Saturday, September 07, 2013

Butterick 6002 ~ A Pleather & Ponte Sweater Cardigan

I thought about making a dress next, honestly I did.  I have two pieces of fabric pretreated and set aside and a pattern that's been screaming my name for the last two weeks.  Funny how it's stopped yelling "Look at me, Pick me!" since I've been home...*sigh*  Anyway after finishing up the last of the Chado Ralph Rucci pieces, I couldn't wrap my mind around the necessary pattern alterations for one dress or the pattern instructions for the new pattern. So much for "pick me!" *LOL*

I'd put these two pieces of fabric together weeks ago.  I thought I would have gotten to them sooner but I got sidetracked by the Burda Dress (which I am getting back to) and then the Chado Ralph Rucci fabric. 

The first piece is a lacy pleather that I bought from Mood after seeing it on Instagram - seriously I need to stop being enticed by those pieces!  

The second piece is a black cotton sweater weight ponte from Mood that I've been holding onto waiting for the perfect garment.  I've wanted a version of this topper from Lafayette 148 since I saw it online.  Honestly, I want about half of the Lafayette 148 company's fall expect to see more interpretations from this line.

Although the fabric in the inspiration jacket is actually lace, I thought the lacy pleather would work just as well.  So I pulled out my trusty Butterick 6002 jacket pattern to use with these fabrics. 

Construction ~
The jacket shell sewed up quickly since I only used three of the pattern pieces. There were some things that I wanted to share with you about the construction.  

One, the only way that I could sew the pleather fabric to the cotton ponte was with my Teflon foot.  Once I put it on my sewing machine, it just glided over the fabric.

...and yes I used pins to hold the pleather to the cotton ponte.  The fabric is full of holes so who would notice a few pin holes, if you could even see them. Because believe me I pinned the hell outta this piece and you can't see a pin mark in the finished jacket! *LOL*

Two, pressing was challenging. I really didn't want to burn or scorch this fabric so I took a lot of care pressing the pieces...ALOT of care!  It took two days to complete this jacket and pressing or the need to press the pleather very lightly & carefully was a major reason why.  Let's just say that the sleeve board and my clapper got a heavy work out.

I'm loving this sleeve board more with each garment I sew!

Three, to get a flat appearance on the seams of the body of the jacket, I resorted to stitching them flat.  I knew I wouldn't get a good press with steam where the ponte and pleather intersected so stitching them flat worked best.

Four, usually when inserting sleeves, I pin, then baste, then machine stitch. The pleather because of the holes was fragile and I knew it couldn't handle all of that work.  A lot of pins and some careful stitching then alot of steam on only the ponte part got the sleeves in. Though to be honest, I ended up taking the sleeves out (very, very carefully) and making some alterations to the jacket fronts because pleather doesn't lay as flat as drapier fabrics do.  I would have rather put the sleeves in with a flat application but again I was worried about the pleather to ponte seams.

Finishing the Jacket ~
The hardest part, however, was finishing the jacket neckline, front edges and hemline.  The pattern comes with facing pieces but I didn't want to add them because I wanted the jacket to resemble the inspiration piece. So I added a leather binding that I had on hand.

I thought the application would be simple but seriously I wanted to kill myself by the time I got it on. The first step was to serge off 5/8" around the jacket so that I would lose most of the jacket's overlap because I wasn't adding buttons to the front.

Then when I started to pin the leather binding onto the front of the jacket about every yard I noticed that there was a sticky substance for a few inches. I even went back to Simplicity's site where I purchased the binding to see if they said that it was glued together...nuthin'.  

I tried to machine stitch the binding down and the Janome hated it.  The teflon foot got gooey.  The feed dogs wouldn't push it got ugly quickly!  So I decided that I would hand sew it down. Why didn't I just stop then and come up with an alternate?  Because half of the binding had been sewn down by me coaxing the machine, promising it goodies, anything to get it to sew before I gave up...and I realized that I had to find a solution or remove the binding and that just wasn't happening!

So at 2 am, I sat down and hand stitched the binding to the jacket...slowly and constantly removing the gook from my needle by using an alcohol swab to keep it clean.  I then pinned the binding to the wrong side of the garment and went to bed.

The next morning I sat down and using a small amount of steam, my silk organza press cloth folded into fourths, I pressed a section and then added the clapper to hold it down.  To press the entire neckline, front edges and hemline flat took two hours.  After that I applied my teflon foot to my sewing machine and with a little push & pull stitched the binding down.  

I tried the jacket on and the pleather fronts buckled funnily around the armholes....ummm fabric doesn't drape. I resorted to cutting the offending fabric out of the jacket fronts and pulled all of the gathering out of the armholes so that the sleeves would fit.  I'm sure that there is some prooo-fessional way to accomplish this and I'm sure the muslin-ites would say a muslin would have solved this but this time I beg to disagree.  I've made this jacket successfully two other times and never had this issue.  This was a fabric issue that maybe I should have realized would happen when working with it but the fabric whisperer missed that one ~ SERIOUSLY!

The sleeve hems ~
By the time I got to the sleeve hems, I felt like I was in the home stretch.  I turned them under when I tried the jacket on to make sure that I'd gotten most of the offending & misbehaving fabric out of the jacket. 

  • Pressed the hems flat then cut about an inch off the fabric.  
  • Serged stitch witchery to the wrong sides of the new sleeve hems.
  • Pressed it flat.
  • Then I added a twin needle hem.

Now I know quite a few people complain of the tunneling that occurs when using a twin needle on hems.  I've been thinking about this wondering why it doesn't occur on my hems and I realized it's because I use stitch witchery in the hems prior to stitching them.  I'm sure that a light fusible knit interfacing would work the same way.

Button & Snap Closure ~
I put the jacket on...snapped a couple of terrible selfies (no you won't see them! *LOL*) and realized that the inspiration garment has a hook and eye closure. Now I know that I had some furrier hook & eyes around but I couldn't find the suckers even though I tore the sewing room apart. Guess I'll be picking some up the next time I'm at Pacific Trimmings.

Instead I went with a snap with a vintage glass button over it as the closure. The button is a little heavy but it works and at this time it's staying.

Are you still here cause this is a long behind post...if so, here are pictures of the jacket on Lulu...

(gonna press that back seam again - it's looking kinda hinky!)

The jacket is done and hanging waiting for modeled pictures, which will happen later. 

So I'm back to my original challenge...what dress next? I thought the jacket would be a quick, easy and relaxing sew while I figured out what to make next.  Instead I need a large cold Mountain Dew to rest my furrowed sewing brow.  Stay tuned because I've gained my Monday vacation day back...I don't need to go into work after all.  However, I swear something quick and easy to sew would be appreciated right now! *LOL* always more later! 


  1. I know it was a lot of work, but damn it was worth it. Gorgeous.

  2. Can't wait to see the final photo shoot! This is lovely, I loved reading your adventures of sewing it although I was getting frustrated along with you LOL.

  3. Wow, what a Herculean effort! Worth it though I hope - it looks great on your dress form, so it will be amazing on you I'm sure. I wonder what the sticky goop was?! One of life's little mysteries I suppose. Good luck settling on the sewing equivalent of a "cheap and cheerful" for your next item! :-)

  4. 2am?! I can't see straight past midnight, you're amazing! I love your cardi, it's sure to garner many compliments! When I started reading your post I thought for sure you were heading in this direction (which is on my to-knock-off list)!

  5. I like this. Thanks for sharing how you did it all. The pleather is fabulous and I would have jumped on this one too.

  6. Thanks for going into detail with all the problems and solutions. It helped me learn how to attack unusual fabrics!
    You came out with a beautiful jacket and YEAH, 3 more days of sewing for you. Enjoy!

  7. It was all worth it cause the jacket is beautiful.


  8. Looks great! Amazing fabric challenge. How is the Burda dress coming along? Do you have any pictures to share?

  9. What a wonderful interpretation of your inspiration garment. I love the end result. I have not considered sewing with pleather because of my own fear of construction challenges. I love how you persisted through! Now, i'm honestly tempted for the first time.

  10. I also think the work was worth it. It is so beautiful! I like the glass button touch too. great job

  11. I like it Carolyn

  12. Very pretty. I interface the hems on my knits (specially the very stretchy) with fusible tricot, it does make all the difference;helps with the tunneling and the wavy look you can otherwise get.

  13. I would have lost it, well before the sleeves. But I do love that pleather!

  14. That cardigan is beautiful. Is that lacy leather available online?

  15. Love this! I'm not really a cardi gal, but this I could totally get down with!

  16. Good heavens, I almost had to take a nap after reading this post. Your tenacity and perseverance are legendary. What a great jacket.

  17. It turned out beautifully... but I would have thrown the thing in the corner and resorted to alcohol.

  18. Love this! Had my doubts when you started with the issues but you made it work and it is awesome. Very inspiring piece.

  19. It looks like all the hard work was worth it. Very Nice.

  20. Lovely jacket. Very modern, yet not out there. You did a fantastic job!

    One question...where did you get your sleeve board? Yours doesn't like like the ones I've been looking at in the craft store. Inquiring minds...

  21. Love the new jacket! I'm with Melissa though, where did you get that awsome sleeve board?

  22. Your jacket turned out beautiful!

    Your post is perfect timing. My next project is the new Vogue coat by Marcy Tilton. I'm using pleather for the front band and collar. I'll be sure to allow plenty of time with the clapper for a flat finish on the front band.

  23. You always do beautiful work; where did you get the sleeve board.

  24. Amazing jacket and thank you for all the tips as that lace pleather looks amazing.

  25. You successfully tamed the wild Pleather "beast" and now have a lovely, unique cardi/jacket.

  26. Love your jacket. Thanks for the heads up on construction. My leather came this weekend and a cardigan is on the fall schedule.

  27. Wow, congratulations! Your ingenuity and persistence paid off. Looks great.

  28. great cardigan...such persistence is inspiring...I am curious about the sleeve board too...

  29. "Adventurous" is a word that needs to be added to your description of yourself! Whew! I'm exhausted after reading of your pleather adventure! It is absolutely gorgeous...can't wait to see a photo of it on you!!!! Thanks again for sharing it with us!

  30. WHOA! You're so rock & roll! This is awesome!

  31. beautiful result and wonderful interpretation of my favorite line, Lafayette 148. But I'm with the group who can't sew past midnight so I have even more respect for the final result knowing the timeframe!

  32. I love your interpretation of your inspiration cardigan. Your hard work and persistence paid off. NOW...inquiring minds want to know...where did you get that amazing sleeve board?
    Debbie g.


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