Does this jacket have good jeans or what?! Spring is right around the corner, so we figured why not add some color to our ongoing Denim Jacket Series. In this blog post, we will share the bold details of our latest design— Color Block Denim Jacket.
Inspiration for this jacket came from our marketing coordinator Natasha. While on a trip to Japan in 2018, Natasha fell in love with the bold yet feminine color combos found in Tokyo. Natasha is moved by what she sees, so she wanted to create something based around her travel photography. Pictured below is the photo that inspired this color combo.
Our color block denim jacket has several design details involved. The pattern was first created while teaching two of our clients how to reverse pattern draft their favorite denim jackets. In this section we will go through our top details that make up this jacket.
This was the most important design detail and basically what inspired the jacket. During a studio field trip to Fabricana, white, pink and red denim fabric were perfectly stacked together. The color combo looked so good together, we couldn’t resist. Natasha (our marketing coordinator) was always taught that “red and pink should never be seen, unless it’s in the washing machine”. Well...challenge accepted mom!!!
One of the easiest and most fun ways to create a bold look is to use the technique of color blocking. Color blocking is thought of as the exploration of taking colors that are opposites and pairing them together to make complementary color combinations. Be prepared to swap your thread colors back and forth!
We wanted a clean look for the front of this jacket, so metal buttons were ideal. We even added a bonus button at the hem, just for show! Funny story: Natasha had never installed metal buttons before and she accidentally hammered a button to a rotary mat...WOOPS!!! If it's your first time installing metal buttons, proceed with caution.
When sewing the buttonholes, we found that the denim was too thick for the machine. We really had to push to help move the fabric through the presser foot. This is common when working with denim. For an easy guide to help you sew stubborn buttonholes, click HERE.
Top stitching gives this bold jacket a clean finish. All thread colors match their corresponding pattern pieces.
Sewing Tip- When using top stitching thread (thicker thread), use regular size thread in the bobbin if you are having trouble with tension issues. Keep the upper thread thick though.
Box Pleat Patch Pocket with Flap
The most traditional pockets found on a denim jacket- a box pleat pocket with a flap. This design element is our personal favorite. At first, we considered keeping the flap the same color as the box pleat, but figured that would be too boring. This jacket is a statement piece, so go big or go home right?!?
The cropped body on our denim jacket is both flattering and versatile. We paired it with white high waisted pants to complete the full ensemble. How would you style this?
We’re obsessed with the back view of our color block denim jacket! This is actually our third time making this denim jacket. So far we have made it in all white and all blue- the usual denim suspects. Our next version will be as colorful as this one...once we throw some paint on it!!! Coming soon...
Color blocking is one of the easiest and most fun ways to create a new look. If you would like to learn more about color blocking in garment construction, contact us to book lessons.
Designed, photographed and written by Sheila Wong Studios
Some trends never die, and the blazer is definitely one of them. Dress it up or dress it down, the blazer has remained the ultimate preppy fashion statement since the 1950’s. No matter where we go, we seem to run into them! This tailored trend inspired us to design our own, but with a twist— Over-sized doubled patch pockets. Keep reading to see how we made this basic wardrobe staple, not so basic.
We recently visited Atex Designer Fabrics in Gastown. They are our go-to for quality wool. If you’re in town, say hello to the Dave the shop owner! This is one of many wool fabrics we picked up.
This blazer was drafted when Sheila taught a reverse pattern drafting workshop at Maiwa School of Textiles on Granville Island. Sheila has offered this workshop for 5 years in a row, among others. This one always sells out. In fact, this year’s March workshop is already sold out!
Drafting Tip: A super hack for those who pattern draft their own designs, is to use what you have. There is no need to draft from scratch for every design. Look at your past drafting and see if you can modify a design to create a whole new look or a variation of an already drafted design. For blazers, try experimenting with different types of lapels, pockets, and lengths. In this case, we modified the pocket to create the over-sized double patch pocket.
Anytime we design with wool, we think its best to line the garment fully. Who wants to scratch all day? Certainly not us, so silk charmeuse only made sense! Pink silk charmeuse lining was purchased from Fabricana.
Pairing natural fibers together will lend to the garment aging in a similar fashion. Pictured below are the MAIN and LINING pieces before "2 become 1"- Spice Girls.
Used in women's and menswear, a notched lapel is commonly used on single breasted jackets and blazers. A notched lapel is sewn to the collar at an angle, creating a triangle or step effect between the two.
The size of the notch can vary - when it is very small, it is referred to as a “fishmouth”. We personally think it looks more like a bird with their mouth open.
Over-Sized Double Patch Pocket
“Pocket-ception”— a pocket within a pocket. On her last trip to Tokyo, Sheila noticed that over-sized double patch pockets were all the rage. It was double trouble on every turn! This inspired us to experiment with the drape of this visual element. Our blazer design features an over-sized double patch pocket on both side seams. The second larger pocket hangs past the hem.
Not all pockets are supposed to be functional. Although, we did test it out and YES, you can fit a tablet in the larger pocket.
This is our second time experimenting with over-sized double patch pockets. Check out our Military Culottes to see this element applied to pants.
When pressing, to ensure fibers bend the way you want them to, hold them as they're cooling. Its during the cooling process that sets the fibers in place. Think of styled hair... when you curl it, you typically hold the curl in place before setting it with hairspray.
Voila! Blazer finito. We could even say this design is... blazing hot!?! We plan on making another wool blazer to match our plaid wool skirt, sans the over-sized double pockets. Stay tuned.
Tailoring techniques involve attention to detail at every step from marking the fabric to pressing. Contact us to book lessons in tailoring techniques.
Designed, photographed and written by Sheila Wong Studios.