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Learn the Shortcuts to Making a Designer Jacket

Threads magazine - 128 – Dec. 2006/Jan. 2007

If, like me, you think the epitome of timeless, luxurious style is a quilted nubby-bouclé-and-silky-charmeuse jacket, you’re in for a treat. I’ve figured out a way to construct the jacket in about 15 hours, so there is plenty of time to splurge on the fine embellishments that make an expensive designer jacket, well, designer.

My quest for this streamlined designer jacket began more than 10 years ago when I decided to tackle the couture, or fine hand-sewing, method of creating this signature garment. It took more than 60 hours! I loved the result, but the meticulous process—especially the extra-large, floppy, fraying seam allowances—stopped me from making another until last year. I hunkered down and started to reorder the basic construction to eliminate as much hand sewing as possible and enclose the seam allowances and edges faster (so they didn’t have a chance to fray).

In the following pages, you’ll see my happy results. I simply “bag out” the bouclé outer shell
and charmeuse lining like a pillow, then anchor the layers by sewing along the seams and quilting. The only hand sewing I do is at the neck and shoulders. But the best fuss-saver by far is my sleeve method: I set the sleeve lining and outer shell as one layer and quickly bind the raw edges with a bias strip. With the construction quickly accomplished, I then spend my time creating fabulous designer details—trim braided from the fabric’s yarns, a signature chain hem, and fancy buttons and pockets. Follow my lead and you too will be able to wow your friends with your custom designer jacket … in no time flat.

First, bag out the lining

Attaching the lining and outer shell along the edges, then turning like a pillow or “bag” is a…

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