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Chicago Jacket French Terry Topper

Chicago Jacket French Terry Topper

French terry is a type of jersey knit fabric that has vertical ribs on one side of the fabric and fine loops on the other side, unlike terrycloth, which has loops on both sides. It has entered the fashion scene once again and is used by designers for all kinds of ready-to-wear including coats and toppers.

The Chicago Jacket pattern stands out as the perfect pattern to make a lightweight, all-season, casual coat. And French Terry lends itself perfectly because it can be used single layer and is soft and wrinkle-resistant.

I also like the Chicago Jacket pattern because all I had do to was lengthen the pattern and basically follow the regular directions for sewing it up.

Here's how to lengthen the pattern.

Cut along the lengthen and shorten line of the FRONT piece. Place some pattern paper underneath and spread the pattern the desired amount. I drew a line 8" and perpendicular from the bottom of the top section. Extend the center front line through the new paper. Tape the bottom section along the new line, matching the center front lines. Use a long ruler to draw a line connecting the original bottom corner to the top of the "side" seam. Restore the center front cutting line.

Repeat to lengthen the BACK piece. Due to the geometry of the diagonal seamlines that need to be connected, the back is lengthened 8 1/2".

Place the POCKET pattern piece over the pocket placement on the FRONT piece. Trace the new side seam cutting line on the pocket.

There are just a few notes about working with French Terry when making the Chicago jacket.

1.Use the smooth side of the fabric as the right side of the garment and cut all pattern pieces in the same direction. French terry has a nap.

2. Use polyester thread and a walking foot when sewing French terry.

3. Apply a strip of lightweight fusible interfacing along the wrong side of each pocket opening.

4. When constructing the pocket, remove the 1/2" seam allowances on the top, bottom and diagonal edges of each pocket. Grade the seam at the opening. Use strips of Fusi-Web in order to fuse the pocket in place for topstitching. Chalk mark the outline of the pocket on the right side of the garment and topstitch 1/8" inside the lines.

Fusi-Web applied to pocket edges to keep in place for topstitching
Chalk mark the outline of the pocket on the right side and topstitch 1/8" inside the lines

5. To sew the hems, remove 3/8" from the edges. Apply strips of Fusi-Web next to the raw edges. Leaving the paper covering on, press the hems 3/8" to the wrong side. Remove the paper covering and fuse the narrow hems in place. Topstitch the hems.

6. When completing the collar, instead of turning the seam allowance of the outer collar to the inside and slipstitching, leave the seam allowance flat and pin in the ditch from the undercollar side to hold the outer collar in place. Stitch in the ditch from the undercollar side. Trim the seam allowance on the inside of the topper.

Pin in the ditch from undercollar side
Trim seam allowance on inside collar

7. Don't over press French terry. Keep a light touch to avoid seam show-through and shine.

Sew Confident! 2016
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