Category Archives: Outerwear

The Blue Plaid Shacket, Part 4: Pockets and Cuffs

Sorry to keep everyone in suspense with the shacket project!

I’ve been busy with some other non-sewing related projects. One of them is to assemble an application for dual Italy/America citizenship. To be recognized as an Italian citizen, I have to put together an astounding array of documents, including birth, marriage, death and naturalization certificates for my ancestors up through my grandparents. I’ve been working with my sister on this project, and although it is fun, it is a lot of effort.

Plus, I’ve been doing some other sewing stuff not related to this project (more below). Anyway, here’s a status update.

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The Blue Plaid Shacket, Part 3: Lining and Styling

Between personal life, the holidays, and other hobbies, work on my Shacket project has progressed at a rather stately pace. But I have made a new muslin that represents some real forward progress on the project.

Muslin B

With Muslin B, I wanted to check and validate the fitting changes from the first shacket draft, this time with linings and interlinings in place so I can take into accout the volume they add to the finished garment. But this muslin was equally useful to practice lining insertion, and to help make style decisions.

I am using fuschia bull denim for the outer fabric, black polyester fleece for interlining, and yellow polyester charmeuese for the lining as described in my previous article in the series. To me, the colors look garish, but others at the sewing studio commented the fuschia denim and yellow lining actually went together. Who knew!

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The Blue Plaid Shacket, Part 2: Fitting

In the first installment of this series, I drafted a pattern block for the shacket based upon a dress-shirt pattern I had fit to myself.  I enlarged the garment and drafted a new sleeve based on a draft from a textbook.

I stitched up a trial garment from actual muslin fabric and posed for these high-fashion fitting photos. The grainlines are marked by vertical lines, and cross-grain lines (used to evaluate horizontal balance) are also marked.  I got this technique from Sarah Veblen’s fitting courses, but it’s also basically the same thing that Don McCunn’s pattern-drafting book does with gingham fabric for his trial muslins.  It gives you visual cues so you can see how the grainline of the fabric hangs on the body.

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The Blue Plaid Shacket, Part 1

Hello… (tap tap tap) is this mic on?

Good?  Good.

(Those of you who get this blog via email from WordPress.com: I’ve been in touch with their tech support, who assure me that everyone who was subscribed will continue to receive new articles.  I will be reaching out privately to some of you who wrote me, to make sure this article arrives in your mailbox).

Now that the blog has (mostly) settled in its new Internet home, we can get back down to the business of sewing.

Idea

I’ve been thinking about tailoring projects for a while.  I have a cut melton wool for a peacoat sitting in my stash, and there is also a tailored blazer project in view on my project queue.  But as a way to ease into tailored garments, I wanted to first make something with a lining.

I spotted a lined, buffalo-plaid shirtjacket in a store at the mall a few weeks ago, and it got me thinking.  Shirtjackets (aka, “shackets”) are a bit of a thing for many in the mens sewing blogosphere, and it looks like now I’m catching the bug too.  Shackets really are perfect for the type of chilly but not freezing cold weather we get here in San Francisco.

Inspiration

The overall idea for the shacket isn’t totally in shape yet, but I do want it to be a plaid flannel garment that vaguely recalls a lumberjack shirt.

Besides looking at the aforementioned blogs for inspiration, there’s a great chapter on shirt jackets, with associated online material in David Page Coffin’s book, The Shirtmaking Workbook.  He has a Pinterest board with lots of design inspiration, and I have also started my own Pinterest inspiration board for the project. Continue reading