SMF x SCF Corduroy Jacket with Luxe Satin Collar

Syreeta marked another fabulous year around the sun with a birthday celebration in the Big Apple! In anticipation of the city’s undecided weather, she made this chic, mid-weight corduroy jacket, elevating it with a satin collar. Keep reading for Syreeta’s tips on working with corduroy along with a few frustrations as she persevered against her birthday deadline!

What are the essential tools and materials needed for making a tailored corduroy jacket with a satin collar?
Essential tools include good, sharp shears and sharp pins. I like extra fine glass head pins, especially when pinning my pattern down because they don’t snag when moving through fabric. You don’t have to force them and that helps pin efficiently also. I would also recommend these for any lightweight or tightly woven fabric. They made pinning the rayon lining a breeze as well. In addition to the tools, definitely have an appropriate weight of interfacing on hand.

What techniques can be used to accurately cut corduroy fabric to minimize fraying and maintain pattern direction?
Use sharp scissors. Always use sharp scissors. I also pin my grainline on corduroy before pinning around the pattern edge. The ribbing will exacerbate a crooked pattern piece so pinning the grainline first helps minimize shifting.

Speaking of pattern direction, do NOT be like me and be so hyper focused on the grainline that you forget corduroy has a NAP! I did. 😅 A fabric nap is when a textile has a pile that shows as a color variation when viewed from different directions. It’s usually light vs. dark and notable in velvets and corduroys. I did have to recut some pieces and I split my CB panels at the waist seam to accommodate the mistake in one piece because I had justtt enough to recut that way. I refused to bug Roz for more fabric due to my little mistake and since this piece was for me and not a client, I happily split it. We’ll call it a “design detail.”

Tell me about the pattern.
I found the pattern company (Grasser) on Etsy when doing a deep dive and automatically knew I wanted to try a design from them. The designs are modern and chic. You can choose a size range when downloading and within that file is also a height range. It comes with a load of written directions and tips. The introductory pages of the instructions go over fabric requirements, specs, terminology, and more. There are charts and diagrams. I will be honest — I was overwhelmed pretty immediately. In retrospect, I can note a few things that may have triggered me:
Everything is in centimeters and it’s really difficult for me to reframe these measurements when there are many varying allowances so this is something to take into account when using an international pattern.

The pattern was translated to English however, terminology and articulation varies ever so slightly. This could be a sewing term or the way something is written. There is a decent mass of text so this made for a slower review. I will say I’m a bit impatient and being more experienced, I wanted to skip a lot but it was hard to gauge what was super relevant, especially with different measurements. I do appreciate that everything was so thorough and there is a table of contents to guide users through the ‘what’s what’ of information. It is just a lot to sort through and you wouldn’t know if you’re completely new to this pattern company because the listing doesn’t give much insight on this part.

Did you make any changes to the jacket pattern to incorporate a satin collar?
Nope! I just cut the collar in satin. I did not want it on the lapel but if so, I would have cut the facing in satin, too.

Fabric and Notion

How can you ensure the corduroy and satin fabrics complement each other in terms of weight and texture?
This is easiest to do when selecting fabric in person; however, if you have access to fabric weight (usually listed online as “GSM”) you can compare fabrics that way. Doing so without either can be done with a little wisdom like if you’ve used a specific fabric before (for example, I’m familiar with SMF satin) or comparing swatches. If one is more off than the other, I’d advise having to beef up the satin vs. the other way around. If it’s a tad bit too light, you can make it denser with interfacing. When using it on a collar, you’ll need it anyway!

What steps should be taken to tailor the fit of the jacket?
In retrospect, I would have sampled the body and sleeves of the jacket in muslin first. The fit is somewhat boxier and I thought I would have a margin to taper a waist, etc. more if I cut the size according to my larger measurements. In the end, even with those measurements, I found it too petite for my liking. Beyond it being a bit snug, everything in the vertical felt short — sleeves above the wrist bone, darts above the bust point, a high button/roll line, etc. I was very surprised by this considering I also cut my height bracket. The sleeves were especially surprising considering the sleeve detail was one of the elements that drew me to the pattern. In the model depiction, they’re extra long. If I made the pattern again, I would cut a taller pattern in maybe one size up. I have one theory that this could be a difference in body type due to the region. I’m small but curvier and the tailoring would have different needs.
Making a muslin if you have time is a worthy investment with a jacket with any type of welt pocket, especially through a vertical seam like most blazers have. This is not a seam or proportion you can manipulate much so it’s important to select your most appropriate size and modify the fit elsewhere.

Are there any specific stitches or seam finishes that work best for joining corduroy and satin fabrics?
You will need to baste stitch a lot while working on the jacket. I encourage using a heavier weight thread in a contrasting color so it’s easier to pull out. Otherwise, my machine stitching was pretty standard.

What type of interfacing is recommended fusible or sew-in for a corduroy jacket, and how should it be applied to a satin collar?
I prefer fusible interfacing in general but recommend using what you feel comfortable with. Obviously, the fuse is more permanent. With satin, you should be especially careful because it can bubble/ripple. I prefer woven fuse cut on the same grain and applied using a press technique (as opposed to ironing while sliding the iron back and forth).  I only interfaced the sleeve and jacket hems, facing, collar, pocket placement & flaps/welts, shoulder of sleeve, and chest. I skipped interfacing the front jacket pieces.



How do you prevent the satin from slipping or puckering when sewing it onto the collar?
Pin as needed plus with good interfacing, the fabric weight should be easier to manipulate.

How can I achieve a smooth, professional finish when attaching the collar to the jacket?
Use those notches! Also baste as much as you need, even if it’s more than the instructions state. A good press also helps with crispness.
For the collar point, I used a really long thread tack sandwiched between the point. I grabbed it while turning and used it to pull the points out (rather than push it into that tiny corner). That way you’re also not tempted to use a sharp object.

 

What are the best practices for sewing buttonholes and buttons?
Buttonholes: always test it first.
Buttons: multiply your thread ply (2-3 strands through the eye of the needle) so you can stitch a thicker loop in one pass. This way you loop less and still have a smooth, tight attachment.  I ordered the pretty button from SMF. The backer button is a lone wolf button that was floating around in my supply board.

Did you line the jacket?
Yes! I lined as instructed. That part went smoothly.

 

Any tips on sewing the pockets?
If you’ve never sewn a welt pocket before, I would suggest practicing. They are hard to get even and the cuts make them almost impossible to fix. You can practice by following the same directions on just a flat remnant of fabric.
I will be honest, these specific directions really confused me. I had a hard time matching the pocket pattern pieces to each other AND following the sewing directions. I did end up bypassing their technique and using my own that I’ve been practicing and using for years. And it turned out just fine! I suppose that’s a testament to how different sewists can address the same application in different ways. Sometimes it’s better to execute in a way you feel comfortable.
To complement my satin collar, I made my welt and pocket flap facing in satin, too!

What are the common pitfalls to avoid when making a tailored jacket from corduroy?
Not paying attention to the nap (like me. lol)
Some corduroy can be bulky. In this case, only stabilize it as much as you need to. I decided not to interface every area suggested by the pattern directions. I was using cotton corduroy and planned to wear the blazer as a transition piece so I didn’t want it to be super thick. This was a perfect judgment when I wore it on a birthday trip to NYC — the weather changed about 10-15 degrees in the time I was completing one activity. My layers still held up well!  Additionally, definitely grade those seams to avoid corduroy bulk.

Shoulder pads and sleeve rolls were actually in the directions and I do appreciate jackets that have them. Sleeve rolls are especially underrated in womenswear — they give a great structure to sleeve caps!

Looks


6 Comments

  1. April 19, 2024 / 8:36 am

    Awesome jacket! Also, Happy Birthday. Thank you for the tips about sewing up corduroy.

    • Roz
      Author
      April 19, 2024 / 12:01 pm

      Thanks, Samina!

      • Patricia
        April 19, 2024 / 4:06 pm

        Beautiful jacket! I love the color. Happy Birthday!

        • Roz
          Author
          April 19, 2024 / 6:48 pm

          Thank you, Pat!!!

        • April 22, 2024 / 5:44 pm

          Thank you so much! I don’t wear blue often so I appreciate the co-sign!

    • April 22, 2024 / 5:43 pm

      So sweet of you! And you’re most welcome!

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