Thursday, 17 August 2017

Named Mai jacket in leather and wool

This is one of the projects I've had in my head since moving to NZ.  I had a lot of ideas of which pattern would match these fabrics, and the Mai Jacket seemed to have it all.

The pattern: Mai Jacked, by Named patterns

Description from the website:
  • Short, lined jacket  with a zipper closure
  • Zipper details at the bottoms of the sleeves
  • In-seam pockets at the sides
  • Short stand-up collar
  • Contrast panels around the zipper, and yokes at the shoulders
  • Loose-fitting style with elastic hemline

What I needed: simple pockets, lining, and that little collar.
What I ditched: the sleeve zips.
Size: 34 based on the finished measurements.  I wanted this to be quite fitted and I knew that all of my fabrics have some stretch so I could size down.  That worked out great, it's just a tiny bit short but is otherwise well fitting and as I expected.

My fabrics:
-purple wool from The Fabric Store, which I have hoarded for ages.  It's heavy and almost looks felted but with quite a bit of stretch.  I have been waiting really carefully for the right project for this stuff
-suede, two skins, from Copenhagen.  I think they were in a remnant bin and I found two in the same colour.
-lining is a solid black cotton jersey from The Fabric Store, which I got recently. It has a great shine and is not too stretchy.

I used a 90 sharp needle most of the time and that was enough although the needles did go blunt and start to skip at times.  I was able to get through 4 layers of the leather, on the collar for instance, without trouble.

I spent ages preparing for this, ages planning and a week or so sewing it.  First, I wanted to use a cotton lawn for the facing and pockets, but then the fabric I had chosen arrived and I didn't like it.  So I just used interfaced jersey.  Partly because I couldn't decide if I wanted to line the sleeves and I held everything up while I was indecisive.  In retrospect it might have been nice to use leather for more stability.

I obviously pinned basically never, except when it was jersey layers together.  My IDT was good for all this.

I basted the collar on prior to putting the facings, though, because there was no way I could hold together that many layers without clips or pins.

Finally I decided that the inside of suede is not great feeling and I did need the lining.  Then I put the lining sleeves together inside out and couldn't be bothered to undo.

Final thoughts: it's just like written.
That's great except for the pockets.  It ends up that I hate the pocket location. I need princess seams, or any seam to bring these pockets away from the sides.   There is a blousing effect due to the elastic at the hem and the blousing really is all around these stupid side seam pockets. 

I do not really like the way the hem is finished.  You are told to secure the elastic on each side of the zip, then you sew the jacket together and bag it, and THEN you feel through all the hem layers and stitch in the ditch without stitching the elastic, in order to create a clean hem. This of course makes a mess on the inside.

I have still not found a jacket pattern that guarantees a nice hem finish.  I was left with little bits around the zipper sticking out, but being leather, I could cut and just sew them down.

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