Thursday, January 7, 2016

Sweating the Details

Sometimes, I can't help but do more than is necessary. This happened when making Peggy's suit, and its such an easy little thing that makes the finish of a jacket so much handier and vaguely more like something bought instead of homemade that I felt the need to share it.

One of the handiest things about jackets is the ability to hang them up or throw them over your shoulder. They look good like that, conveniently. Like this:

Photo by Hygow Lial
Not so conveniently, they are only easy to do this with if there is a little tab right at the back. Its usually right above the label in a jacket and makes hanging your coat on a finger or a non-hanger easy. It is oh so easy to add this to jackets yourself, and here's how:

What you'll need:

Scrap piece of your main jacket fabric
Sewing machine and thread

That's it.

No, really. All you need is a scrap piece of your fabric. It does not have to be large. You could do this without a sewing machine if you don't have one, but its faster with.

NOTE: If you are putting any linings in your jacket, this step needs to be done BEFORE you put the lining in. Also, this works best with collared jackets, but can be done with anything as long as you're careful to hide the ends.

Cut yourself a rectangle, about 2 inches wide, and maybe 3 inches long. (You could do with less length, or less wide, these are just what I aim for so I have plenty of extra to play with.)

Fold lengthwise in half and press it to fold the crease.

Fold each side into the middle and press it.

You should now have a long skinny piece of folded fabric with the raw edges tucked into the centre.

Run along the open edge of your fabric with a straight stitch. This doesn't have to be perfect, nor does it need to be backstitched, it just needs to hold the fabric closed.

You need to create two folds in your tab with 1" along the top, so that they form a box with the centre line of your jacket in the middle like this:
Placement and tacking
Your folds should be folded in opposite directions to create your box. (This avoids awkward twisting later.)

Ideally, this should be done so that your tab's extensions have slightly longer lines than your seam allowance. This can be eye-balled, or if you're worried, add your seam allowance plus a bit and then tack it down. I was going fairly minimal here as I didn't feel the collar would stand up too much, but feel free to have as much length as you want.

If you're not using a lining, pick how long you want it, as you'll just fold it back over and topstitch to keep it in place.

If you are using a lining, tack down each end and then put your lining in like normal. When you pull your lining right side out it should be there happy and shiny.
Tab in situ.
Voila. Simple, effective, looks good.

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