Sunday, January 27, 2013

Vogue 8208 - Construction Details

Jackets are not easy sews for me.  I can construct them but lining them, that's a whole 'nother story. I'm just not as proficient at lining them as I am of other garments.  To make sure that I didn't screw this up, I watched a how-to video on lining jackets on the Power Sewing site. I picked up quite a few useful tips from Sandra Betzina and Ron Collins.  

As an aside, if you're not a member of Sandra Betzina's Power Sewing site, I highly recommend joining especially since she's running a special this month.  She has an awesome number of videos on her site that will assist you in taking your sewing to the next level.  I found this short video on YouTube, in case you've never seen her and Ron in action.

Construction ~
In my last post I mentioned that I was cutting out the fashion fabric, silk organza and lining fabric. I added silk organza to the construction of the jacket because it works as such a great stabilizer of wool crepe without changing the hand of the fabric.  The silk organza also helps with minimalizing the fabric's wrinkling.  It's just a great extra layer to add to wool crepe.

Pockets ~
There are a lot of pieces to this jacket.  It took hours just to make pockets and flaps and to get them situated on the jacket front.  The pattern has you apply unlined pockets to the jacket front.  I didn't want unlined pockets because I was worried that with the drapiness of the wool crepe that they would bag and sag. So not only did I line all four pockets but I also added interfacing to the upper part that folds into the pocket.  The pattern calls for you to add a button to that part of the pocket, so I wanted to stabilize that area.

I was also concerned about the placement of the pockets on the jacket.  It would be very easy to end up with crooked pockets.  To insure that didn't happen, I hand basted all of the pockets and the flaps to the jacket front before stitching them down.  Now there are two small breast pockets with flaps and two lower pockets with flaps on the jacket front.  While I like the look on the pattern envelope, I knew I didn't want that much pocketage on me!  Yeah, I know I just made that word up but you know what I mean! *LOL*  For the top pockets I omitted the flaps on the pockets and just made buttonholes in them for the buttons.

Of course I didn't get the pockets on straight the first time, or the second time or even the third time!  That would have just been to, I had to remove two of them and reapply them after carefully measuring the fronts.  I was going to leave them a little crooked and be satisfied with good enough but as I completed an additional piece of the construction the crooked pockets stuck out like sore thumbs!  So off they came again, once even after they'd been topstitched.  Thank goodness the fabric had been underlined with the silk organza or I could have possibly ruined the fabric...*sigh*

See why one of these had to go!

Each pocket was topstitched onto the jacket front.  I was a little more "perfect" with this because having the pockets basted onto the jacket front made it easier to move the jacket around on my sewing machine.

Topstitching samples
So you know I'm sewing this on my new sewing machine and even that is taking me a minute to acclimate myself to.  Things are similar to the 6600P but after sewing on the 6600P for several years I knew where everything was without thinking about it.  Since I'm still unfamiliar with the 8900, it takes some searching to find things.  Such was the case with my favorite topstitch pattern.  At first I couldn't find it and almost pulled out the 6600P but I kept spinning the silver wheel and finally it popped up.  

Final Construction Thoughts ~
  • I thought that the collar would be my downfall but that sucker went on easier than easy!  It topstitched up well and was easily applied to the jacket.  
  • Then it was the lining's turn.  I started this post by saying that I'm not proficient, okay let's go as far as saying, that I avoid making jackets and sewing their linings like the plague.  There are things that each sewist is good at making, mine is dresses not jackets and this lining is good but doesn't deserve a gold star.  Thank goodness for the lining video at Power Sewing because I literally watched it, stopped it, sewed and started it again.  I will definitely be renewing my subscription to Power Sewing!
  • Lining the sleeves - I didn't exactly bag the lining.  I used all of Sandra's techniques but since I was adding cuffs to the sleeves, I basted the lining to the sleeve hem and then sewed the cuff on.
  • The cuff pattern was long...way too long!  I ended up cutting an inch and a half off the pattern to get a cuff that fit me better.  I also ended up adding just one additional pleat to make the sleeve fit into the cuff.  So my pattern alterations worked.  Here's a pic of the finished cuff...

The jacket is finished and I will share it with you tomorrow...suffice it to say that I don't have much love for it...and will share this tale of woe then! always more later! 


  1. I hope you got some palate cleansing sewing done today. The jacket is lovely. g

  2. Oooh no! Sorry you are not loving your jacket - all that work, and it looks so lovely.

    I look forward to seeing your photos tomorrow!

  3. Yes, what is with cuffs these days? every pattern I use has cuffs that are several inches too long.

  4. All the work on the jacket was worth your effort because you recognize that you needed to improve your skills when sewing a jacket and you did something about it. Awesome! I am looking forward to appearance of more jackets from your sewing cave to complement your dresses.

  5. "Pocketage" is a great new term. I run into problems with that and long cuffs, too. It's easy for me to look like a barrel. Since you talked about it, that crooked pocket really stands out. The rest of the jacket is looking good from the pictures on this post. I look forward to pictures of the finished jacket.

  6. After all that pocket drama, of course the collar was easy! I really like the way the cuffs came out and I'm curious to see the rest. Nice job sticking through a frustrating project!

  7. This jacket might become a go-to casual after you've walked away for a while? It's a sporty style that would look great with casual pants

  8. Good call on underlining with silk organza. I use it in almost all my jackets.

  9. I'm sure it turned out far lovelier than you think. Either way, thanks for detailed post and all of the honesty about your jacket. You're right, we all have our areas of expertise/preference. No need to feel bad about that:)

  10. I like making jackets, but I don't like lining them! Bagging them confuses me, and the sleeve trick always takes me down- so I greatly sympathise!
    This jacket is looking lovely though. I can't wait to see your finished pics. I hoe it looks great on you and hat with a little time in the magic loser you will love it.

  11. Thanks for sharing your tips! I'm bookmarking this for the day when I can face making another jacket! :)

  12. I too have trouble with linings. Not just in jackets but linings (period). I will definitely refer back to your Youtube find on linings.


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