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Dec 21, 2012

While Visions of Wool Jackets Danced in My Head...



Readers, I know what I want for Christmas: this jacket!



I saw it in an independent men's clothing store (we still have those where I live) the other day, and decided I had to have it.  Or something like it. 

Of course, I am not going to have it by Christmas.  And I'm going to have to make it myself.  But that's OK -- I have a sewing blog to write!

I have no idea who manufactured the one in the window or how much it costs -- I'd guess many hundreds of dollars, given the store (Camouflage).  I already have my pattern on the way (the one I mentioned yesterday, below).



As I've said in the past, men's outerwear is the sewing world's sorriest pattern category, and a classic jacket pattern (i.e, not a fleece anorak or oversized jean jacket) can be very hard to find.  Even among vintage patterns, there isn't a lot to choose from.  Here are a few others available yesterday on Etsy that also could have suited the bill (or could still suit yours) more or less, if the size had been right.  I need a 36" chest, or a men's Small.







What I like about my pattern is that you get a choice of either raglan or regular sleeves, different pocket details and collar versions (in case you want to knock off that Eighties classic, the Members Only jacket).

As you can see, there's nothing particularly complex about the jacket I covet; I'd call it a bomber jacket.  If I have some time this weekend, perhaps I'll go to the store and take a closer look.  I love the fur collar in particular -- shearling perhaps?



I do enjoy project planning since it doesn't take much work or cost anything.  And maybe when the pattern arrives I can muslin it using my cotton velveteen -- which still leaves plenty of fabric over for all the other projects you seem to want me to make with it.

Readers, have you ever sewn a bomber-style jacket for yourself or someone you love?  If so, which pattern did you use?

I've never added knit cuffs or waistband to a jacket but I'm curious to know where I'd find those in the Garment District.  I have seen some knit waistbands at Daytona Trim, but they're pretty flimsy looking and better suited to track jackets.  Any ideas?  (I guess you just stitch it on, right?)

Happy Friday, everybody!


Christmas with the amazing El Gran Combo!



20 comments:

  1. I have this place bookmarked for rib knits for cuffs andhttp://www.seattlefabrics.com/ribbing.html waistbands.
    I think that someone on PR recommended the site but I've never ordered from them.

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    1. I've ordered from Seattle Fabrics, they're great. SF and the Rain Shed (both on the west coast oddly enough) seem to have the best selection of Patagonia-like performance fabrics and supplies like heavy duty knit cuffs and hardware. Everything I'v even seen in the garment district, aside from zippers, is more fashion-y instead of performance grade (I don't live in NYC so there may indeed be a source locally)

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    2. Great tips, thanks Phyllis!!

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  2. Meg just tweeted knit ribbing waistbands for jackets at Mood this week. I'm planning a shearling jacket so it stood out :)

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  3. I've been lusting for a nice wool jacket; ready made jackets don't fit properly and are costly, so been looking for a man's coat pattern too. I really wanted a pea coat or a tailored duffel coat. There is a dearth of men's patterns, and it is very annoying!

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  4. My advice is to not buy the cuffs and such premade. Look for Ribbing. It can be hardish to track down, but it's a rib knit that comes in a tube and that's the right material for collars and waistbands.

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  5. That jacket seems to be inspired by a B-10.
    Pockets are a bit too low.

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  6. I agree with Bratling - buy ribbing and do it yourself. Pre-made cuffs and waistbands come in a limited range of colors and you can do them so easily with regular ribbing in your color of choice. The trick is to make sure that the cuff piece is such that you can sew it into a circle, right sides together and then fold it in half so that the wrong sides are together and the stitching is on the inside. Then all you have to do is attach the cuffs to the sleeve. It looks as if these are directly attached to the sleeves, as opposed to having a flange on the inside with the knit cuff hidden inside the sleeve. When I use knit cuffs, the pattern piece is usually slightly hourglass-shaped, so that when it's folded in half to attach to the sleeve, there's a slight taper.

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    1. Also, I'm told wool socks make good cuff ribbing. Got any socks with holes in the feet?

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  7. Maybe you could just repurpose a thrifted sweater for the band?

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  8. I don't know, Peter. It's pretty cold out there today... I hope this jacket keeps you warm... You'll look great but your tush will be cold!

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  9. I learned how to do the knit cuffs from my kwik sew sewing books making clothing for my children. It's not that hard. Basically, it is dividing a circle into 4 parts and stretching it a little as you sew. My Kwik Sew books are the way I learned to do a lot of different sewing with little ones around.

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  10. You can also make a casing with a wide elastic inside the casing for the cuffs right?

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  11. Don't forget the aviator shades and a long beige scarf.

    I had a leather bomber that I wore through my 20's, 30's, 40's - then my college-age daughter appropriated it for its "beat" value.

    Speaking of "beat", I'm hoping to catch the "On The Road" movie this weekend to see how the vintage wardrobe looks - should be amazing.

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  12. I designed a jacket many years ago for my son who was entering kindergarten. It was a baseball style with some additional bomber type details.

    It sounds to me like you have found a niche market and should design some jackets yourself!

    ps: if you cannot find acceptable knit cuffs and waistbands, try harvesting some from thrifted finds. Just a thought.

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  13. Baile amigos! love el gran combo, gentlemen in their guayaberas, ladies in their cute little dresses, and la musica! also love the bomber jacket and my eyes are too bad to determine the nature of the collar, further investigation is required. love to see your next projecto, happy holidays.

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  14. Actually, back in the day I DID make what was known as a "bomber jacket"-anyone remember those short jackets with the fur sleeves that were the in thing in the late 70's? (I'm daaating myself!)I made it with this gorgeous silver-gray crushed velvet, with heavy longish faux-fur sleeves; the only thing was, I didn't know about muslins and things and I hadn't realized that I was packin' a back waist length of 17 1/2 inches (the pattern standard is 16 inches) and so it looked somewhat weird (and felt somewhat drafty) hovering there well above my natural waist! i do plan on making myself one of those diagonal-zip motorcycle jackets out of an unconventional material of some kind (probably upholstery fabric!)in the not-too-distant future!
    Oh and I think using this velvet to make a jacket muslin is a GOOD IDEA.It might even make a GREAT jacket, with a black shearling collar, maybe? Shearling-the real deal- would be a good investment; faux fur doesn't stand up to wear anything like as well as the real thing. You might be able to buy a scrap piece so as not have to spring for a whole hide.

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  15. I actually sewed a similar coat for my husband when first married that was made of corduroy and the body totally lined with sherpa and the upper collar. What I didn't do was allow a little more ease for the bulk of the sherpa and it was too snug. My brother was visiting and it fit him. He liked it a lot and kept it a long while finally turning it into a work coat for outside chores at his home. He said it felt wonderful on and was one of those great coats that doesn't wear the person. It was a relief that he enjoyed it as I worked really hard on it and was fairly new to sewing such an ambitious project.All this sewing you are doing is making me think I should sew something for dh. I will enjoy reading along as you make this.

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  16. I tried ribbed cuffs on a casual knit pullover shirt I made recently. I marked quarter points with pins, and serged onto the sleeve, stretching to match the sleeve size. It was easy and they turned out well. I got the ribbing at G Street in Rockville, MD. I can't wait to see your jacket progress. Sherpa coats are in... thanks IKEA Monkey!

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  17. My boss was lamenting the lack of affordable bomber jackets just the other day. Sure, there are cheapo versions out there for very little money, but they look like junk, and then prices jump exponentially to unaffordable heights.

    Making your own is the way to go – I can’t wait to see what you come up with! I hope you find the pattern and fabric of your dreams so you can begin your next sewing adventure!

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