Posted in sewing

Burdastyle Letterman’s Jacket: 9/2014 #134

Last project of 2017 methinks! Fitting that it’s my favorite person’s Hanukkah gift!


Jordan showed me the tweed Shinola Varsity jacket below a month ago and said how much he liked it. It was $500 — which I actually don’t think is too much to pay for US made product (I mean, it’s what I would charge AT LEAST). But, about $400 more than I would pay if I made it for him.

Screen Shot 2017-10-20 at 6.11.39 PM

He picked out his own fabric from Fabricmart and I settled on the September 2013 #134 Burdastyle varsity jacket.


At first I was like, that’s not a varsity jacket! Where are the leather sleeves? It has a zipper not snaps! But, once I sewed the muslin I saw why they said varsity vs aviator or bomber. The sleeves are dropped like a varsity jacket and it’s much longer in the torso (and my boy has a short torso).


I decided to make a muslin because I’ve only made him one semi-fitted outerwear garments (this Hot Patterns jacket from three years ago) and am I glad I did. I HATE HATE HATED the shoulders on this. Those folds at the armscyce made me want to scream.


Blech. Look how long the shoulders are! Looking at the original photo on the model I can see that they are long/ wide. But, this looked sloppy to me. And, I wanted a more fitted aviator style (in truth, maybe I should have gone with this Burdastyle from 12/2015 #125).


The first thing I did was narrow the shoulder sleeve by 1″ making it more an extended shoulder rather than dropped. The nice thing about using this thick old blanket for the muslin is I could really get a sense of how the fabric would work in wool.


Than, taking advice from Instagram, I saw Jordan has sloped shoulders. I really think he has overdeveloped traps with short shoulders rather than technically sloped. But, semantics.


Jordan’s chest is 44″ which puts him in a Burdastyle men’s 56. His shoulders are 6.25″ long and his waist was between the 50/52 size (I went with 52). I also shortened the jacket by two inches in the second muslin (I just made edits to the first muslin).


Here’s the back now with the shortened shoulder and a 1/2″ adjustment for sloped shoulders. I figured out his shoulder drop by using my level and comparing his drop to that of the pattern. I felt rather clever for having thought of that and it worked! Those horrible folds are mostly gone and the shoulder seam is sitting now where it should. Thanks smarter people than me on Instagram!


The jacket is lined in flannel back satin. And, I used stay tape at the shoulders. The original jacket has quilted satin for the lining. I kind of wish I had done this to increase the temperature range for wearing the jacket. But, then again, I’m okay with the flannel back satin and tweed combo.

The ribbing is from Neotrims Etsy shop based in the UK. I LOVED the selection there. This ribbing is mostly wool with lots of bounce. But, you could certainly find some at Pacific Trim or any one of the NY trim stores (I though briefly about making the ribbing but was running out of time to have this ready for Hanukkah). I did end up taking two inches out of the collar pattern so it would snug up against his neck. And, I see that the collar isn’t 100%. But, it’s good enough. Oh, I also had to shorten the sleeves by 3″.


The welt pockets were sewn using a technique from Kennth King’s Cool Coture. It took me an embarrassing amount of time to wrap my mind around the technique and THREE samples before I got the hang of it. But, once I did I saw how elegant a technique it was. He has a class on pockets that covers this technique on Craftsy if you’re interested.

The pocket bags themselves are a little small I think. Just big enough for a phone really. But, not quite large enough for jamming your hands into for warmth.

Isn’t he the cutest? Like for real. THE CUTEST.

He told me these are the best looking sleeves he’s had in a garment (they are always too long or too short). Plus, he usually has things taken in a bit at the waist. I don’t know that I would ever try and sew for him as a surprise either. It was much less stressful to try it on as I went — just like I would for myself. That’s all! He’s happy with his jacket. I felt like a magician! He saw something he wanted and I was actually able to make it!

22 thoughts on “Burdastyle Letterman’s Jacket: 9/2014 #134

  1. Handsome! (Both the jacket and your sweetie.) And I see your cheerful duffle in the background ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. OK, I want one just like it! I love the fabric and the style. I know some people would say it is too masculine for a woman, but raspberries to them. I bet Jordan is very pleased with his jacket. I know I would be! And yes, Jordan is a cutie, and he is even more handsome in this jacket! It suits him. I guess I don’t know the difference between varsity jackets and bomber jackets, but it always seemed like varsity jackets had HUGE sleeves. You should be very pleased with yourself, Ms. Magician.

    1. I won’t lie! I tried it on myself but it was too big for me. But, I would love one from a black and red plaid I have. The funny thing is in flat pattern is looked totally reasonably sized. But, every time I put it on it was ginormous. It’s something the male body form has been helpful for. Especially since he’s not the most patient try-er on-er. And, yes to the huge sleeves on a letterman’s jacket. Mine from high school still fits and I weigh a solid 50lbs more than I did back then! The colors do suit him well. I guess I should let him pick his own stuff out more often ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. OMG, this looks terrific! What a fine job you have done on this jacket! And it’s such a lovely gift. . . I’m sure Jordan will treasure this for a very long time.

  4. Nice jacket! I saw your husband’s picture and the old ZZ Top song “Sharp Dressed Man” jumped immediately into my brain; now I can’t stop singing it!!

  5. Wow -wow! Someone is very happy from his pictures in his marvelously well fitting jacket. Jordan is very lucky to have a custom made jacket that you made for him. Thank you for sharing the etsy source for the wool ribbing.

  6. The jacket looks fabulous! You’re so, so right – sewing and fitting is a much better way to go than making a surprise that would not have been the right fit.

  7. This jacket is FABULOUS! Your Sweetie looks so handsome in it; I am sure he is feelin’ the love as a result of the time and creative talent you invested to make it for him. Just WOW!

  8. Iโ€™ve made that jacket and I also used KDKโ€™s method of welt pockets. I want to make several more. Brava!

  9. You are on a coating roll this fall/winter–and the results are fabulous. The jacket is gorgeous and he looks so happy in it. There is nothing better than wearing something made by a loved one. Congrats on another inspirational job well done. Best holiday wishes to you both. (PS–I LOVE the details on the other Burdastyle jacket and would consider making one for me. Of course Burda runs a fabulous pattern AFTER I stopped subscribing!)

  10. It looks so high end, nice! I would wear that as a woman as well.

    I had to read the part on pocket size 3 times before I realized, “OH, other people’s hands are bigger than their phone!” LOL.

  11. He IS totally the cutest husband for you! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Great job on the jacket! I am SO jelly of your talents (I quilt and do NOT sew). Love seeing all of your projects. Happy new year to you both! <3

Comments are closed.