Monday, February 15, 2016

A Tweedy Topper

I loved my last topper so much that I immediately made plans to make another one.  I really wanted a tweedy version so after rumbling through the fabric stash, I settled on this fabric. Settled because I was really in love with a blue/white tweedy knit but it just came off so summery for this time of the year. 

Before I get into the details of this make, here's a picture of the finished topper...
All pics of the topper are on Lulu because I'm taking
this to Pulluyap and will have action shots there.

The Supply List ~
3 yards wool & acrylic blend from Fabric Mart
3 yards emerald green rayon bemberg lining
ltwt fusible interfacing
Green rayon seam binding
1" black faux leather bias binding
3 - 1.5" black plastic buttons

Pattern Alterations ~
As I stated in my last post, I wanted this version to be more coat-like than my previous one because of that I altered the neckline on the front and back pattern pieces.

The front was raised 1" at the shoulder and 1.5" at the center neckline and front and a new pattern piece was made for just the front piece.

The back piece was raised just 1"

The underarm was lowered 1" to allow for better arm movement.

Construction Choices ~
The most important thing after the pattern alterations was the interfacing I felt the pieces needed for the infrastructure of the topper.

A lightweight fusible interfacing was added to the center back neckline, the center fronts, the hemline of the jacket, the sleeve caps and the hemlines.

The sleeves on this version are lined. I originally wanted to stitch the lining into the sleeve to cover the armhole seam but got a little frustrated. So I resorted to using the Nancy Zieman method of lining a sleeve. Bunny from La Sewista has a great post on how to do this with fantastic pictures charting the process.

The jacket is fully lined using the rayon bemberg lining. I purposely chose a bright emerald green because I like the boldness on the inside. It adds a touch of bright color during these cold dreary days.

I hemmed the jacket using green seam binding on the fashion fabric ~ hand stitching the hem down.  The lining has a machine stitched hem and there are thread chains connecting the lining fabric to the fashion fabric.

At this point the jacket was looking bland so I went through the notions stash trying to find something to give it some pizazz. Finally settling on the faux leather bias binding because it adds that something special I was looking also adds to the streamline look that I was going for.  I used steam-a-seam and pins to apply the bias binding to the jacket before stitching it down and even made a sample before applying the binding to the jacket.

The buttons were added to bring more dimension to the front of the jacket and to highlight the pockets.

A few more pictures of the jacket ~

How does topstitching work on one side and not the other?
And it's not like I wasn't just as careful on each side - *sigh*

Conclusion ~
I really liked the challenge of adapting the pattern to fit my vision. Now I realize that this isn't something everyone wants to do and these toppers are really in now.  Here are several patterns that are currently in the pattern catalogs that you can use to make your own version ~

The inner seam pockets could be added easily to the KwikSew pattern since the front piece has waistline seaming.

This will be my last topper from my evolved pattern for now. It's cold here in the Northeast and I'm looking to make a couple of cardigans to wrap myself up in until April arrives with it's warm spring breezes. As I stated above, I'm taking this piece to Pulluyap so I will have photos of the topper on me when I recap the Expo. always more later!


  1. Nice jacket! Hope to see it in Puyallup. Keep your eye on the weather--most years it's cold and wet for the Sewing Expo.

  2. Have you tried an edge-stitching foot for the binding? I find it makes a huge difference in accuracy when I sew trims and close edges.

  3. Love this !!! Have fun at Expo !! Wish I were going this year . Thanks for detailing your topper ! Love the step by step !

  4. This is lovely Carolyn. What a great sporty/casual piece that would look great dressed up as well as with jeans. And Pullyu! That's on my bucket list but will have to wait until our Canadian dollar has recovered. Boohoo!

  5. Love this jacket! I bought both patterns and will shop the stash soon. I loved your blog when you did dresses (I almost never wear dresses) but now you're in my style and I really appreciate your comments and hints! Perfect piece for work:)

  6. I have my pattern ready--a jacket version of McCall's 6750. Thanks so much for the inspiration.

  7. Really like it! I'm pulling pieces to make some toppers like this, these Florida "winters" are cold enough for a lightweight jackety-thing in the morning and this fits the bill. Right now, packing boxes to move and getting over the hip replacement, but soon will be turning some of these out myself. I love yours. K

    1. Karen - what?! You're moving? Didn't you just fix up the kitchen?!

  8. Great job on the topper and love the leather detail.

  9. Greetings from Washington! I hope you will enjoy your time here.

  10. This is a such a classic topper. I love all of the toppers you make and I really need more myself. Butterick 6328 seems like a good one -thanks for the suggestion.

  11. Gorgeous! I love that it's a classic look but in a visually interesting textured fabric that can go sporty if you want. The leather detailing totally kickes it up a notch, too. Cindy, Creative Hormone Rush

  12. Gorgeous topper and the addition of the buttons and leather really make it. I will be at Puyallup also, Saturday and Sunday, when will you be there?

    1. Yes, I will be there on Saturday. I would love to meet. How can we arrange that?

    2. I would love to meet you too. Can you email me at sharonspils at gmail dot com.

  13. I'll be there on Saturday, too. You may have to hold court for all your adoring fans! You'll be happy about the temperature--it's been in the upper fifties all week.


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