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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dancing jacket

The jacket itself doesn't dance, but on my list of things to make is a jacket to go with my Highland dance costume.  Most beginning dancers start out with a vest and blouse but as I'll be moving into the Premier group this year (yikes!), it's time to start looking into a jacket.

My dance sister wearing her jacket and executing a lovely leap.

The design is very specific and the rules about how it should look are very strict.  I have to use certain size buttons, certain braiding, cotton velvet, etc.  The cotton velvet has been a challenge to find anywhere but through Highland dance costume/supply companies.  I found some that is fairly local but I'm still waiting for it to arrive in the mail.  In the meantime, I started to draft the muslin for my jacket.

Normally I'm too lazy for muslin, but the pattern sizing will need to be pretty specific and I have to be able to wear my heavy, bulky kilt under the jacket, and ensure that the jacket doesn't ride up while I'm dancing. My mom said she would help me with the final construction, but I wanted to at least have the muslin done when she comes over.  I also thought it would be a good, more challenging sewing project to tackle.

Jacket front

I put together the partial muslin.  I think it has good overlap in the front.  I will be installing a zipper and will also lose some of the overlap when I add the lining.  The zipper shouldn't be seen at all - the two flaps need to meet together perfectly in the middle with the zipper hidden underneath.  Oh and did I mention that there's boning in the front of the jacket? Yikes! I've never worked with it before so another learning lesson there.

The lining, by the way, is a fun black print with kitties all over it.  No one will see it (or at least, the judge won't) so it's just a nice way to get something different into the jacket.

Jacket back
Once I have the velvet and my mom comes over to help me fit it and work on the final assembly, I may need to assess the length at the bottom points.  It might need to be just a little longer considering it's going to lose a little of the length when the lining and velvet are sewn together.

Overall an exciting, but slightly daunting project.  I can't wait for the velvet to arrive so I can get to work on actually putting it together.  I was hoping to have it done for an upcoming competition in June, but I think that will be pushing it and I want it done right.

What's the most challenging project that you've worked on?  Did you have help in putting it together or were you able to figure it out on your own?  My mom and some friends have helped me one a few projects but they've usually been dance costume related as it was before I really started sewing and because I want to make sure that they're absolutely perfect.  I feel like the clothing I make up for daily wear is allowed to have some 'design enhancements.'


  1. Wow! This is going to be an AMAZING project! I look forward to following your progress as David wants to make a kilt jacket this year which I imagine would be similar! And it's super fabulous you are into highland dancing...it's sooo great!

  2. Thanks Debi! I need courage on this one! And apparently, a face mask because this velvet is a pain once it's been cut. I think everything in my craft space is now covered in a sheen of black velvet. I just started cutting yesterday so I'll be posting more on it soon!


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