40s jacket progress: the last steps

While you’re not seeing it today, my Sew for Victory jacket is now complete!

I’m super anxious to share it with you, but I’m staying on track so I can just share the remaining construction bits. I’m also being sneaky and going to show only up close photos until the final reveal (soon!).

When I last left off, I showed you the lining. Once the lining was complete, the final remaining steps were to sew the band at the bottom, the cuffs, and to handwork the buttonholes. Not huge steps, but they did take awhile to execute well.

The bands at the bottom were pretty easy, but the prep was a little lengthy because both the front and the back of the bodice was gathered.

Before gathering, I pinned the lining and the jacket together at the bottom and then basted them together, then I ran two rows of machine basting to gather the fabric.

Keep in mind that the lining was 1″ longer than the bottom edge of the jacket body, in order to for the slight overlap in fabric that you see a the bottom of tailored jacket hems (and inside sleeves, too), called a jump hem. This allows extra ease when you wear it. But for now, I ignored it and just lined up the raw edges of the lining and the jacket body.

The bands were faced with the same fashion fabric, and I interfaced it all with fusible weft interfacing. You can see what it looked like before I folded it:

I pinned the band to the jacket right sides together, easing in the gathering (veeery carefully, since this was hard to do with thick fabric!), then basted it all together by hand… story of this project.

I tend to do a really slapdash job of gathers, so I actually took the time to check the right sides to make sure it all looked okay before sewing it all together. Go me. You can see what it looked like from the right side once the seam was sewn, and before folding the facing to the inside and slip stitching in place. Kind of like the reverse of a skirt waistband!

Once the band was slip stitched, you can see how nice it looked. Of course still quite puffy since I hadn’t tailor basted the edges and pressed yet. I did some mean invisible slip stitching on this project if I do say so myself!

After tailor basting and pressing, that’s when it started to look more like this:

Now wait wait, did you notice there’s no slight overlap at the bands like there is in the pattern picture, and like I did on my muslin? I basted it all together with no overlap at first because I totally forgot. I tried it on and liked the fit before it even occurred to me there was supposed to be an overlap. When I realized it, I decided to ditch the overlap because it would have meant less ease as the waist. I also wanted the option to wear the jacket open, and with the overlap I thought it would look weird. It was hard to line up those bulky seams perfectly with the jacket but it worked out.

The process for the sleeve cuffs was pretty much the same thing so I’m not going to go into every detail. But it’s worth pointing out the difference was that the (also gathered) sleeves opened at a vent. In the photo below hopefully you can see that I made the lining vent 1″ longer than the vent in the sleeve, to account for that final extra jump hem. You can see it’s longer because you can see a peek of the white batiste underlining of the sleeve.

That’s better illustrated by the photo below. Once the sleeve cuff was slip stitched shut on the inside, you can see how I had to then slip stitch the opening of the sleeve and lining vents together or else they’d be hanging out in the open.

Okay, now if you’re confused at all about the jump hem and the lining being a little longer, this photo below should help clear things up. I folded the sleeve vent down into position, so that the bottom 1″ is folded into a little 1/2″ pleat. Then you can see how the rest of the lining billows slightly down. That’s the extra bit for ease, so it’s a little bit bigger on the inside. In fact, think of the jacket lining a bit like the TARDIS.

And here’s what it looked like one I slip stitched the vents shut. You can also see when I initially tailor basted and pressed the sleeves that I rolled the vent seam slightly to the inside so it wouldn’t show.

Since the last little 3″ of the where the body lining and facing join the bands needed to be slip stitched shut too, you can see that below:

At this point I could have pressed a little pleat with the extra lining ease in both the body and the cuffs, but I didn’t bother… quite frankly I just didn’t feel it was necessary. Especially with gathers in the body, I figured the pleat would be moving around and look weirder than just leaving it as-is!

What was left at this point? The buttonholes! The terrifying point where after all this work, I could have monkeyed things up but good. Fortunately, I didn’t. πŸ˜‰

Completely ignoring the center front on the pattern like I always do, I did some planning and carefully measured for my buttonholes. (And almost pressed too hard with my chalk, oops.)

I worked them by hand, mostly following Sunni’s tutorial on how to handwork buttonholes. I used vintage buttonhole twist because it was the closest I could come to matching my dark fabric. It’s also a little thinner than the Japanese buttonhole twist Sunni used (I know because that’s what I originally ordered that was too bright green). I liked the weight better of the vintage twist. That’s problematic though because it seems like there are very few (if any) options for thinner silk buttonhole twist, unless you want typical men’s suiting colors like black or gray (even that’s hard to get). That’s a shame since I think it would be perfect for dresses and blouses!

In the end the buttonhole twist I used was lighter green than my fabric, but the same color as my vintage buttons, so it worked out quite nicely.

Oh in case you’re curious about interfacing… I opted not to add any extra interfacing behind the buttonholes. My bodice pieces were underlined, and my facing pieces were interfaced with fusible weft, so those 4 layers really felt good enough to me when I worked up some test buttonholes mimicking all the layers.

First though, I sewed a small little window (using my all-purpose thread) around the buttonholes to slash through, in order to work them. Hopefully you can see it below in the middle:

Then I slashed them. Eek! Mildly scary!

And then I spent all of Friday night handworking the buttonholes. They aren’t stunning, but I think they’re pretty damn good.

The wool flannel was a difficult fabric to work them on because of the nap, so some of the stitches that are quite even don’t look that way because the nap kind of pokes over. You can see that in the photo below, where the bottom looks better than the top, even though if you inspect it really carefully, the top is stitched just as evenly.

But I don’t mind, I know I did a good job and I’m pretty proud of them. Actually I think I may now be mildly obsessed with handworked buttonholes! I definitely plan to do them on some future projects, too.

Aaaaaand that’s the last you’re going to see until I show you the final jacket! πŸ™‚

Filed: Sew-alongs, Sewing

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Golly, 16 Comments!

  • I am so excited! You are wonderful!

    I’m being an ant and making a Robson Trench Coat for my post-pregnancy belly!


    Bundana xxxx


  • This is going to be amazing. You’ve put so much careful handwork into it that I’m so glad youlove the result and can’t wait to see it!


  • Wow! Just wow! Can’t wait to see the end result!


  • This is looking so awesome! Can’t wait to see the finished piece! πŸ˜€


  • Every time I see the tailor’s basting my brain kinda of explodes a bit. You’re such an amazing seamstress! I don’t know if I’d ever have the patience for that, but I can see from your efforts that I would totally be worth it. I do want to make a jacket someday, but hot damn you set one high bar!! lol Can’t wait to see you wearing this amazing coat!


    • Ha ha! And something tells me it might be a Robson? πŸ˜‰ It’s been quite an experience, I didn’t even *know* what tailor basting was before this project! lol


  • Oh, you tease! Now I really can’t wait to see the jacket! I’m really hoping that you’ll be able to make it to the meet-up next week and that you’ll bring this beauty with you.

    Your buttonholes look amazing! I don’t think I would have had the courage to do hand-worked buttonholes.


    • Oh Gail I am bummed to say I won’t be able to make it! πŸ™ My mom and step-dad will be in town just for the weekend so I’ll be hanging out with them. I’m hoping we can do another one soon!

      I only felt comfortable doing the handworked buttonholes after practicing on the same fabric. My first one was horrifying though. I thought I was going to have to ditch my plan! But thankfully practice one #2 was 100 times better. lol


    • Awwww, bummer! I was really hoping to meet you, because I’ve admired your work for so long πŸ™‚ Hope you have a fantastic time with your family though!


  • You are such a tease Tasha ;o) I’m bursting with excitement to see your finished jacket, it already looks stunning from the glimpses you’ve shown us!


  • I missed commenting on your last post, but I’m eagerly reading along! I loved how you used a cross-stitch to tack down the pleats in the lining, such a beautiful detail. I think I’ll try it on my next jacket-lining project, instead of using a feather stitch as the last time. The feather stitch can be pretty but is time-consuming and can look clumsy. I really liked the clean look of the cross-stitch!

    Also, well done on those buttonholes! I’m so glad you found a thread that worked out for you (and a vintage one too, even better!). A shame about the pile hiding your pretty work, but I doubt it’ll be noticable when you’re wearing the jacket.

    So looking forward to seeing it on you soon! But anything good is worth waiting for =) So I’m waiting…


  • I cannot wait to see the finished product!!


  • woooohooo, way to go, tasha – i really can’t wait to see the jacket ‘in action’ πŸ˜€


  • Meanie! All that working up…! LOL it looks super so far, and I think the handwork looks lovely. Probably because I know how hard it is (well… to make it look neat I mean LOL).
    I shall, however, now think of it as the T.A.R.D.I.S. jacket. But won’t tell my Dr. Who obsessed son πŸ˜‰


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