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How to Draft an Action-Back Pattern Piece

Jun 22, 2016
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The feature I like most is known as the action back.

Add an Action-Back to Your Jacket This jacket from the 1950s probably was worn in the country. I’m surprised that no effort was made to match the plaid on this otherwise well-made garment. It has some nice detail, though, such as the cargo pockets. The feature I like most is known as the action back. You generally see this detail on hunting jackets such as this one. The action back consists of a pleat on each side, extending from the shoulder seam or yoke, over the shoulder blade, and finishing at the waist. The extra fabric in the pleat allows the wearer to move his or her arms forward for strenuous activity. The action back can start at the shoulder seam or start from a yoke seam, which it does in this jacket. The outer fold of the pleat is called the flange. Continue to the next page to learn how to draft this detail. Patternwork I’m using a classic, three-panel tailored jacket for this example. It includes a back panel with a center-back seam and a side panel. This is generally the cut used when making a jacket like this. Begin by drafting the yoke and flange style lines onto the jacket back pattern…

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  1. SueC56 April 3rd

    I will definitely include this in the future project. Thank you very much!

  2. User avater KennethDKing July 12th

    It's a useful concept, that can be adapted to many kinds of garments!

  3. user-6111877 July 9th

    This is so awesome! In Downton Abby, Cora Crowley wore this gorgeous dress where the front was a solid and the back was a beautiful floral pattern that draped loosely down the back yet was still attached to the side seam. This pattern design will work! I've been searching and searching for that particular dress Cora wore (to make a pattern) with no success. Now I can make my pattern!

  4. user-2126926 July 7th

    Two years ago I made my husband a walking length jacket out of a military OD green wool blanket (his choice). This is what is missing; the action back. The jacket turned out sweet with its antler buttons (he made) but the flange would have allowed more movement. Thank you Kenneth King for this simple but priceless lesson. I will use it again.

  5. User avater KennethDKing July 6th

    Thanks for the kind words! And to user-6175145, I'm glad my posting enticed you to become an Insider!

  6. I have the Japanese military jacket book and there is a pattern in it for the M65 U.S. Army field jacket with a very similar action flange. But I love me a classic cowboy jacket with a yoke so I'm going to incorporate this into the jacket I'm working on for the fall Tailoring class. Great pictures and a good tute.

    Theresa in Tucson

  7. user-6175145 July 5th

    Thanks for this -- this was actually the article that finally pulled me into becoming a Threads insider. I have an old cowboy dress of my mother's with this kind of action back, that I was trying to figure out how to replicate! I look forward to trying it, many thanks!

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