Drafting the Zippered Jacket Pattern

Thanks to all who helped me choose which jacket to sew next. I started work on the zippered jacket this weekend. I decided to create my own pattern. First, I had to think about the fabric and the fit to determine what to do with the bust darts. The tweed is a loose weave with horizontal stripes of color and sequins, so I wanted a simple design. I like something with waist definition, so I decided on waist darts for shaping. I have a jacket pattern which fits me very well, but it has princess seams, so I needed to do some pattern manipulation.
I began with the BML belted jacket pattern which I used for this jacket. I cropped the pattern at the waist and taped the side front to the front along the upper part of the princess seam. Then I covered the pieces with tracing paper.
I traced the two pieces as one, converting the princess seam to a waist dart. I also redrew the neckline, using my french curve. For this pattern, I omitted the seam allowances. I find it easier to work with patterns when there are no seam allowances. I will add the seam allowances when I cut the fabric.
Here is what the half front looks like.
The jacket will have an asymmetrical front closure, so I will need to start with a full front pattern piece which I will later cut in two to make a left and a right side. Here I have folded the tracing paper along the center front line and traced the rest of the jacket front onto the folded tracing paper. I divided it by extending one of the dart legs up to the shoulder seam. (I later changed this when I determined where I wanted my neck opening.)
Next, I cut the new pattern pieces out, cutting the left and right apart along the dart leg and its extension.
Here are the two pieces. When I wear the jacket, I would like the zipper to appear to anyone who sees it to go from the top left toward the bottom right. I find that diagonal line to be more appealing than one which goes from top right toward bottom left. That means that from the wearer's point of reference, the zipper will be on the right hand side. Therefore, the larger front piece will be the FRONT LEFT. I always find this confusing and even though I may mark a pattern, I never trust it and I will always double check as I cut. I have learned not to bother marking the pieces. (Does anyone else do this? - second guess yourself to death?? I can't tell you how many pattern pieces I have with markings that are crossed out, changed, crossed out yet again, and changed back to the original markings. I drive myself crazy.)
Here is where I decided on the neckline and the collar. I went back and forth in my mind over having a wider neckline as in my drawing, or a smaller one. I opted for the smaller one with more coverage as I am always cold, and it will look nicer when layered. I drew a dotted line to indicate where the edge of the collar will fall. At this point, I noticed the front opening will not intersect the neckline. That needs to be fixed.
Here, I taped the fronts together and redrew the opening. I am not convinced I like it as much as my original idea with the wider neckline. Also, that diagonal line I had in my mind for the zipper is not going to work out. I think I need to let this marinate a little before I cut any fabric... I may redo it and go with my original sketch.


  1. I commend you! You are far more advanced than I.

  2. Oh I missed the previous post on which jacket to make. But it looks like you picked the one I would have gone for first. I hope you get all the drafting to your satisfaction, because your drawing is gorgeous.