I'm using a 100% cotton bull denim purchased at JoAnn's. I had a different fabric planned for this jacket but I wasn't satisfied with how it meshed with the other fabrics in the wardrobe. The bull denim is 58 inches wide and super, super soft. According to the pattern suggestions, I bought 2 yards of fabric. Rarely do I buy extra for shrinkage - even though I do pre-wash when appropriate. This fabric shrunk a full 1/4 yards - 9 full inches! Da' hell?!! Maybe there's something special about bull denim that I don't know. I've never had a fabric shrink this much after one wash - not even rayon. Fortunately, I managed to gain about 4 inches when pressing out the wrinkles in the direction of the grain. I was also able to cut every pattern piece without having to buy more fabric.
There is a serious amount of topstitching in this garment and it helps to have multiple machines dedicated to one function. I am sewing the seams on one machine, topstitching on a second machine, and serging the edges together on a serger.
I considered using gold topstitching thread instead of tone-on-tone. After doing a couple of samples, I decided on the latter because I thought the gold might make the jacket look too regal. I will probably make this again in black denim and use white topstitching as shown on the pattern envelope.
I messed up when pressing the seams to one side. I pressed the side back seams toward the side and the center front seams toward the center. Of course I realized this after I serged and topstitched everything. The instructions clearly tell you the correct way to topstitch; I just missed it. I'll make it right...on the next version.
I used a piece of quilting cotton found in the stash. It doesn't really match, but who's going to know? That's what I like about sewing. You can customize the garment however you deem fit.
When making the muslin, I sewed two rows of ease stitches from notch to notch along the sleeve cap. As a result, the sleeve set in almost automatically with little to no adjusting. For the actual garment, I will use sleeve heads as a way to set in the sleeve. I cut 2 "wide bias strips out of scrap fleece and pinned it along the sleeve cap from notch to notch. This will help the cap ease into the armhole and provide support during wear. In her instructions, Sandra Betzina recommends using lambswool or mohair. I read somewhere that polyester fleece works just as well.
- set the sleeves
- finish facing edges
- attach front and back facings
- attach sleeve facings
- attach front band back bands
- attach snaps