Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Constructing The Metallic Faux Leather MC Jacket

Once I started, I realized this jacket is probably going to take about a week to finish. I started working on the jacket six days ago. This is the Burda Young collections Motorcycle Jacket, pattern number 6800. I spent a good long time working on cutting out the million pieces and stay stitching and interfacing and trying to stay organized. The chief concern with this is the selection of fabrics.  I'm using a soft faux leather, which has its own set of challenging characteristics. I've done some tests on the fabric with a few stitch lengths and needle types and pressed a scrap from the back with a press cloth to no ill effect.

I'm ready to begin sewing in earnest. The first steps tend to be terrifying for me, so this is as significant a struggle as any technical difficulty. I have a deadline though and I mustn't stop working on this piece. I've done all the prep work and have resources for when I get stuck.

Starting with the first two pieces, I'm not happy with my topstitching. I find that it's too far from the seam and looks a bit lumpy. Since I cannot rip this out and start again, these two pieces are ruined. I have fabric to recut and so I'm using the ruined pieces as my "beta test". As I go, I'll test out things
I'm unsure of on these pieces.
Testing zipper pockets and edge stitching.
Edge stitching sample

While not perfect, this zipper pocket is much better than the two on my test piece.
I've been going along with the jacket really well.  I find the Burda instructions to be well written and straightforward.  I was hoping to end the day having completed the sleeves, set them and sewn the lining together.  I've lost track of how many days I've worked on this jacket.  Monday I had a minor panic attack, I thought I'd built the sleeves backwards which broke my heart. They were all done with the custom size zippers set in the vents. UGH. I decided to stop and start again in the morning so I wouldn't ruin anything else.  Tuesday morning I decided to work on lining and in doing so, I discovered that the sleeves are just as they should be, I was confused and too flustered the night before.  Subsequently, I got the sleeves set in, the lining sewn to the facing and the hem glued in place.  All that needs to be done is to hand sew the lining to the hem and the sleeve hems.  I gotta take a break, that metallic fabric at close range under bright lights is doing a number on me so I'll finish in the morning.  I like the way it looks and I love the instructions for it.  I've had to refer to more than one sewing book to better illustrate a direction in the instructions.  My favorite "go to" sewing reference is the The Vogue Sewing Book.
Shortening of the zippers for the sleeves (I should have put the stop on first but  I left myself enough room.  The stops were put on by using an exacto knife to make a tiny cut on each side of the teeth. Once the stop was inserted, I bent the ends down with pliers then flattened them with a hammer. Pulling out those zipper teeth is no joke, though.

Close up of my edge stitching process.  In order to keep it as close to the seam as possible and to give me something to landmark it, I look at the dark dot created where the seam meets the indentation on the presser foot.
I'm working on the finishing of it and I am hitting the wall.  I'm having trouble with the lining hem (I think my brain isn't working right).  I didn't get this far to let the lining hem flummox me.  I've called my expert friend AL to ask her what to do. Hopefully she'll know how to get me out of this quandary.  And actually, I may have figured out what to do. Then I can give it a final press and turn it in.  So far, I'm pleased.  
Just needs a lining hem.
Now onto the purse!

OMG! The purse pattern is the worst. There'll be more to come on that one.

AL told me how to handle the hem lining, I was over thinking it and I couldn't imagine how to get in there and sew that, it was simply a matter of flipping up the hem and hand sewing to the faux leather.  Some of the things that I make are great on the inside, this isn't one of them.  It's pretty good, not great but It's done now and it's at the American Sewing Expo.  Of course, I forgot to take a picture of the finished jacket.  I'll be sure to take photos of all the garments we made.  They're so cool looking!


Audrey said...

Definitely post some pictures of the jacket and purse from the expo. What a project; faux leather and lots of topstitching. I'll bet it looks fabulous.

DeVia Couture said...

Thank you so much for sharing.
It is reassuring to know that I am not the only one that over thinks and gets confused when tired on a sewing project. But thats a fault we perfectionists have. (it's a good thing in sewing though)
Your review is very helpful. I am going to start this jacket using a upholstery fabric. So it is nice to see photos of the finished look.
By the way....your stitches are perfect !!!

Melody said...

Hi Audrey, I'll get those photos up, the time has flown and so has the jacket.

Melody said...

Hi D.V.,
Thank you. I always think its best to stop sewing when I get tired. It makes for silly mistakes. Yay perfectionism, right?! Making this jacket in upholstery fabric is a great idea, keep me posted.