closet case patterns

Tutorial: How I Applied Trim on My Jasika Blazer

Thank you so much for the overwhelming responses to my Gucci-inspired Jasika Blazer in the past week! I tried to respond to each any every comment as best as I could. I had numerous questions about how I sewed the trim on my blazer, so I thought I would put together this tutorial. If you have questions about fabric and trim sourcing or my review of the pattern see my first blog post about my jacket here.

Supplies:

  • 1″ Petersham ribbon
  • 1/8″ lip-cord trim (available on Amazon and Etsy)
  • Tailors chalk
  • Clear quilter’s ruler
  • Walking foot
  • Zipper foot
  • Fray check (optional)
  • Lite steam-a-seam 2
  • Rotary cutter (optional)

First, remove the seam allowances where the trim will be applied. I like to use a rotary cutter to avoid jagged edges.

Here, I am using the pocket flap as my example for instructions, but the steps are the same regardless of the area of the jacket. Baste or sew the fashion fabric to it’s corresponding lining or facing with right sides together (1/4″ SA). For example, I have the pocket flap basted to the pocket flap lining with right sides together. For the collar, you would sew the upper collar to the lower collar right sides together etc. On my instagram post here you can see the lapel facing basted to the lapel before the trim was applied.

I like to use a walking foot for this because it guarantees the fabric layers will not shift. I used to think walking feet were only for quilters, but I use it for any sewing project that requires precision.

Next, using a quilting ruler, mark 1/2″ from the edge. on all the edges where the trim will be applied.

Switch to a zipper foot. Center the lip-cord over the chalk line and sew into place. Hammer all areas that will have intersecting lip cord. If you don’t have a hammer, the handle of heavy sewing shears or a clapper work nicely.

Hammer intersecting corners of lip-cord again after both layers have been sewn into place. Now would be a good time to use Fray Check on your trim if you haven’t already. Cut away excess trim in the seam allowances.

I know I am going to get a lot of eye rolls for admitting I used adhesives to baste my trim in place, but there was simply no other way! I tried hand basting all layers in place before sewing, and they still shifted and made the mitered corners a mess. I suspect this is from having to use a zipper foot to topstitch the ribbon onto the jacket. There is not enough surface area with this foot to get the stability you need to stitch through 4 layers of fabric without them moving. I did look into getting a binding foot attachment for pre-made bias tape, but my local Bernina dealer was kind enough to tell me it wouldn’t work on petersham ribbon. The attachment is over $200, so it wasn’t worth trying out if it wouldn’t work. I think the manufacturers of the RTW Gucci jacket must have a foot specifically (maybe even a specialty machine) for applying flat trims to bind seams as there are a few Gucci jackets out now that have this trim on the edge.

Instead, I used lite steam-a-seam2 to baste the ribbon in place before topstitching. It is basically an iron-on double-sided tape. I have used the regular Steam-a-Seam, and this version is specifically for light weight fabrics. I bought mine at Hobby Lobby, but Amazon has it here. If you use the regular on sheer fabrics, you run the risk of the adhesive seeping through the fabric!!! And, no, this product did not gum up my needle.

I cut the sheets into several 1/4″ strips. The adhesive is backed by paper on each side.

Peel off only one side of the paper and place the steam-a-seam adhesive side down where the petersham ribbon will go. I like to center the steam-a-seam on the fabric and the trim to have more contact with more layers of fabric. Iron it into place.

Peel off the paper backing, and repeat for the other areas.

For large spans of trim, such as the lapels and center front of the jacket, you may wish to leave on the paper backing on as long as possible and remove it in a few increments to not pick up lint. Here you can see the adhesive has been ironed on to the fabric and the paper pulled away.

Repeat the application of the steam-a-seam on the reverse side of the pocket flap or area where the petersham is to be applied.

I used 100% rayon petersham ribbon. Rayon cotton blends are stiffer and therefore, more bulky.

Fold the petersham in half and iron. I like to use this hack that I use when I make bias tape. I take straight pins and pin them into my ironing board to form 1/2″ “slots” that I pass the ribbon through. My iron fits in the middle, and I can set the iron down and pull the ribbon through with minimal effort to make sure the fold is actually in the middle of the ribbon.

Smooth the ribbon onto the right side then fold it around to the wrong side. Above, you can see the left corner needs a more hammering as the ribbon is not laying flat. When you get to an area that needs a mitered corner, use your fingernail to make the crease in the ribbon. Keep applying the ribbon in one continuous piece until you have all the trim in place for that area. If you mess up, you can peel the ribbon off the steam-a-seam as many times as you like and stick it back down! Since you ironed it to the fabric earlier, it will be permanently fixed to the fabric and will not peel up with the ribbon when you need to readjust it.

When it looks good, give it a good press, and topstitch the ribbon down using a zipper foot. Get as close as you can to the edge of the ribbon. It is very important to topstitch slowly! Sew as slow as you comfortably can, and try not to backstitch to much. Mistakes will be highly visible!! Hand sew the miters closed with a slipstitch.

closet case patterns jasika blazer peak lapel

I applied the trim to the pocket flaps, breast pocket welt, and collar before they were attached to the jacket. Applying the trim to the lapel required the most creativity as I had to change up the order of assembly according to the instructions. Below, is a picture of the ribbon stitched to the beginning of the peak lapel right sides together. I had to apply the ribbon here before I applied the lip cord so the lip cord could end tucked under the ribbon as seen above.

On the front of the jacket, the lip-cord on the lapel facing side ends a few inches below the button, and the jacket front has lip-cord ending a few inches above the button. This means for a few inches, there is lip-cord applied to both sides of the fabric. (This can be seen in the first picture of the blog post.) It was difficult to get that many layers of fabric into the correct place, but I made it happen. Topstitch on the right side of the garment at all times, as it will not look as good on the reverse side. When topstitching the trim on the front, you have to flip the jacket over half way down the jacket as the lapel facing becomes part of the inside of the jacket.

closet case patterns jasika blazer gucci
closet case patterns jasika blazer gucci

What do you think? Will you be trying this technique anytime soon? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments.

Gucci-inspired Blazer

Several months ago, a red petersham ribbon-trimmed Gucci blazer caught my eye. Gucci had used two inexpensive and simple trims to create a blazer that is completely unique and bold. At the time, I searched for blazer patterns eager to recreate this Gucci blazer, but I couldn’t find a pattern that would reproduce the look I was seeking. When the Jasika Blazer pattern by Closet Case Patterns was released, I knew the classic styling paired with the multiple types of suggested interfacing would yield the results I needed to recreate this blazer. I ended up purchasing the online class the day it was released.

I pressed my Jacket before my photoshoot, but I think our heavy humidity here caused the fabric to relax a little as shown in the wavy lines next to the trim. Oh well. Here is a great side-by-side of my inspiration and my hacked Jasika.

I highly recommend buying the class which comes with a free digital copy of the Jasika pattern. I consider myself somewhat of an advanced sewer, but I still learned more than I expected. Topics including pressing techniques and wool fabric manipulation were covered in the video. I would consider this pattern as advanced due to the amount of pieces and steps involved to put it together. However, if you are an ambitious intermediate sewer, the video will walk you through difficult parts step by step. While the written instructions are very detailed, there were many tips and tricks about tailoring in the video that are not covered in the instructions.

I used a size 4 at the bust and waist and tapered to a size 8 at the hips. The fit of my first muslin of the jacket fit better than any RTW blazers I have tried on. In fact, this is currently the only blazer I own because I was never satisfied with the fit of RTW. However, I did make a few tweaks in the pattern to perfect the fit. The first muslin felt a little tight in the shoulders so I did a 1/8” broad shoulder adjustment on each side, but now I think it was unnecessary. I also did a 3/8” swayback adjustment. These were the only fitting adjustments I made. However, I did do other style adjustments to mimic the Gucci version. I squared off the pockets, drafted a peak lapel to replace the notch version included in the pattern. I also increased the height of the welt on the breast pocket by 3/8″ to accommodate the trim. I did a post on my insta stories about how I drafted the peak lapel here.

I purchased Max Mara brand nautical print silk twill from Emma One Sock for the lining. Interfacing, sleeve heads, and shoulder pads came from the Jasika blazer kit from Closet Case Patterns. The button came from a store on Fabric Row in Philadelphia. Navy lip cord trim, 1/8″, came from Etsy, and the 1″ eggshell petersham ribbon came from The Sewing Place. The jacket fabric is a Pierre Cardin double face wool satin faille from B and J fabrics. The right side is a faille weave and the reverse is a satin weave. Interfacing adheres to this fabric really well, and I haven’t had any issues with bubbling so far.

I didn’t want to add the piping in between the lapel facing and lining since the trim already made the center front a little bulky. Instead, I added pick stitching with red thread to understitch the lining.

I also added catch stitching to secure the lapel to the collar on the reverse side.Without the catch stitch, the lapels curls forward like little wings as seen in progress picture below:

I plan on writing another blog post soon about how I attached the trim. The tutorial was too long to put into one post, so I decided to split them up.

Although I used premium fabric for my blazer and spent a little over $200 on materials, the Gucci blazer is $2,500 and is made of polyester with polyester lining. And, after wearing the blazer in 80 degree weather, I don’t regret the silk lining as it kept me cooler than I had anticipated! I’ll be waiting for cooler summer nights to sport this new blazer again soon!

Nettie Bodysuit and Burda Maxi Skirt

 

nettie off the shoulder bodysuit and burda maxi

Since it is currently Me Made May 2017, I have a brand new outfit to share! It’s made up of a Closet Case Nettie Bodysuit with a few hacks and a maxi skirt made with a Burda pattern.

nettie off the shoulder bodysuit and burda maxi

The skirt is made with the “Train Maxi Skirt 09/2014 #105” by Burda. The only modification was to cut the train off at the end. It was so beautiful, but not practical at all. This skirt pattern was drafted in a very interesting way, and it is unlike any skirt I’ve ever seen. There are two very long front darts that extend down to the knee, and there are no side seams. There are only the middle back and side back seams. From the front, the skirt looks like a maxi with a straight silhouette, but the back is very voluminous. I used a floral rayon challis from fabric.com that I purchased last year. It’s important to choose a lightweight drapey fabric for this skirt since there are no side seams, and the fabric has to flow over the hips.

nettie off the shoulder bodysuit and burda maxi

For the neckline of the bodysuit, I used this tutorial posted by Heather Lou on the Closet Case blog to hack the nettie into an off the shoulder bodysuit. Instead of using a knit band at the neckline like Heather Lou did, I stitched 1/4 inch elastic to the wrong side of the neckline edge with a zig-zag stitch without stretching the elastic or the fabric. Then, I folded the elastic under to the wrong side and used a wide cover stitch stitching through all thicknesses. If you don’t have a coverstitch machine, you can use a wide zig-zag stitch for that part too.

To make the ruffles for the sleeves,  I drafted ruffles that resemble 3/4 of a circle in two different lengths for each sleeve. The ruffles are sewn on with a zig-zag stitch just above the sleeve hem.

 

nettie off the shoulder bodysuit and burda maxi

The fabric for the bodysuit is the white kaufman laguna stretch jersey. It is a spandex cotton blend and has great recovery. I have used this jersey in many colorways, and it is my favorite jersey to work with. It is so soft yet substantial, and it is easy to sew with. The white was a tad sheer, but the other colors/ colorways I have used before have not been. To account for the sheerness, I made the nettie two sizes bigger, and this seemed to help.

 

Have you done any pattern hacks lately? I’d love to know!

 

Carolyn Pajamas by Closet Case Files

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These are the warmest, softest pajamas I own. And since they have a collar, I still feel decent enough to answer the door when the doorbell rings unexpectedly.

The “Carolyn Pajamas” pajama pattern is from Closet Case Files. I cut my regular size based on my measurements and made no alterations to the pattern. I used lilac cotton flannel by Robert Kaufman from fabric.com with store-bought white piping. The fabric is thick; I feel like I’m wearing a flannel blanket. Also, I have washed the pjs a couple times now with no signs of pilling!

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Usually, it is easier to install homemade piping because the store bought variety does not have a 5/8″ seam allowance. I figured out a little hack that makes pre-packaged piping install much easier by using the blind hem foot. Line up your fabric as usual on the 5/8″ line on the throat plate, place the piping under the blind hem foot, and the foot will automatically shift the piping into the correct position. It worked great when I was sewing the piping around curves as well. Bernina does make a piping foot (number 38) that is better suited for this purpose, but the blind hem foot is fine for the occasional piping project.

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The hand-embroidered monogram was a nice touch that ended up taking as much time to do as the set of pajamas themselves! On the plus side, the monogram is significantly softer than machine embroidery. I traced out a design onto the fabric before cutting using a water-soluble marking pen. I used a padded satin stitch to get the 3D effect on the whole design, and I used an awl to poke holes for the eyelets before embroidering them. Here is a closeup before the pocket was cut out.  Sorry about the stray dog hair.

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This was another sewing success thanks to Closet Case Files! I want to make at least one more set in flannel so I can stay extra cozy this winter, and maybe one light weight cotton poplin or cotton lawn set with shorts in the spring.

One last shot of Tex, the dog-hair-generator, and me modeling our new flannel attire. I made his jacket too.

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Glam Kelly Anorak

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I love this pattern! I felt like I had struck gold when I finished this jacket, mostly because Heather Lou from Closet Case Files makes such great patterns. The Kelly Anorak is beautifully drafted with great instructions, and my finished garment fits better than anything I could buy ready-made.

I had to shorten the front and back pieces at the waist by 1/2 in because I’m 5’5″ and this pattern is intended for some one slightly taller. Also, I lowered the drawstring placement by about 3/4 in.

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Don’t look too close, because the drawstring casing on the right side doesn’t perfectly line up with the left when the jacket is zipped, and I didn’t notice until I was installing the hardware. I meticulously and painstakingly marked and double checked the symmetry of the right and left sides before installing the zipper and everything was perfect! However, I think the fabric shifted since I can’t use my walking foot with zippers. I highly recommend hand-basting the zipper before machine sewing so you can ensure the left and right yoke seams, drawstring casing, and pockets stay perfectly aligned!!

I used Robert Kaufman Ventana Twill fabric from fabric.com. When it came in the mail, I worried the fabric wasnt heavy enough. The fabric is approximately 7-8 oz, but now I don’t know if I would sew this jacket with anything thicker. The front facings and zipper flap are all interfaced and heavier fabric might be too bulky (even when grading seams). Also, the armholes are cut high (which I love), but they might be too tight with thick twill or denim. The shiny gold hardware and two-way riri zipper was from pacifictrimming.com.

I already have some plans for my next Kelly and can’t wait to get started! Stay tuned!

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