The work starts with preparing a form for half of a jacket; a front and a back are the same, they differ only in a shape of a neckline and the length and shape of the bottom. Then, within a step no. 4, the form is divided into separate pieces of the front, the back and the sleeve.
Prepare a form for half of a T-shirt; press your T-shirt with an iron and fold it in half lengthwise; spread it down on a paper so that the material stays not tightened or not gathered; outline your T-shirt; a shape of an armhole and a front part of a neckline should be copied by densely spiking seams with pins so that there are holes in the paper that determine the shape (if you put a thick material under the paper, pins will be spiked deeper and the holes will be more visible). Width of bottom of t-shirt pattern should be equal to ¼ of your hips circumference.
Prepare a form for a parka; in case of this tutorial, we base on the size of 36/38, but each of the dimensions can be modified to your expectations and needs
- determine the width of the neckline (A=13cm)
- deepening a front and back of a neckline of 2cm is a standard, regardless the size (B)
- draw a new shape of a wider and deeper neckline
- extend an angle of an arm to the length at which you want to make a cut on a sleeve (C=27cm)
- lengthen this line to the desired length of a sleeve (D=34)
- make a cut on a sleeve, perpendicular to the angle of a shoulder, a width should equal a sleeve in a biceps, that is half of a circumference of your biceps increased by 6-12cm (E=16.5cm)
- at the end of the length of a sleeve, determine at right angle, the width of a sleeve in its bottom part (F=12cm)
- determine the length of a parka at the back measured from the highest point of a shoulder (the heights point of a neckline in the form of a t-shirt , G=100cm)
- determine the width of a chest – a quarter of a circumference of a chest increased by 6-10cm (H=30cm)
- determine the width at the bottom – a quarter of the desired circumference at the bottom (I=28cm)
- draw a bottom part of a sleeve and its jacket side (J = a smooth and straight line with a gentle curve by an armhole)
- determine a difference between the length of a front and a back (K=20cm) and mark half of this dimension on the side line (K1=10cm)
Draw a shape of a bottom of a front and a back; cut a sleeve.
- copy a back separately – copy a shallower neckline and a longer bottom
- copy a front separately – copy a deeper neckline and a shorter bottom
- draw a mirror image to a sleeve
- a form of an entire sleeve is ready
Copy shape of a hood from your sweatshirt (just like in case of a shape of a T-shirt), folding a hood in half; adjust dimensions to your expectations; important: a wave at a bottom of a hood must be of the same length as neckline sizes of a front and a back (L+M); a height (O=38) and a width (N=30) can be modified (a dotted line), however you must not change a length of a wave; determine a height at which there should be an end of a lining; that would be a place where a parka is gathered at the back – around a waist (P=40cm–45cm).
Cut two stripes in order to prepare tunnels with a cord, which will be sewn up at a bottom. Also prepare two strips for placket with buttons sewn in a front:
- a width of stripes is: 2 x desired width of a placket / tunnel + 2cm for seams.
- a length of stripes: we recommend to cut stripes across a whole width of a fabric, and when sewing, reduce them to the correct dimensions
- in case of all forms, except stripes, add 1cm seam allowance (dark gray outline); element in light gray are forms for an outer material, dark gray elements are forms for a lining
- done! – cut forms of materials.
Using an overlock machine (or, if you don’t have one, use one of overlock stitches available in HZL-F600 model), overcast middle edges of all elements in a rear, in case of a lining, overcast additionally a top edge; put a lining on an outer material – their right sides should be in contact; make a stitching along a center line of a back, along a whole length of a lining; sew as close as possible to an overlock seam.
Press a lining with an iron to the side; put the two elements of a back one on top of the other, so as their right sides are in contact; sew up starting at the neckline and ending about 25cm from the bottom – a slit of a parka should be at the back on the bottom.
When sewing, a presser foot should be just by the overlock seam and a needle in the middle position – that will enable to cover the preceding seam.
Press the seam with an iron to the sides – a slit in the bottom of a parka is now beautifully finished; using an overlock machine, cut corners in a lining (about 5cm from a top edge); fasten sides of a lining with an outer material.
Sew up front elements with back ones on shoulders; allowances should be overcasted with an overlock stitch.
Press a seam on a shoulder and sew up sleeves.
After sewing sleeves up, fold a jacket in half; the sides of a front and a back should coincide, and sleeves should be folded in half; fasten the sides of a front and a back so that edges of an outer material overlap one another – if a lining protrudes a bit, after sewing, you can cut it with scissors or cut using an overlock machine; sew the sides and a bottom of a sleeve with one seam; when overcasting allowances, precisely cut them off by an armhole as too large allowance will cause material to gather outside, after turning it up to the right side.
Sew a hood and overcast it with an overlock seam; fasten an outer material with a lining. Outer layer of the hood should be on the right side, lining should be on the wrong side, so that overlock seams are inside.
Fasten a hood to a neckline – a seam in a middle of a hood should cover (coincide with) a seam in a middle of a back.
Sew a hood to a neckline, overcast an allowance with an overlock seam; press an allowance with an iron up and make a strengthening stitching in a middle of an overlock seam – it will be visible at the base of a hood, on an outer surface
Sew up tunnels for a cord in a bottom part of a parka; a shorter edge in each stripe should be overcasted with an overlock seam – press it with an iron by 1cm to the inside and sew; press stripes with an iron in half and fasten so that the finished edge is fastened by a slit at the back.
After sewing up and overcasting with an overlock seam, cut any excess in a front; press tunnels with an iron down and ends of an overlock seam hide under a pressed allowance; similarly to a hood, make a reinforcement stitching in the middle of an allowance in order to prevent it from rolling
Insert a cord into tunnels; at the ends of a cord, make a knot; in a front edge, a knot should be hidden inside a tunnel at about 3-4cm from an edge; an excess of a cord should protrude by a slit in the back.
Sew the end of a cord up in a front at about 3cm from an edge; make a triple, reinforced stitching so that a cord remains in a place.
To make a front placket sew up together other two stripes into one long stripe; press it with an iron in half lengthwise; a resulted strip fasten around edges of a front and a hood; leave about 5cm-long stripes in a bottom.
Overcast the ends in the bottom and turn them up by 1cm; press them with an iron up so that an edge of a strip in the bottom, remains even with an edge of a tunnel; sew the strip to the jacket, fastening turned-up ends; Overcast whole placket with an overlock seam; press seam allowances with an iron and make a reinforced stitching along a strip, in the middle of an allowance; finally, sew an edge of turned-up ends making a square stitch in a bottom of a strip.
Finish sleeves – overcast edges with an overlock seam, press them with an iron for about 1cm to the inside and sew all around.
Look closely at the upper part of a lining in a back; make 3 pairs of fastenings at each half, every few centimeters – as a result you will get a tunnel for a tape; gaps between upper and lower fastenings should be wider by 0.5cm from a tape; you should make only local seams so that they are not very visible on an outside surface, and the gathers at a back is more striking after removing a tape (a stitched tunnel would give even gathering, and a single stitching will result in accumulation of gathering in 3 locations).
Pockets – determine a shape and a size of a pocket; prepare a form having in mind an allowance for seams; sew upstrips to pockets, overcast them with an overlock seam and press with an iron up; overcast sides and a bottom with an overlock seam and press with an iron.
Determine location of buttonholes on a strip; place a button in a holder on a presser foot to buttonholes; follow instructions on operating a machine, attach a presser foot and sew a desired shape of a buttonhole – it will be automatically adjusted to a size of a button.
Sew remaining holes – determine their locations on a strip in a front; in order to do this, it is recommended to put a jacket on – one of a button must be at your bust level, and one button in the bottom, the location of the rest of buttons depends your choice.
After sewing all buttonholes, cut them carefully so as not to cut a thread; use a special scissors for slitting holes that are included as an accessory; finally sew pockets up.
Your parka is ready! You can tighten a cord in a bottom and have a more baggy shape, or gather it in a waist in a back and have a coat shape.
Sewing instructions prepared by: Janek Leśniak – fashion designer who, together with JUKI, conducts dressmaking courses in Warsaw. He infects others with a passion for making your own clothes on his blog: pracowniajanlesniak.pl, where he reveals the arcana of his trade. Combining craftsmanship and design, he builds an awareness of the quality and the fashion industry among people non-related with the business. He has aquired fifteen years’ experience working with such brands as Reserved, House and Big Star. He has independently created original collections and conducted lectures on fashion business at the Cracow School of Art and Fashion Design. He has rejected massive fashion in favour of passion and work under his own name.