Sewing, Shopping, Tailoring

Couture jacket project, part 1: Planning and materials

By kk-
couture-jacket-project-part-1-planning

My next big project in the art of couture and tailoring will be a jacket. I want to make something classic that I can wear for years. With this in mind, I went through Pinterest to find inspiration pictures. I finally decided to make something that resembled the Regent Landlord Blazer by Lena Hoschek. I like the big collar and the fitted look.

The pattern

My teacher Michelle has been recommending me Italian Marfy patterns. These patterns come pre-cut to your size. They are meant for advanced sewers, so they don’t contain any instructions.  It took some convincing to get me into these patterns, since there weren’t many photos of finished garments available. However, then I found this, Marfy #1989:

1989_2

If you compare this to the Lena Hoschek jacket, you can easily see the similarities. I only need to change the pockets into welt pockets, leave out the back martingale and use only two buttons. I was convinced and I ordered the pattern.

Italian sizes differ from standard European sizes quite a lot. I am normally about size 36, but in Marfy patterns I was recommended the size 42.

The materials for my couture jacket

My materials for the couture jacket project.

I got a list of materials that I will need. To be honest, I do not know exactly, how I am going to use them, but I will share the list anyway:

  1. The Marfy pattern #1989
  2. 100 % wool tweed (the weight should be at most 300 g/m² for a blazer).
  3. Silk organza
  4. Basting thread
  5. Gutermann hand silk
  6. Interfacing: tropical or light weight hair canvas
  7. Under collar melton
  8. Tailor’s chalk
  9. Beeswax (I will continue to use my old trusted beeswax candle!)
  10. Silk satin for lining
  11. Shoulder pads
  12. Wool canvas for the hems
  13. A button
  14. Needles

My pressing tools will be also put to good use.

Some useful books to help me on the way

I am grateful to be instructed by an experienced dressmaker but I will use these books for reference, too.

My books about couture and tailoring.

A few words about these books. All of them require that you already know how to sew. Instead of teaching the basics they go straight into those details that separate couture from mere sewing. (I’d be grateful if you’d click through the image links in case you are interested in buying one of these books. It doesn’t cost you extra but will help me to support this website!)

 

I have already mentioned Couture… the Art of Sewing by Roberta Carr when I was using it in my trench coat project. My teacher has been working for the author in the past and she writes about those couture details that make a garment really special. With this book you will learn how to off-grain your coat fronts, how to make couture hems, how to iron like a tailor and much more. The images are detailed and you can find little things to add some couture even to your simplest makes.


Lynda Maynard’s book: The Dressmaker’s Handbook of Couture Sewing Techniques is another book that I can recommend. There is luckily not much overlap with the Roberta Carr’s book. Lynda Maynard has a more visual approach with colour pictures and gorgeous examples from the catwalk. Since this book came out 2010 the examples are much more current than with Roberta Carr’s. What I especially like with this book is the chapter Designer Underpinnings that describes the use of underlining fabrics to create structure to couture garments. Again, this is a book that has lots of little couture ideas that can be used to add some extra to your projects even if you don’t intend dive completely into the world of couture.


The final book is the one I just got this week. It is Classic Tailoring Techniques – A Construction Guide for Men’s Wear. There is also a similar book for Women’s wear that should be quite similar. I tried my best getting a hardback copy. My teacher warned me that the pictures in the paperback are not good quality photos. Alas, I opened the parcel I was delivered and found a paperback book. Well, I am too lazy to return it, so I will have to get by with using the paperback edition.

This book teaches the construction of men’s tailored jacket, pants and vest. I goes first through the necessary fit adjustments and then goes through the whole process of making a tailored garments in a detailed way. Although I’ve got the men’s wear book I can use the same methods in women’s garments, too.

Wish me luck with this project! I will be sharing the updates as I get along. Subscribe to get notified by my newest posts on this blog. If you like these posts, you can share them with your friends at social media!

 

Happy sewing!

 

Katja

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