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Topic: Big man jacket to pretty, fitted lady jacket tutorial (edited to fix pictures)  (Read 17208 times)
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« on: October 07, 2004 08:40:19 AM »

Last night, I needed a project to distract myself from the never-ending-wedding-gift-cross-stitch-of-death. So I started playing around with a coat I had, and it turned out pretty well! Heres how I did it. Note: this is my first tutorial, and Im not very good at figuring out the most efficient way to do things, so feel free to make any suggestions or changes to this. Also, this is very experimental so I would try it with a $5 jacket from goodwill before you raid your grandmothers vintage tweed collection. Also, this all would have been a lot easier if I had a dressmakers form, but I kind of like the constant fear of poking yourself with pins trying to get it to fit.

Start with a big mans suit jacket from goodwill. Make sure that its big enough that the pockets are below where you will want the bottom of the jacket to be, if you dont want to deal with pockets (which I didnt).

Tear out all the lining, and any other padding or anything thats in there.

Rip out the stitches connecting the sleeves to the jacket. You will end up with a vest-type thing:
(cats love sewing! yay!)

Put the vest on right side out and decide where you want the front to close. You may have to re-fold the lapels a little to get it looking like you want. Mark where you want it to close on the outside and on the inside of the jacket.

Mark where you want the bottom of the jacket to be.

Take off the vest and cut it about 3 inches below where you want the bottom of the jacket to be.

Put the vest on inside out and pin it closed where you marked it.

Using pins, take in the seams on the sides until it fits snugly around your waist, hips, and chest. I only had to take in one seam on each side, but you should play around with it. Also mark where your shoulder meets the jacket, so you know where to attach the sleeves.

Take the jacket off and baste the seams that you just pinned:

Put it on right side out and make sure it still fits the way you want it to. Adjust as necessary.

Take the jacket off and look at the arm holes. Mine got distorted with all the seam adjusting, so I had to re-trim them. Heres what they looked like, and the red line is where I trimmed them to.

Keeping the jacket inside out, take a sleeve that is right side out and pin it into the inside of the arm hole. Start from the top, pinning the top curve of the sleeve to where you marked your shoulders to be, then work around the armhole to the bottom. You may have to take in the bottom hem of the sleeve if the armhole is too small for it, but I didnt. Now baste the sleeve into the armhole. Heres what it looks like, basted:

Do the same with the other arm hole.

Put the jacket on right side out, pin it closed, and look at it in the mirror. Mark where it doesnt look right and make adjustments in the basting. This took awhile when I was doing it, to get the sleeve to sit right.

Cut the sleeves to an inch longer than the length you want them. I took off about 4 inches. Save the ends of the jacket sleeves for cute wrist cuffs!

Put the jacket on inside out. With pins, take in the bottom seam of the sleeve until it fits your arm the way you want. Take it off and baste the seam where you pinned it. Heres where I put the seam of my sleeve:


Now use your sewing machine to sew all the seams you just basted. I sewed them twice to make the seams a little stronger.

Hem the jacket and the sleeves to the length you want it (I hemmed by hand).

You can stop here if you want, but I wanted to give it a funky lining. I took some green satin I had left over, and cut it into three big pieces. I pinned these pieces onto the jacket, one in the back, going over to the seams that I had taken in, and one on each side. Pin the pieces all along the edge of the arm hole, top, bottom, and the seams youre bringing it to. I pinned it in right side out, but it probably would have been easier to pin it right side in. Dont stretch it too tight as youre pinningyou want the lining to be a little loose. Heres what it looks like, pinned:

Now cut around the entire piece, a half-inch away from the pins. This will leave you with a piece of lining shaped like the inside of the jacket. Heres what the side looks like, trimmed:

Pin the lining together, right sides together, along the shoulder seams and side seams. Unpin it from the jacket and sew the lining along the shoulder seams and side seams. You should have a little lining vest!

You could go on to cut lining for the sleeves the same way, and sew the sleeve lining to the vest lining around the arm holes. I ran out of fabric though, so I didnt do this.  Smiley

Now pin it back into the jacket, right side out, and hand sew the lining to the jacket along the top, inside the labels, and along the bottom. I machine-sewed the lining to the armholes for extra strength.

Thats it! You can now decorate the jacket, and add closures, and do whatever. I still need to add a closure, I think Im going to use a frog or something since I have a fear of making button holes.

This jacket was lots of fun, and took only about 3 hours to make. Let me know if you have any questions!

Edited to fix pictures, keeping fingers crossed that pictures will work...

« Last Edit: April 15, 2009 05:24:55 PM by jungrrl - Reason: fixed pictures » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2004 09:53:47 AM »

It looks great, and thanks for the awesome tutorial! I've been wondering how to go about doing a project like this for a while. Looks like I'll be hitting up the thriftstores over the 3-day weekend!
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2004 03:34:31 PM »

That jacket turned out so rad.  Im so jealous.  I hate you Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2004 03:48:40 PM »

I have a jacket I bought last year b/c I liked the fabric.....I can finally do something with it........

« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2004 04:12:28 PM »

I can not believe it's the same jacket. The new one looks so nice on you. And thanks for the great tutorial, it's very clear and very engouraging too.
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« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2004 04:26:35 PM »

thank you! Grin

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« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2004 09:49:22 PM »

oooh i love it!

can you tell me what kind of cat you have there? there orange-ish looking one?

there's a kitty we adopted off the street that looks like that, and we've never been able to figure out what he is. (he's striped on his legs, but got spots on his tummy, and is a goregous topaz colour)

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« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2004 01:08:46 AM »

It turned out beautifully. Now we don't have to pay an arm and a leg for those cute little jackets that are in style right now.
You should replace the buttons with ones to match your lining... ooh... or make a matching fabric flower out of the lining to pin to your lapel... Something to give a sneak peek to the greeny goodness waiting inside.

At my lemonade stand I used to give the first glass away free and charge five dollars for the second glass... the refill contained the antidote.
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« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2004 08:02:32 AM »

Thanks for all the compliments, guys! I want to see how everyone else's turn out!

A minor change--I'm noticing that my jacket is awfully tight across my shoulders now, so when you're trimming the arm holes, in the picture with the red line on it, you probably don't want to trim as much as I did.

unlikely_redhead, I don't know what type of cat mine is either! I've always called him a grey tiger stripe, but the lady at the vet said that was wrong. I don't remember what she told me the right name was though. That's the fun of getting cats at the shelter/off the streets, you can call them whatever you want. (but they still won't come. bah-dum-bum.)

technocutie, handmade iPod cases and felt accoutrements
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I <3 the mod squad ladies!
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2004 04:40:14 PM »

how crazy is that
i was just trying to do that a few days ago, ended up making the sleeve too skinny
and i got frustrated so i threw it aside.
maybe you tutorial will help Smiley
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