My motorcycle jacket is finished! Thank you all who contributed to helping me decided about my melted collar. As I let the jacket hang for a couple of days in the sewing closet, I came to agree with all of you–the pieced collar didn’t look all that weird. So I sewed it on in and finished off the jacket. And now I can present you the final jacket!
Blue Twill Motorcycle Jacket
I made this up in a really pretty cotton twill from Denver Fabrics. I was going to use wool for this jacket, but the realization that Spring was going to come quick and fast here dawned on me, so I went for the cooler cotton (that it was $5/yd vs. the $18/yd that the mint green wool I was eyeing probably pushed me over the edge). It has a soft, brushed surface and a pretty drape.
I scored bigtime with the lining. I’m always looking for prints to put in for lining. I feel like if you’re bothering to sew a jacket, you might as well make it interesting. After scouring the silks, the flat folds of polys (I did find a nice abstract floral that also would have worked), I found this print buried in the general flat folds that they have at DF. It feels and sews very much like rayon Bemberg, but I haven’t done a burn test to confirm this. But the print kills me–such lovely floaty feathers. I love birds, and I’m so so happy that feather and bird prints are in right now. The salmon and vermillion really go well with the blue–even if I’m the only one who notices or knows that it’s there.
I decided not to topstitch the collar as the faux leather proved difficult to work with in my machine. Even with my nonslip feet, there was enough drag on the leather to make some dragging stress marks. I also couldn’t take advantage of my friend Linda’s genius idea to piece the collar with a zipper in the seam because the “leather” tears apart when you try to pick out stitches. I think I have a lot to learn in the way of spotting quality faux leathers vs. cheap ones.
It’s probably good that I put in the zippered welts before the collar incident because I don’t know that I would have had the heart to try after it. The pattern just has you make a narrow little window around the zipper typical of most zippered welts and then topstitch around it in a big window. Instead, I followed the advice of Ron Collins on the little extra DVD in Sandra Betzina’s Power Sewing Toolbox v. 2 and made it into a wide double welt with a zipper centered between the faux leather welts. I’ve never had a welt pocket that I was really proud of, but these suckers turned out great. Ron Collins is a great teacher, and it was entirely unstressful and simple (even with heavy brass zippers) to do this pocket with his instructions.
This was the first separating zipper I’ve put in. I can’t believe how easy it was. You sew one side to CF, and the other face down along the raw edge which will get flipped over as it’s sandwiched between the facing. It was not a problem that my zipper was too long either because the tops of the zippers were covered on the left by the shoulder yoke and on the right by the top of the facing. I still made a thread stop at the top of both sides, but really I didn’t need to.
I unfortunately cut the belt a little too narrow for my buckle, so I folded it to the right width and covered over where my raw edges couldn’t meet with bias tape which sadly shredded after I added the eyelets. Can I rant a little about Dritz eyelets? They only have one part, so after you smash them, they will not cover whatever hole you made to make room for them (presumably even if you didn’t have to cover over your mistake with bias tape). Gross. The belt looks fine from the right side, but I imagine I’ll have to remake it at some point.
The rivets are leftover from my jeans, that I bought from Cawaiiland. They have lots of super fun accessories for really reasonable prices.
I made shoulder pads out of fusible fleece via this tutorial. I did it without the toxic-o-rama spray glue and instead tacked down the layers with some quick basting stitches on my machine. I will do this again as it makes for a pad with minimal height but good shaping–my preference indeed.
If you add the sleeve facing and the shoulder yokes per the pattern, it’s a little tricky lining up the topstitching lines. You are forced to do this in the round, which super stinks. To get the lines to line up, you end up with a hair too much ease in the sleeve cap. I ended up with one teeny tiny pleat on the back of the sleeve cap just past the top of the sleeve. Miraculously, I ended up with the same pleat in the other sleeve, so I left itbsx. If you make this, either leave out the sleeve facing or I’d suggest adding 5/8″ SA on the bottom of the shoulder yokes and facing, and only fold back 1/4″ on the shoulder yokes before you topstitch. This will place the topstitching lines a little further down the armscye on either side, so you’ll have more room around the sleeve to distribute the extra fullness smoothly.
There’s a funny little bit in the magazine about the jacket (you German speakers, it’s always my question–is this text as funny in the German version, or is it just bad translation on the part of Burda?): “I can go anywhere in my biker jacket! It’s perfect for walks in the woods or jaunts through the asphalt jungle.” I couldn’t agree more.
My full review is here.