Jacket Pattern Update

Progress on my jacket project is extremely slow but steady. I’ve managed to throw together another hunk of muslin to quickly test out the basic shell of my men’s jacket pattern. At this point I’m just making sure the collar/lapel pattern pieces actually work together. I’m not concerned about how the collar notches look or how the lapels roll/lay on this test garment. This was my first attempt at making a notched lapel and found it somewhat difficult. I haven’t consulted my tailoring books yet (I should have), but I’d love to hear about any good online resources for notched lapel construction.

From here I need to add some shape to the side seams and center back seam, decide what I want to do for darts, and start the lining pattern.

men's jacket pattern test in muslin

I made a quick list of projects that I hope to complete in 2012. My main focus here is building a wardrobe from scratch so I’m sticking to the basics: shirts, pants, and a jacket.

  • This jacket is a priority, but I may end up making some of these other things below first.
  • Another pair of selvedge denim indigo jeans. My last pair is still doing great, (they are only a year old) but I want to have a fresh crisp pair in the closet
  • A pair of natural selvedge denim (light canvas color) jeans for spring/summer
  • Chinos
    -Light gray
    -Dark gray
  • At least 2 heavier weight winter shirts
  • At least 2 light weight spring/summer shirts

It seems like a fairly short list for an entire year, but this is more than I completed in 2011. Who knows, maybe I’ll pick up the pace and get even more done!

9 Responses to “Jacket Pattern Update”

  1. Ryon — January 3, 2012 @ 12:02 am

    Looking good Taylor. I can’t wait to see how that jacket turns out. I know it will be engineered flawlessly when you get done with it.

  2. sabina@Slip Stitches & More — January 4, 2012 @ 2:25 pm

    Notched lapels are a test; however, you did a great job!

  3. Bri — January 9, 2012 @ 10:49 pm

    I’ve just discovered your blog and I’m so excited! This jacket sounds like it will be a great project, sorry I don’t have any online sources to recommend for the notched collar. Your other projects sound great, wardrobe staples are always worth the time and you’ve set goals to keep yourself motivated!

    I need to make a project list again, it goes so much better that way since otherwise I’m so forgetful!

  4. Pam — January 11, 2012 @ 11:21 pm

    Your muslin looks great. Just one suggestion here. Peggy Sagers at Silhouette Patterns does sewing webcasts. She did one on jackets a while ago that you can watch on her site. She shows how the factories sew designer jacket lapels.
    Here’s the link if you’re interested. Its on the right side under past webcasts.

  5. Taylor — January 11, 2012 @ 11:30 pm


    Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll definitely check out the videos on her site. It is one thing to read about a technique, but seeing someone actually do it makes a huge difference.


  6. Scott — January 12, 2012 @ 3:28 pm

    Taylor, what size/type of needle did you use for topstitching your jeans? I bought the Japanese topstitch thread from you, but using a 100/16 causes the thread to strip.

    Also do you have pictures of how you did the seam under the fly? It goes from a seam in one direction in the fly to the opposite direction in the felled stitch. I didn’t have a pattern so I totally jacked it up on my practice jeans. I still wear them, but I had to put a gusseted crotch in to make up for the mess I made.

  7. Taylor — January 12, 2012 @ 3:48 pm

    Hi Scott,

    I usually use a size 110/18 needle for denim topstitching. I’ve used that thread on several machines with different denims and haven’t had any problems with it. You might want to check the tension on your machine, or see if there is something in the thread path that might be stripping the thread.

    I flat fell the seam under the fly from the inside. You have to make sure that you flat fell the both the fly and center back seam in the same direction, (to the right) for the seams to line up.

    I hope that helps. Feel free to send me an e-mail with pictures so I can see what you are talking about.


  8. August Larson — February 2, 2012 @ 1:55 am

    Hey Taylor, I’ve been an active reader for a while now and glad to see the projects are still coming along. Just a heads up when you get to lining the jacket, leave 1-1.5″ in the center back seam for movement (when arms are forward as if “driving”) only on the top 8-10″ of the seam. Keep up the hard work!

    -August L, a fellow tailor

  9. Taylor — February 3, 2012 @ 9:19 am

    Hi August,

    Thanks for the tip! I finally bought some fabric for the jacket shell and some lining fabric, but it might be a while before I cut into it. I got distracted with some denim and put the jacket on hold for a little bit.


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