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Sunday, 18 November 2012

Jacket Muslin 1.0

I finished the first version of the muslin for the jacket I'm making about a week ago, but I've been sitting on it and thinking about it because there are some fit issues and I'm completely unfamiliar with altering a jacket pattern. I've also had a crazy week professionally speaking but that's neither here nor there.

It seems to me that the sizing is pretty close but there are lots of fit issues that need to be tweaked.

  • Lower stance.You can see the ironed crease in his right lapel that shows where the roll line is supposed to be. We both want this jacket to have a pretty timeless shape so a ridiculous high stance is not on. I'll also need to lower the buttons
  • Remove break in roll line. I'll need to take out a horizontal wedge of fabric from across his chest to get the front of the coat to hang flat against his chest.
  • Reduce sleeve width, lengthen, reduce sleeve head. I put his right sleeve on first and realized right away that it was way too baggy. I took out 2 inches of circumference from his left sleeve and that seemed to look correct. I need to add about the length of the hem, as the unhemmed length of the sleeve is just a tiny but longer than he wants the final length to be. As with many commercial patterns, this sleeve head is way longer than it needs to be.
  • Move shoulder seam. I'll need to add fabric on the back and remove it from the front to make the seam lie along the top of his shoulder. (The wrinkles here are from his shirt, which was bunched up.)

  • Collar fit. This is the thing that's making me the most nervous. The collar doesn't lie against his neck. You can see from the photo above that that the shoulder doesn't reach all the way to his neck. I'm not sure what the best way to alter this would be. I'm afraid that it will change the way the collar piece fits and how the lapel will look. The seam at the back of the neck is at about the right spot but the collar itself gapes and is very small. I've had him try it on with other shirts, that weren't bunching in the back and the problem is the same. It seems like there should be more to the collar but I'm not sure how to add it. The collar is also really difficult to sew onto the body of the jacket. Is that normal?

  • Finally, I need to add some fabric through the seat and do a swayback adjustment. This pattern was clearly drafted for a man with tragically little butt.
Are there any fitting issues I've missed? What is the best way to deal with the collar? What are the rules for transferring the adjustments I make to the main garment to the facing and lining pattern pieces?

I've sure got my work cut out for me!


  1. Hi! I found this over on livejournal and came here to comment. First of all, are you putting shoulder pads in? That'll change a few things, so if you are including them I'd refit. Next, it looks like you might actually be able to take in the jacket CB up through the undercollar CB seam slightly--that'll pull the collar closer to his neck (and may deal with some of the drag lines back there). You can also redraw the front panel pattern to raise the neckline. Make sure when you do that to check the length of the collar--otherwise it won't be the right length. As far as adjustments go to other pattern pieces, if you make major changes make sure you do the same thing on all facing/lining pieces Best of luck!

    1. Hey, thanks for commenting!

      I do have shoulder pads in there, but they are pretty unstructured (they're made from layers of semi-circles of polyester batting. Maybe I should use more structured ones? I'm going to make it in a camel hair herringbone, so it's not going to be very formal or business-y.

      I'll definitely try taking in on the centre back seam. There is even a little room across the upper back to play with, though I want to leave enough room for comfortable arm movement.

      Thanks again for the advice!

    2. Adding more shoulder pads depends on what you want--it's got a nice line as it is, so if you're going for a softer look I'd say stick with what you've got. Taking in the CB (if you go down to between the shoulder blades before tapering out) will also help some of the wrinklage around the armscyes