Friday, March 18, 2016

Three's a Charm Jacket Sewalong - Facings & Darts

Full schedule of posts here.
Time to start sewing!  Today we'll be creating our facing and stitching our darts.  Make sure you've transferred all your markings, because it will make these steps a lot easier.  Refer to the last post of the sewalong for guidance on this!

Stitching Together the Facing

If you look at all the pieces you've cut out, you should have five big pieces (two sleeves, two fronts, and one back) and five smaller pieces.  These smaller ones are your facings.  The first stitching we'll do is attaching these together to make one long facing piece.

Before we get started, it's helpful to understand which facing piece is which.  This image is also a sneak peak of what your facings will look like by the end of this post!


First stitch your back neck facing (the short curved one) to your front facings (the two long and skinny pieces).  You'll be lining up the markings you just made and attaching these facings at the short straight ends.  No stitching is happening yet on the curved sides.  It's also good to note that the back neck facing connects with the front facing at the end that's further from the part that points inward (which is where the buttonhole will go eventually).  Use the pattern diagram and the notches as reference.

Make sure you have your right sides together!  This means that the interfaced side should be facing up towards you.  The Three's a Charm Jacket has a standard 5/8" seam allowance.

We're using our classroom machines, Bernina Activa 210.

Now stitch the front hem facings (remaining rectangular looking pieces) to the bottom of the front facings.  These two pieces come together and create a right angle.


Again, make sure your right sides are together!


Here's what these look like when stitched together with the 5/8" seam allowance.  The stitch line will be aligned with the edge of the front facing.

Front hem facing on top of the front facing, stitched with the 5/8" seam allowance.

Now it's time to trim and press these four seams.  We used our fabric scissors to essentially cut the seam allowance in half.


Then press these seams open with a nice hot and steamy iron!

Left:  Pressing open the Back Neck Facing and Front Facing seam.
Right:  Pressing open the Front Facing and Front Hem Facing seam.

Now you should have all five facing pieces connected!

The last step to completing the facing is to finish the outer edge.  This is the edge that is unnotched.  We decided to use our serger, but you could also use a zig zag stitch on your conventional machine or use pinking shears.

If you're using a serger, you will come up to that right angle where the front hem facing meets the front facing.  You can see below how we pulled the front facing piece to make this as straight a line as possible.

Serging the unnotched edge of the facings.

Here's a look at the pattern's instructions showing you which side to finish, along with our serged edge.


Now you can set aside the facings while we focus on the shaping the body of the jacket.

Sewing the Darts

The Three's a Charm jacket has wonderful shaping, and we have these darts to thank for that!  There are eight darts in total, and they may be a different shape than you're used to.

First, let's shape the front pieces.  The bust darts along the side seams are a classic triangle shape, so those shouldn't be too unfamiliar!

With right sides together and plenty of pinning, start sewing this dart from the side seam and taper off at the point.  We backstitched once to secure this stitching, but a more couture finish would be to leave long thread tails and double knot them at the dart's point.

The waist darts on the jacket front are curved, which can be a bit trickier to sew, but they give beautiful shaping to this garment.

We like to stitch this curved dart in two parts, starting from the widest part at the center and moving out toward the tip.

Pinning at the widest point, which is where we'll start stitching.

Think of it like the regular dart we just sewed at the side seam, but you just do that twice to make one big dart!

Start from the red dot and move out toward the tip.  Repeat for the other side.

Here's a look at half of the dart sewn.



And here's what that dart will look like after being sewn.  See the long thread tails in the center?  That's where we started both times.  No need to backstitch when you start again from the center to sew the other half of the dart.  Just overlap a few stitches to secure.


After sewing all four darts on the jacket front pieces, you'll want to press them.  The bust dart gets pressed down towards the waist rather than the shoulder, and the waist dart should be pressed towards center front, not the side seam.  Use a tailor's ham or a seam roll so as to not stretch the darts out of shape!

A tailor's ham (left) or a seam roll (right) will help keep the shape of these darts while pressing.
Here's a look at the jacket front after pressing the darts.


Now use these same techniques for the darts on the jacket's back piece!  The waist dart on the back is even more shaped than the waist dart on the front.  We started putting the pins in while the back piece was flat.

Back waist dart.
Then we pinched the right sides together and added more pins.


Here's the fully pinned back waist dart.


Like with the front waist dart, start from the widest point at the center and move out towards one dart tip.  Then start again at that center point, overlapping a stitch or two to secure, and follow your markings out towards the other dart point.


Stitch the shoulder darts on the back piece like you did with the bust darts on the front piece.

And once again, it's time to press!  Both the shoulder darts and the waist darts should be pressed towards center back.

With shaped and curved darts, the ham is your friend!
In the next installment of our sewalong, we'll actually be putting all these pieces together!  It will start to look like a jacket, we promise.

Let us know in the comments how your jacket is coming along!

1 comment:

  1. This charming, unlined jacket is the perfect companion to short-sleeved and sleeveless dresses, tunics, tees and more.

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