Burda Desert Moto Jacket for the Sewing Bee

FrontA1Once the weather turned really cold, my sewing ideas turned to jackets. I love to wear jackets! I think they look great AND KEEP ME WARM. Also, I can wear them with jeans. All good reasons to make dozens, right? This Burdastyle Desert Moto Jacket has been on my wishlist for a while. Aren’t the style lines cool? Yes, but they are darn tricky to sew!

ShirtCollageI made it to the second round of the Pattern Review Sewing Bee and the next challenge was to use men’s button down shirts to create a new garment. This pattern is great for that because of the many small pattern pieces, making it easier to get it out of the limited yardage. But, this ended up being the most challenging item I have ever tackled. Whoa. I’m still a little shell shocked.

Lining1First, I thought I was going to use the great gray windowpane plaid flannel for my jacket, but as I cut it out I realized it was so off-grain that it was impossible. I hate cutting, so the fact that I had to re-cut almost made me give up. But then I cleverly turned those already cut pieces into my lining, so that was salvaged. I didn’t have enough maroon shirt left to cut the facings anyway.

closeShoulder1I used a scrap of pleather I had left over- I used it before in my Renfrew sweater dress and knew it was pretty easy to work with. I had just enough and started sewing that tricky curved yoke. Oh dear, that was a bear! It went together with the chamois maroon shirt okay, but when I got to the light weight cotton that I had cut the side panels out of, no no no. It puckered, then I tried to press it out, that stretched the leather and left the cotton still wrinkled. I picked it out and sewed some of it on top of the cotton where it wouldn’t make the turn and that looks okay. Much better than my first 3 attempts.

Cuffs1Then the zipper was too long. It says 18″ zipper, but I had to shorten it by more than an inch. I had never done such a thing before. There was quite a bit of grunting, not to get the zipper teeth out (that was fun and cathartic, even) but trying to get the top stops off. I finally got one off to realize that I couldn’t get it back on to the zipper tape in the correct place. Grrrr. Finally I just sewed it in without the stopper. I trust that the jacket will stop at the top where I inserted the collar, right? I certainly hope so.

I also used hammer on snaps for the first time and felt like a rock star. That was pure fun!

Back1I did have to take in the waist quite a bit and curve it, but after doing that the fit turned out well. Perhaps I should have made it wider in the shoulders, and slimmer in the arms, but I am basking in the glow of getting this done 1 day early and being able to add it to The Monthly Stitch in time for Outerwear Month!

frontA2I will wear this, yes I will. It is not incredibly warm, but it is exactly the layer I need to make me feel put together and stylish, even in my comfiest jeans. Note: the jeans pictured are not my comfiest jeans, they are alarmingly tight. I’ve been stress eating like nobody’s business. That is exactly why I need an everyday moto jacket to elevate my comfy jeans!


14 thoughts on “Burda Desert Moto Jacket for the Sewing Bee

    • Thank you, especially since the fabrics were my second choice. It did work out in the end, though. Probably good I didn’t make another gray item of clothing!

  1. Wow! You could have fooled me. Never would have known that your jacket was made out of male shirts. It looks stunning. The colors blend in so nicely, it looks so professional. Well done!

  2. Hi Laurie, just found your blog and it’s great to know of such a talented sew its/designer is in my home town….or close by. I too was int the PR sewing Bee and yes it was exhausting but fun. I have a question about the hammer type snaps. I bought the exact same ones, but haven’t a clu how to attach them. Can you share?

    • Thanks! You first have to figure out which 2 pieces (on each half of the snap) go together, which I think is the trickiest part. One side has prongs, and the other looks like a snap. Then you line prong on one side, facing into the other piece, then place the snap piece over it, and hit it with your hammer. Just gently tap it all around until it is even. It ended up being pretty easy, once I got my bearings as to which piece goes where.

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