The Anatomy of a Tailored Jacket

I’ve used this tech drawing of Burdastyle 119 from January 2010 issue, a classic tailored jacket with menswear styling that is now available here, to illustrate a few key terms I’ll be using in the upcoming RTW Tailoring Sewalong. And this is just the outside…

In between going crazy writing, and rewriting, posts for the sewalong, I found a little time to whizz up a toile of my own coat:


I’m pretty happy with the overall fit – just a couple of minor changes to make.  I took the opportunity to use up some truly ghastly 100% polyester flourescent white bridal satin that I had stashed away.  I am amazed I managed to get the sleeve inserted without puckers, because this stuff is so close to plastic it isn’t funny!

Look how it frays!

Things I’ll change:

  • Lower bust darts about 1cm – they’re a little bit er, youthful!
  • Take in back slightly at waist as pinned, maybe
  • Change the hang of the ‘skirt’, currently it is veering forwards at the hem, not quite sure why yet – any suggestions?  Maybe it stretched when I was sitting down in it…
I love the length, and the sleeve is nice for a one-piece – I think it’s a really great pattern overall.  If you see it, snap it up!

I will be using some slate cavalry twill that I have had for years – it is actually offcuts in four pieces, one of them with a flaw running right across the piece, and I can just squeeze everything in – including the skirt!  I do have to insert a horizontal seam at the CB waist to make it all fit, but as I am making the version with epaulettes, I thought I would place a half-belt there to cover it, so only you and I will know 😉

It’s RTW Tailoring Sewalong Eve!

Are you ready?  Do you have your muslin all fitted?!  First up we are doing some pattern adjustments so you’ll need lots of paper and pens and scissors and stuff:

And we have homework!  Here is some optional prerequisite reading 😉

If that doesn’t put you off – nothing will!

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Designer, Patternmaker, Blogger Of All Things Sewing. Follow as I share projects, patterns, and my favourite tricks of the trade.

20 thoughts on “The Anatomy of a Tailored Jacket

  1. Very much looking forward to the sewalong! Love your choice of coat and the extra shaping at the back looks really good.

    I did do a quick muslin and I am so glad I did – I've realised because of the alterations I need to make I can never make it as planned.


  2. Hee hee hee, I feel like I'm in college again and I just got my syllabus. All kidding aside, I am so excited to be “taking this class”. Thank you so much for putting it together. I love the pattern you have chosen!


  3. OMGoodness – I just got nervous butterflies, like the first day of class. I better get to deciding on my pattern and picking up the supplies you listed in an earlier post. I can't miss this SAL for anything!


  4. I'm itching to cut out, but was obediently awaiting cutting instructions… 🙂 Very pleased about this project, so excited about what you have planned…


  5. I notice the waist marked on your coat isn't sitting at your natural waist. This might explain the hang of the skirt. Also if you shorten the coat above the waist to bring the waist up, you also might not need to take in the back seams. Just a suggestion and thought.


  6. Nothing like a wake-up call to get cracking! The children's Easter Holiday, means I will go quiet for a few weeks and I will be straggling on behind you, but I will catch up in the end! Thank you for the diagram with all the vocabulary words. It's nice to know that we will “be speaking the same language!”


  7. This is the third comment I'm leaving on your blog today! Well, no, I'm not put off at all – I read all the assignments and am thrilled to start! I will upload pictures of my pattern/fabric/muslin later today (unless the sleeves give me more problems than I think).
    I am a bit shy to give “advice” to you, as you are so good at all of this…. but… I would give the darts another look. In the illustration on the pattern envelope, they are clearly ABOVE the bust. Maybe this would solve the bulging you seem to have in the area between bust and shoulder…?


  8. I am not ready at all. The only thing I did is choosing the pattern, very similar to the one used for the instance at the top of this post.
    I am very busy finish a jacket for my son (tried some tailoring techniques on my own with this one)
    I think i'll catch up when it is finished. I don't want to have to big projects at the same time.
    I tried to register to Flickr group but as my name is not the same I will do it when I am not so short of time. In the mean time I am warming up reading your blog.


  9. Eek! Is it march 31st already? As I suspected, March blew away before I noticed it started. No time for this sew a long now, and that makes me kind of sad. But failing all my exams will make me saddER, so I choose the lesser of two evils. I will read these posts and follow your advice and such when I have time to get around to this. July, perhaps 😉


  10. Having only just returned from a vacation, I won't be joining the sewalong but I wanted you to know that I shall be eagerly reading and digesting every post and learning from your 'tricks of the trade'. I love your pattern and I'm looking forward to following along as you turn it into a wonderful garment!


  11. I had the same problem with my perky darts. That was the FIRST alteration I made. I'm pretty happy with my muslin, but I'm still tweaking it a bit. Now if I can only DECIDE on the fabric. I've got it down to three. So that's good, isn't it? 🙂


  12. Is it too late to sign up? The pattern I was hoping to use has finally arrived and I got my fabric today so I should be able to catch up. Like Marianne, I have exams soon, though, so I'm not sure if I'll be able complete it in time. Still, I'd really like to give it a go if possible!


  13. I am looking so much forward to the sew-along. I ironed my fabric and pattern pieces last weekend, and was very tempted to cut the fabric straight away.


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