Blue is a classic color for a jean jacket and at MarcyTilton.com we have a stunning new collection in harmonious shades of indigo blue in luscious hand-dyed and hand-woven fabrics from India from a mill that produces fabrics for Donna Karan and Eileen Fisher. Takes at least 6 months from the time we place the order to receive the fabric. The jacket has a soft, supple, pliable feel, almost like a sweater thanks to these delicious fabrics!
It is always a pleasure to start a project using a tried and true pattern like Butterick 6719, my best selling jean jacket pattern, which I have made a half dozen times in different fabrics and various sizes. This classic shape is scaled slightly oversized with more room in the body and a flattering longer length.
Pieced seaming and pockets make this design a natural for creating a collage in different fabrics. For this version I used 4 different fabrics. The weights vary slightly, but still blend and drape well together. I used one yard (2 units) of each. Three of the fabrics I chose are double sided, and I used both sides of these reversible fabrics in the jacket.
Start by laying out the pattern pieces on your cutting surface. It simplifies things to have both right and left side pattern pieces for any pattern piece that is to be cut double and is well worth the extra time it takes.
Start with the front and work your way around to the back. Lay out the front of the jacket in the center of your cutting surface with the back side pieces at each side and the yoke and center back to one side. This allows you to see all the pieces at once.
Cut 4-5 small swatches of each fabric. Begin placing the swatches on the different pattern pieces and moving them around until the design feels balanced. You want to use about the same amount of each fabric, varying light & dark, pattern & solid. I find obsessing too much just gets me stuck. Often I stitch the body of the garment together before I make a final decision on the sleeves, collar or band.
I interfaced the collar and front band with a fusible tricot. The fabric weight will determine if the cuffs or lower band need a light interfacing. I often use different weights of fusible interfacing in the same garment.
I tried buttonholes and failed - the fabric was too soft and thick. I made a test on the fabric and it worked fine, but when I went to make them on the garment I ran into trouble and finally giving up, I ended up carefully ripping out 3 unacceptable buttonholes — no easy task! Good thing I love hand sewing as snaps were the perfect solution. As you can see in the detail photo below, the stitches sink into the texture of the fabric, yet the precision of the stitches is subtly obvious.
Tips for sewing on big snaps:
- Mark where the center of the snap should be. A tailor tack will work. In this case I used 2 pins at right angles meeting in the center of the snap placement.
- I used 2 strands of regular sewing thread doubled over for a total of 4 threads in each stitch.
- Center the snap, placing one of the snap stitching holes at the top. Carefully stitch in place, making sure the stitches that will show on the exposed side of the front band are parallel and the same length.
- Next, the snap hole directly opposite the first (at the bottom of the snap) is stitched in place, again, making sure the stitches that will show on the exposed side of the front band are parallel and the same length.
- Now you can remove the pins or the tailor’s tack that marked the center of the snap.
- Continue stitching the remainder of the snap’s holes in place.
- All finishing stitches and knots are hidden under the snap. Sometimes this takes a little maneuvering but it is worth it to get a clean finish.
- If you have been successful, the stitches that show on the front of the band will appear the same length and size, small rectangles of thread, radiating from the center.
- You may decide to detach a snap and start again if you don’t like the way the stitching looks. Rest assured, I do this, sometimes more than once in a project.
I love the way this project turned out with the fabrics providing a retro feel, in a classic style, with unexpected proportions and an unexpected textile design.