancy, etc.).

So I’m trying to make the above jacket out of a dark charcoal worsted wool, with grey worsted wool panels where appropriate. It’s inspired by bike jackets, and will have a single chest pocket that opens from the side. The collar will be pretty big (2.5″ or 3″), and the diagonal hand-holes may differ from the above… there might be a thumb-opening. I think it’ll be interesting to see a lot of the traditional athletic-garment elements executed in what is a pretty nice (though not Super 110s or anything really thin/fancy) suiting fabric. Hopefully it’ll be done before I go home.

Today was day one of that process:

Starting with my recent coat purchase as a template (the Nau Urbane Jacket, size Large), I used something called Swedish Tracing Paper, which supposedly allows you to trace a garment, cut out a pattern, and then even sew the pattern together to test. And yes, it works. You can do just that: trace the pieces, add a seam allowance, and pin the thing together.

Note: you look rather silly trying on unfinished garments.

We’ve got the pattern for the body, but it’s a bit tight in parts, and a bit loose in others.

Stay tuned for Day 2, when we work on the sleeves, the collar, the details, and the fit.

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