Sewing inefficiently


Sometimes you’re simply inefficient.  I usually get a lot done in the course of a day, but for some reason it just didn’t happen with this jacket.  I’m blaming it on the fact that I haven’t made a jacket in 2 years and am apparently very very rusty.  *Full disclosure*–I made this jacket last summer and never blogged it because by the time I finished it, it was snowing.  Linen and snow aren’t good companions.

The pattern is Burdastyle 3-2013-103: a linen jacket with fringed edges and a standing collar.  The original jacket is very, very long, but thankfully models #101 and 102 from this issue are the same with some key detail changes.  I chose the length from #101, the pockets from #102 and the sleeves and pocket flaps from #103

First, I traced off the pattern in the wrong size and couldn’t figure out why my armholes were halfway up my armpits.  I was ready to chuck the project at this point because I had already previously made up an entire muslin of an Ottobre jacket I intended for some non-stretch corduroy only to realize when I put it on that the pattern was intended for stretch wovens (ACK!!!!!).  My friend Linda urged me to keep at it, so I retraced it.  [Duh], problem solved.


I was originally drawn to this pattern for the standing collar and the fringed edges.  I was interested too in Burda’s choice of linen for such a structural collar.  How do you maintain the softness of linen while holding the structure of the collar?  If I’d have been fussy, I’d have auditioned various interfacings to test this idea.  Without lots of interfacings on hand, I used the same lightweight fusible I use for everything.  It doesn’t change the hand, but the collar could use a little more oomph too.  I mold it into place as I’m wearing it, and I rely on the extra button on the lapel to hold it up and showcase the standing collar.


The front darts were kind of complicated as they are L-shaped.  I muddled my way through my muslin and then I found this post with nearly identical darts that helped me decode Burda’s cryptic directions, which do actually work but only after you’ve sewn them.  A mockup will help you decipher the construction.  Another pattern review saves the day!  It’s kind of sad that the nice sharp corners that I accomplished on my darts are covered up by pockets, but a pocketless jacket is no jacket at all.


I did way more topstitching than the pattern required because I just got into it.  There’s 4 rows of tone on tone straight stitching with a row of zigzag stitching in a slightly lighter colored embroidery thread.  No way this linen is fraying more than I want it to do.


The intentionally frayed edges took some time to produce.  I remember talking to the guy cutting my fabric at Mood Fabrics LA about the fraying, and his comment was, “That sounds like a lot of work!”  He was not kidding.  I’d like to write a post specifically about fringing like this to give you an idea of what’s involved/how to make it work.

The good news about jackets is that you wear them for so long in your wardrobe that the effort that you put into them is always worth it.  And it’s nice to have a Spring jacket ready to wear when the irises are just popping up in my front yard instead of finishing a Spring jacket as inevitable heat sets in.

What is the project that has taken you the longest to complete?  Was your production time due to mistakes, perfectionism, or lack of motivation?

My full pattern review is here.


Light Chic


13 thoughts on “Sewing inefficiently

  1. It’s pretty on you, and completed, plus you learned and grew fro the experience: a rousing success! Congrats. I like your new blog updates too. Elizabeth, I’m not sewing these days as I have my three week old daughter on my lap as I type 🙂 now a mother of three like you, and it’s keeping me busy!

  2. Elizabeth, I can’t believe how much you get done! Those darts are pretty cool. I can even see them solving some fitting issues with a design element. Which day are you going to the expo? Linda

    Date: Sun, 22 Mar 2015 14:47:41 +0000 To:

  3. That is a beautiful jacket! It looks so good with your jeans, and I love all your topstitching. Sometimes I’m blown away by how long it takes me to do projects that seem like they should be so simple, but I think I’m just a slower sewer in general anyway.

  4. Thank you Linda! Yes, it was a lot of work mostly because this particular linen was a blend. 100% linen frays pretty easily, but this one was a finer weave and the rayon in it softened the fibers such that they stretched a little if you pulled too hard in the fraying process. I learned to stab at the cross threads every 1/4″ or so and no more. Some of my other fringed projects I could be a little more aggressive. But you add these things and you never regret the extra time.

Leave a Reply

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

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s