THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

October 20, 2007

Silk Organza Saves the Day

I fell hard for the EmmaOneSock silk tweed with all-over embroidery from Nanette Lepore. It was ruinously expensive – so much so, that I have blocked out the price in my mind. Since I had once managed to make a jacket in 1 ½ yards of fabric, that’s what I bought, with no real idea of what I would make.

The fabric worked on my mind, and I decided that what I really wanted to make was a jeans style jacket, but with an hourglass shape. This fitted denim silhouette was popular some years ago, made best by Jean Paul Gaultier, who has perfected the corset silhouette over many different types of garments, from ball gowns, to bustiers, to jackets.

The thought of drafting such a pattern from scratch was daunting though, as fitting such an item on oneself is no picnic. I set out to find a pattern I could adapt to my needs, something that had a good structure to begin with. I had never worked with a Marfy pattern before, but from all reports it was a good place to begin. Every other jeans style jacket I had looked at was too boxy, or worse, a wedge shape that was narrower at the bottom. Definitely not MY shape!

Marfy F9468

I found the Marfy pattern after much digging, it is an older pattern and not easy to find on the Vogue website. I am not sure if it is still in print. I bought it in March of 07, I believe it is from Fall 06. As it comes out of the envelope it is a shirt, but it has a shaped side seam, and the all important 3 panel front with a shoulder yoke..

Here are the changes I made to the pattern to get to my jacket:
>Make a straight hem instead of a curve hem, added to the sleeve length for full length sleeve.
>Cut the center front straight up to the neck, with a 1/2″ extension for buttons instead of a curved placket open neck shirt collar.
> No pockets used for this fabric.
>Reduce the collar point to be less of a Boeing 747 spread.
>Change from a set-on placket to fold back facing. I did this only because I had the nightmare silk tweed fabric to deal with. I couldn’t imagine trying to make a straight narrow placket in this fabric, especially with the thickness of the fabric with the embroidery. In fact, it was still tough to wrestle with the yoke seam and the turn back, but since my button fell below the yoke seam and the turn back of the lapel with the collar open was OK, I got off easy. For other fabrics I will make a set-on placket as you usually find on this type of jacket.

Let me just say that the fitting alterations were minimal. I was amazed at how well the pattern went together and fit me right out of the envelope. I did pinch out a bit more bust dart shape in the side panel, which effectively lowered my armhole, but I was able to re-draw it with minimal hassle back on the table after the fitting.



The amount of seaming and topstitching required in this jacket made me choose to underline my fabric with silk organza. This kind of tweed just sort of falls apart when you look at it, it ravels away at the slightest excuse. By adding the layer of silk organza, I was able to do all of the seaming and topstitching without worrying. I had a denim jacket to refer to, to see how the seaming was done. This helped a lot, as Marfy provides no seam allowances and no instuctions. I had traced off their pattern, and then made a muslin to test the fit before I cut into my [ridiculously expensive] EOS fabric… no second chance with this!

Of course, with 1 ½ yards of fabric, I had to squeeze the pattern pieces into the layout. I needed to cut the undercollar, a hem and cuff facing from another fabric, as there was no way to fit it in. Actually this was a good thing, since my silk/wool blend was much smoother, thinner, and easier to work with than the silk tweed. It did cut down on the bulk.

All of my pieces were underlined. I basted my silk organza from Thai Silks to the fashion fabric, and basted at the seam line as well. I sewed the body seams front and back, then serged the seam allowances together (something I learned from my denim jacket that I followed.) Once the panels were together, I did my double needle topstitch. (Used heavy topstitch thread – nothing else showed up). I applied the yoke and seamed the same way. I had to use a 1/4″ grosgrain ribbon at the inside back neck, as it was impossible ot turn the seam allowance and topstitch. This eliminated a whole bunch of thickness, and gave a nice clean finish.


For the side seams, the armholes and sleeves, the seams were serged separately before sewing the seams together, as there is no double needle on these seams.


I confess, I took the jacket to a tailor for the buttonholes – my machine, and my nerves were not up to it.

I just want to say that this is now a TNT pattern, and I will be using it again and again, probably for the rest of my life. It’s a classic and stands the test of time.



  1. Wow Georgene – this is a fabric I’ll see in my dreams, and the finished result is perfect!

    Comment by phyllisc — October 20, 2007 @ 6:26 pm

  2. Wow, oh, wow. What an incredible jacket. It is beautiful on you. Thank you for sharing the technical details about how you modified the pattern and tamed the silk tweed. What an inspiration!

    Comment by Mary OK — October 21, 2007 @ 8:28 am

  3. Impeccable!

    Comment by Jenna — October 21, 2007 @ 8:59 am

  4. You know, I have this pattern and had thought of it as a shirt, but you are the second person to make it up as a jacket! Maybe I need to get my machine in gear this season and get mine done.

    Comment by lorna — October 21, 2007 @ 10:35 am

  5. What a wonderful jacket! The fabric is to die for, I can understand completely how you were taken with it. Is the bright pink at the cuffs in the last photo the contrast you used for the cuff facings, under collar, etc.?

    Comment by Summerset — October 21, 2007 @ 1:01 pm

  6. Hi Summerset,
    Yes that’s my beautiful hot pink Ungaro silk/wool contrast. I only bought enough to make my facings, etc. How very unlike me! Usually I would have bought enough for a 3 piece suit, but somehow I couldn’t see myself in this color as an all-over garment.

    Comment by georgene — October 21, 2007 @ 1:35 pm

  7. Wonderful, inspiring jacket and great tutorial. Thanks for documenting your efforts!

    Comment by Miriam — October 21, 2007 @ 2:52 pm

  8. That’s gorgeous! Congratulations on a beautiful jacket – you did an amazing job.

    Comment by Kris C. — October 21, 2007 @ 3:30 pm

  9. Fantastic jacket and congrats on making this from only 1,5 yard, that took a lot of mathematics although the pattern has a lot of vertical seaming which can be very useful. Great idea to use the silk organza as a backing to prevent further fraying. I am sure you will make many more jackets from this pattern, the fit is superb and with your creativity the design details will be various.

    Comment by Els — October 21, 2007 @ 6:03 pm

  10. Great fit and it looks absolutely beautiful on you. Not to mention the fabric, which is to die for…

    Comment by LauraLo — October 22, 2007 @ 7:44 am

  11. Lovely! That fabric is fabulous.

    Comment by Cindyann — October 22, 2007 @ 9:47 am

  12. Though there are many awe-inducing details, I am in particular awe of the perfection of the set-in sleeve. Just beautiful!

    Comment by Supermollio — October 22, 2007 @ 9:50 am

  13. I have a RTW shirt in this style that is extremely flattering. Now I’m going to ahve to find this pattern. Thanks for all the details.

    Comment by Marie — October 22, 2007 @ 3:03 pm

  14. Yes, the set in sleeve – a thing of beauty!! It looks like you stitched two rows of basting and gathered the sleeve cap that way or are my eyes deceiving me? Just aweseome!

    Comment by Mary T — October 23, 2007 @ 3:58 pm

  15. Yes Mary, the sleeve cap is eased with 2 rows of basting. Then the ease is shrunk out with a slightly damp cloth and iron on the end of the sleeve board (as you see it photographed). You can see the gathers are there in the seam allowance, but not on the actual cap of the sleeve. The silk tweed behaves beautifully with this technique. Much harder with a flannel or other densely woven fabric.

    Comment by georgene — October 23, 2007 @ 4:14 pm

  16. Wow, that is beautiful!

    Comment by Vicki — October 23, 2007 @ 5:28 pm

  17. Wow, Georgene, I am speechless! What a stunning piece – the silk organza underlining will make this so durable that you’ll be wearing it for years – and really forget how much you paid for that gorgeous fabric.

    Comment by Gigi — October 23, 2007 @ 9:01 pm

  18. Holy Cow Batman – I adore that jacket!

    Comment by Connie — October 23, 2007 @ 10:37 pm

  19. I’m very impressed with your work on this fabulous jacket! Since I was introduced to the silk organza by Diva Els my sewing improved exponentially! Your workmanship on this jacket is superb and thanks for sharing your knowledge with us!

    Comment by Tany — October 24, 2007 @ 8:27 am

  20. To use my favorite phrase these days: gowachuss!

    Comment by Gorgeous Things — October 26, 2007 @ 10:19 am

  21. Good day,
    My name is Reverend Paul i am contacting you in order to purchase some fabrics from you.I will like you to send me a quote so that we can proceed.

    100% Organic cotton Fabric White:58″ wide 1500 yd

    100% Silk Organza Fabric Solid Black: 60″ wide 1500 yd

    I will like you to email me with a quote plus tax only..I will like to inform you that this order is for a church.I will like to know what form of payments you do accept. I will also be recommending a freight company to make the pickup at your location as soon as the order is ready.Hope to here from you soon.

    Thank You.

    Reverend Paul

    Comment by Reverend Paul — February 24, 2009 @ 9:14 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: