Yesterday I gave myself permission to put my unfinished cranberry corduroy jacket project away and move on. One day I'll return to it, but right now I want to sew something quick and fun. What better choice than my recently acquired vintage Kwik Sew Men's Western Jacket pattern?
I'm hoping for something like this, maybe in a more interesting fabric -- even corduroy.
I quickly got started on my muslin, using an old thrift store bed sheet. It felt so good to sew again!
So far the muslin has only required minimal alterations. I took two inches off the length as I want the jacket to look trim. I'm going to narrow the collar to roughly 3", which is the same width as Michael's American Apparel jacket collar. The larger collar looks dated.
I don't like the facings; I may trim them too. I think they're only necessary if I'm going to line the jacket, which I don't intend to. Note how Michael's corduroy jacket doesn't have them.
I was afraid the jacket would turn out boxy but it didn't. The sleeves, however, are drafted oddly. For one thing, there's too much height in the sleeve cap, a problem I encounter often. While I'm not a linebacker, my shoulders aren't especially sloped.
On every other coat or shirt I've sewn, the side seam and the sleeve seam line up, even when the sleeve is made up of two separate pattern pieces. This allows you to sew up the side of the sleeve along with the side of the torso (which works best for shirts and other unstructured garments). It also makes finishing with a flat-felled seam much easier.
Note the armpit of Michael's jacket.
And my muslin.
This Kwik Sew sleeve is drafted differently; the seams do not line up. Nor does the back yoke seam line up at the sleeve seam where the two pieces of sleeve pattern join. Basically, nothing lines up visually. I took nearly an inch out of the height of the sleeve cap; I had to or the sleeve wouldn't fit.
I've read a lot about sleeves and ease, particularly over at Kathleen Fasanella's blog, Fashion Incubator. I am not willing to redraft this sleeve entirely. It's OK with a few tweaks, but it does frustrate me when sleeves don't fit armscyes in a professionally drafted garment. We're not talking personalfit here -- there is literally too much sleeve for the hole provided.
Has this ever happened to you?
Anyway, friends, that's what I did yesterday. I'm still not sure what I'll make the final jacket out of. I have dark blue denim around the house but I'd like to try something more unusual, even suede. I got some recommendations for leather suppliers nearby and I may check them out. We'll see what happens.
I'm a native New Yorker and self-taught sewing fanatic! I've been sewing obsessively since 2009 and today make all my own clothes using mostly vintage patterns and vintage sewing machines. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!