I was chatting to a friend overseas the other day, and I mentioned the Burda sew-a-long. She used to sew before babies came along, and kept coming, but finds the demands of six children a bit tricky to juggle in sewing time. I mentioned that one of the projects that I was considering was a jacket from Feb 2013. She was horrified at the idea of sewing a jacket from Burda – “aren’t they really difficult?”
I’m far from an expert, entirely self taught and have just as many failures as successes. My first ever jacket was from a Burda magazine, and I guess that no one told me it would be difficult so I just did it. Since the instructions were in German I just sort of guessed at the method. It’s not a perfect jacket, but I still wear it.
I went and had a look round the sew-a-long pinterest board – blouses, skirts, dresses, and even a cape, but no jackets. I get that the northern hemisphere sewers are losing enthusiasm for jackets at the moment, but there are plenty of sewers in NZ and Australia, but no jackets.
I know that there is a bit of a myth that jackets are hard, and a bit of a myth that Burda magazine patterns are hard.
Let’s get this one BUSTED right now – Jackets are like blouses in a heavier fabric. Lined jackets are like two blouses sewn together. I appreciate that notched collars can add a little panic into the mix, but the jacket I have chosen doesn’t have a collar.
So without further ado, I’m going to sew a jacket from February 2013 Burda and document the process, including the actual time investment. Look through it – there’s nothing here especially challenging. You could do it. The big bonus with jackets is that they are often really expensive in RTW, so the potential for saving money is greater than blouses.
First I traced the pattern. I’ve already documented how I do that here, so I won’t repeat myself. The jacket I have chosen is the cover jacket from February Burda, and has five pieces, which took just under an hour to trace off. I’m using a pink and black houndstooth with a plain black for the edges.
The pattern for the edges is part of the main pattern pieces, so the first thing I had to do was remove the edges…
…and glue them together to form the pattern pieces for the black edging.
Since they don’t have seam allowances I used a small ruler and very sharp chalk pencils to draw the cutting lines on the black fabric.
Whatever the instructions say (if I read them) I prefer my jacket bodies interfaced. This is especially valuable with a fabric like this one that has quite a loose weave, so a light-weight interfacing gives the jacket body and improves its wear. I marked the cutting lines on the interfacing, and then fused the interfacing to the fabric before cutting out the fabric. I find that this keeps the fabric stable while cutting, and makes it easier to match up patterns and checks because you can usually see through the interfacing. I did the fusing and cutting out on the floor so that there was no risk of the weight of the fabric distorting it while I was fusing.
The fusing and cutting out process took about two and a half hours, including stopping to take photos.
I’m going to line this jacket. My original plan was to use plain black lining, until I came across this fabric in the stash (no idea where it came from)...
... and am considering using this instead. I’d really like some honest feedback on this. If the patterned lining is too busy, someone please tell me.