70s Jackets

Simplicity 6602

… are possibly not as cute as 70s dresses.

Rather than getting to any of my non-selfish sewing, I started work on Simplicity 6602, out of a narrow-wale stretch corduroy.

This is a fitted, un-lined jacket. I decided to throw caution to the wind and use the same basic alterations as my last 70s Simplicity pattern, shortening the bodice through the armscye and doing a swayback adjustment (oh, and plenty of extra length in the sleeve…)

Simplicity 6602 pattern envelope

This definitely gets the waistband to where it needs to be, although it’s still possible that I would be better served shortening a little less at the armscye and a little more from the lower bodice. I have such a horror of low armscyes, though…

Anyway. At this stage I have to admit it’s feeling a bit more like the somewhat dumpy model photo and less like the fun, svelte illustration on the envelope, but hopefully that will pass.

At least the inside is looking fun. I made bias tape for Hong Kong binding the majority of the seams. I am finally getting better at making my bias-tape (as in, having it come out at least relatively even) and sewing it on a heavy cotton like this was dreamy. This is the first time I’ve bound both sides of the seam allowance separately, and it’s a bit time-consuming, but definitely attractive.

Seam binding and waist-band lining

Stitching porn

The only lining piece is an inside piece for the waistband. The instructions would have you slip-stitch the entire thing down by hand. I couldn’t see a reason not to attach at least one side by machine, so I did, but I dutifully slip-stitched the other. It looks pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. Cotton is so lovely to stitch. (Except that this stretch corduroy loves to pucker when you’re trying to sew an uninterfaced section to an interfaced one. Argh. Anyway.)


I used fusetape around the neckline and shoulders rather than stay-stitching. We’ll see how that holds up. I hope it does—I love it like crazy.

Jacket Collar. I don't know why the closeups all turned out beautifully crisp but this one had to go blurry.

And, just in case I run out of excuses to make jackets for myself, my hubby has decided I should make him a replacement for his rather battered mandarin-collared frock coat, a much-loved garment that is sadly showing its shoddy construction by self-destructing after less than a decade of intermittent wear. Well, and the cigarette burn in the back doesn’t help. Anyway, I may be trying to figure out how to clone that pattern. Or how to draft a man’s jacket. I’m not sure which would be easier (or, more importantly, more fun) at this point. And my fave drafting resource, Modern Pattern Design (by Harriet Pepin, published 1942) at vintagesewing.info, seems to have evaporated (the entire site, actually), which is a tragedy of immense proportions. I may have to actually hunt it down and buy it. I’ve looked at a few other drafting books (albeit not nearly all that are out there) and none of the others seem to combine precision with clarity and lots of nifty details quite as well as Pepin’s. Sniffle.

Now… I need to decide whether or not to topstitch my jacket. The pattern recommends it and the corduroy is a narrow enough wale that it doesn’t seem to distort the stitches particularly in my experiments. But… hmm. I can’t decide.

Also, you have no idea how hard it was not to pipe the collar and cuffs. I may be a piping addict.



Filed under Sewing

30 responses to “70s Jackets

  1. Love the color, and your sewing is beautiful so far. And I can totally see piping in the collar and cuffs. I can see why resisting was a challenge.

  2. I’m glad you mentioned that book. I’ve been looking around for a good book on drafting. I just ordered one (not that one). Can’t remember by who at the moment. Your jacket is looking good!

  3. love frock coats — can’t wait to see it. 🙂

    try this:

    there is another one out there, but it is eluding me.

  4. I bet the first time you try it on, you’ll wonder how you ever thought it was anything close to frumpy. 😉 I’m loving the fun print you used to make the hong kong finishing and the waistband facing with–very cool. 🙂

  5. A corduroy jacket, eh? All the cool kids are wearing them lately. 🙂

    And hong kong seams and a pretty inner waistband?? Wow. I remember once you left a comment on my blog to the tune that you couldn’t imagine taking so much time to finish the inside of a garment beautifully. hehe.

    I’m sure the jacket looks amazing on you and you’re just being silly. Maybe I’m fat or something, but I don’t think the model on the envelope looks “dumpy…”

    You can order a copy of Pepin here for $55. Her book isn’t that helpful with men’s patterns. Their bodies are shaped more simply than ours, so it’s pretty easy compared to drafting for a woman. I just just just drafted a jacket for my husband, so if you want my research (and some of my notes that didn’t make it into the blog) just e-mail me and I’ll send you whatever might help.

  6. gail k

    This looks so great. I cannot imagine topstiching on that curvy neckline with even a narrow wale corduroy. Make a mini-curved collar tryout — topstitch it and decide. Your work is so seriously perfect. Atta Girl! !

  7. Ali

    You are an inspiration — I’ve had 70s jackets on my mind lately, a lovely one is rockin’ no matter what decade we’re in. I just really love both the 60s and 70s, but the 70s jackets have that androgynous sexy thing going but with defined waists. Sigh. Can’t wait to see it finished as I’m clearly living through you here ;).

    (Props for the Hong Kong seams — gush.)

  8. The inside of that jacket looks amazing. Maybe one day you’ll have to ‘accidently’ wear it inside out so others have a chance to admire it. In my world dumpy means short and fat – dorky perhaps?

    • As a couple of other commenters have noted, “frumpy” might be more the word I was looking for. This is what happens when I try to throw posts together while making supper ;).

  9. oooohhhh hong kong seams….stitch porn indeed 🙂 LOVE it….fabulous collar as well!

  10. I love the binding on the seams (I wonder if that’d work on denim jackets – or maybe that’d be too bulky hmmm….).

    😦 to hear re: the vintagesewing.info site. I found a Google cache of their contact page here: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:2B6-X99HSFYJ:vintagesewing.info/support.html+http://vintagesewing.info/support.html&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk&source=www.google.co.uk Maybe you could email them at: comments@vintagesewing.info / mmc@vintagesewing.info (this is their mailing address too: Vintage Sewing Reference Library, Inc., 432 43rd Street, Oakland, CA 94609-2138, USA)

    You might be able to see the web archive of the pages here: Archive of: http://vintagesewing.info/index.html

  11. Marie-Christine

    I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t have all the jackets you want :-). Especially when they turn out this good.
    You may want to pay attention to the vintage of your patterns though. It’s true that post-80s patterns have generally kept armholes fairly low, even in supposedly fitted patterns. But real 70s patterns had no such problems.

    • The too-low armscye is actually a problem I first encountered in a 70s Simplicity pattern, (not that I’ve made that many more recent patterns…), so I have been comparing the other patterns with the adjustments I had to make on that one.

      The main problem with having too many jackets is not having large enough closets! (Not helped by the fact that everyone in my family seems to require at least three or four different jackets during the warmer months… yeesh!) Which doesn’t seem to deter me much…. 😉

  12. I’m loving all the snappy seam finishes on the inside! I really can’t imagine this looking frumpy at all. 😉 It’s looking so great thus far!

    After your mention that the VintageSewing.info site had gone poof! I had to run and investigate. So sad… that was one of my favorite resources; I do hope it’ll be back up in the future! It was just there like two weeks ago when I checked something too. *sob*

  13. Sewista Fashionista

    Your Hong Kong finish looks terrific! I love Pepin’s work but it takes forever to get in at the library, so I guess its not just me. I wish the library would release the names of the other women who checked out her book so we could get together and talk about sewing.

  14. Wow, the seam binding and waist-band lining look fantastic! I look forward to seeing the finished jacket!

  15. Lovely work on the inside finishes! It will be a VERY cute jacket when done! As to possessing a number of jackets, am I detecting, perhaps, a genetic predisposition in this regard? In my view, little jackets (in quantity) are a wardrobe staple.

  16. Love your hong kong seams, I think it is all going to look great on you!

  17. The inside of the jacket looks great! Hopefully you’ll get over the dumpy or frumpy feeling — I always have a moment midway through a project when I’m convinced it is going to look TERRIBLE. I usually just soldier through it, and I’m usually wrong.

    I vote NO to topstitching — I made a pinwale corduroy jean skirt over the winter and hand-finished the inside waistband because the seams I did HAVE to topstitch just didn’t look that good.

    • I have those moments, too… so I’m hoping that’s all this is ;).

      I think I’m leaning towards the no topstitching, too… and now I’m really wishing I’d piped things… 😉

  18. I can’t wait to see your finished jacket! You might be able to access the lost pages by using a site that will get you results from the past, like the wayback machine. :]

  19. Joy

    Corduroy + 70’s jacket pattern = great potential. I can’t wait to see the finished product.

  20. Looking good – well the bits we get to see anyway! I love the colour – somehow corduroy always looks awesome colourwise, must be the shadows and highlights happening. I think topstitching corduroy can sometimes look a bit messy interfering with the pile – maybe try a sample first? But then pinwale is probably less of a problem.

  21. Karen Easter

    Your work is, as usual, FABULOUS! I love your style.
    Want more jackets? Check out the cute 1970’s jackets here: http://fuzzylizzie.com/butterickyoungdesigners.html
    Fuzzy Lizzie has made a gallery featuring a bunch of the Butterick Young Designers patterns. I can totally see you in some of these designs, TanitIsis! I made a bunch of the Betsey Johnson and Jane Tise designs when I was in college, which was… a while ago. The two outer patterns on the bottom row of Betsey’s provided many of my favorite and most-complimented outfits. The fit of the jacket on the bottom left was just amazing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s