Thursday, July 9, 2009

Mini project: Child's Pirate Jacket

Well, things have been a little bit dull on the sewing front since getting laid off from my costume shop job (budjet cuts). So, needing something fun to do, and having forgotten my friend's son's birthday, I decided to make him a little pirate jacket. He just turned 6. Knowing how much he wears his pirate shirt (daily, if it's not in the wash), I know that this jacket will most likely be worn to death and will be washed often. I also know it would be wise to make it a few sizes bigger, so that he can grow into it.

Seizing the opportunity to get $1 patterns at the pattern store, I got Simplicity #3644, the kids' Pirates of the Carribean knockoff costumes. I also got buttons and soutache braid, as per the supplies list on the pattern envelope. A friend of mine suggested getting jeans buttons for the smaller buttons needed for the pocket flaps and cuffs, because they would be easy to apply and would not come off easily, so I got those. For the fabric, I wanted something washable and easy to wear. The pattern envelope suggests velveteen or wool. Wool was definately out; one false move and it would shrink. Velveteen seemed a little pricey. I settled on pinwale courduroy in chocolate brown. It was only 45 inches wide, so I got 3.5 yards to make sure I could cut the entire jacket out of the same fabric.

While cutting the pieces I had to cut carefully because of the narrowness of the fabric. I could not cut the fronts or backs from fabric folded double lengthwise, and I could not fold it up and down the length to lay it out because of the nap. So, I had to cut each of the fronts and the backs separately and very carefully. Other than that, the cut and construction went pretty much as the directions specified. I cut the jacket to a child's size 8, even though he wears a 6. To size it down a little, I stitched tucks in the shoulders, taking in about an inch from neck-to-shoulder. I also stitched the cuffs half an inch up from the original stitching, in long stitches that his mom will be able to take out easily later. I then turned up the hem an inch and a half and stitched it in place with yellow thread.

This is a detail of the buttons:

This shows the shoulder tuck:

Here's what I did with the hem:

This is the stitching that holds the cuff in place:

And here's the finished jacket:

So that's what I've been doing lately. He'll get it tomorrow when I see his mom. Hope he likes it!