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Unstructured Jacket
By Pauline Richards, Total Embellishments


While shopping in one of my favorite stores I came across three wonderful, smashing jackets.  All weremade of wool melton cloth, embellished and "unstructured"-- they had no lining or interfacing.  The outside edges were bound in interesting, coordinating, bias-cut favrics.  All the jackets wre a bit "off the wall"  in the way they had been embellished.  You'll see parts of my two look-alike jackets in the photos and I've included patterns for the pockets and Ultra Suede TM shapes.

1.    Choose a sturdy, favric like melton cloth, wool flannel, corduroy or denim.   If you have sensitve skin, think about lining your jacket.  Remember, beads, pleated overlays, trims, etc. add weight and can distort lightweight fabrics. 

2.    Eliminate facings and select bright, multi-color fabric to bind the edges.  The binding will set the tone for the jacket and tie your color scheme together.   For example jacket #1 is a bright fuchsia, and the binding is fuchsia, yellow, teal and black.  Those colors are repeated in the geometric shoulder shapes, each backed with black Ultra Suede cut 1/4" larger than the shape.  The black sets off the colors and coordinates with the black in the binding.

The patterns are for the shapes on jacket #1.  Use a single pocket  flap on the right front.  Embellish the right shoulder with a bias fabric tube curving over the shoulder and about 6" down the back.  Black piping finishes the pocket and flap, and coordinating fabric is used for the binding and pocket flap.

3.    Use coordinating fabrics.  Jacket #2 is bright lime green.  A black background print was used for binding and a large coordinate was pleated, stabilized and positioned on the front shoulder.  Another pleated section was placed diagonally on the jacket back, and black beaded fringe accents yoke and pocket embellishments.

4.    Go through your stash and look for unusual buttons, trim, tassels, pins, beads and treasured fabric scraps to accent your work.

Binding Basics:

1.    Cut 3" wide true bias strips and join them together to create one long piece. (Binding the jacket and cuffs takes approximately 4 1/2 yards of bias).

2.    Press the seams open and press the bias in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, creating a 1 1/2" wide strip.

3.    Pin the edges together flat and sew 3/8" from the edges to keep them from shifting during application.

4.    Trim the outside jacket edge 5/8"

5.    Pin the prepared bias against the right side of the jacket, matching raw edges, streching it on the neckline curve and easing extra fullness around outward curves.

6.    Sew 1/2" from the cut edge.

7.    Fold the bias to the wrong side and press into place, keeping the finished width consistent. Pin.

8.    Sew the bias permantently into place from the jacket right side, 1/16"from the stitched fold.

Note:  Because bias stretches there might be a slight variance in the wrong side width -- don't worry about it.

unstructured jacket1.jpg (19247 bytes) unstructured jacket 2.jpg (17388 bytes) unstructured jacket 3.jpg (27547 bytes)

For patterns click here

More information on Total Embellishments

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