Monday, February 28, 2005


I have worn my new suit a couple of times now.  My report is that it fits beautifully, and that at the end of the day, it looks as fresh as it did when I put it on in the morning. 

I can't say enough good things about the Marfy pattern that I used.  It was my first time using this company's patterns, and it is the best-drafted jacket pattern that I have ever worked with.  Not only does every seam and intersection meet perfectly because every marking was placed accurately, but the hang of the sleeves is also the prettiest that I have ever seen in a commercial pattern.

It may be intimidating to think of working with a pattern that has no instrucions or line drawings, but it is certainly rewarding in the long run.  It may also take a bit more attention to detail than with other patterns which provide construction information, but it is more than worth the effort. 

The Donna Karan skirt pattern with the unusual off-grain side seaming is also fun to wear.  It curves nicely where it is supposed to and is very comfortable to wear.  I was afraid that the side seams may pucker or ripple with time, but so far, that has not happened.

All in all, this has been a great project.

Monday, February 21, 2005

It's Finished!

My Inspiration: An original Issey Miyake Jacket:

My Version: The jacket is from the Marfy pattern 8460 and the skirt from Vogue 2767 (pattern details shown below as well).

Skirt pattern: Donna Karan Vogue 2767 design:
Jacket Pattern: Marfy 8460:

You can see more pictures of the finished jacket and skirt by clicking here:

See some of my other sewing projects at:

Thank you for sharing this fun project with me.


Monday, February 14, 2005

Step 15. Assembling the Jacket Part VI.

The Collar

Since I had chosen the collarless look for my jacket, the collar area was stitched by first attaching the back facing piece that I had drafted to the front facing, stitching, and pressing the seams open. Then I stitched the neckline seam, using directional sewing techniques, sewing from the front opening around to the center back on each side of the jacket.

I melded the seam together by pressing with the iron, then clipped, trimmed, turned, and understitched the neck opening before giving it a final press.

The Front Buttonholes and Buttons

I stitched the front buttonholes using the same method outlined for the cuff buttonholes in Step 14. of this web log, using silk thread and gimp for reinforcement. Next, I stitched the buttons into place, using waxed silk thread. To make my waxed silk thread, I pulled my silk thread through beeswax and then placed one end of the thread between two layers of scrap fabric and pressed the "sandwich" with a warm iron, while I pulled the thread through the area under the iron to melt the beeswax into the thread.

The Shoulderpads

I stitched the shoulderpads into place, using stab stitches to attach them to the shoulder seam allowance and long thread chains to attach the front and back corners of the pad only to the seam allowance of the sleeve. I don?t stitch through all the layers of the shoulder pad when I attach it to the seam allowance because I don?t want it to dimple.

The Lining

I chose to use handpainted silk charmeuse for my jacket lining.

There are several methods of lining insertion, detailed in many sewing publications. Here are some options:

  1. Sewing the lining together and inserting it into the jacket completely by hand.

  2. Sewing the lining pieces together by machine and inserting it into the jacket by hand.

  3. Sewing the lining pieces and inserting the lining into the jacket, both by machine, with the exception of the sleeve lining, which is inserted by hand.

  4. Sewing the lining pieces and inserting the lining into the jacket completely by machine.

This last method is sometimes called ?bagging the lining?, and it is a method that I like to use unless I have lots of time available or the design of the jacket dictates a more careful insertion of the lining. For example, if there is a center back vent, I put the hem of the lining in by hand.

One of the best descriptions of bagging a lining that I have come across in my personal sewing library is in Sandra Betzina?s book, Power Sewing Step by Step, 2000 edition, Taunton Press. The section ?Visual Guide to Bagging a Lining? on pages 213-215 contains clear, stepwise instructions and lots of great pictures.

An online pictorial source for the technique of bagging jacket linings as well as other jacket lining methods can be found at Threads online, Sandra Millet?s article:

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Step 14. Assembling the Jacket Part V

Note: Usually the collar, lapels, and front opening are completed before the sleeves are inserted. There is less fabric to work around if the sleeves are not attached. If practicable, though, I like to leave that step until last, as a matter of personal preference. I like putting the machine buttonholes in last, and like doing it as part of the finishing of the front opening. The only time I can do this, usually, is with the simple collarless jacket style like the one I have chosen. Therefore, for me, when making a “collared” jacket, Step 15 would be placed before this step.

The Sleeves

Sleeve Cuff Hem and Vent, Buttonholes, and Buttons

In Step 11, (the “prefitting step”) I had basted the sleeves onto the jacket, and checked for fit. At the same time, I had marked the desired sleeve length and depth of the vent. Then I removed the sleeve from the jacket and stitched and pressed the front sleeve seam only so that the sleeve could lie flat as I worked on it.

When I had first envisioned the jacket, I had decided that the sleeve vent was to be very deep, almost to the elbow, as an interesting design element. Accordingly, I had deepened the sleeve vent as described in Step 5 of this weblog.

Mitering the corner where the cuff hem meets the vent:

In this step, I pressed a 2 inch hem into the sleeve, and pressed the fold into the vertical edge of the vent. To make the mitered corner where the hem meets the sleeve vent

  1. I placed the sleeve, wrong side up, on my table, and brought up the corner between the hem and the vent, making a diagonal fold as I lined up the fold marks by:

    1. Aligning the vent fold mark on top of the hem fold mark on one side of the diagonal and the hem fold mark on top of the vent fold mark on the other side of the diagonal fold that forms.

    2. Pressing the diagonal fold so I could use those fold lines as the stitching lines for the miter.

  2. Right sides together, I folded that new diagonal line in half, aligning the edges, and stitched in the fold.

  3. I turned the mitered seam to the inside of the sleeve and checked to see that the miter was exactly where I wanted it to be. I verified that the hem fold and the cuff vent folds were straight with the mitered edge in place.

  4. When I was satisfied, I opened the mitered corner out one more time and trimmed away the excess fabric, and pressed the miter flat.

The cuff buttonholes:

  1. I used Tires 50 weight machine twist silk thread in both the bobbin and the needle, and a Universal 80 needle.

  2. I fused a rectangle of interfacing, cut on the straight of the grain, edges aligned to the vent edges, to the underside of the vent facing.

  3. After making a few samples on scraps of the fused fashion fabric with the same number of thicknesses as the vent, I decided on using gimp cording to fatten up the buttonhole, and to set the machine tension to half a click above the lowest tension setting.

  4. I marked the buttonhole positions using the Simflex gauge ( to space the buttonholes correctly.

  5. I took a deep breath, and then sewed all six buttonholes, and then repeated the process on the second sleeve.

  6. When the buttonholes were finished, I pulled the threads to the wrong side and tied them, two by two, into knots, and then I buried the knots in the fabric, snipping each thread tail after the knots were buried.

  7. Then I applied Fray Block (I don't like Fray Check because it is too stiff), very carefully, using a toothpick, dipped into a little puddle of Fray Block, to the buttonhole opening, first on the front side and then on the wrong side of the buttonhole. I allowed this Fray Block to completely dry before cutting the buttonholes open.

Then, for each sleeve, I sewed the back sleeve seam and pressed it open. Next I sewed the buttons in place and hemmed the sleeves. The sleeves were ready to be set into the armhole.

Inserting the sleeves:

To insert the sleeves, I first stitched a 2 inch wide bias-cut strip of preshrunk wool crepe a onto the upper portion of the sleeve, using a basting stitch and a scant 5/8 inch seam allowance, stretching the strip as the machine basted it into place. This causes the cap of the sleeve to draw up slightly, and enables it to be fit smoothly into the armhole. Some sewists use the interfacing from old ties for this process, and others use a bias cut strip of self fabric. Still others use a wide bias tape sold in tailor supply houses. I prefer buying half yard pieces of both black and ivory wool crepe and preshrinking them thoroughly. Then I cut them into the two inch wide bias-cut strips and roll the strips up and store them with my interfacing supplies. Whenever I make a jacket, I just pull out a couple of those strips and use them in this step.

Once the sleeve is drawn up, I pin it into the armhole opening to make sure that the fit is good. If I need to gather more, I release the basting stitches and tug a little tighter on the strip as it is machine basted into place. If it has drawn up too much, I clip a few stitches to relax it.

Next, I slide the sleeve onto my sleeveboard and let the curved top edge mold around the larger curved end of the sleeveboard. I steam that top edge thoroughly and allow it to dry completely. This sets the memoryof that smooth curve into the fabric. Since my sleeveboard has two of these surfaces both approximately the same size, I do both sleeves at once, smoothing the sleeve head area around the sleeveboard and steaming and allowing them to dry. I let them REALLY dry, leaving them for an hour or more, if I can, because the combination of the gathering, steaming and setting the memory of the shape into the fabric almost always ensures that the set in sleeve will be pretty on the jacket..

Next I machine baste the sleeve into the armhole. I then check to make sure that there are no folds or dimples, and that the sleeve hangs nicely. Then I stitch the sleeve into the armhole, starting the stitching in the area of the back notch, stitching through the underarm area, across the top of the armhole, and around the back, and then on top of the beginning stitching until I come to just below the area of the front notch. This reinforces the underarm area with a double row of stitching. I check to make sure that there are no folds or puckers anywhere, as I gently push all of the seam allowances into the sleeve opening.

Some sewists like to press these seams open so that there is a smoother transition from the shoulder onto the sleeve. I don't like to press the armhole seam at all because I don't want to destroy the memory that I have created in the fabric in the previous step. ( I use steam and finger pressing instead, see last comment below). I don't know that there are any "rules" for this. As for much of sewing, personal preference should probably dictate the final look.

Next I clip any areas of thesleeve and armhole seam allowances which may be preventing the sleeve from lying smoothly, and trim away some of the seam allowances in the underarm area of the sleeve for comfort in wearing. Then I put the jacket onto my dressform. I ensure that all of the armhole seam allowances are directed into the sleeve area, and then I steam the shoulder area lightly, tapping the armhole seam gently with my fingers to ensure that it is smooth and that the seam allowances stay where I want them to.

Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Step 13. Assembling the Jacket: Part IV.

The Jacket Back

I use combination tape or stay tape to reinforce the back neckline and the shoulder seams. Once the back is sewed to the side seams, I will complete stitching the stay tape or the combination tape from the front in the continuation of the armhole reinforcement.

Sewing the Vertical Seams

Next, I assemble all of the jacket’s vertical seams, putting in “on seam” pockets, if they are present in the design.

Directional Sewing Techniques

I am not always successful at this (convenience wins out, on occasion), but I try, for each seam, to use directional sewing techniques in the assembly of the jacket. Directional sewing essentially means sewing with the grain, as much as possible, to ensure smooth seams. In general this means sewing from the wider area to the narrower area of the pattern piece. Looking at the edge of a piece of fabric as it is held in one direction, it either has a lot of pokey frays sticking out, or the frays lie smooth to the edge. Sewing from top to bottom in the direction in which the frays lie smooth to the edge is what is meant by sewing with the grain. This can get a bit tricky. On the neckline, for example, one half of it is stitched in one direction, and the other half of it is stitched in the other direction.

With this jacket, this means that I stitch all vertical seams in the same direction, starting at the shoulder or arm area and ending at the hem.

I also try to follow what I have heard called the "bias on the bottom rule": I place the side that has the most fabric to be eased into a particular seam next to the needle plate so that the feed dogs help with the easing process. This is particularly helpful for princess seams, and for any seam in which one side has to be eased onto the other, as in the shoulder and the two piece sleeves in the elbow area.

In order to sew directionally or keep the fabric to be eased facing the needle plate, I sometimes have to use the left seam guide on my needle plate as opposed to the one on the right side that I routinely use. This does not come naturally to me?I usually like to keep the bulk of the fabric to the left of the machine, but will make the sacrifice to have directional sewing. With directional sewing, I am pretty much assured that the seams on both sides of the jacket will look the same, since they have been handled by the machine in the same manner.

Next, I press all of the vertical seams, one by one, allowing each to cool before moving onto the next, as described in the previous step on ironing in this weblog. I do this at this time so that I can continue to follow that old pressing rule to never sew a seam across an unpressed one.

The Hem

The hem was inserted into the jacket at this point. I like to use a 2 inch hem allowance, which gives me a little more wiggle room than the conventional 1 1/2 inch hem usually called for in a pattern. Since I had completely underlined the jacket with fusible Textured Weft, placed so that the stretch was eliminated in the crosswise direction, I did not add any additional interfacing to the hem area. In fact, I usually don't interface the hem area unless there is no underlining.

I measure and lightly press the 2 inch hem into place and then baste the shoulder seams together. I hang the jacket onto my dressform and check to ensure that the hem hangs perfectly even, parallel to the floor. I also check one more time to ensure that the shoulder seams are and side seams are straight and in the proper positions as well. Next, I put the jacket on, with the shoulderpads in place, as usual, wearing the garments and shoes that I will normally wear with the jacket. I check, standing between my three way mirror assembly and a flat full length mirror, to ensure for one final time that the hem and seamlines are straight and hanging perfectly to my satisfaction.

Next I stitch the hem into place by first folding the front facing back, right sides together, and stitching at the foldline from the front opening fold to half an inch from the edge of the facing. I trim out the excess fabric at the corner, press, and turn the facing out to the right side. I turn under the serged edges that overlap onto the hem and slip stitch them to the hem. Then I stitch the hem into place. I usually use the method described by Cynthia Guffey ( and Roberta Carr to secure the hem in place, leaving the last row of hemming stitches about 3/8 inch from the top of the hem edge. With this method, one essentially sews three rows of hemming stitches starting the first one close to the fold, and spacing the two others equally from the first row to just below the hem edge. The hem edge is left free so that the lining can be attached to it later.

The Ribbon Embellishment

This is the part that I have been waiting for ever since I envisioned making this jacket! I purchased 3 yards each of the finest French silk ribbon available at a local ribbon shop called The Ribbonry in Perrysburg, Ohio. The cost of the ribbons far exceeded the cost of the materials in the entire rest of the jacket--way more than the fabric, interfacings, threads, and charmeuse lining combined. However. I felt that the ribbons would be making the statement in this rather simple design, so I splurged. This means, of course, that I danced around starting the embellishment process for a day or so, because I didn?t want to mess anything up. I had to sidle up to it.

First I attached the two ribbons to each other at the edges, using ¼ inch Steam A Seam II. I did this step carefully, to ensure that the ribbons had equal tension on them as they were attached so that there would be no puckering. The nice thing about working with the brocaded and moirĂ© silk ribbons is that I was essentially working with two perfect selvage edges per ribbon. This made lining them up very easy, and controlling the minimal stretch due to the embellishment on the brocaded ribbon a breeze. I lightly pressed the Steam A Seam II, with no steam, over the paper backing, onto the brocaded ribbon. I removed the paper backing and then very carefully laid the brocaded ribbon on top of the moirĂ© ribbon, finger pressing them together at each edge. The sticky Steam a SeamII held them in place until I could set the seal with steam. Of course I used a silk organza presscloth for this whole process.

Next, I laid my jacket out flat, since the shoulder seams were not sewn (I had removed the basting stitches used for my hemming step), and began to work on the placement of the ribbon. It turns out that I really didn't need the Issey Miyake Vogue pattern, except for the line drawing on the back, which gave me an idea about the ribbon placement. I had previously stitched the front edge of the ribbon into the hem, at a diagonal, at the front of the jacket, during the hemming step. Then I began the zig-zag layout of the ribbon from front edge, up under the bodice, across to the back, and down to the back hem. Once the right side of the jacket was finished, I mirrored the ribbon layout on the left side of the jacket. I first secured the ribbon with silk pins, making sure that the pins would leave no pin marks in the ribbon. Then I basted the ribbon to the jacket with large basting stitches. I was relieved to discover that I had about 4 inches of the ribbon left over. Close call, indeed!

Finally I hand stitched the ribbon to the jacket with fine, small, hidden slip stitches and silk filament thread. This hand stitching took a very long time to complete, but was one of the most satisfying things that I had done on the jacket so far.

Front view:

Side Front closeup:

Back view:

The Shoulder Seams

I sewed the shoulder seams, incorporating the bit of ease that I built into the back shoulder as I altered the pattern, into the seam. I steamed, pressed, and "clappered" the seam as described earlier.

Monday, February 7, 2005

Step 12. Assembling the Jacket: Part III



Assembling the Jacket, Finally


Needles and Thread


  • I select a thread and needle size compatible with the fabric that I am sewing.  To do this, I make test samples and select the combination of thread, needle, and machine tension that best achieves my goals.


  • Sandra Betzina and Claire Shaeffer have both written wonderful books about choosing the proper needle and thread combination for various types of fabrics, as well as giving information about the fabrics themselves.  Sandra Betzina's book is Fabric Savvy, and her second one is More Fabric Savvy.  Claire Shaeffer's book is Sew Any Fabric, and her older book on the same subject is Fabric Sewing Guide.  Both of the Fabric Savvy books and the Sew Any Fabric are printed in a very user-friendly format, with concise information about many of the newer fabrics as well.


  • Silk thread:  I have a soft spot in my sewing heart for 50 weightmachine-twist silk thread.  I buy it from Things Japanese at  I previously purchased a color card from that vendor, and use it to order the exact thread color required for my project.
    • I don?t use silk threads from other vendors unless I am assured that the thread is filament silk thread, as the TIRES brand is.  Gutermann, for example, has a silk thread composed of lots of short fibers, called ?spun silk thread? and is definitely inferior in performance to TIRES silk thread.  Because it is a little less expensive, I use Gutermann silk thread for basting, but not for assembling my garments.
    • It?s a delicious pleasure to sew with silk thread, both by hand and by machine.  It makes beautiful buttonholes and topstitching. I topstitch with 30 weight thread in the needle and 50 or even 100 weight thread in the bobbin. I use a Metallic or Topstitching needle, because the eyes are larger on these needles, and there is less chance of fraying the thread. The topstitching with this combination is lovely.
    • Silk thread is strong, but I have never had the experience of having the thread tear the fabric when stressed, a comment that I have heard.  It must happen, I?m assuming, but it has never happened to me.  Silk thread breaks, just like any other thread, and in my experience has broken before the fabric has been affected (on the rare occasion in which this has happened.  The most notorious seam for thread breakage is probably the crotch seam in pants.  If the pants are particularly fitted, then I use a polyester thread for this crotch seam instead of silk thread, so that there is a bit more give before all heck breaks loose.
    • I use machine weight (50 weight) silk thread to assemble garments made with wool and silk blends?jackets, sheaths, pants, trousers, tops and vests.  The seams sink down into the fabric and can become almost invisible, because the satiny finish of the silk thread reflects the color of the fabric. 
    • Compared with other threads used in garment construction, silk thread is expensive, at $4.50 per 100 meter spool, and usually adds about $10 to the total cost of the garment.  As I said, it?s a delicious pleasure, not a necessity. 

Step A.  The Jacket Front

Stay stitching

  • I always stay stitch the front neck edge before starting.
  • Next, I stitch the side front to the front piece.
  • Then I reinforce the armscye: the upper half with small bias strips and the lower half with a firmer twill tape. 
    • I force the twill tape into a curved shape with my iron before applying it to the armscye.  To do this, I place the twill tape under the iron with one end peeking out.  I pull that end into a circle as I press hard with my iron.  This causes the twill tape to curve slightly.  It is easier to set into the armscye whenit is ?pre-curved? this way.  Both bias and straight stay tape are available from  .  I trim the stay tapes away from the shoulder seam allowance to minimize bulk, and leave a tail of twill tape at the side seam so it can continue onto the back armhole once the side seam is joined.
    • Of course the stay tape is pre shrunk before using, by dipping it into hot water and rolling it nearly dry in a towel before hanging to dry.
    • On my last few jackets, I have used ?combination tape? which is a thin piece of stay tape stitched to bias stay tape, instead of the bias tape on part of the jacket seam and twill tape on the rest.  I use it everywhere?shoulders, armholes, and back neck seams.  I really like using it, but I haven?t worn the jackets enough to be able to evaluate its performance in the long run.  Early findings are that this tape is great.  I bought it from Mary Ellen Flury before she went out of business.  I would think that other tailor?s supply houses, such as Greenberg and Hammer, ,would have it available as well.
    • If the front shoulder seamline has a good deal of ?give? to it, I reinforce it with a preshrunk strip of very lightweight cotton, cut on the straight of the grain, or the selvage from silk organza.  I  keep this reinforcement out of the overlapping seam allowance areas at the neck and shoulder edge to minimize bulk.  I firmly stretch these reinforcing strips as I press to eliminate any stretch before stitching them to the jacket a scant 5/8 inch into the seam allowance. 

Welt Pockets and Other Pocket Styles


Next, welt pockets, if desired, should be sewed to the jacket fronts.  Great care should be taken in the placement of these pockets, because once they are in, they cannot be changed.  Many sewing experts recommend the use of templates made from tag board or manila folder material to aid in this placement process.  There are many tailoring books which show the stepwise insertion of a welt pocket.  The Singer Sewing Library book mentioned above is a good one, but there are many more.  In general, most reference books will be easier to follow than some of the pattern insert instructions on making the welt pocket, I feel.


Because I like to work with as flat a surface as possible, I don?t stitch in any darts into the front before the pockets are made, unless they intersect with the welt pockets.


Other pockets styles may be stitched at this time as well.  Sometimes I don?t stitch patch pockets on until later, so I can play with them as a design element.  Sometimes, only after the body of the jacket is sewn, can I see how I want the pockets placed, and whether, for example I want them cut on the bias for an interesting effect (fused onto the straight of grain underlining so they don?t stretch out of shape), or placed higher or lower than indicated by the pattern.


Bound Buttonholes


The next step is tosew the bound buttonholes on both the jacket front and the sleeve cuffs, if they are desired.  A bound buttonhole is essentially a teeny welt pocket,without the pocketing. There are many excellent references for sewing bound buttonholes.  Any good sewing reference book on tailoring should contain the stepwise method. 


I particularly like the Bound Buttonhole section in Roberta Carr?s book, Couture, the Fine Art of Sewing for some interesting ideas, but for great, highly detailed pictures and stepwise instructions, the Singer Sewing Library?s book on Tailoring, mentioned previously, is a winner.


The worst thing about putting the bound buttonholes in at this stage (it?s easier to make them on a flat piece, as opposed to wrestling with the entire jacket at the end of the assembly process) is that one has to know exactly where the buttons should be.  As described in Step 3 of this web log, there are some preferable positions for buttonholes and more visually pleasing spacings for them as well, based on the size of the buttons and the length of the jacket opening.  However, it is really nice to be able to decide on the buttonhole spacing after the jacket is completely assembled and can be tried on with the buttons pinned in place to determine the best look.  So, I make sure I REALLY want bound buttonholes in my jacket before I put them in at this point.  There?s no doubt that bound buttonholes are beautiful and give a very classy look to a jacket.  For those reasons, I bite the bullet and put them in before the jacket is assembled, and just trust that I have chosen wisely in my buttonhole positioning.


On my JJJ jacket, I decided to make machine buttonholes and to eliminate the pockets, since the ribbon embellishment covers the areas where pockets would normally be placed.

Step 11. Assembling the Jacket, Part II.



Prefitting the Jacket


With a new jacket pattern, especially, this is the place where I stop and test the fit. 


Since I had worked out the major fitting issues with a “muslin” of Pellon Tru-Grid, as described in Step 2 of this web log, this step should involve tweaking the pattern a bit, as opposed to making major changes.  Tweaking the fit is usually required because a jacket’s fit in the fashion fabric can often be slightly different from that in the muslin,  especially if the fashion fabric has been underlined, which adds to the “meat” of the fabric.


As excited as I am to rush full steam ahead, at this point, into the jacket assembly, I rein myself in one more time to adjust the bit, so to speak.  I don’t like to do a full press on a seam only to have to rip it out to tweak the fit at a later stage.  So I patiently assemble the jacket for this fitting stage by machine basting as many seams as are necessary, steaming them lightly to get them to lie flat only well enough so that the fit can be determined.  I only do a final press on a seam when it has been “approved”. 


I am small in the shoulders with an average size bust, so my fitting issues are often centered on the fit of upper bodice and shoulders.  For this reason, I sometimes baste in the sleeves as well. The fit of the sleeve onto the armhole can sometimes change the look of the upper bodice pretty dramatically, I have found. I really dislike a fitted jacket with folds in front of the armholes or creases radiating from the armhole to the bust.  These problems have usually been worked out in the muslin stage, but can still be an issue for me in the fashion fabric.


In addition, if the fabric wants to form a convex indentation between the shoulder and the bust, I know I should add a chest shield to the underside of the jacket.  A chest shield is an additional piece of interfacing from the shoulder to just below the armhole notch, and is designed to help that area lie smooth.  I don?t routinely insert a chest shield, since my figure only warrants it in some fabrics.  Most tailoring books have information about making a chest shield.


To evaluate the fit, I do the following things:

  1. I put on the same type of undergarments, top or blouse, and shoes that I will most likely be wearing with the jacket.  Sometimes it can make a pretty big difference in the fit.
  2. I position two or three small full length mirrors against the wall or leaned against chairs in front of the full length mirror in my dressing area. I do this so that I don?t have to twist and turn to see the back and sides of the jacket. 
    1. I try to stand these mirrors as vertically as possible so that there is no foreshortening effect.
    2. I stand them on little plastic footstools, so that they are high enough forme to see myself  ?straight on?.
    3.  I buy that $10 type of mirror that is about 1foot wide and 4 feet long from Target. 
    4. One of these days, I plan on hinging these three mirrors together (low tech?probably with duct tape, if it will work) so I can have a foldaway three-way mirror to use for this step.
  3. I make sure that the shoulderpads that I intend on using are tacked inside the jacket.
  4. I evaluate the fit standing, walking a bit, and slouching in my usual slouch, if I have one.  For example, I have one shoulder slightly higher than the other.  In my ?slouch mode? that is really obvious.  Usually I pad one shoulder pad slightly more than the other to offset this figure flaw.


Once I am happy with the fit, I mark the new stitching lines on the paper pattern, so the next time I use it, this process will be pretty straightforward.


Note: As tedious as it sounds, I remove the basting threads used for this pre-fitting process when I sew the final seams, because I don?t like a buildup of thread in my seamline.