Ponte Vogue Jacket: Step-by-Step Sewing Technique

A simple jacket.  A pattern that caught my eye’ as a ‘new-looking’ basic.  A simple sewing delight for a weekend. 

Could I stitch it up as directed in the pattern?  Without ANY embellishment?

Probably not.  After over 50 years of sewing, most of those as a professional, and now a blogger, I started in – of course, with camera (phone) close by.  A friend in the industry, Nancy Nix Rice, was kind enough to send to me this lovely piece of Ponte knit as she sells on her website. Previously, I had thought that the Logantex Ponte, ‘Sophia’, was nice.  Specifications as follows:  

67% Polyester 30% Rayon 3% Spandex, Hand Wash Line Dry, 60″ wide.. However, this fabric is AMAZING – just as Nancy had told me.  Below is her description.  Note the difference in fiber content.

Absolutely the loveliest ponte in the market.  A full 60% rayon for breathability and natural-fiber appearance.  7% Lycra-branded spandex “(made in USA) for stability and recovery.  33% American-made nylon.  16-oz weight, made on special machinery that creates a finer/tighter gauge for a smoother surface and a more stable, firm fabric.  Made in a California factory with the same eco-friendly bluesign certification used by iconic brands like Patagonia and Eileen Fisher.  60” width.  Gently machine washable, tumble briefly, then hanger-dry.  Also dry-cleanable.

This fabric is available HERE in many colors.  Though $24/yard, worth every penny!

Follow along with my ‘tricks of the trade’ for construction, design decisions and more in this 2-part posting on stitching a Ponte Jacket using Vogue 8819 which is out of print – sorry.  Simple lines though – easy to draft.

Vogue_jacket_pattern

Cutting & Pattern Piece Management

To add a bit of length, I use pins (only glass head pins in my pink pin magnet, by the way!) as shown below to say”  “REMEMBER to add some length!”.  Oh , and I cut on a large 42″ x 70″ cutting mat using a rotary cutter with a Titanium ‘Roll the Gold’ blade.  I find that cutting with a rotary cutter is more accurate than a scissors, as everything lays flat instead of being lifted by a scissors.  And when it doesn’t cut clean, I CHANGE the blade!  A little treat to myself to avoid frustration!

how to add length

For YEARS, whenever a garment has facings, I cut them smaller.  See that I cut a smaller size on the back neck Facing, and also shaved a bit off the front facing at the shoulder line.  Doing this then means that you must ease the garment into the facing so it will have to ‘cup’ or hug your body. You’ll see that later in this blog series.

cut_facings_smaller

 

For years, I just laid the pattern pieces together and folded them all up as one – (hopefully) shoving them into the envelope.  See this at the left in the photo below.

 

Then one day – some kind person showed me the beauty of taking time to fold each piece to a size that would fit in the envelope easily, with the number and name of each piece showing.  I promise…try it!  It WORKS!

fold_each_pattern_piece

I’ve also come to clip smaller pieces, like facings to the pattern Guide Sheet to prevent loss.

 Side note:  The sleeve pattern looked quite small, so I did cut it a bit wider.  Turns out NOT enough – but more on THAT later as well!
Scraps?  Well, of this lovely fabric, I certainly SAVED the larger hunks.  See below at the left what gets tossed, and at the right how I bundled and TIED (NOT pinned) the bundle with a long scrap of fabric. Once the garment is sewn, this bundle will go into my blue/purple fabric bin.
                    scraps_to_keep    

A few more ‘Standing’ Tasks…

Before moving (‘ponte’ is the new term  for double knit) looks the exact same on both sides to my eyes.  I do this with a quick X made with my Chakoner (click HERE for my fav fav fav marker)!
Interfacing is always a non-fun task.  So – I always get that out of the way before the fun part of sewing begins.  For this full-bodied knit, I selected the French Fuse fusible interfacing.  The only pieces to cut were the Facings.  Easy.  I cut using the pattern, then go back and shave a tad off the exterior edge.  Personally, I find trying to cut 1/2″ from the seam edge is a boring job, and since the interfacing MUST get caught in the seamline, I just skim off from the other side.  Why?  So that, when fusing, it doesn’t ‘goober’ up my ironing board’.  I’ll tribute the dark spots on my ironing board cover to my students, thank you very much.  
Speaking of fusing, I couldn’t help but to snap this picture to show how the indentations on the soleplate of your iron leave UN-fused spots.  It IS necessary to MOVE your iron all different directions when fusing to avoid non-fused areas.

After fusing each piece, I turn the over and fuse AGAIN but this time – utilizing a silk organza press cloth to protect the surface of my fabric!

silk_organza_press_cloth

 

I hinted earlier that I thought this jacket might be a tad ‘plain’ for my current sewing genre.  AHHHH – I see the SELVAGE!  Just a tad ‘hairy’.  THAT could be beautiful inserted like a ‘piping’ to highlight the attractive bodice to lower portions of this jacket!  I cut 1″ strips of all the selvage I had available (2 yards).

SEWING  TECHNIQUE – tune back in tomorrow for Episode 2 of my Ponte Vogue Jacket!

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