Anyone wondering what we are up to with our Lekala Jacket sewalong? Well, week 2 ended up going for a couple of weeks. But finally we are up to week 3. This is what I emailed to our participants on Friday:
So, what are we all at?
By now you should all have your fabric cut out. Although you might not have the lining cut out – I’ll get to that bit later.
Our task for this week is to get some sewing done. I suggest that this week we do the following:
Lekala instruction 1 – apply interfacing. I actually interfaced the entire upper front and back of my jacket, because the fabric is so drapey. I forgot to interface the hems, but will do that before I sew much further. I can tell already that it will need it. You might want to really go to town with your interfacing; it will depend on your fabric choice and what overall effect you are after.
Lekala instruction 2. What this really says is to sew the back darts, sew the centre back seam, sew the side and centre back pieces together (princess seams). Press all seams open. Stitch the lower back to the upper back.
Lekala instruction 3. What this one says is to construct the front pieces. Sew the side front pieces to the centre front pieces (princess seams). Press all seams open. Stitch the lower fronts to the upper fronts.
Lekala instruction 4. Sew the front to the back at the shoulder and side seams. Press the seams open.
With all of these, make sure that you are finishing edges as you go. You might not need to do anything at all – it is a lined jacket – depending on your fabric. Mine is a very fray prone, loose weave, and I have decided to overlock the edges.
Lekala instruction 6. Sew the two pieces of the sleeve together, matching notches. Press seams open. Press up the hem as well.
That is it for this week. I’ve skipped Lekala instruction 5 at this stage.
So for the next few weeks, I am suggesting the following:
Week 4 – Lekala instruction 5. Construct the collar. Sew the right collar to the left collar at the centre back seam. Repeat with the facing pieces. Sew the outer collar to the collar facing with right sides together along the outer edges. Grade seams, possibly understitch, and turn to the right side and press. Pin to the neckline, matching notches and centre back seam, and the lower edge of the right collar to the hem markings on the bottom of the right lower front, and the lower edge of the left collar to the pivot point on the left upper front. Baste into place.
Week 5 – Lekala instruction 7. Insert sleeve heads, sleeves and shoulder pads.
Week 6 – Attach the facing and assemble the lining.
In terms of the lining, it consists of the Lining parts as per the Lekala instructions BUT in effect also includes one the main fabric lower front part (times 2), the main fabric lower back part, the main fabric button stand (times 2) and the back neckline facing. The main fabric button stand and the back neckline facing are sewn together to form facings for the entire front, and the lower front/lower back parts effectively form facings for the bottom “peplum” part. Clear as mud? These will eventually be sewn to the lining pieces – but we’ll get to that bit later as well. At this stage if you ignore the “attention” part of the instructions and just cut the lining pieces for the front part and back part from the main pattern pieces, that will be fine and we’ll trim them to the correct size to be joined to the facing pieces (back neck plus button stand pieces) later on.
Week 7 – Insert the lining.
Week 8 – Any finishing details.
As you can tell from the above communication, this is a fairly casual sewalong, and I am not claiming to be an expert. Most of the women who are taking part are fairly experienced seamstresses and won’t have much problem with any of the elements, but it can be a challenge to decipher what Lekala want you to do and I am attempting to clarify some of that. So, what am I up to? I’ve actually finished up to the end of week 5.
The outer jacket is all assembled. Collar is basted in place, sleeves are in. Phew! From the back:
The shoulder pads still need to be secured into place. I do have a few other in-progress shots that might be of help to some people. I eased the sleeve caps with a bias-cut strip.
I am using Cecelia Podolak’s book “Easy Guide to Sewing Jackets” as a reference throughout construction, and the bias strip technique is described in it. Because I used a strip of the outer fabric, it also doubles as a sleeve head. I am a massive fan of this book – it’s an excellent reference. Mine is an ex-library copy.
I have interfaced the sleeve cap, as you could see in the photo, and have also interfaced the entire front and back of the jacket. This was a little after the thought, so I cut all the pieces separately and fused them individually. If I’d been a bit more on top of my game I would have block fused the fabric before cutting. The sleeve hems have been interfaced as well.
I’ve taken a close up photo of the fabric. It’s a loosely woven cotton, with some metallic threads throughout. It reads fairly light from a distance, and I am now wondering if I have chosen a fabric that will be too pale for me.
I’ve been trying the jacket on as I go, and it’s interesting to see where it differs from the muslin and where it is similar. The fabric has quite a lot of give, and it grows quite easily as I sew. I am trying not to over handle it. However, I can see that it is probably a bit too roomy in the upper chest, although it’s looking good across the back. I have the lining all cut out ready to construct. Maybe this will be finished sooner rather than later! Actually, Suzy has already finished hers. I have set up a flickr group for the sewalong so if anyone is actually interested in loads more progress photos, you can follow them over there.