Matching checks for a fitted jacket

This piece of fabric, a poly/wool mix, and the buttons are from Edinburgh Fabrics. My intention was to make a fitted jacket from a block I had drafted many years ago from instructions from a book of 40’s blocks! I have never managed to find the book again. It was the 80’s and with the shapes being so different, at the time, I had used part of this block and modified it into a vintage look jacket but with bigger shoulders and deeper armholes, of course!

I redrafted it onto paper and checked it on the dummy and off I went, cutting out the 40’s shape.

When I cut checks or stripes I cut each piece individually. I’ve used the sleeve piece as an example. I find a vertical stripe in the check and match it to the grain line, pin occasionally and cut out. I remove the paper pattern and use the cut piece of fabric to finish the pair, and remember to flip it over to make the pair!! The third image above shows the matching of the checks, but since it should be perfect and therefore invisible, I placed the pattern piece back on to show how it works. The last image shows how invisible it should be. Cutting each pattern piece individually is time consuming but it is really worth it. I interfaced the hems, top collar, and facings.

I like to get the tricky bits of sewing done first, so matching checks on the darts and then to construct the welt pockets. These darts are pinned across the checks and I pick out several horizontal lines to follow, and pin the dart shaping.

With the checks in the darts matching I mark on the welt pocket position. I do these before sewing up the rest of the jacket, then if there is a nasty incident I can recut!!

Sometimes I make the lining and facings before I make the outer jacket, and this time I was so pleased that I had. It wasn’t until I started to make it up that I realised it was not going to fit well at all. The main problem being the sleeves and armhole shaping, and the entire shape from the underarm up? So almost everything, but my top collar had worked and I really liked the shape of it and I had to recut the fronts and back, but saving the darts and welt pockets.

A quick unpick of the sleeves meant I could recut them in a much smaller pattern that I already had, the fronts and back had the darts and pockets stitched in place, so no changing them, but a bit of manoeuvring meant they could be saved. What surprised me most was the amount I took off from the shoulder and neckline? Anyway the purpose of this post was to explain how I like to cut out checks and since I had to recut almost the entire thing I was certainly getting in the practice!!

I also want to include my easy way of putting together a lined jacket with collar and rever. With everything recut and resewn, I complete the outer pieces and attach the collar ready to attach the facings and lining.

I attach the facings to their corresponding lining pieces and make the entire inside. When I sew the lining to the facing I always have the lining on the top and follow the notches, it doesn’t slide about as much as it would if the lining was underneath!

With the outside and inside pieces ready, I sew the two together, literally with the right sides together I join them along the outside edges, from facing edge right round to facing edge, sandwiching the collar in between. The images show the collar attached and ready to be sandwiched, the facing side rever and the outside rever edges. Turn through, press and hem. Oops, the sleeve was going to be too short, so I gave it a false hem. Finished.

The collar and rever shaping is from my 80’s jacket, I’m feeling the temptation to try a remake of this!

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13 thoughts on “Matching checks for a fitted jacket

  1. Very impressive, even more so when you had to recut the fronts. It’s such a lovely jacket too. ‘Snot fair, you make it look so easy I’m in the process of making a jacket, if it looks just half as good as yours when it’s finished I’ll be happy. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Now, how do I bookmark this to remind me to return to your tutorial? My jacket to be made from Brita Hirsch’s pattern will have to be out of a lovely navy but not ideally, it has a window pane check – aaargh! Thanks for this Linda, I’ll be searching for courage amongst the packing boxes, gotta move house first!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Decide on how you want the checks to sit by laying the front pieces on the fabric first. Look at where you want the checks to sit at the hem, a bit of check showing and then not showing, if there is a slight hem curve will annoy you!! The tutorial thing is being looked at, thank you for suggesting. And in the meantime I hope your move goes as smoothly as possible!?

      Liked by 1 person

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