Fab-ri-cate (from dictionary.com unabridged – based on the Random House Dictionary)
- To make by art or skill and labor; construct
- To make by assembling parts or sections
- To devise or invent
- To fake; forge
That definition pretty much leaves the door open for ultimate creativity, wouldn’t you say? One idea includes designing your own fabric or altering a fabric into something totally different, which is what I did with the above jacket.
The fabric used for the applique trimming is a polyester / satin. A lightweight fabric with fabulous drape, perfect for a blouse or lining (both of which I plan to add to jacket). That fabric, if left alone, would be a nightmare to create appliques or cut-outs, so I fabricated – sounds like a bad word 🙂 !
The trick – Heat N Bond, now available from my favorite place WAWAK Sewing and comes in 5 yard and 35 yard pieces. At first I wasn’t too sure about this stuff, but basically you iron it to the back of the fabric and it makes it easier for you to cut out an applique – especially if you are using the Brother Scan-n-Cut
This is how easy an applique can be:
- Choose a design – for the sleeve I enlarged a design already in the scan-n-cut memory.
- Place the bonded fabric onto the cutting mat (the paper backing on the heat –n-bond makes it easy to stick)
- Press the start button (told you it was easy!)
Peel off the backing and place the appliques on the garment.
Once you have the perfect placement, use a press cloth and press the applique in place. Notice I attach the appliques before sewing the sleeve together.
Even though the cut of the scan-n-cut prevents the fabric edges from fraying, I still stitch the applique in place. I choose the blanket stitch and stitched around each applique. That took some time, but it looks great. Almost looks like leather!
I followed all those steps for the jacket front and again used a blanket stitch.
Of course I could cut these appliques by hand, but I really like the fact that all the front pieces are exactly the same! By the way, don’t look too closely at my studio – can you tell I have been working 🙂
Well, that’s one fun way to fabricate. Have you ever tried appliqueing apparel?
When I asked what part of sewing jackets you find the most intimidating to sew, many of you left a comment about the collar and lapel. I must have had a premonition, as this week’s episode of It’s Sew Easy gives you a few tips for success. You are right, the collar and lapel is what really makes your jacket stand out … and the good news … it’s easier to sew than you think. In fact, sewing is only a minute part involved in tailoring a collar. The most time-consuming part involves preparing the center front jacket, upper collar, and under collar pattern pieces with interfacing and twill tape, not to mention pad stitching if you are going the traditional tailoring route. The weight of the interfacing will determine the thickness and stability of your lapel and collar, so be sure to test a sample first. My two favorites for jackets are armo-weft fusible interfacing (shown here) and horse hair canvas (perfect if you plan on pad stitching – which I will show in a later blog post). Fusible interfacing can be added in layers if you need more structure at the end of the lapel, keep that in mind if you interfacing supply is limited.
Despite adding interfacing, extra measures need to be taken to prevent the neckline and center front of the jacket from stretching out. Twill tape is the perfect solution! Look closely and you can see hand stitching attaching the 1/4″ wide cotton twill tape to the front edge of the jacket. As I am hand stitching, I am holding the twill tape tight and allowing the jacket fabric to ease in. Not too much easing though! Make sure the jacket doesn’t change shape or become skewed.
What about that perfect roll on the lapel? Again, twill tape is hand stitched to the roll line (the roll line should be printed on your jacket pattern)
When hand stitching the twill tape to the roll line, keep the twill tape tight (tighter than when we added twill tape to the center front and neckline). Again, easing in the fashion fabric. I use a pin to hold one end of the twill tape and start stitching from the other end. You can see below how much I am easing!
Here I started hand stitching the twill tape in place, the main part of the stitch is on the twill tape and I am just picking a short fiber in the fashion fabric, then back through the twill tape. You can barely see the stitching from the right side of the fabric. When you are finished steam press the lapel roll using a seam roll. Again, for more details see this weeks episode of It’s Sew Easy, scroll to the bottom of their page and click on the video.
Another Giveaway, this one is for my online class: Sewing a Designer Unlined Jacket on PatternReveiw.com. Does your favorite jacket style close in the center front or asymmetrically? Just tell us your preference to enter the jacket class giveaway. (A random winner will be drawn next Monday) Congratulations to last weeks winner JRP53 who will be joining me in the Beginner’s Guide to Sewing Jackets on PatternReview! Good luck on your jackets!
There is only one reason I have not moved South in order to enjoy beautiful sunny weather all year round … jackets and boots! This is the time of year I rearrange my wardrobe, bringing out all the cute jackets I finished last March and never had a chance to wear (remember in the fashion industry we are always designing a season ahead). Of course while I am pulling out the fall wardrobe, out come the fabulous boots. I LOVE shoes! I sew all my own clothes, I have to find something to shop for besides fabric 🙂
Speaking of sewing all my own clothes, about 15 years ago I set a goal of only wearing clothes I had sewn myself. It was a great idea, but hardly possible. I spent all my time sewing custom garments for clients and I could never find time to sew for myself. You know, like the shoemaker that wears worn-out shoes. Those of you that are in the sewing business know exactly what I am talking about.
Once I started designing a ready-to-wear line and a pattern collection for the home sewer, I found a perfect reason to sew for myself. Someone has to test the fit, right 🙂 Over the last few years I have been adding my label to the closet with jeans, tops, jackets, dresses, skirts, slacks, … In fact last night after admiring my organized closet (now is the time to admire, it never seems to stay that way very long), I realized I finally accomplished my goal! Every garment carried the Angela Wolf label. I could hardly believe it! In fact, once you get going on sewing for yourself, the outfits flow in much faster than you think. Have you ever had the desire to sew all your own clothes? I challenge you to try. I am going to celebrate this accomplishment and try to focus on doing the same for the spring wardrobe swap. I feel a 2014 wardrobe sew along coming on … what do you think?
In the last post, I mentioned how thankful I am to all of you readers and a special thanks to those that voted my blog into the finals for the category sewing – best instructor blog for the 2013 Craftsy Blogging Awards. Voting in the final round is still going on, so make sure to vote for your favorites again (hint, hint). I couldn’t think of a better way to thank you than give away a few online classes, which I will do over the next few weeks.
Not everyone can win, so I asked my friend Deepika – founder of PatternReview.com – to place all my online classes on sale for the rest of the month. In case you haven’t visited the site, PatternReview.com is a great website for learning and connecting with other garment sewer’s. I offer quite a few classes there, including sewing jackets. No, my jacket patterns are not ready to launch yet, so this is the next best thing. The next few giveaways will be for my online classes. The first one is Create a Jacket Muslin on PatternReview. Creating a perfect fitting muslin is the most important part of sewing a jacket. If you would like a chance to join my class on sewing a muslin where I offer fitting tips, solutions, and you can even upload photos of your muslin for personal fitting advice, simply share a comment about your experience in fitting jackets. Never sewn a jacket, even better reason to start with the muslin class (a random winner will be chosen and announced next Friday). Speaking of jackets, have you been watching season 5 on It’s Sew Easy and following along as I sew a jacket? If your PBS doesn’t carry It’s Sew Easy, you can catch a new episode every week on their website.
Good Luck 😉