Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pin Up

Fall has arrived here where I live, with lower temperatures and humidity, weaker light, fading flowers, lots of dead leaves falling everywhere and oh yes, hurricanes.   Can you tell I don’t like Fall?   I have had no motivation to sew any new clothes.   But I have purchased some fabric.   Sigh! Why does Fabric.com have to use box sealing tape on which their name is printed over and over again.  Gee, do they have to announce to my DH that another box of fabric has arrived.  I have a plan to train him to actually look forward to boxes of fabric, inspired by this 1947 calendar pin up girl.

Esquire Girl Calendar Feb 1947
 “Is that another box of fabric” He will ask grumpily. “Yes, dear,  I will reply, “and let me show you how it will look on me!”  as I dash from the room with the box in my arms.  “Ta Da” I say returning and proudly displaying the fabric à la the calendar.  When I asked DH if it would work with him, he leered and said “Why don’t you try it?”  Hmm, maybe this plan will also deter me from buying so much fabric.

Surprisingly, I have been motivated to finish some UFO’s (unfinished objects). Late last summer I decided to make a copy of  this Tibi Jacket. I got as far as cutting out the bodice fabric before I lost interest.  
Tibi Jacket

The fabric pieces, leather for the trim, and the zipper got buried so deep on my sewing  table  that I didn’t find it until a recently cleanup.

 I think resuming a project takes more effort than starting a new one. First  I have to remember why it got set aside. It was usually because of an issue or problem. So  I need to solve that problem to move on.  It actually helps me get started by writing everything that  needs to be done as tasks or steps. Seeing them as individual  tasks makes them much more achievable. And if I start with easy ones first, the momentum to tackle the hard one is usually there,  For this jacket project  step 1 was draft a pocket pattern.   Easy peasy.  A square with bottom corners rounded.  That was done quickly and it was easy to move on to the next step.   Step 2. Modify the sleeve pattern to add pleat and shorten length. This took me a whole afternoon. And  lastly, Step 3. Figure out how to apply the leather binding and zipper to center front.  As this was the last thing I had to do before the jacket was complete,  the motivation to work through it was there.

 The pattern I used for the starting point was jacket pattern 104 from Burda Style magazine from Burda Nov 2010.

Burda 11-2010-104
The Burda pattern is for a shoulder princess seamed front and back, with full length set in sleeves. 
The Tibi jacket had shoulder princess seams in the front, and chest pockets with flaps.    Leather is used for the binding at the neck, center front, sleeve edges, hem and shoulder yokes. The ¾ length sleeves have a large pleat at the shoulder. The back is gathered below a yoke. Obviously some changes had to be made to the original pattern to get where I wanted to go. 
• Bodice - trimmed off seam allowances on center front and neckline.  Leather strips were used to bind  and finish edges.
• Self drafted pocket and pocket flaps patterns.
• Self drafted  pattern for leather shoulder yoke
• Shorten sleeves to ¾ length, tapered to 11” circumference at bottom edge  like other jackets with similar sleeves
• Add large pleat to sleeve cap.   I used instructions from Winifred Aldrich's Metric Pattern Cutting for Women's Wear 

Leather binding  is a favorite way of finishing an edge and adding a bit of contrast.  I have used it many times over the years. The leather binding  is made from strips of lambskin.  The stretchiness and thickness of lambskin  reminds  me of a  medium weight double knit. Nothing to be afraid of if you have never sewn it before. Leather has no true grain, so binding stripes can be cut in any direction on the leather skin.  I use a rotary cutter and ruler to cut accurately.

 For my  3/8” wide  trim, the width of the strip was 1 5/8 “ I suggest determining the width of your binding strips by sewing some samples using scraps. Leather takes more width to wrap around an edge than fabric,  because of it's thickness. To get the longer strips needed for the center front edges and neck opening, I pieced short lengths of the leather using diagonal seams to make longer pieces. I also used the diagonal seams to make the binding bands for the bottoms of the sleeves.

Binding bands for bottom of sleeves
 Clip (rather than pin) the binding strip of the garment edge with right sides together and raw edges aligned.  Stitch the binding to the garment fabric .  Wrap the strip around the raw edge.  Stitch in the ditch from the right side, catching the raw edge of the strip on the back side of the garment.   
Finished sleeve edge
For the zipper and binding on the center front opening:  First  I  sewed the leather binding strip to the garment. Then I sewed the zipper tape to the leather binding strip so that when the binding strip was wrapped around the raw edge, the zipper teeth were located just beyond the bound edge. It took a lot of preplanning and testing, but the sewing was easy and the results exactly what I hoped to achieve.



 


Jacket Front

 
Closeup  mitered corners
 
Jacket Back
 
I made the princess seamed back of the Burda pattern rather than copying the Tibi back.  The backs of my jackets on a dress form will always look loose and a bit bumpy because  my back has way more curves than the dress form back.
 

Most of my summer clothes and shoes are packed away, so when it came time to take some pictures of the jacket on me, I just grabbed some compatible garments that were within easy reach, and opted for the barefoot look. Probably not the way I would wear the jacket to work, but fun for a backyard photo session with Miss Ashley.


The prerequisite Twirl picture

25 comments:

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Well I'm glad that you decided to finish this jacket because it is stunning! It's funny that fall isn't your favorite season because it is mine and I'm so inspired to sew then. Thanks for all the pictures of the construction and the information...will store it away for future use!

Amanda S. said...

Very nice! I prefer your jacket to the Tibi, especially the back without those gathers. The leather treatments look perfectly performed. How did you get the top and bottom of the front leather binding so perfectly aligned with the zipper top and bottom? That step always intimidates me.

Catherine Daze said...

Bet you're glad you finished it; works really well! Those mitred corners at the neck must have been fiddly.

kbenco said...

The leather binding is a wonderful finish. This post is going straight in my inspiration file. Your jacket is very smart,far too good to sit in an UFO pile.

Vicki said...

Aren't you glad you finished it? It looks so good. Thanks for the leather tips.

thornberry said...

Lovely leather accents, and very helpful information about how to do it! A beautiful result.

Sharon said...

Gorgeous jacket and love the leather trim.

Beangirl said...

beautiful!! (And OMG I was just spending about an hour searching for an interesting way to deal with a separating zipper because my pattern's instructions are very bare-bones and not very pretty... and then I decided to actually read my blog list and voila! you have come to the rescue. so thank you! the details on this are fabulous.)

Summer Flies said...

Your jacket is lovely. Such perfect detailing. Don't know if I am ready for leather yet but your encouraging words are motivating! I agree with you that it is harder to go back to something than to start but I will try your steps tip and finish some things off.

Sandy Huntress said...

Nice jacket! And I loved hubby's reaction. ;-)

Linda said...

I like your version of the Tibi jacket. Nice job with leather binding. Really cute jacket.

Karin said...

The leather binding strips look very good. I have some scrap bits of napa in a bag from an old project. You have me inspired!

SewRuthie said...

What a fantastic jacket, and I'm loving that Calendar Girl!

Maria (viola33) said...

Audrey, the pictures are beautiful. This wide skirt in combination with the jacket is a brilliant outfit.
I love the picture from the 1947 calendar :) , and your Miss Ashley is such a sweet thing!

Beth (SunnyGal Studio) said...

Fantastic, great proportion on you and love the trim elements.

meli88a said...

Beautiful jacket. I'm amazed by how well you got the lambskin to bind the fabric edge.

KimP said...

Wonderful jacket! I'm still intiminated by leather, so I have never used it. I'm thinking it would make an interesting detail on a fancy, formal dress, but I have to give it more thought. Glad you found this unfinished project and took such detailed photos - it really helps to see your creative process!

The Slapdash Sewist said...

OMG, that is FABulous. Wow. I am so glad you got your UFO motivation going because that was well worth finishing. I hope you wear this at least once a week!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely beautiful job. Love your model 'help' there also. Ahh cats they are marvelous too. Again good job pat yourself on the back for a job well done!

darlene
kittyklaws13411@yahoo.com

Marla said...

Very nice. The leather trim looks great!

AllisonC said...

I'm glad you got this finished, it's far too good to be a UFO. The details are gorgeous and actually I think I prefer the sleeves and back on your version to the original.

Tia Dia said...

I agree with you about dreading to pick up a project that's been previously set aside. That said, I love this jacket! I'm studying the photos very carefully. It's just beautiful, Audrey! I've never sewn leather, and found your comments about using it as piping so much very interesting. I'll have to give it a try at some point.

Gail said...

Audrey you are a woman of impeccable taste! You must be pleased to have finished your beautiful jacket.

Lucia said...

Smashing jacket! Good call to go back and finish it. And thanks for the detailed leather photos. You make sewing with leather look simple. I am a big fan of Bonnie Cashin and I hope one day to copy one of her wonderful leather trimmed coats. You've just helped me get that one bit closer to daring to do it.

poppykettle said...

A really gorgeous jacket :) Love the contrast detail and the fit on you!