Thursday, March 3, 2016

Sewing a Denim jacket for your Doll Clothes Collection

doll clothes denim jacket
1824 - The Denim Jacket

This is a photo supplement to go with the pictorial tutorial I have written for the denim jacket patterns 1824 and 2024. It is not a complete set of instructions.

1824 is almost published. I just needed to post this so I could put the link in the cover page of the pattern. 2024 is close behind.

The cutting layout is flexible. I usually just fit all the pieces on like a jigsaw because my fabric pieces have usually been cut before and are odd shapes. Make sure you get all the grain lines running in the same direction. The folds run parallel to the grain line.

To mark the sleeve land marks I cut little slots in the paper pattern then lay it on the wrong side of the fabric and mark in the slot with a regular marker pen.

I cut along the solid line for the pleat and fold the paper back so I can trace the line on the wrong side of the fabric.

I set up my machine with a 16/100 jeans machine needle. I use a regular dark thread for the bobbin and the spool. I have a top stitching thread (a bit thicker than normal) on a spool ready to swap to when I do the top stitching.

I put the back together first but you could save this easy part for later and start with the sleeves while you are feeling fresh. I stitch seams with a 2.5mm stitch length. The top stitching I do with a 3mm stitch length. Any seam that requires corners to be pushed out I stitch with 2mm length stitching. On the pocket flaps and the tabs I also do the top stitching in 2mm stitch length.

The pockets I stitch with a 2mm (shorter than normal) stitch length. It makes the seam more secure for turning and pushing out the corners.
I push out the corners with my trusty 5mm metal knitting needle.
Because the pocket is so small I also use the shorter stitch for the top stitching.

Press under the seam allowance on the front panels using the pattern piece as a guide.
Pin it in place using the front pattern piece as a guide. Make sure it is straight by eye.
Top stitch with a 3mm (longer than normal) stitch length again.

Position the pockets on the front panel and baste them in place. It is very thick so I turned the needle by hand over the thick edges of the pockets.

Do the same over the thickest parts when you stitch on the front yoke. I also had a new sharp needle in my overlocker.

Work through the thickest places by hand when you do the top stitching too.

When attaching the collar you will need to measure the facing return with a ruler so it is exactly 3/4".
I hold the ends together to check that the ends of the collar are both 1/4" from the facing fold line.

I have learnt the hard way on several garments that you need to measure with a ruler for facings rather than trust a crease line or your eye.

You only need a pin at each end and one in the centre to match the centre of the collar and the centre of the jacket neckline.
The collar should fit in between perfectly. I stitch with a 2mm stitch length since I am going to push out the facing corners. It also gives better control on the curve of the neckline.

The sleeves are easy and the under sleeve and placket give a nice finish.

With the seam pressed towards the upper sleeve, fold the placket extension over twice so it matches the seam. Pin it on the right side because you are going to top stitch. This is the left sleeve.

Start top stitching from the armhole edge and stitch all the way to the wrist keeping the other placket extension out of the way.

Fold the other placket extension over twice so it sits on top of the first part of the placket.

Top stitch just the placket section this time.

From the wrong side zig zag across the ends of the placket. You can use contrasting or matching thread in the bobbin. Either way looks good.

When I put on the cuffs I had the sleeve right way out first and put the cuff around the inside of the wrist.
Stitch the ends of the cuffs but don't trim off the whole seam allowance. I found it easier to tuck out of sight if it was wider. However, if you don't trim off anything you get a bulky little lump on the ends of the cuff or waist band. To try to get rid of some of the bulk I cut off part of the seam allowance back and front and trimmed the corners.

The cuff is made to sit flush with the placket on the front but overhangs an extra 1/4" on the back so there is a bit more room to put the velcro on.

After turning the cuff I turn the whole sleeve inside out. I press the cuff and add a pin or two so the edge just covers the stitching line.
I decided that I like the cuff with just one line of top stitching along the one edge.

And there it is!

denim jacket pattern

This green jacket is made out of a light furnishing fabric a bit lighter than the denim. I made it up from the pattern printed out at 95%. I did keep the cuffs and waist band at 100%. It works quite well for this lighter fabric but it doesn't close in front properly like the denim one.

denim jacket

Maybe if you wanted to make it out of bulky corduroy or thick wool you should print it out at about 102%.
The denim I used is regular jeans denim that hasn't been washed so it is quite thick and stiff.
I added a tiny bit more to the length of the cuff and waist band so it will fit when you use tricky fabrics like corduroy or velvet. Just trim off one end after stitching across the ends.

Happy Sewing,