I love patternmaking. The challenge of turning a 2-dimensional illustration into a 3-dimensional garment satisfies my need to be creative and my thirst for learning and trying new things. I love calculating what changes I need to make to my blocks, altering them, and making the toile or muslin to see if my changes were successful. This month patternmaking was satisfying as I had the opportunity to try a few new pattern manipulations.
This month Design One, the oversized denim jacket, received twice as many votes as the denim Kimono/Bomber jacket of Design Two. As I normally do I started by choosing the garment block that most closely resembles the fit of my final garment, in this case, I used the coat block. It has a looser fit to the body as well as the sleeves.
Main Features of Denim Hooded Jacket
- Oversized body with volume at hem of jacket
- Loose sleeves with a dropped shoulder
- Loose hood
- Shoulder motif
- Hidden pockets inside the main pockets
Volume at Hem
For the volume with the body of the jacket, I slashed and spread along the front and back blocks as well as at the side seams to add volume at the hem. I shaped the hem at the bottom to resemble the hem I drew in my initial sketches.
I wanted the sleeves to be loose with a dropped shoulder. I hate when you pull your jacket on over sweaters that the fabric of the sweater bunches up under your arms or at the elbows. I wanted there to be room in the sleeves without using a kimono, batwing or dolman sleeve (see the above diagram).
To give the sleeve the I-just-borrowed-my-husband’s-shirt look, I lowered the armscye and dropped the shoulder. I also changed the shape of the sleeve to compensate for these changes. I widened the sleeve and lowered the sleeve cap (see the Pattern Alteration photo below). I also slashed and spread down the centre of the sleeve to accommodate the extra I added in in the armscye. I had to make the changes twice as I was a bit too conservative with my pattern alterations the first time.
Loose Fitting Hood
I drafted the hood using one of my favourite patternmaking books Metric Pattern Cutting for Women’s Wear by Winfred Aldrich. In the Periscope video below I discuss the patternmaking alterations I made for this month’s challenge in more detail.
On one shoulder of my design illustration, there is a swirly motif. After experimenting with possible ways to get the design I liked I chose to cut away at the shoulder of the jacket to reveal an another piece of denim below. This way the cut edge could fray revealing the lighter yarns of the wrong side of the jean fabric. I sewed about 6mm from the edge of the cut line to allow the denim to fray. I then hand stitched another line of stitching just outside of this line of stitching in a contrasting cream thread to accentuate the design. I discuss the design and construction of this motif in the Periscope video below.
I think large pockets can look fabulous on a jacket. The only thing that bothers me about them is that sometimes things can pull the pocket (and the jacket front out of shape). If I put my phone in my pocket, it sinks to the bottom of the pocket and leaves an odd outline on the jacket. I included a smaller pocket hidden inside the larger pocket to hold my phone or keys. Using this pocket you cannot even tell there is something in the pocket of the jacket. I think this worked beautifully and I am looking forward to my next project with a pocket so I can experiment further.
I am pleased with the volume in the hem of the jacket, but I would have loved to lengthen the front a little bit more, but as I used fabric from my stash for this challenge, I did not have enough to lengthen it further.
On my next version of this jacket, I would make the outside pocket larger. I think it would look more balanced. I would also lower it slightly.
Check out my earlier posts The Skinny on Denim, and The Difference Between Denim and Jean. And if it is inspiration you are looking for my Pinterest Boards, Denim and Denim-Plus have lots to get your creative juices going.