I’ll be Sewing for Victory, will you?

If you haven’t heard yet, Rochelle over at Lucy Lucille is hosting a fantastic sew-along, Sew for Victory! It’s a 1940s themed sew-along, so of course I’m in!

As you know I already do a fair amount of 1940s sewing, so I wanted to use this sew-along to really challenge myself in some way. I’ve thought a lot about it and have come to a decision that I hopefully won’t be regretting down the road… ha!

I’ll be sewing the jacket from Hollywood Patterns 1678:

In the pattern it’s referred to as a battle jacket, but you’ll also see it called an Eisenhower or Ike jacket, as Dwight Eisenhower was responsible for the military design that inspired my pattern. The Ike jacket became standard issue in the United States military starting November 1944. It was in part modeled after a British military dress jacket, but you also see similar jackets in other countries.

{Source: Kansas Historical Society}

At a time when patriotism was high and catalogs were filled with “man-tailored” women’s suits, slacks and jackets, it’s probably not surprising that this style of jacket made its way into women’s sportswear!

This is one of my favorite styles of jackets, but I don’t own any. Several months ago I squirreled away this amazing Hollywood pattern for the future. I’m going to sew view 1 with the collar and fly front (like the Ike jacket above):

I can’t actually find anywhere in the pattern where it has you add buttons in the fly… it might just be assuming you know enough to add them when it’s explaining them for the buttoned up view 2, but would you really do bound buttonholes inside a fly? It does say you can work them by hand or machine, so perhaps that’s what it assumes you’ll do for the fly?

(Anyone have a vintage fly-front jacket that can tell me how the buttonholes are worked inside the fly?)

Anyway, if I can’t figure that out, I may just do the buttoned-up version like view 2. Or maybe do a mock fly where there’s no real fly, but with top-stitching and hidden snaps on the inside.

Did I mention I’ve never sewn outerwear? The pattern has instructions including the lining, and I’ve ordered a couple of books specific to tailoring and jackets, and have been generally getting myself pumped to try this.

Here are a few inspiring pictures of other women’s short jacket styles from the 1940s. Fly front styling on the windbreaker on the left, and two lovely double-breasted wool jackets:

{Source: Sears & Roebuck, 1943}

I need both of these skirts, jackets, blouses (or knit pullovers) and shoes, thank you.

{Source: Sears & Roebuck, 1944}

And these sports jackets (another fly front on the left) would be great for hiking and camping this spring!

{Source: Sears & Roebuck, 1943}

I also found a jacket from almost my exact pattern… but I’ll save that for another post. ;)

I’m really excited about the Sew for Victory sew-along, so hopefully I hope I’m up to the challenge of sewing my first jacket!

If you haven’t heard about the sew-along yet, pop over to Rochelle’s intro post, her post on links to get your creative juices flowing, her post on authentic 1940s resources, and the Sew for Victory Flickr group. Join us!

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Golly, 43 Comments!

  • Oh man, I seriously can’t wait to see your jacket!!! I LOVE 40’s military looks and I especially love those little plaid coats. I can’t decide if I like the OD Green or the plaid better… I just love them both so much! I have perfect faith that you will be able to pull this off with ease. Don’t underestimate yourself! :) Thanks so much for sewing along. I’m beyond stoked to have you on board :) xoxo

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    • Thanks my dear! I sure hope you’re right! I LOVE the plaid version but I think I’ll save that for the future. One, so I don’t have to struggle with matching plaids and making my first jacket, and two because I kind of have a plaid coat problem and have no business sewing a plaid jacket when I have about 5 Pendletons. lol

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  • That pattern is incredible. I love those cropped jackets! Do you have material picked out?

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    • I love them too! I’m debating about fabric right now. I’ve been really loving tweed (particularly herringbone tweed) lately, but am now feeling slightly tempted by some solid wool flannels, too. It’s a tough decision!

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  • Hi Tasha! I’m planning the same kind of jacket, based on a Burdastyle pattern from last year. I wrote a post about it, and have a link to “I was a Male War Bride.” Have you seen the movie? Ann Sheridan wears a battle jacket and man tailored pants for the whole film… and looks fantastic! Can’t wait to see your jacket. Thanks for posting all those wonderful pictures, very inspiring.

    http://4-sisters.blogspot.com/2013/01/i-was-male-war-bride-vs-i-was-aspiring.html

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    • Thanks so much for the recommendation, I added it to our Netflix queue as I’ve never seen it! Good luck with your Burda version, I’m off to your blog to find out more. :)

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  • Omg terribly excited to see the outcome! That jacket is amazeballs and totally swoon worthy! Good luck mama! xox

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  • I really love the look of the collarless jacket too. It’s a cool combination of feminine and sporty. I can’t resist that Sears and Roebuck windbreaker duo either..dreamy.

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  • I haven’t sewn outerwear either…well, not finished anything yet! Making a suit and two jackets are on the go. From my small experience with tailoring, I don’t think you need to do it ALL. Eg, I haven’t pad stitched the collar on my suit but I did add a chest stay out of horsehair. Pretty sure the collar will be fine as it curves well on it’s own.

    I like this style of jacket too! I’ve almost finished a little bolero in a similar style but with cap sleeves. Just needs buttons. And a skirt to match. It’s in white linen heh!

    I think you could do whatever you like inside that fly. Even a zip! Though snaps would be good too.
    What fabric will you make it with?

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    • Yes, I definitely think I’ll pick and choose what I decide to do (and not to do) with the tailoring like you’re doing. I think you’re right about that fly. I’ll have to figure out with the muslin if I can work out the fly and then decide what to do on the inside, or just not do it at all.

      I’m not sure about fabric yet! Right now tweeds are in the front running but we’ll see, choosing fabric takes me forever but I’m trying not to take forever. ;)

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  • That is one terrific jacket that will look smashing on you! I’m sewing along, too :)

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  • I am squealing with delight that you chose that pattern. I’ve literally been stalking around the interwebs trying to find one like it with no luck. Now I that I know what pattern number to look for…

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  • I’m sewing along as well!

    Swewing a jacket is a great challenge! I hope to sew a jacket (different one then yours) this spring. I have done it before, but it was years ago, so lets see how it all goes!

    I love to see how you’re progressing with this one!

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  • I made a jacket like that last autumn an I love it.

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  • How awesome that you’re participating in this marvelous sewalong, sweet Tasha. Not being much of a sewer myself, I won’t be creating a project, however I will be doing a post in early March with ties directly into with Rochelle’s sewalong and which I hope will help inspire those who are whipping up their own 40s fashions for it. Can’t wait to hear and see more about your project!

    ♥ Jessica

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  • That looks like an awesome pattern! I’m a little jealous, but I’m looking forward to seeing what you’ll make of it. :)

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  • Love the style, and the waist-button is adorable! I really wanted to join this sew-along, but none of my planned projects falls into the correct catagory =( I’ll stick to enjoying seeing what everyone else comes up with!

    I haven’t had much experience with tailoring (a coat and a summer jacket) but overall I found it very do-able. On a jacket like this you would only need to pad-stitch the undercollar, no lapels or huge shawl-collars. Of course, a heavy woven fusible can work just as well! I found the rest of the process (fitting, pressing, buttonholes etc) much more timeconsuming than the pad-stitching, but that’s just my experience.
    For fabrics, I would pad-stitch tweed (easy to make invisible stitches and hair canvas does stabilize best) but use fusible on flannel (fabric has more stability on it’s own and stitches are hard to hide). Just my two cents! =)

    Looking forward to seeing how this project develops! I’m sure the jacket will be lovely regardless of which construction method or fabric you choose.

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    • Thanks for the tips, Erika, I really appreciate it! That will be really helpful as the two types of fabric I’m really considering are tweed or wool flannel. :)

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  • I am really excited to see how this turns out Tasha! You can do it!!!

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  • Glad your joining in. I love the jacket you’re going to make. I think the buttonholes on the fly front would have been handworked. It would look fantastic in a tweed. What fabric are you thinking of using?

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    • Right now the frontrunners are tweed or wool flannel… I may have to buy both if I can’t decide, in the hopes that if it works out I’ll make a second one out of the other. ;)

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  • What a fantastic idea for your Sewing For Victory project! I used to have a pattern for a misses Eisenhower jacket, only it had really charming pedal pushers to go with it. I really regret selling that one :( especially because the minute I see yours I know I’ll want to make one. I think I’m doing overalls because I’m a pattern reviewer for a 1940s Women’s Land Army Overalls repro pattern but I’m so quick to change my mind!

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  • I would totally do this if I had a little more time, but with a 5 month old, I barely have time to get the laundry done. :( Can’t wait to see your finished jacket (and to meet you next Saturday)!

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  • darling coat pattern–I like the style very much!! Can’t wait to see how it turns out. I’m gonna attempt a 1940’s dress from an original pattern (first time using a vintage pattern without lines–eek!) for the sewalong.

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  • The outfits from the Sears & Roebuck ’44 photo are amazing. LOVE piping on jackets.

    I can’t believe you’d be interested in a 40s-themed sew-along. ;-)

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  • That’s a GREAT choice!!! I LOOOOOOOOVE “battle” jackets and military-inspired wear! That’s going to be great; I can’t wait to see what it looks like!

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  • dear tasha,
    i own several original uniforms and i think i have two or three ike-jackets. so i’ll be happy to take detailed pictures for you – just let me know :-)

    nadine :-*

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  • What a great jacket, I am looking forward to seeing the end product! I am sewing along too and hope to finish a shirt-dress.

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  • I picked up that very same pattern for the same reasons. Plus because I need a jacket. I have yet to mess with it though LOL It is a gorgeous pattern, I can’t wait to see how it turns out. (I also have a little Ike jacket for my daughter LOL)

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  • What a great idea for a sew-a-long and and your jacket will look fab. Can’t wait to see it finished.
    xx

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  • as always: i can’t barely wait to see the result.

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  • This is going to be genius! Like ten times better than a 49er jacket! I like the idea of sewing for victory! I’m going to check that out!

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  • love this! I’m not proficient at sewing, more a knitter, but I love the ’40’s style so I’ll be checking out this sew-a-long!

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  • If you haven’t figured out how the buttonholes go in a jacket like this I can try to help. Sometimes they are done on a separted piece before the jacket is constructed, and then the finished piece is inserted. Other times the buttonholes are put in before the final front fly stitching is completed. I could tell you in more detail if I could see the directions to your pattern : ) If you’ve figured it out already then just ignore what I said, and I can’t wait to see how your jacket comes out!! (You can always email me if you need more detailed directions.) Lovely blog, found you through Lucille : )

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