10 December, 2014

Ziggi lace overlay jacket, part 1

I found a lace overlay fabric at our local store over a year ago.  It's a wool-rayon boiled knit in winter white, with black cotton-poly lace bonded to its face.  The bond is pretty good, though I could pull the two layers apart with a little effort.  Still, not wishing to damage the bond, I decided to omit any pre-treating, though I did spray each piece liberally with water during pressing.

Even when I first got this fabric it was destined to become a moto aka biker jacket.  I love the incongruous juxtaposition of classic biker tough with the femininity of lace.  And, again, as with the lace dresses I discussed previously, there are many versions out there, as lace biker jacket shows. Some are sheer, others coloured... while black lace trench coat and black lace overlay jacket give some more variations on the theme.

But then I got sidetracked, and drifted into activities other than for-me sewing.

Fast forward 12 months.... time to find a pattern. Pattern Review is a great resource for that.  It gave me sixteen hits for a "biker jacket" search. Three of those are Burda 12-2009-111 and eleven are the Style Arc Ziggi.  These are really fantastic creations, in a wide variety of fabrics, I am wowed by the leather versions.  And the reviews are so informative!  I found Jrhee's review (if you're not a signed-in member, you  may not be able to see it) particularly useful, as she includes some thoughts on shaping and a very on point comparison with a gorgeous Montana biker pattern from Vogue (V2973).

I went with the Ziggi. Based on others' comments on ease, I checked the bust and hip dimensions of size 8, and muslined that.  Apart from some diagonal drag lines due to extra fabric along the sides, which I got rid of via pinching out the under-arm excess, it seemed to fit very well. But, you  know, Jrhee's comment that the jacket is a little boxy definitely resonated.  It is.  It has all those vertical lines and very little waist shaping.  So I thought, why not add a little pizzazz to this already great pattern, and REALLY make it my own?

Here's what I did:
Enlarged the collar by 2 cm  along its outer edge
Raised the peplum waistline by 2 cm
Gave the main front and back vertical seam (aka princess) lines more of a diagonal angle by shifting them 2 cm to the side at the top and 1 cm towards the centre at the bottom (at the back, the bottom is the peplum waistline).  This also widened the front lapels, of course.
Gave the peplum more of a flare by widening it 1 cm each side at the bottom.
Narrowed each side of the back sleeve seam (the one with the zipper) by 2 cm at the hem, tapering to zero at 20 cm above the hem.

Here's the first test fitting with the fashion fabric and gold trim along the main seam lines:

I do like the new shape of the back seams and the peplum.

The front seems a tad too big.  
And I'm not crazy about the trim on the secondary (princess) seam lines.

The above pic shows that there's more fabric in the upper back than there ought to be. Just look at the gap above the shoulder!  I see that now, but it wasn't apparent in the muslin.  So, in the next version - if there ever is one - I'll reduce the upper back length by 1.5 cm.  This version got shoulder pads.

Also, the photos above are a good demo that emphasizing every seam with trim is not always a good idea.....  

 ...and a test removal of the trim showed how much better the front and sides look when that seam is allowed to blend into the fabric. 

But the front still felt a bit too big and shapeless, so  I pinched out a little on the upper princess seams for a better fit over the bust. And then I took in the side seams about 2 cm each side.  In retrospect, with all those reductions, perhaps I ought to have started with a size 6?


  1. This is beautiful. I love how you used lace in a casual way.

  2. This is going to be a great jacket when it is finished. Really interesting and unique fabric. The gold trim stands out and doesn't really link to any other metallic in the jacket like the zipper teeth. Black trim ( faux leather or braid) might work better to emphasize the seam lines and add vertical lines to break up the lace pattern.