After 109 hours of hard labor, I finished Mark's tailored jacket --- the first of two projects for my advanced tailoring class. I used a Burda pattern (#7842; highly recommended), which only required a few minor adjustments. I used the custom method, which required a lot of hand sewing, namely padstitching the hair canvas for the collar and lapel; catchstitching twill tape to the roll line and the front edges; tailor-basting the hair canvas in the fronts; and catchstitching the hair canvas into the hems. I really liked using the hair canvas, as it provided structure to the jacket and a certain "weight" or "substance", which I believe helps the jacket hang nicely. I made welt pockets instead of the flap pockets called for in the pattern and, as requested, made an inside welt pocket as well. Of course the most important thing is that he loves his new jacket!
The second jacket I completed required much less time --- about 55 hours. I used a pattern from the January 2008 issue of Burda World of Fashion magazine (I love these mags). What attracted me to the pattern was the overall look --- fitted silhouette, shawl collar that can be worn up, and cool turnback cuffs. The fabric is beautiful (purchased at Britex), with a gorgeous sheen to it from the silk, and a nice texture from the quilted pattern. However, it "catches" to rough surfaces easily, so you need to be careful when handling the fabric --- it is really easy to accidentally pull some threads. I used a silk charmeuse lining from Thai Silks, which I love, and found three beautiful glass buttons from Stonemountain and Daughter. I did not use hair canvas for the shawl collar, as I thought it would be too thick for the silk/wool matelasse fabric. Instead, I used a double layer of silk organza (which I also used as underlining throughout the jacket). Mistake. In hindsight, I should have used a more substantive interfacing, as the organza in the collar seemed flimsy and somewhat "crunchy" to the touch. I ended up using hair canvas for the hems and the shoulder reinforcements, which worked well.
In addition to the help I received from instructors and classmates, the following books were really good references:
Tailoring, The Classic Guide to Sewing the Perfect Jacket
Easy, Easier, Easiest Tailoring by Pati Palmer and Susan Pletsch
Sew any Fabric by Claire Shaeffer
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