Saturday, July 20, 2013

Eggplant Pleather Moto Jacket - Kwik Sew 3764

I bought this eggplant-colored crocodile-embossed pleather over a year ago. (It looks black in some photos, but it is eggplant.) Originally I was planning to use it for a bag. But more recently I found myself wanting a moto jacket. In fact, I found myself wanting to make a moto jacket similar to Margy's. In the end, my jacket ended up being almost identical to Margy's. Before I made my jacket, I asked her if she minded and she graciously said that she did not.

Because my fabric was eggplant colored, the zipper choice proved to be a bit challenging. I looked for eggplant-colored zippers and could not find anything I liked - the closest I could find were purple. I didn't care for the look of solid black zippers with the fabric, so I tried a striped zipper and it worked, making my jacket even more like Margy's.

I found this fabric to be pretty easy to sew. It is a PVC fabric, but it is backed with a knit backing and it is not one of the "sticky" faux leathers. Even so, I used my Teflon foot, Teflon zipper foot, and a microtex needle.

The knit backing.

I topstitched using a Guterman topstitching thread in an eggplant color. I marked things (such as the pocket location) with scotch tape, and avoided putting pins through the PVC, except in the seam allowances. In places where it couldn't be avoided, such as when I positioned the zippers, I pinned into the "cracks" of the faux crocodile (as shown in the picture above with the zippers pinned in place), which really didn't create visible holes.

I used scraps of solid black Ambiance Bemberg lining for the pockets and the gusset behind the sleeve zippers. The jacket pattern is not lined, but I created a lining pattern. I used a black fabric with lavender and purple polka dots. It's a fairly thick taffeta-like fabric, much thicker than your typical lining fabric, but it worked.

Sleeve inside

Other alterations and modifications:

  • I made a size Medium. This measures 43" at the finished bust, which was enough width, but I still needed a vertical full bust adjustment. This is a princess seam design and, for a while, I was not sure how to do a vertical FBA without adding width. Then I woke up one morning with a flash of intuition on how do to this and it worked! I added 1-1/4" vertically for the bust.
  • I made view B, but I wanted the zipper pockets and zippered sleeves from view A. The pockets were very high, so I lowered them by 3". Since the view A jacket is shorter, it makes sense for the pockets to be located up higher.
  • Because I wanted to showcase the striped zippers, I made the zipper "windows" much wider than the pattern intended. The windows for the pockets and sleeves were 3/4" wide.
  • I narrowed the shoulder by 1-1/8".
  • I did not shorten the sleeve, which is pretty unusual for me.
  • I am not a huge fan of bagged linings, so I sewed the lining in by hand, which took two long evenings. I really prefer the result, though one of these days maybe I'll give a bagged lining another try.

This is a beautifully drafted pattern. It is OOP, but worth tracking down. I definitely plan to make another one or three. I am feeling moto jacket love. If you look at RTW, you will see moto jackets everywhere!

Thanks for your comments on my Barb pants! I wore them all day today (and am wearing them in these pics) and they were sooooo comfy. I went shopping with DD2 and also wore my new jacket. This color is really growing on me. :)

Lapels worn up
One lapel down

Pants That Fit! - Style Arc Barb

I've been suffering from a lack of well-fitting pants for awhile now. I bought a few pair of Not Your Daughters Jeans in a size 2 but, even those are big through the hips and baggy in the rear, though they are snug in the waist.

Some of my absolutely favorite pants are made from Style Arc patterns. For example, I have 5 or 6 pair of their Linda pants, but Style Arc come in a single size, so my size 10s are all too big on me. I've been waiting to buy more Style Arc patterns until my weight stabilized.

These pants are the Barb, which is an updated version of the Linda. They are a pull-on pant for stretch wovens.

About a month ago I attended a talk given by my friend Sarah Bunje, who used to teach sewing and fitting at Cañada College. The talk was on how to fit the crotch on pants and was especially targeted to those who, like me, have a flat butt. In my case, you need a microscope to find my butt, which is why, I guess, most pants swim on my behind, even if the front fits. (I used to use a smaller size in back, but that is harder since patterns don't always come in a small enough size for my rear.)

I used several tips from Sarah's talk on these pants. I removed a bit from the back crotch point, straightened the CB curve, and scooped a bit from the bottom of the back crotch curve. I think these minor tweaks were effective, though I might need further tweaking. It's a process.

The only other change I made was to shorten the pants. I cut off 3" and hemmed them at 1-1/2".

These pants are *so* comfy and fit me better than any other pants I currently own. I used a stretch woven purchased at Fabrix in anthracite (between charcoal grey and brown). This fabric washes and dries beautifully and resists wrinkling.

I love these pants! They will be a workhorse in my wardrobe and I can see making a lot more pairs!

I am really looking forward to ordering some Style Arc patterns in my new size. I generally only order 3 patterns at a time, so it will be hard to narrow it down! Not only have they added some wonderful new designs, but I need to buy some of my old favorites in my new size. For example, I can't wait to get a new copy of the Cassie pant, which is one of my favorite all time pants ever.

In typical San Francisco fashion, the weather has been sooooo cold, foggy and damp. It might be the middle of July, but I am full of fall thoughts and am happily browsing fall clothing on various websites. I live near the tallest mountain in San Francisco, Mt Davidson. It's covered with trees and has a giant cross at the top, but most people don't go up there, because the trees obscure the views. The following picture shows Mt Davidson, but you can't see it for the fog. I took this when I was taking my pictures at 10am today. I also turned on the heater in my house today. I try not to, but it was just so coooold.

Mt Davidson, somewhere behind the fog

Edgehill, also behind the fog