Thursday, 9 January 2014

Minerva Bloggers Network - Kwik Sew Biker Jacket

Do you ever find it hard to see past the styling on a pattern envelope? Sometimes I find it so distracting that I have to resort to my own impromptu cropping so that I can focus on the designs:

This looks like I'm some sort of woman-hater who chops off their heads in pictures...

I know that Kwik Sew is a business, and they have to cater to the broadest range of tastes in order to reach the most customers, and that patterns stay in circulation for a long time, therefore they have to avoid looking dated. But they've managed to bland-out this design to the point of it almost not existing - you can hardly even see view B because it fades into the background! 

Despite this I managed to see through the (non) styling to the classic biker-style jacket. For inspiration, I was thinking along the lines of these images, a million miles away from the Kwik Sew envelope:

Classic Clash - (source)

Lewis Leathers - trading in London since 1892 (source)
This was my 3rd project for the lovely Minerva Bloggers Network (3 already - time flies!) I chose a blue cotton drill, some leopard fleece lining, and 3 zips, and here's what I came up with:

I chose view A, but without the front pockets, mainly because welts and exposed zips are something I'm a bit scared of, so I chose to avoid them on the front in case they went horribly wrong. But I did put them on the sleeves at the cuffs, and I'm so pleased with how they came out!:

It's been a long time since I pushed myself to try a new technique in the world of sewing, and I'm so glad I did. Huge respect to whoever wrote the pattern instructions, because they were extremely easy to follow. It involved sewing a small interfaced strip to the right side of the sleeve, clipping and turning it to the wrong side, then placing it over your zip and top stitching:

The design was quite detailed - it even included the little triangles that go behind the zips, like a real leather jacket!

Some more details:

Epaulettes on the shoulders
Double breasted zip closure and collar
You see a sneaky glimpse above of how the leopard fabric came in to play. The pattern doesn't call for lining; they just suggest you 'finish the seams'. I decided to add a lining to give the jacket more weight and to make it warmer. I just used the side front pieces and the sleeves exactly as they were, and cut the back minus the facing and with an extra 1/2" at the centre back to create a pleat. Here's the result:

I admit I'm a bit of a snob about certain fabrics, and fleece is something I've managed to avoid in my own wardrobe. I've worked with it before in items made for Mr Needles, like his Margiela-inspired jacket. But this is the first time I've used it and worn it - it's so cosy, I can see why people swathe themselves in it. And it adds just the right amount of weight to the jacket that I can probably wear it on the cold grey days we're currently experiencing here in London.

And that's that! if you like the look of this project, get yourself over to Minerva, where you can order the whole kit.

See you soon!