I may have to rethink this

This weekend I decided to tackle a muslin of my biker jacket. Like Brigitte and Lindsay T., I’ve been feeling inspired by the death of Michael Jackson. My parents were not big on ‘trendy’ clothing. But, the one thing they let me have at the height of fashion was a pair of sky blue parachute pants in about second grade. Between that and my Jerhi curl, I was a Michael Jackson clone. But, I digress.

I went with BWOF 5-2008-119 and it is a hot mess on me. And, let’s not talk about the 8 million little pieces of shearling that are now floating around my hardwood floors (and on my shorts and in my hair). Oy.

I cut a 40 instead of my usual 38 because I have found every BWOF jacket not to have enough wearing ease for me. This one was no different. It had way too much ease in the sleeve cap and not enough width in the bicep. Plus, the shoulder was hanging way off my shoulder.  I also felt terribly constricted. Ummm, yeah. So the sleeve on the left is the original with edits (tuck for sleeve ease and a lowered armsyce) and the one on the right is inside out because I cut it wrong. Whatev.

I fiddled around and

  • took out almost two inches of sleeve cap ease
  • lowered the armsyce by one inch
  • increased the bicep by one inch.

It’s painfully restricting across the back.  I also want to to try about a 1/2 inch to one inch FBA.

I honestly don’t know if I have the skilllset to tackle this because it has so many fit problems that are just beyond me. I’ve been hacking away at my pattern and need to make a second muslin. Whew. No fun trying on a fall jacket over a turtleneck in July 🙂 I need to sleep on it.

The muslin is faux leather shearling from Fabricmart because I think it’s the closet approximation to the denim backed sherpa I want to use. While I have four yards of my own to make the Boho Portebello Shearling Coat from Hot Patterns, this was a spare two yards I picked up from the ‘ugly’ fabric contest at PR Portland. One man’s treasure…


  1. I have no comments on the jacket ~ I’m still at a loss as to why you are making this…but to each his own! 🙂 But I can’t believe this was in the ugly fabric pile at PR Portland. If I had been there we would have had to fit over it!!! *LOL*

  2. Looking at the pattern, it doesn’t show sherpa, so I would assume you would need to go up several sizes to compensate for the “fluff”. Have to laugh about the flying fluff–it’s like my sewing room, only mine is alive and purring. 🙂

  3. This is quite interesting and what Meredith said makes much sense. I’m gonna stay tuned to see how you fix these issues.

  4. I think that you’d be better off working out the fit in a heavy weight muslin. The sherpa is just too difficult to work with. It’s too hard to mark and baste the grain and seam lines too. Regardless of ease, which you may well need to cut larger, the shoulders shouldn’t change. Remember to fit this with what you intend to wear under it. You do have the skill set for this, but the sherpa? That just makes it seem harder.

  5. i’m needleing you to say I do the exact same alterations to BWOF that I do on the Big 4 ala Fit For Real People. JUST GET IT and friggin call me. you definitely need broad back BTW and you will be Soooo much happier just for a start. By using thick fabric it also makes the whole thing feel too small because you lose so much just in turn of cloth.

  6. Don’t take out too much ease in the sleeve cap. The denim will ease better than the fake leather.Definitely give yourself plenty of ease across the back. When cutting, try to not cut the sherpa, just cut the backing.

  7. Keep working at it — I’m sure you’ll be able to work through the issues. Imagine how proud you will feel when you figure out all the problems and complete this jacket! Good luck!

  8. “Hot mess” I just RITFLOL everytime I hear that phrase. I love biker jackets and I can’t wait to see the finished product.

  9. Wow, I’m not sure this pattern is worth pursuing. *cries* I have no idea what you were trying to do with that tuck in the sleeve. Lower cap height and armscye is just going to restrict you further. You might have an easier time drafting your own sleeve once you get the bodice fitted correctly. I think you’re still going to want a high cap, but yeah get rid of as much ease as you can without losing bicep room. The tightness across the back probably isn’t helping sleeve fit either. I think a jacket in the fabric/style you have planned will be amazing on you, but this might not be the best way to get there.

  10. I am so glad you are forging the way with this jacket, ’cause I want to make that same pattern. Me too, I have the same problem with lack of ease in BWOF, for me the area across my chest and under the armpits. Hang in there, kid. I think it has the potential to rock on you once you get the fit down.

  11. Could try adding shoulder darts. I never found a jacket that fit across the back until I came across a pattern with these. Now I add them to everything.

  12. I don’t think this is a lost cause….I agree with Nancy K and do a heavy-wt muslin that will help you work out a lot of issues. And I hear you on the little “dusters” running amok throughout the studio…whenever I cut velvet or faux fur or anything like that I will line my nose with Vaseline and have to do a thorough cleaning of my studio after I finish. Same true of beaded fabrics – beads are everywhere. Had my studio re-carpeted after I worked on a beaded fabric, and found beading 5 years later tucked in a little corner. It multiplies in the middle of the night when left alone! It’s a mystery!

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