Search Results for: ziggi

Ziggi Style Arc WINNERS Announced!

Well, we promised prizes, and Style Arc delivered! Chloe and her awesome team very generously offered one free pattern to the completed Ziggi with the most interesting use of fabric, and another to the Ziggi demonstrating the best workmanship. Thank you “sew much” Chloe + team!

Style Arc's Ziggi jacket pattern

Drum roll please!

The winner for the “Best Use of Fabric” is Dodgy Zebra, known to some as Mary Quinn. Mary used a striped twill fabric that gave a very interesting effect on her Ziggi, especially her handling of the sleeves. Check out this awesomeness on her Ziggi Flickr page. Congratulations Mary, and thank you so much for being such an great participant in our sew-along.

Second drum roll please!

Our next winner was such an enthusiastic participant she completed not 1 but 2 Ziggi jackets during the sew-along. Ruth Forrester, the live person behind  CoreCouture, really just couldn’t stop herself. She blazed ahead with Ziggi #1 before all the instructions were even posted, and then liked her first Ziggi so much she made another! Double Ziggi awesomeness! Take a look at her Flickr stream and you can see why she won the prize for best workmanship. Congratulations Ruth, and thanks a million for sewing along with all of us.

Watch their blogs to find out the next Style Arc creations they will be sewing up!

Happy sewing!




Ziggi Sew-Along: Completion Deadline EXTENDED

Alright my pretties, StacySews and I have heard you. You need a little more time. Life can certainly get in the way of the all-important-sewing sometimes; we understand that.

Ziggi motorcycle jacket made by Sew Maris
So how about April 30th? Take until the end of April to complete your Ziggi. You deserve a break today! In case you need any guidance along the way, below is a listing of the construction process. Hope this helps, and don’t stress. Just SEW and all will be well. 🙂

Don’t forget to post pictures of your completed Ziggi on the Flickr group. Let the world see your Ziggi awesome-ness!

Happy sewing!


Ziggi definitely prefers center stage

I am seriously loving my Ziggi jacket. I have not slept in it (yet), but she has already been to a sewing retreat, a fabulous concert, Starbucks for a double-tall-extra-hot-soy-latte, and run an untold number of errands. Hmm, I probably should have signed her up for some kind of frequent-flyer reward miles or something. She definitely likes to travel! And now that the weather is starting to warm up a bit in Seattle, she is going to get even more outings. She is a show-off!


The inside of Ziggi is really cracking me up – she is so happy! 😉


Hey! Who is that little photo-bomber in the corner? I think she likes camera attention too.


The Ziggi Sew-Along has been a total blast, and I hope you have enjoyed it as much I have. Be sure to post pictures of your finished Ziggi to the Flickr group, because there are going to be PRIZES awarded from Style Arc and You certainly don’t want to miss out on that fun, now do you?

Thank you dear readers, for all of your support, encouragement, wonderful comments, and for coming along in this fun sewing journey. Hey! Let’s do it again soon!

Happy sewing!



Ziggi Sew-Along: Lining

Last week StacySews helped you get the sleeves on your Ziggi jacket, so we are now at the FINAL step of your beautiful creation – the lining! Sometimes constructing and installing a lining makes sewists break out into hives, but it is really not that difficult. Like all things sewing, it gets easier with practice. If you have never put in a lining, let me recommend a good book on the subject, Taunton Press’ Easy Guide to Sewing Linings by Connie Long. It’s a great little book with plenty of pictures and clear instructions.

Lining book

OK, have you cut out your lining yet? No? Well, no worries, I have a couple of tips for that. Is your lining slippery like mine? Silk charmeuse or poly slippery-like-charmeuse fabric? Try laying out the lining on paper, and then placing the pattern pieces on top and pinning the through BOTH the paper and lining fabric. Basically you want a sandwich with some kind of paper on the bottom, then the lining fabric, and finally the pattern pieces on top. Pin through all 3 layers. I used tissue paper because that was what I had readily available, but use what you have – it really doesn’t matter.

Cutting out Ziggi Lining

My next tip is to use serrated scissors if you have them. Not pinking shears, but serrated shears. I own a pair of Kai 7240-AS Serrated Edge Shears, which REALLY, REALLY help prevent slippery lining fabric from running away from you while you are trying to cut it out. If you don’t own these scissors or similar ones, the paper trick helps hugely, but I pinned my silky poly lining to paper AND used my serrated shears. (I use all my tools as frequently as possible when I sew to reduce their “cost per use” as much as I can. In my mind it helps justify my frequent tool expenditures. Clever, eh? 😉 ) Here’s the backside view of a few lining pieces cut out with the tissue paper backing.

Tissue Paper Backing for cutting out lining

OK, next up you stitch together your lining. Since you have totally assembled your jacket at this point, the steps to stitch together the lining will look very familiar, with 2 exceptions.

See the stitching on the left in the picture below? That is the center back lining pleat. If you are reading this post and your lining is not yet cut out, my recommendation would be to increase the center back seam by the “pleat width” for the entire length of the center back pieces. That is the “normal” way of getting enough wearing ease into a lining. In the Ziggi pattern the additional wearing ease is only thru the upper section of the center back – and really – it should run down the entire length of the center back seam. If you do go the extra mile and add extra width to the upper back pattern, also be sure to stitch a pleat similar to the upper one at the waist so that the center back edge still fits onto the lower center back pattern piece. Make sense?

Lining pleat closeup

OK, now you can just stitch all the lining pieces together in the same relative position as the outer jacket pieces. I didn’t take any pix of the steps because it is the same order/process as stitching together the jacket body pieces – minus all the zipper/pocket hoo-haa. Easy, right? Also stitch your sleeves together, making sure to leave the back seam open where indicated for the sleeve zips. Did you put those sleeve zippers in already? There was NO REASON to wait until the lining step to sew the sleeve zips in place, BTW. If you didn’t go ahead with that when you were mucking with the sleeves, get it done. IMHO, don’t waste your time with the sleeve gusset that Shams described on her blog. She did a lovely job describing the process, but in my book it is just extra fussiness. I have another leather moto jacket that I purchased a couple of years ago, and I have never unzipped the sleeves. But of course, your jacket: your call. Machine stitch your sleeves into the armscye. Don’t worry if there are a few little puckers around the sleeves, they won’t show. I didn’t really get much puckering with  my lining. You should have something that looks similar to this when you are done:

Assembled lining

Everything on the lining is stitched together EXCEPT the lower half of the back sleeve seam, and the middle front lining piece does not extend across the entire shoulder yoke. See in the closeup how the front shoulder area between the yoke and the front facing piece looks like an “L” ? Also be aware the stitching of this seam stops 3/8 inch from the raw edge at the neck edge. You will see why later.

Yoke Lining Closeup

If you decide to do something to finish off the lower edge of the front facing, you will need to do this before attaching the lining. I added a Hong Kong seam finish to the bottom edge of my jacket facing – you could also serge the facing edge – but I love Hong Kong seam finishes.

Hong Kong Edge Lining

One other thing I think is important to do before stitching in your lining: catchstitch the bottom hem and the front facings. If you decide to do this, make sure your catchstitching is far enough away from your raw edge so that you have enough room to easily stitch your lining to your jacket edges, and also keep your catchstitch plenty loose so the thread kind of “floats” on the fabric.

Facing Blind Catch Stitch

Drum roll, please! You are now going to machine stitch the Ziggi lining to the Ziggi jacket. Remember that you will be using a 3/8″ SA everywhere EXCEPT the neck, which uses a 1/4″ SA.

So, I attached the hem edges first, with the right side of the lining hem on the right side of the hem turnback. You cannot stitch ALL the way up to the facing – be sure to start and stop an inch or so away on both ends. OK, that wasn’t so bad. Next you pin the right side of the front facing to the right side of the jacket facing edge, making sure to match up the notches. Again, do not stitch all the way to the hem edge of the facing. In the picture below the hem is on the right side of the frame, and the facing is along the top of the frame. See the little bit of Hong Kong edge finish in the upper right. Yeah, baby! 😉

Front hem and facing edge of lining

At the top of the facing edge, I stopped, or  “broke”, my stitching 3/8″ away from the top edge of the facing, and backstitched to secure it. This line of stitching is on the right side of the frame below. Then I connected the yoke lining to the upper edge of the jacket facing using a 3/8″ seam, and backstitching at both ends. This stitching is in the upper center part of the frame below. Finally, I started a new line of stitching using a 1/4″ SA that attached the lining neckline to the jacket collar neckline. That line of stitching is under and to the left of my thumb in the frame below. This might seam confusing to read, but when you actually start connecting the parts it is easier and more logical than you might think. At least that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it! 🙂

YokeTop of facing lining

Next you need to repeat the above steps down the other side of the jacket, and you have completely attached the lining body to the jacket body! This process is called “bagging a lining” – which means sewing the entire jacket into the jacket by machine rather than using hand-sewing. If you want to understand the differences more completely, get the book by Connie Long referenced at the top of this post.

The Ziggi jacket deviates from a traditional bagged lining in one respect, and that is because of the sleeve zips. Maybe one of you brilliant Ziggi jacket ladies will come up with a better method, but my process is as follows. Reach down one sleeve and pull the jacket right side out, and then give yourself a big pat on the back. Woot! Now kinda flip the lining over the end of the sleeve so the raw edges of the right side of the sleeve hem and sleeve lining are lined up, and stitch across. I tried to take a pix of this, but trust me, it didn’t work. If you can’t envision this step, you just need to play around with the sleeve hem and the lining hem until you get it right. Place pins along the stitching line, and then turn right side out and check to see if it works out correctly before actually stitching. The lining should be hanging straight down the sleeve, with the section above the sleeve zip unstitched, and the bottom edge of the lining should be stitched to the bottom of the sleeve hem allowance. As you can see, I hand-stitched the lining around the zipper to the zipper tape. There might be some way to machine stitch this too, but for me it was fast and easy to whip the edges down and close up the rest of the seam allowance by hand.

CloseUp of sleeve lining

Inside view:

Inside view of the Ziggi jacket

Outside view:

Front view of the completed Ziggi jacket

Lining and Ziggi are DONE and DONE!!

Happy sewing!





Ziggi Sew-Along: Front Zipper Insertion

Now that StacySews has helped you wrap up the main jacket body assembly, it’s time for more zippers. Don’t despair tho, these are a snap to put in. With a regular zipper foot you will be able to stitch both sides into place quickly and easily. The one thing you want to verify before starting is that your zippers are the correct length.


It is easiest to test this out on the right side of the jacket. The zipper bottom should be positioned 3/8″ above the bottom edge of the right front jacket, and as long as the upper metal stop is 3/8″ below the top edge you are in great shape. Shortening a zipper is not hard at all as long as you have some nippers that can cut off the extra metal teeth. If you have never done this before, try watching this video featuring Stan from StanSews – he will show you exactly how it is done. I had my zippers shortened at, so the fit was perfect.


See the chalk line? I mark up my garments all the time during construction, because I like to make sure my stitching and  measuring is accurate. So I drew a chalk line 3/8″ up from the bottom edge, and also….


…3/8″ from the top edge of the right jacket front. Then I machine-basted the zipper to the front, making sure to fold over the extra tape at the top as shown. I didn’t worry much about the stitching line here, because the final stitching with the facing on top is the one that needs to be accurate – not the zipper basting.


Next I placed the right facing on the right front, matched notches and seams, and pinned in place. Yay! Another chalk line! Since this seam has to be sewn with the zipper foot, and I needed to move the needle to the left of center, I wanted to make sure I stitched an accurate 3/8″ seam allowance. I know, picky. 😉 But think about it, how many people actually encourage you to write on your clothes, eh?

One note: as you move from stitching the facing front onto the collar – the seam allowance changes to 1/4″ – so make sure to adjust accordingly. There is a double notch right at this point on the neckline so watch for that indicator. Also, be sure your collar is “sandwiched” between the jacket and the facing. Think of the collar as the peanut butter and the facing and the jacket as the bread. Whole wheat, of course. 🙂


Oh, and one other important thing: do not extend your stitching all the way to the cut edge at the beginning and the end of your front facing. Might be a little hard to see what I am talking about – but in this picture above my forefinger is folding back the front edge of the right facing piece. The front facing extends 3/8″ beyond the seamline of the right front and the right mid front – this is so you can attach the lining to the front facing edge. You should have the same 3/8″ extension where the right front facing joins the yoke shoulder seam at the top. All for the lining, ladies!

Diagonal corner trim

If you aren’t in the habit of trimming corners diagonally after stitching , it is a good habit to get into. Reducing bulk will help your garment lay more smoothly as well as make a nicer shaped corner. With a 3/8″ SA there is no need to trim anywhere other than the corners. Nice bonus to the small SA, right?


OK ladies, we are half done with the front zippers! Give the right front a nice pressing to make sure everything lays smoothly.


The left zipper is a similar concept – but instead of going along the left front edge, it is inserted between the left front and the left mid-front seams. Otherwise I followed the same steps of marking, pinning, basting, and final stitching. Easy peasy! Try zipping up your zipper at this point to make sure it will run smoothly. If all is well, give it a good press with the seam allowances pressed toward the armhole and the zipper teeth toward center front.


The left front facing is similar to the right, with one difference. The stitching at the bottom edge of the left side is 1.5″ from the bottom edge rather than the 3/8 on the right front facing. So mark a stitching line across the bottom edge, and stitch the bottom hem, left front edge, and left neck edge. Remember to switch to a 1/4″ SA at the collar and to leave the 3/8″ SA at the beginning and end for the lining attachment step!


Of course the rest of the hem is not done, but here is Ziggi partially zipped up and looking all sporty.


And here she is looking more corporate and prim. Do moto jackets ever look “prim”?

Happy sewing!


Ziggi Sew-Along: Quilting accents

Hopefully by now you have jumped (crawled over? 😉 ) the hurdle of inserting side seam zippers and pockets into your Ziggi jacket. Tell the truth now, how many glasses of wine did it take for you to get them in? Well, right now you can breathe a big sigh of relief because today is another easy-peasy day. As a matter of fact, today is totally OPTIONAL. You don’t even have to do this step unless you want to, so it can be considered a “bye” in the game of sewing a Ziggi.


But for those of you who do want to add a bit of textural interest to your Ziggi, let’s get started. You will need whatever fabric/skin you are using for your jacket accent pieces, the sleeve head pattern piece, the yoke pattern piece, a ruler, and some kind of marking tool. I am using leather for my yoke and sleeve head accents, and if you remember, said leather is from a pair of consignment-store purchased pants. I am certain I paid more for the Ziggi pattern than I did for this leather. I am marking the stitching lines on the leather with a white Chakoner, and since I am working with leather, I am also using a teflon foot for my Bernina. If you have a quilting bar you could also use it instead of marking lines on your fabric/leather, but the Chakoner did not create any problems on my leather. You might decide to add a lightweight batting or a piece of flannel as a backing for this quilting step: I chose not to because the leather has plenty of body without adding another layer. Your call! I also decided to go with a traditional grid pattern for the design, mostly for expediency. You could easily come up with a more unique and cooler stitch pattern than I used, but since the main fabric of my jacket is pretty busy this choice seemed appropriate.


To get started, I found 2 pieces of leather that were large enough to accommodate the sleeve head pattern piece. No worries about grain lines here since skin does not have any; you can lay the pattern pieces out any way they fit. Freedom! I roughly traced the sleeve head pattern piece onto the leather, and then just started marking lines. I was careful to make the second set of lines at a 45 degree angle to the first lines, but again, that is a matter of design preference.


The chalk grid is complete! Obviously, you might want a different stitching pattern, and you might choose a different marking tool that works best for your fabrics. In this case, the chalk comes off easily with a damp cloth and shows up well during the actual stitching process. Just be sure you do not use anything permanent to mark your stitch lines.


Next up is your actual stitching. It is definitely tough to see black stitching on black leather, so you will have to trust me when I tell you I used a 3.25 stitch length and a straight stitch. The teflon foot and simple stitch pattern made this a breeze. This is your pay-off for getting thru inseam pockets and zippers, ladies! 🙂


Onward to cutting. I love rotary cutters, and they work really well on leather. Cut around the sleeve head pattern, and be sure to snip the notches marked on the pattern piece. Notice that the sleeve head pattern is printed side UP in the image above, right? Right???


VERY IMPORTANT: Flip your pattern piece over for the second cut so you get a right AND a left sleeve head. Sleeve head pattern piece printed side DOWN in image above; check!! Make very sure you repeat this process when you cut out the yoke pattern piece.


Two sleeve heads (1 right and 1 left) and 2 front yokes (1 right and 1 left) ready for assembly on my Ziggi. Are you as excited as I am about how your jacket is coming together?

Happy sewing!




Ziggi Sew-Along: Almost inseam pockets & zippers

How are things going with your Ziggi? I hope you are all having a great time making up this jacket, cuz I am totally loving mine and can’t wait to get it done and on my body.

Today I am going to walk you through adding the pocket zips and pocket bags. I’m not gonna lie, this part is a little tricky. These almost-inseam pockets just might be the fussiest part of the jacket. The back section was simple and the collar was easy, peasy, right? Sooo, I guess there has to be something about this garment that qualifies it for “Advanced” or “Challenging”. I spent some quality time with my seam ripper and also made some practice samples trying to determine a process that would be both explainable and repeatable. Hopefully, I have accomplished both, but I am counting on you to let me know how I did. 😉

Longer Zipper Placement

First, I am indebted to Shams for her great tutorial on inserting the side seam jacket zippers. I definitely borrowed from her process, but also tweaked it a little to add some Sew Maris love. Be sure to read her method too, and take what you like from both of our techniques. Before we get started on the actual sewing techniques, I want to let you know I think there is a discrepancy between the pattern notching and the supply list for Ziggi. The notches for the pocket bag insertion on my pattern are about 5 1/2 inches apart, and the supply list calls for 6 inch zippers. You can see in the pix above the pins are marking where the notches are located, and the 6″ zippers I ordered are clearly longer. So, I lengthened the pocket bags and pocket facings by 1/2 inch, and I distributed that extra length toward the shoulder rather than the hem. I checked another moto jacket in my closet, and it also uses 6 inch zippers, which seem about right for easy entry/exit for my hands. Of course, it is a matter of personal preference, but do check the distance between notches on your pattern size and compare to your actual zipper length

OK,let’s get started with the meat and potatoes of setting in these zippers!

Creating the zipper window

Ziggi Side Seam ZipperPockets Supplies

The zipper “window” is made entirely on the side front of the jacket. You are going to need some silk organza (any color), the pocket bags, pocket facings, zippers, and duh, the side front and mid-front Ziggi jacket pieces.

I cut 2 strips of black silk organza to “face” the zipper window. I didn’t measure these strips precisely – just made them a couple of inches wide and longer than my zippers. Pin the organza to the right side of the side front, making sure to extend both above and below the zipper notches. (Remember when I said my zippers were longer than the notches? I decided to set the bottom of the zipper as indicated on the pattern, and then just extended it further up the seam toward the shoulder. The reason for this placement is to make sure the pocket bag does not interfere with the jacket hemline.)

Chalked Zipper Window Front

Next, I measured the width of the zipper teeth, which was a smidge over 1/8″. Since I only wanted a bit of the zipper tape to be visible, I chalked a vertical line on top of the silk organza a slightly generous 1/2″ from the raw edge, and a horizontal line for the zipper bottom and top. Err slightly on the side of being generous for these chalk lines. You want the zipper to easily fit in this window.

Silk Organza Zipper window

Using a normal stitch length, stitch across the bottom chalk line, pivot and stitch up the vertical chalk line, pivot again, and stitch across the top horizontal chalk line. Repeat for the other side front. Cut diagonally into the 2 corners of the zipper window, and press the organza to the wrong side of your jacket.


Now, using a normal stitch length, stitch the mid-front of the jacket to the side front. Start at the top of the neckline and stitch down to the top of the zipper window, and then backstitch.

SilkOrganza Detail Closeup

Also stitch from the hemline to the bottom of the zipper window, again backstitching at the zipper window. You can see in the pix above the organza is totally free and the seam ends right at the zipper window horizontal stitching line. Now be sure to press both seam allowances toward center front, using a ham over the curved portion of the seam.

Chalked Side Seam Top

Humor me for a moment – I just want you to look at how the top of this seam (side front to mid-front at the top) lines up.There is a little notch at the top of the side front that should be aligned with the edge of the mid-front. And YES, there is a little hanging chad on the right. This is because you need to match up seamlines on the STITCHING LINE, and NOT on the cutting line. Thank you. That is one of my pet peeves. Now,moving on to more Ziggi-ness.

Inserting the zipper

Basted Zipper

Baste the zipper in place into the zipper window. I recommend basting by hand, rather than by machine or just pinning. And don’t start whining to me about not liking hand stitching. Just put your big-girl panties on and do it. You will be happier with the results: more control, easier top-stitching, less ridicule from Sew Maris. 😉 Using the same stitch length you used for topstitching on your Ziggi back, (I used 4.0), stitch a scant 1/8″ from the seamline on the mid-front side ONLY, from the shoulder seam down to the bottom of the zipper, and backstitch 4-5 stitches.

Next up are the pocket bags. The pocket bags are attached to the seam allowances around the pocket window. Since Style Arc uses a 3/8″ SA, it is a little challenging to sew these puppies, but you can do it. A zipper foot, a glass of wine, and a deep breath will help. Before we start sewing, a note about the pocket facings. I only used the pocket facings on the pocket bag that is stitched to the side front SA. Since the pocket facing is supposed to provide a continuous appearance of jacket fabric when the pocket is unzipped, a facing is only necessary on the side front. If you don’t believe me, pin the pocket bags in place, unzip the zipper, and you will see what I am talking about. It won’t hurt anything to put the pocket facing on both pocket bags, but IMHO it is not necessary.


Pin the right side of a  pocket bag to the mid-front seam allowance and stitch. You will not have much room so use a zipper foot and go slowly. It’s fine to tale another pass at it if you need to – just make sure the bag is securely attached.


Press the stitched bag toward center front. Now this is the point where I completed the topstitching on the zipper window, along the top of the zipper, down the side front side of the zipper, across the bottom of the zipper, and connecting with the previous topstitching on the on the mid front and continuing down to the hem. I am not sure I had to separate the topstitching into 2 separate passes; but it seemed like a good idea at the time. The next thing I did was to attach a pocket facing to the opposite pocket bag.


Pin the pocket facing to side front seam allowance, and stitch. Hang in there, you are almost done!


And ta-da, now you get to stitch the pocket bags together and call it done. Very likely the pocket bags will not line up perfectly, but don’t stress. Just trim any excess. Don’t worry about your stitching either – it is hard to stitch straight on slippery lining fabric going around curves and trying to keep everything flat and aligned. The lining will cover a multitude of sins. My stitching looks pretty crappy, and I can totally live with it.


Apologies for this less than stellar image, but here’s how the finished front looks from the right side. Now that wasn’t SO bad, was it? I don’t think we can call it easy-peasy, but I’m pretty sure you won’t die from doing it. Questions? Shout ’em out! Comments? I’d love to hear from you? Complaints? Stacy is taking all those. 😉

Happy sewing!



Ziggi Sew-Along: Constructing the Collar

Now that the pattern + supplies have been ordered/purchased, and maybe even a little cutting and fusing has been completed, let’s get to the fun stuff: SEWING.

Ziggi eases you into the sewing process nice and easy with the collar construction, You’ve made a million or two collars, right? Let me know at the end of this post if you learned a new trick or two tho, because there are some tips here that might make your collar-making pain-free.

TRimmed under collar

Start off by trimming your under collar on all sides EXCEPT the neck edge. How much, you ask? I can’t tell you exactly because it depends on the thickness of the fabric you are using, but I can tell you how you can figure it out. You need to cut off the amount that your fabric “uses up” laying across another layer of the same fabric.This is what is meant by the expression “turn of cloth”.

Turn of cloth fold

So lay your two collar pieces together, and then fold them in half. In these pictures I am just using samples, but you get the idea.

Turn of cloth difference

Then just turn the fabric so you can see the difference in length between the top layer of fabric and the bottom layer of fabric. This difference is the amount you will need to cut away from your under collar to help it lay completely UNDER your upper collar. So measure that difference, and then trim away. Easy AND logical, right? Since most patterns these days no longer have a separate under collar and upper collar pattern piece, and they couldn’t account for all weights of fabric anyway, you should use this little trick to get all your collars to lay smoothly forevermore. You are most welcome. 😉


The next step is pinning. With the upper collar on the bottom and under collar on top, pin around the 2 short sides and the collar edge, leaving the neck edge free. Don’t stretch the under collar to fit, but do make sure all end points match. Stitch with the upper collar against your feed dogs, which will ease the upper collar to fit smoothly. Be sure to use a 1/4″ SA! You might not be used to such a small SA, but I guarantee you will come to love it. It is so much smarter to use the SA required for the job: no more, no less. This method eliminates most trimming after stitching, which saves time. And who doesn’t like to eliminate unnecessary tasks?


Trim the excess fabric from both collar points, leaving a scant 1/8″ at the tips. If your fabric is a loose weave don’t trim quite so close.


Next, press your stitched collar seams open over a point presser and turn the collar right side out. Your collar points will probably need a little love to get them looking their best.


One trick I use often is to insert a threaded needle into one side and out the other of the collar point. The idea is to get the needle right into the seamline on both sides if you can.

thread pulling

Pull on the thread, trying to work the point outward as much as possible You likely will need to repeat this same process a few times to pull as much bulk as possible out of the collar point. Don’t try for a perfect point; it is just not gonna happen. Some amount of that collar point bulk is going to stay bunched up in there, so be Zen about it. The thicker your fabric the less “perfect” the points will be. The idea is to just pull as much out as you can, OK? Don’t make yourself crazy!


Next you want to understitch to secure the seam allowances to the under collar. If you have an edgestitch foot, this is a great time to use it. I moved my needle 2 stops to the right, pushed the seam allowances towards the under collar, and stitched as far as I could along the collar edge. Since my thread is such a close match it is hard to see in this picture, but if you squint your eyes and stand on one foot you can see the line of understitching on the right. See it now? 😉

Final Collar

Now just press your collar, admire your handiwork, and be proud your collar is DONE! You feel better already, don’t you?

Happy sewing!



Style Arc Ziggi SewAlong: Cutting it all out

Are you excited to get started on your Ziggi jacket? I am amped like I’ve had 6 double shots of espresso, and hopefully my stitching will not be affected by my crazed condition.  Let’s do this, people!

Style Arc's Ziggi jacket pattern

So by now hopefully you should have all your supplies + your pattern. Did you order your zippers from I did – some badass antique nickel babies. And I paid to have them cut to the exact length I want. I decided against using leather for my Ziggi, except for the optional contrast pieces. I live in rain country people, and already have a leather jacket I don’t wear as much as I would like. Here are my supplies:

Fabric an dzipper sfor Ziggi jacket

I bought the amoeba-flocked denim at Billie’s Designer Fabrics in Chehalis last fall. Love.This.Fabric. The crazy red print lining is from District Fabrics in Fremont. Thanks Ashley, it is perfect! The custom-length, badass antique nickel zips are from ZipperStop. Kickin’ fast shipping, just in case you need it. 😉 The leather pants have never been worn by me. I bought them from a consignment store for almost nothing because the leather was in great shape. I thought they would make great welts in bound buttonholes, but evidently they want to be something a little racier. Like accents on a Ziggi!

Now, some of you lovelies have been concerned about making a muslin first. Two words: YOUR CALL. If you have never sewn a Style Arc pattern and don’t know how they fit your body, it wouldn’t be a bad idea. If you want to make a muslin, skip to the Muslin Making section for more deets. If you are good to go, start your engines!

Cutting out the Ziggi jacket

So I am going to use my fabric choices as examples. Remember, I am making a basically denim jacket with leather shoulder yoke and sleeve accents. So here is my cutting list:

Pattern pieces required for my main jacket fabric (black-flocked denim)

Denim with Ziggi pattern pieces

1 (2x), 2(2x), 3(2x) 4(2x), 5(2x), 6(2x), 7(1x), 8(2x), 9(2x), 10(1x), 11(4x), 12(2x), 13(2x), 14(2x)

Pattern pieces for accents (black leather)

Black leather pants for Ziggi jacket accents

8(2x), 13(2x)

Pattern pieces for lining (red poly silk)

Ziggi jacket lining with paper patterns

15(2x), 16(2x), 17(2x), 18(2x), 19(2x), 20(1x), 21(2x), 22(2x) 23(4x)

Pattern pieces for interfacing

2(2x), 9(2x)

Here is the bad news – at least for my pattern. The pattern numbers are not listed correctly on the paper pattern pieces. Bummer. But it only took me about 3 1/2 minutes to go thru the pattern piece list + diagram and write the correct pattern piece number on my pattern pieces. I will write Style Arc and tell them about this, but it is hardly a showstopper. Actually, not even a blip on my sewing radar.

You’re all smart, so I know you pre-washed your fabric if you are using something like denim or twill. If you are using leather, remember NO IRONING. What a relief, right? And did I mention how happy I am that I only have to fuse my interfacing to the collar and front facing? Fusing is among my least favorite sewing tasks, so the fewer the better as far as I am concerned.

Now, about my leather. I plan to quilt my pieces so I am going to get all my stitching done before I do the final cutting. I bet you know all about that shrinking/quilting thing, so ‘nuf said.

Making a muslin

If you decide to make a muslin before cutting into your fabric, you should be cutting out everything EXCEPT the pocket facings, the hem facing, the front facing, and all of the lining pieces. Be sure to use a fabric that is a comparable weight to the final fabric you intend to use. WATCH THOSE SEAM ALLOWANCES when you baste it together (yes, I did say BASTE). Style Arc uses 3/8″ SA in most places, and 1/4″ on collars. You will LOVE sewing with these seam allowances because the pattern fits together perfectly, and there is NO trimming. Because the pattern piece has the seam allowance required to do the job. No more. No less.

Stitch around the outside edges of all hems and outer edges and cut off the SA so you can tell exactly where things will end. Draw horizontal and vertical balance lines on the muslin with a sharpie to help you understand where any fitting issues are occurring. We don’t really have time to go thru a complete fitting in this sew along, since each of you will have different issues. If you are looking for a good, visual resource I really like Sarah Veblen’s The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting.

Whew! That is enough for one day!! Are you excited yet? 🙂

Happy sewing!






Ready for a Ziggi sew-along?

You might know that I am currently slightly totally-over-the-top obsessed with Style Arc patterns. Can’t get enough of their great design details as well as awesome fit. My first venture into their patterns was the Claudia Stretch Woven Pant, and second was the Lorie Jacket (not yet finished because of zipper indecision).

Fabulous fully lined biker jacket with zip features

It’s time for the big leagues, sisters. That’s right, the Ziggi jacket! Lots of zippers, lots of details, lots of fun. So to help spread more Ziggi-ness around the universe, the super-awesome Stacy Sews and I are planning a Ziggi sew-along for you! If you have been toying with the idea of trying a Style Arc pattern, this would be a great time to jump in. We promise to give you loads of help along the way, so no more excuses. Just.Do.It.

Here’s the down-lo on our sew-along plan:

  • Currently scheduled to start in late February, which gives you a month to order your pattern and collect supplies.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to order your pattern. Shipping from Australia is snail-slow. Today is a good day to order.
  • Take your body measurements carefully before ordering; Style Arc does not provide multi-sizes. My experience is they run very true to measurements, but be sure to contact them if you have questions or concerns.
  • Thinking about purchasing or ordering your supplies early, too. To get the moto look, you will want to use all metal zips, specifically:
  •     1 x 20″ separating metal front zip
  •     2 x 6” metal zips for the sleeves
  •     2 x 6” metal zips for the pockets
  •     2 x 1/2″ studs for the lapels
  • If you have never sewn on leather or pleather, this may not be the best time to experiment. Pick wool, denim, linen, or some other firmly woven fabric.
  • Style Arc’s free January pattern is the Rosie top. Don’t forget to ask for it like I did when I originally placed my order, cuz then you will have to email them and look like a loser.

I am not gonna lie. This pattern is probably not best for  absolute beginners. With all the topstitching and zipper insertions it is definitely going to take some attention to detail and precision. BUT. Don’t be a chicken. You can do more than you think you can. And so what if it doesn’t turn out perfect? You are going to have fun in the sew-along anyway and push yourself to learn some new techniques. Time for the big leagues, right?

Happy sewing!