Tutorial: sewing #12601, a men’s bomber jacket pt.1

Okay! Most of these instructions are illustrations and I’m not 100% done but this will do for now. Posts you may find of interest include The designing of a man’s jacket, style #12601 and of course, the necessary prelude to sewing being the fusing map.

Before we get started, it might be helpful to download the piece list (xls) so you can follow along. Although this jacket is one of my simpler ones, it has 36 different pieces -and that figure does not include pairs. And yes, this is a real industrial pattern in all respects. If you decide to purchase it (TBA), nothing has been dumbed down or modified. It uses industry standard conventions of construction, marking and sewing. One could think of it as a tool to model one’s practices. Speaking of, below is a map showing the seam allowances (click on the image for a larger version). Well, not all of them. The only pieces mapped in this example are pieces that have one or more seams that are 1/4″, all others being 3/8″.

I should also stress that unless otherwise specified, all pieces match exactly -down to 1/64th of an inch. This jacket also has anatomically correct armholes and sleeves. This means there is no sleeve cap ease in them. If anything, the sleeves are just the tiniest bit smaller (on the order of 3/16th total) which you won’t even notice but will facilitate insertion. There is 1/2″ ease in the front lining where it sews to the front facing but this is all. There are also very few notches so the few that there are, are pretty important. It will be very important to cut correctly –cut all lines away.

Moving on, lots of images coming up! Oh wait. No fusing is shown in any illustration. Pretend it is there, refer to the fusing map as needed.


For the step below, refer to welt pocket sewing tutorials one and two.









Okey dokey, now we’re getting into the sleeve. Yay! Sleeve setting itself won’t be shown since I’m so lousy at illustrating but let’s review a few things. Again, this is an industrial pattern so all the seam lines match. Likewise, all of the notching is precise. You need to understand the notching convention -this is illustrated. If your notches aren’t matching up, it is likely that you’re sewing the front sleeve into the back armhole. Speaking of, see this post I wrote about sleeve notching that explains the logic of how notching should be done considering the conditions of the workplace. The post can be useful with respect to sewing any kind of well made industrial patterns, not just sleeves.

Again, there is no ease in [my] sleeves. Rather, the sleeves are just the tiniest bit smaller than the armholes -on the order of 3/16th of an inch total. The seam allowances are 3/8″; these will go in much more easily than you imagine. No ease is necessary (in the case of my pattern) because this is a well made sleeve designed to fit an anatomically correct armhole. If the armhole and sleeve are drafted properly (a tremendous amount of work), ease is not necessary.



If you want some tips, I prefer to sew with the body on top, manipulating it to match the curves of the sleeve as I go along. I also prefer not using any pins because these can actually distort and cause problems where there were none. Your choice. If you must use pins, use as few as possible, preferably only at notch points.

But anyway. Join the sleeve linings to the lining body and the shell sleeves to the shell. If you like, you can go ahead and sew the cuff ribbing to the shell sleeve, stretching to match (it’s not hard). I actually prefer to sew the cuff ribbing on before I set the sleeve.

Once you have set the sleeves, you can add a sleeve head in the shell portion.

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And that’s as far as I’ve gotten. Illustrating instructions takes me forever.

Update 1/1/2014: This jacket pattern is now available for sale. The instructions can be purchased separately and are even more detailed than you see here. It is a 59 page manual with step by step photographs.

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