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  • Writer's pictureLonda

‘Adorned’ Sweatshirt Jacket with Minimal Embellishment

On this grey jacket, I did less embellishment (FAR less) than on the Chili Red Adorned Jacket. This jacket features creative use of sewing machine capabilities like Bobbin Work and creating a Shell-tucked edge. This jacket took approximately 8-10 hours to execute. I used the Brother Quattro 4 machine – on which the Bobbin Work was REALLY simple~!  This jacket style is being selected by many shops/guilds for my travels/workshops/events  during 2014, as it is easier, and much more likely to be accomplished in 1 to 1.5 days of work.  The Chili Red Adorned Jacket represents a full day’s work in just the embellishment alone.

Grey Minimalist 'Adorned' Sweatshirt Jacket

Grey Minimalist ‘Adorned’ Sweatshirt Jacket

This jacket is very heavily embellished…in the yoke with LOTS of couching, bobbin work, etc. 

I the photograph below, you can see how I used my Chakoner marker to mark the embellishment basic line and direction.  On this jacket, I decided I’d have a button, so the lower yoke lines direct the eye to where the button will be located.  Totally though, the embellished area is constrained to the upper 1/3 of the jacket – both on the front and on the back.

Planning the Front Yoke embellishment angles.

Note on the back, that the original locker patch double area is off-center.  That happened when I cut the sweatshirt totally apart, and RE-CUT it using the pattern pieces for Front, Back an Sleeve included in my  book  Sweatshirt Transformations (and all my patterns) .  This is the BEST way to get a great fit with the shoulder line at the natural shoulder instead of all sloppy as found on so many sweatshirts.

Designing the Back Yoke.

I stitched through these main lines with matching thread because I knew I’d be doing some ‘Bobbin Work’ where one stitches with the WRONG side up at the machine, with heavy thread in the bobbin.  I did this on my Brother Quattro 4 and it worked GREAT!  Drop-in bobbin orientation, I find, is much easier than vertical bobbins in a case.  For those types of machines, you MUST get an additional bobbin case on which you really loosen the bobbin tension screw.  Very possible, just a bit more ‘testy’.  My Brother Quattro came with an additional bobbin case though as well – AND a special bobbin cover that is designed to keep the bobbin from popping up out of place, as the bobbin thread is NOT pulled through the tension mechanism when doing bobbin work.

Another feature I used on my machine is ‘Shelltucking’.  This is done easily on most any machine as all that is required is the blind hem stitch.  Even better is a stitch where the ‘jump over’ doesn’t have angles to it, but looks more like a hand buttonhole stitch – frequently used for applique as well.  On my Quattro, it is the 2-04 stitch.  The ‘jump over’ needs to go to the right.  So, if your stitch is the opposite, utilize the mirror image feature if you have it to ‘flip’ the stitch right to left.  (Without the mirror image feature, you’ll have to feed the folded bias fabric in with the fold at the left side instead of the right side. )  Testing first – I found that I got the best tucks if I increased the needle tension to 6.4, and set the stitch width at 7 and the stitch length at 4.  These setting will always be determined by the weight of your fabric.  My very BEST shelltucking is done on a lightweight fabric, cut on the bias and folded – like chiffon.

Dominant Trim Row created with a folded strip of bias velveteen and the shell-tucked dupioni.

The velveteen bias folded piece was too heavy to apply as per my directions in the book, so instead, I stitched the shelltucked dupioni layer below the velveteen folded bias at the upper edge, trimmed VERY close to the stitching, then stitched it on, wrong side to the right side of the jacket along the designated line, then covered the raw edge by couching 2 strands of the great ‘character’ yarn featured on this jacket.

VERY careful, thought-out embellishment rows…

You can see in the photo at the right, the bobbin work in heavy black – both the triple zigzag stitch on the mauve bias dupioni at the upper edge, and the wavy stitch which is the 2nd black row below the topmost aqua twisted bias dupioni row.

I considered the light aqua the most ‘noticeable’ embellishment color, and therefore planned/designed it very carefully.  Note that it is in 3 locations (odd number!) on both sides of the front, and also at the back.  The maroon velveteen row with shelltucked under layer defines the change in the embellishment direction, and ties in with the binding on the jacket at the neckline, hem, and cuff finishes.  Note also the black Straight Fusible Stay Tape along the center front edges to STAY, control that edge!

Find all these directions and MORE in my Sweatshirt Transformations book.  This great book contains directions for 8 jackets, general directions, and pattern pieces in the back.

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