Moto-cool

One of the recurring themes of Canadian life is the perpetual quest for clothing which is both weather-appropriate and stylish. And comfy. Comfy would be nice. Sewing my own clothes has made this quest a bit easier, but it’s still pretty easy to get sidetracked by fun but impractical makes.

In this vein, something I’ve wanted for a long time is a motorcycle jacket, but made out of sweatshirt fleece, so it’s more of a fancy sweater and less of a jacket.

I finally decided to make it happen for a shop project this fall, since all I want to sew right now is warm and cozy stuff.

I went with Burda 6800, a very cute little pattern with all the requisite moto details. For my “sweater” I wanted a cropped version, that would work with full skirts. I like the mental image of a 50s style dress with a teeny moto jacket. I haven’t had a chance to try it out like that yet, though. I cut the pattern off right at the waistline marking (and my pieces ended up varying in length about 1/4″). In hindsight I should’ve left a little more length for the hem.

I squared the shoulders slightly. Glad I have now figured out how to do that in a shoulder yoke situation.

The pockets are located below the waist, but I didn’t want to lose them, so as soon as I had the two front panels together I tried them on to make sure there would be room for little under boob pockets. There was. Did I mention I used the pocket piece as drafted? These are teeeny pockets.

I am just hoping they’re big enough for a credit card. In hind sight, since my version isn’t lined, I should’ve cut the pocket pieces to match the shape of the front panels, so their edges could be fully caught in the seams. Plus I’d get at least slightly bigger pockets that way. The pockets were cut out of cotton spandex jersey scraps. I fused a strip of fusible knit where the opening would be. There was a lot of fusible knit involved in this project. It turns the beefy sweatshirt knit into something that almost has the feel of laminate foam. Possibly a didn’t need quite as much as I used, but I find that a hard call to make when I’m constructing a woven pattern out of a knit.

After I got it to the try-on stage I realized I wanted to take in the princess seams in the back for a closer fit there. Of course, this was after I’d already topstitched. Pulling topstitching out of a spongy, thick knit is a special circle of hell, I think.

The shoulders are a bit wide, I think as a jacket vs. sweater consequence. I could’ve narrowed them but it would’ve messed with the evenness of the quilted lines on the shoulder yoke. First world problems. Speaking of which, those shoulders are pretty crazy. It’s a layer of batting sandwiched between two layers of sweater fleece, and they’re almost in football pad territory. I used my walking foot for the quilting and it still shifted a bunch, but I was able to more or less trim things back I to shape after.

I didn’t do my usual “petite” alteration, but I did raise the underarm on both bodice and sleeve. That was simpler given the pieces involved. Also lengthened the sleeve 2″. I could’ve probably gotten away with 1″, but extra long sleeves make me happy.

This is one of those projects I’m sad I have to let hang for a month. I would’ve worn it at least twice this week already. On the other hand, I really didn’t want to pay for the fabric. So there’s that.

In the meantime, I’m supposed to be making a motorcycle cover. That isn’t nearly as fun as the jacket, by the way.

I even like it with my new swing dress! I also can’t help but think that a version with a hood would be fun…

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4 Comments

Filed under Sewing

4 responses to “Moto-cool

  1. Oh it’s perfect with your dress. A great idea. I must look out for that pattern ’cause it looks great.

  2. I’m still gawping at the welt pocket WITH A ZIPPER over the seam. No ripples, no bumps, oh my god. You’re Jedi.

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