I’m not quite sure where to start in talking about this jacket, so I’ll start with the fabric. It’s an amazing cotton sateen from Tessuti, with the most glorious satiny finish and really not at all suited for making a structured jacket. This was my first challenge; to successfully modify the fabric’s weight and drape so that it would create the type of jacket that I wanted to make.
Basically, I just interfaced it beyond recognition. The whole jacket was block fused with Pro-Weft supreme medium weight fusible interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply. It’s the same fusible that I used for my Dior knock-off and it gave the fabric a heavier feel but with the same soft drape. I also reshaped the fusible hair canvas that I tore off my Dior coat and reattached it to this jacket. Hair canvas is very precious so I was happy to be able to re-use this, although having already been fused once, it didn’t glue quite as well the second time, but it did work near enough to be passable.
Initially, I only fused the hair canvas to the top half of the front and back jacket pieces and because I’d cut it on the bias, it didn’t provide enough structure for what I wanted. I also didn’t like the way the side seams continued to fall inwards towards themselves and the back, towards my body. I really wanted the fabric to stick out. Since I only had scrappy pieces of hair canvas remaining (leftover from my Dior coat), my first fix was to cut triangle wedges and to fuse them directly over the side seams. This worked really well, but then I noticed the back was still falling inwards too much. I cut up more hair canvas and ended up fusing it (in jigsaw like puzzle pieces) over the rest of the exposed Pro-Weft interfacing.
The end result is two complete layers of interfacing on the cotton sateen, one of Pro-Weft fusible and another of hair canvas. I am so pleased with the way it has completely changed the fabric. It’s not the perfect situation, because the hair canvas really should have been block fused in entire pieces rather than pieced, but it still works. The jacket has a beautiful, weighty, coat like feel to it, with the smooth, satiny surface of cotton sateen. And because I’m opting to dry-clean only (as you can imagine with all that interfacing!) the satiny surface of the cotton sateen should remain bright and shiny.
The inside of this jacket is fully lined in silk jersey, because this was the only remotely suitable lining that I had in my stash. It isn’t a very stretchy silk jersey, but it works really well for the purpose. I think the slight stretch of this jersey has made for a very comfortable and forgiving lining. I would definitely use it again in this manner.
I also used silk organza to add panels to the sleeves for a bit of interest. This meant I had to get a little creative with the construction. There was a bit of handstitching involved. There was more hand-stitching involved with the bound buttonholes. I toyed with using magnets for invisible closures, and I still think this look would have been great for such a bold print. However, I had it in my head that I wanted to sew bound buttonholes, no matter what. So I found myself some lovely, shiny glass buttons to make this work.
The pattern matching took me forever and it certainly isn’t perfect, particularly on the side seams. The fabric was slightly off grain and I just couldn’t get it straight, no matter how much I stretched and ironed it. I gave up in the end and resigned myself to working with it as best I could. This meant cutting pieces that were obviously not quite symmetrical. Although I’m happy to say that the small differences that I was being finicky over aren’t even noticeable in the finished product. The beauty of retrospect (and finished photos) also means that I can now see a way that I could have lined those side seams up better.
Such a boldly printed jacket demands simple separates to offset the glare. My leather blocked leggings have come in handy yet again! I quite like the look of the jacket buttoned up but I especially love it’s shape and volume from the back when it is unbuttoned. This shot also shows a diagonal crease/edge from the hair canvas I pieced over the side seams. I couldn’t do anything to get rid of this, but thankfully it’s not too noticeable all the time. Next time I’ll know to block fuse at the get-go to avoid such an unsightly line.