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How to Sew a Jacket the Easy Way
There are five main stages to sewing a simple jacket. The obtaining fabric & supplies stage, the cleaning stage, the laying fabric and cutting stage, the sewing and ironing stage and the tying up loose ends stage.
You need to find out the the body measurements of the party you intend to sew the jacket for. This will give you an idea of what size jacket pattern and how much fabric you will need. If you are sewing for a female, it is recommended to take their measurement over undergarments. If you are sewing for a male, it is recommended to take their measurement over their T-shirts and shorts. You want to measure their waist, shoulder point, bust, height and back waist length and hip. There should be a measurement chart right on the pattern that is usually very helpful.
During stage one when you are deciding on what fabric is best, you probably want to consider the quality, occasions it will be worn for and whether you need to obtain 45 or 60 width fabric. In addition to your fabric, you should make sure your sewing tools are handy. The tools are scissors, straight pins, needles, bobby pins, thread and buttons that matching the fabric, interfacing, measuring tape, marking pencil, yardstick, seam ripper, basket for tools, decent sewing machine, pin holder, iron and iron board. Secondly, you need to choose a storage area, clear workspace, an adjustable lamp with good lighting and full length mirror.
You want the jacket pattern and style you chose to be one you feel comfortable about using considering your sewing skills. When you first start sewing, it’s best to begin with an easy pattern with a small amount of seams. If the fabric you chose is washable. Then the next best step is to throw it in the washing machine for its first wash before you begin sewing. If the fabric can only be dry cleaned, then take it to the dry cleaner. This will avoid shrinkage of your jacket when you wash it after it is made and get rid of the unneeded finishes. Also in order to make it easier on yourself during the pattern lying stage, you probably should press off the fabric at the appropriate iron temperature to try to eliminate the wrinkles. Some people even press off their pattern pieces with a warm dry iron however; because of the nature of its material you may risk destroying it.
Before you begin to lay your pattern pieces on your fabric, it is very important to read your jacket’s pattern instructions carefully and more than once if needed. The laying and cutting stage is most important stage of this project. The pattern instruction reveals how to understand the symbols on the pieces and how to lay the fabric and pieces. When you open the envelope you will usually find a few different cutting layouts depending on the width of the fabric you chose and what size jacket you are making. You need to sort out the one that has the jacket you want to make for your width and size. Once you have confirmed and identified that you have all the pattern pieces needed and found the cutting lines for your size, you may realize that you need to make a few adjustments. You want to adjust the pattern pieces for the best fit. If you need to adjust the length, there are lines printed on the pattern piece indicating where you may need to shorten or lengthen it. The length can also be changed at the lower edge too. If you need to adjust the width, pin extra paper underneath the pieces. The pattern reveals how to fold your fabric and the cutting layout that you need follow. The selvage is one of the finished lengthwise edges on a piece of fabric. The usual way of folding fabric for cutting is in half length-wise with the selvage edges matching. It is generally firmer than the crosswise, cut edges. In this stage you cut out and separate the pattern pieces you will need to make the jacket from the rest of the pieces. You can ask some one else who sews regularly where to obtain the fabric and supplies in your area and can you call them if you have further questions. If you check with your local evening schools and fabric stores you probably can find a beginners sewing class you can attend in your area. There is usually a glossary on the pattern also to help you with the words you may not understand.
During stage three you should lay the fabric on your work surface as shown in the layout. Most simple jackets have a minimum of five pattern pieces. They are the front, back, collar, sleeve and the guide for the button holes if the jacket you chose has buttons. Then you cut out the fabric with the correct pattern pieces pinned on it exactly as indicated. If you want to assure you have a good end product, make sure you make the markings for your darts, button holes, etc. on your fabric as shown and where indicated by the pattern. Once you have carefully read, positioned and pinned it in place so it won’t move while you are cutting, now cut it out with your scissor as indicated. Once you finish the cutting phase, these markings are going to help guide you once you start the sewing stage. You will soon have to sew near the markings.
Before you begin the next stage, it is just as important to carefully read and follow the instructions for your sewing machine. It does not have to be new however; your machine should be in good working condition. If you obtain one of the more newer and modern ones, it will usually provide different choices of stitches that make your seams look more professional done. However, it’s best to sew the fabric with the basic stitch first and have the intended party try it on in before using one of these other stitches. A few of these stitches cut the fabric as you go and you want to avoid cutting too much fabric too soon and making the jacket too small for the intended party. The pattern pieces reveal where to sew so you can receive your desired size. It is not wise to try to make the jacket all in one day unless there is a reason. You can aim to perform two stages every other day and still have yourself a nice jacket in a week. Though this article focuses on how a jacket can be sewn. There are nice online jacket stores like our below that are easy to find also.
by Joanne El-Amin
Occupation: She is an alumni of Rutgers University and is a Retailer who specializes in Men’s and Women’s Durable and Innovative Jackets
She can be reached at ChoiceofJackets@gmail.com.net or www.YourChoiceofJackets.com