I always get excited for the August burda style magazine issues, so I knew that this month’s mash up pattern would be a tough decision. Looking through my past mash ups I noticed I had not made any jackets. This was perfect timing since I LOVED the Puff Sleeve Jacket from the New Victorians collection. This petite sized jacket is the perfect garment to get me excited about fall weather! Check out my version of this jacket and how I made it ultra edgy.
I was so excited to start making my variation of the Puff Sleeve Jacket, and was debating what changes I would make to it. Instead of drastically changing the style of the jacket I decided to make it in a cool print with spandex leather panels! In the Burda version of this jacket all the panels are in leather but the sides. I inverted the original pattern and cut everything in this awesome ‘skullish’ knit print except for the sides, collar, and shoulder. What I like most about this print is that you can’t ‘really’ tell that it is skulls until you see up close. I think it looks like a floral from far away! Also, instead of the original hook and eye front closure I decided to add some metal hardware and go with an exposed zipper.
I just had to draft a couple changes on my pattern. Since I was installing a zipper I needed to alter the shaped hemline to a sharp corner at the neckline and hemline. I also added one additional styleline at the shoulder to give the jacket a more ‘motorcycle’ vibe.
You can’t really tell in the pictures, but my skull printed fabric was a waffle knit and had some stretch. I also cut my side panels in a leather spandex so I could just overlock / serge all my seams.
First I assembled my front and back jacket by sewing the all the panel and princess seams together. I didn’t sew the center front, center back, or side seams yet!
Before I sewed my center back seam I needed to sew my inverted back pleat. I took my self drafted pleat underlay (also cut in leather) and sewed the long edges together with the cut outs in the back of the jacket. Then I sewed my center back seam starting at the neckline and ending just about where the middle of the pleat underlay lays. Next thing to do was to sew the top portion of my pleat underlay to the shorter top edges of the cut outs on my back piece. Once I serged them together I made marks with my ruler 3/4" down from the top on either side.
The markings that I just made were reference marks when topstitching my pleats down. I worked from the wrong side of the back, and stitched a V from mark to center back, and then back to the other mark.
Now was the time to sew those puffy sleeves! First I pinned all the pleats in place on the top sleeve. The pleats all go in one direction towards the front of the jacket. When marking my pleats in the pattern I find it easier to ‘cut’ into the pattern as opposed to using a fabric marker or chalk.
Once all my pleat placement pins were in I sewed a basting stitch overtop to keep them in place while setting in the sleeves. When I baste my pleats I like to leave in the pins as I sew in place, and then take them out once I am finished. I find this a more accurate way to baste pleats, just be careful you don’t sew through a pin and break your needle!
From here I needed to sew the shoulder and side seams in my jacket before I set in my sleeve. I also sewed the under sleeve to the top sleeve. When setting in my sleeve I matched my front princess seam with the top sleeve / under sleeve attachment seam. I double checked before sewing my sleeve in to make sure I had the correct sleeve in each armhole. To do this I inserted a bunch on pins on the seamline and turned my jacket right side out. It was easy to tell if I had them in correctly because of the curve the sleeve creates once the pleats and sleeve seams are sewn.
Next was to insert my zipper, but I needed to sew my hem in place beforehand. I used my coverstitch machine to sew up my 5/8" hem allowance, but you could also use a twin needle on your basic sewing machine.
Once my hem was sewn, I pinned my zipper into place. This time I didn’t want the whole width of the zipper tape exposed (as I do with many other of my projects). So I pinned one side of the zipper face down on one side of the jacket. I really focused on matching up the bottom of the zipper with the bottom fold of the jacket hem. Since the top neckline of the jacket was not finished yet I could alter it to match, but not the hemline!
When sewing in the zipper, I didn’t switch to a zipper foot because I still wanted a bit of the zipper tape to show from the outside of the jacket. So I kept on my regular presser foot and aligned the edge of that with the zipper teeth.
For the collar, I simply just sewed the outer edges right sides together and then basted the bottom edge closed.
When I sewed the collar to the jacket I first marked the center back of the collar and placed it on the center back of the jacket. This way I could make sure the collar was evenly sewn on either side of center back along the neckline. After I sewed the collar to the neckline (note: it doesn’t match up with the start of the zipper at center front) I turned down the zipper tape and seam allowance to the wrong side and hand stitched a few stitches to keep it in place. The top of the zipper is a bit bulky so hand stitching it down before topstitching really helped!
The final thing to do on my jacket was to topstitch the collar seam allowance to the jacket, I stitch about 1/8" away from the seamline.
Now I have a beautiful but edgy fall time jacket! Here I styled it with a tight black tube dress, but I would most likely just wear it out with jeans and a tank. The flare that the back pleat gives the jacket is so flattering, and those sleeves are just as puffy as can be. They are definitely the most ‘feminine’ component to the jacket, but that is why I made it in a not so feminine print (I may have found it in the little boys section of the fabric store, laughs) it creates a nice contrast. You can check out more pictures of my jacket here!
Try out this jacket pattern yourself, and put your own spin on it.
Meg Healy is BurdaStyle.com’s Online Editor and eCommerce Manager. She has an education in fashion design and earned several awards for her technical skills in pattern making and sewing.