Being a member of the largest Estonian hobby sewists´ Facebook group, I participated in a sew-along that was arranged by secret topics – no one who entered knew initially what the topic will be and everyone had to pick a number from 1 to 6 and only after that the topic was revealed. So I chose number 5 and the topic is “Sew a project that has been haunting you forever!”
I immediately knew – I have been gearing up for a leather jacket, bought the hides and even buying the new sewing machine had something to do with this. But having read a bit on sewing with leather, I was also convinced that this time I need to make a trial jacket before getting to the real thing. As the deadline for this sew-along is November the 2nd, I will not be able to sew the real ghost project by that time, but I did manage to finish the trial 🙂
So the jacket is the Ziggi Biker Jacket by Style Arc sewn up in a soft fabric that has an interesting effect on its good side – a geometric pattern print that varies from a glossy surface to a suede. I bought it maybe a year ago from Abakhan Fabrics in Estonia but a funny fact – I bought the same fabric just in black over ten years ago from Athens! The black is even more stunning, but I tried to make a dress out of it several years ago and messed up…
I wanted to make the jacket in order to test the fit and sew it through in order to prepare for sewing leather where you cant really go wrong with stitching. However, after making this one I am a bit confused – should I make it again in leather or pick another pattern? The fit is good, but the pattern instructions are realy really bad – there is no mentioning of the zipped pockets for example – if you follow the instructions the result is in seam pockets without zippers.
In order to be able to complete this, I relied heavily on some great blog posts by Stacy at StacySews and Maris at SewMaris. But the most helpful and insipiring was Birdy Sew Obsessed instagram, where she has saved the whole process in stories with very detailed photos. Since the pattern is not new, some posts date back to 2014, I was really disappointed to see that while all the sewists mentioned a mistake in the pattern and reporting it to Style Arc, the mistake has not been corrected all these years. Unless we all misunderstand something profoundly, the lining pattern for the lower back is a seam allowance shorter than it should be. Also, the required length for the pocket zippers do not match the pocket facings – the latter are shorter.
I hesitated whether to go through the pain of quilting some details, but eventually I think this is what makes the jacket stand out and of course I am very satisfied that I did take the extra mile. For this, I use a piece of windstop felt which is thin but structural enough for that purpose. There is no pattern or suggestion for quilting, so I simply tried a few times and ended up spacing the lines 1,5 cm apart, so each square is roughly 1,5×1,5 cm.
I also added piping between the lining and the main fabric which as some of you may know already, is one of my favorite details. The lining is dark green and I thought the golden beige piping will stand out nicely and echoes the golden zippers.
I read somewhere in the numerous blog posts on this jacket that the result will be “much boxier than you expect” but I would say then the size has been picked too large. I made it in size 10 as all of the stuff I make from Style Arc and the fit is just right, not boxy, not too tight either.
So I really don´t know what should I say if someone wanted to know whether I would recommend this pattern or not. Definitely not for a beginner but I would say it is a tough nut for an experienced sewist as well. It also took me nearly two months because I was struggling with it due to the missing instructions and I think only thanks to the sew-along of the FB group was I able to push through. Also, it helps if you let others know you are making something challenging, I told two of my sewing buddies and felt accountable to provide a result 🙂
Anyway, I am super satisfied with myself for having DONE IT! And as you may have noticed, I am on a roll with this burgundy colour, I am planning a pair of pants in a similar colour as well. Oups, now I am accountable for that one as well 😀
Happy sewing everyone!