Advice please

20130219-091614.jpgYesterday I managed to pick up a copy of the latest Burda in the newsagent and, excitingly, it has lots of very nice patterns for basic pieces. For example there are some slim, simple trousers, a longish pencil skirt and a sheath dress, all useful patterns that I can imagine getting a lot of wear out of. Most excitingly of all there is a jacket pattern (101 and 102) that I think can be used for a casual spring jacket, to wear over jeans, or for something more formal to wear to work.

Strangely, the picture in my magazine has the girl wearing a full length top. This picture came from the Russian Burda website which is obviously less fussy about flesh being on display!

20130219-092255.jpgI have been thinking about making a jacket for some time but have not been able to find a pattern I like. I have, however, read up on tailoring techniques and quite fancy having a go at interlining with organza and structuring a collar with pad stitching.

The instructions in the Burda magazine are a little vague (as ever!). When it comes to the collar it seems that beyond a bit of fusible interfacing there is very little required to structure it. At a couple of places they suggest you build a “little extra fullness” in but I am not sure what that means.

So a couple of questions for you more experienced seamstresses. Firstly if you were making this jacket would you use fusible interfacing as well as, or, instead of organza interlining? Secondly should I make the lapels of the jacket with hair canvas and pad stitching or would this make it too structured for the style? Thirdly if I decide to go without the hair canvas etc. what does building a little extra fullness in entail? (Or to put it another way am I just trying to make this too complicated? Should I just go with the flow and follow Burda’s instructions?)


Incidentally I love the biker jacket in this issue too!


17 thoughts on “Advice please

  1. I would love to say something helpful but I don’t know! I recently bought a Claire S jacket pattern however it is the Chanel style jacket so it’s not going to be much help. I will track down my couture sewing book and see if it’s of more help. Have you tried googling jacket lapels sewalong or blogs?

  2. There are no right or wrong answers here!, I think it partly depends on the fabric and the way you want to wear the jacket. Personally I think you can get perfectly good results with decent fusibles now though you may want to check out speed tailoring techniques if you plan on making a formal version for a bit more structure. I’d only interline (I’m assuming the jacket is also lined?) if it was a thin material or something prone to wrinkling. I don’t have my magazine yet, but I think the building in fullness they are talking about is to allow for turn of cloth on the collar pieces so that taking the thickness of the fabric into account the seamlines are not visible and the edges still line up.

  3. Ooooooo do the organza, hair canvas and pad stitching! It’ll make the jacket look so beautiful and you will be so pleased afterwards when you can apply these techniques to other jackets! The hair canvas and pad stitching will create a beautiful roll on the lapel and collar rather than the more flat result you will get from filusible- this is the fullness/ body in this area that I think they are referring to. I would apply lightweight fusible interfacing behind anything like bound buttonholes or welt pockets if you are using anything for your main fabric that has a tendency to fray. Everywhere else the organza and hair canvas with pad stitching will be sufficient alone. You could always interline the jacket with something softer like a cotton batiste if your main fabric doesn’t require the extra stiffness organza gives.
    Claire B Shaeffer’s ‘Couture sewing techniques’ is a fantastic guide to all elements of couture tailoring- I think she may also have some online video classes?!
    Lovely pattern choices!

  4. Well, it depends on your fabric, how much time you want to spend on the project and what you want the finished result to look like. If you underline it with organza/voile – pre-shrink the underlining!!!! Underlining a jacket is always a great idea because it provides that little extra support which maintains the shape. Hair canvas, padstitching, taping the roll line, etc., etc., are will give you a different finished product that using a fusible. If you are using a fusible, spend the money on a very good fusible. I’ve always found Claire Schaeffer’s books helpful, and Vogue Sewing is an excellent resource. I have the 1982 version, but it covers every part of tailoring a jacket in clear steps with good illustrations. It’s a great resource/teaching tool. Claire’s books have great examples from a myriad of haute couture garments, but lack the number of illustrations in the Vogue book. Good luck! And do let us know which way you choose to go! There’s also a great RTW jacket tutorial over at Pattern Scissors Cloth. You can find the first post of the series here:

    • Thank you for pointing me in the direction of this tutorial, it looks really comprehensive. I’ll also look out the Vogue book you mention.

      I don’t mind spending time on a project, I tend to think the more effort you put in the more you enjoy the finished product! Having always knitted I’m used to things taking weeks (years?) to come to fruition

  5. I’m happy to discover your blog!! There are beautiful sewing projects here and all your sewing skills are interesting, I love your dress Burda first of 2013!!

  6. Those patterns are some nice picks 🙂 wrt to the jacket, it absolutely depends how involved you want to go. I have different patterns, that recommend either way. I second TiaDia’s advice to check out Sherry’s excellent advice in the RTW coat sew-along over at Pattern Scissors Cloth.

  7. I too am reluctant to advise as have never dared to try and make a jacket. In fact, I’ve been thinking of trying out a “tailoring” course at Morley College (or anywhere that would have me). However, I wanted to make the point that even if you were to make a muslin in calico, it might not necessarily give the idea of what the actual garment would hang like. But you could try on 10cm squares of intended fabrics with and w/out interlining and see how they compare.

    I love Biker jackets and think I must buy that Burda. Can you recommend a local stockist?!

    • I’m off to Morley in a couple of weeks to try their Pattern Magic 2 course. Tailoring sounds like a great idea, if you find a good course you must let me know.

      Yes, I agree about muslin’s and calico. I haven’t really had the greatest experience with practice garments as “real” fabric acts in such a different way. Your suggestion about trying out fabrics with and without interlining is a good one.

      I usually get my Burda in WH Smiths but the one in Beckenham doesn’t seem to stock it 😦 I bought mine in Canary Wharf before I moved so I have no idea where I’ll get my next one from!

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