Welcome to Fall in New England and a new outerwear project. I started this jacket ages ago; and just as I was getting ready to make my grand appearance, I was upstaged by this guy!
And this guy…
Which begs the question……..Is velvet having a moment?
Daniel Craig’s jacket is from the esteemed Anderson & Sheppard on Savile Row. I can’t even imagine “shopping” here! I assume that every visit comes with a Scotch or G & T, your choice.
My jacket is from a somewhat less opulent space!
Still, I believe that I was ahead of the curve on this trend. I had been eyeballing this camouflage printed velveteen on the Stylemaker Fabrics website for awhile. It just always sparked my curiosity every time it appeared, even though I’ve never considered myself either the camo type or a person who dresses in black. There was something about it that made my wheels start spinning. Every time.
What could it become? A pair of trousers? A blazer? A jean jacket? After a short ponder I’d wonder off to something more practical UNTIL…. a 2.5 Yd remnant ended up in the “Selvedge Yard”. Oh, Yes……I pounced!
And then it sat… It sat for a very long time.
When Summer starts to come to its end, my thoughts always turn to outerwear. I love making it. I’ve also been on a “fabric fast” lately, determined to work through my stash (most of which is shirting). So, if any new outerwear was going to happen, it was going to have to be this velveteen, the only suitable fabric on hand.
I’ve always been a huge fan of Tyrollean style jackets. I grew up in New Hampshire which was home to Carroll Reed. The store in North Conway, which opened in 1937, was a treasure trove of all things Alpine.
It was THE place to go for a Nordic sweater or a covetable Geiger boiled wool jacket. None of it came cheap, however; and it still doesn’t!
The store is long gone. But for those old enough to remember, it’s a cherished part of New Hampshire skiing history.
Still, I never tire of this style, so I set out to make my own interpretation.
I went back to Burda 7291, which I adapted a couple of years ago for my son’s wedding rehearsal dinner. You can read about that jacket here. Most of the adjustments had already been made, but I still went ahead and did a full muslin. Always a smart idea! For this version I shortened the body and sleeves, and removed some of the ease at the sleeve cap. I found the wool knit trim on Etsy. It’s really essential to the whole look IMO.
So what tips can I pass on about sewing with velveteen?
- Pick a simple pattern, the fewer details the better. I’m so glad I didn’t attempt a jean jacket. It would have been a disaster with all the flaps and topstitching.
- Cut all your pieces individually from the back side of the fabric.
- Don’t attempt to cut any pieces on the fold. Remake those pattern pieces to be full sized
- Baste with silk thread and remove it as soon as possible to prevent any permanent marks. (Zoom in on Daniel Craig’s breast pocket. You can still see the tailor’s marks! Shocking)
- Pins can also leave marks, so pin within the seam allowance wherever you can.
- Splurge on a velvet pinboard if you can. It makes the whole process less stressful.
I wanted a more tailored jacket, so I added a lightweight canvas front. The edges of the canvas have been replaced with muslin to reduce the bulk when the facings are applied. You’ll find a video of this process on my YouTube channel.
The welt pockets were the biggest challenge of the project. Everything was marked out in silk thread, with the goal of completing the pockets in one sitting. The nap of the fabric made keeping things aligned damn near impossible. The pieces wanted to shift either up or down. It was a struggle. They’re not the best pockets ever, but as we all know…….There are no “do overs” when it comes to welt pockets. I’ll live with them. I added a small snap inside each pocket to keep them closed and looking neater.
I’m frequently sewing “off script”, and this is a good example. The collar was interfaced with a fusible interfacing applied to silk organza. This greatly minimized bulk at the neck edge. I don’t believe that tailoring has to be some strict traditional practice. Sometimes you just have to listen to what the fabric is telling you.
I did two videos on lining and setting the sleeves into this jacket. You’ll find them on my YouTube channel. I hope they demystify the process for you, especially if you’re wanting to up your tailoring game. None of it is difficult. BTW, here is the velvet pinboard inserted into the sleeve during pressing. It was well worth the investment. I have some wide wale corduroy in my stash, so it will get used again if I can ever perfect my trouser draft. But that’s a whole other story!
There was quite a bit of fraying as I worked along on this jacket, to the point where it was making me nervous. The safest path was to stop construction and get the trim on before the seam allowances completely disintegrated. It’s been my experience that the best way to do this is by hand with a simple fell stitch. If you have one hand stitch in your arsenal it should be the fell stitch. It’s easy, quick and good practice for that authentic kilt that you’ve been planning to make! I machine stitched 3/8″ from the edges in a slightly contrasting thread which I then used as a guide. I stitched the trim to the outside first along the guide, then folded it over to stitch the back. Yes, it takes some time; but as they say… “God is in the details”.
Speaking of details. The buttons are vintage Austrian and feature Emperor Franz Joseph. Thank you, AlpineCountryLooks on Etsy! They’re perfect.
- Camouflage Velveteen. Stylemakerfabrics.com (I got the last of it, sorry!)
- Wool Knit Trim Etsy. Ribbonnkids
- Buttons Etsy. AlpineCountryLooks
- Cupro Twill Lining https://www.moodfabrics.com/helmut-lang-black-cupro-twill-lining-423314
As always I am so grateful for all the encouragement and support I receive from the sewing community.
Be well, continue to stay safe, and most of all …
Happy Fall Sewing!