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Pattern making learning process

Canuck Panda

I'll Lock Up
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4,236
Power outage is no fun, you lose everything in the fridge if it last too long and there is no generator...

A thought came to me the other day. Why not just take apart the Vanson jacket and put it back together and repeat the process. Training the muscle memory. I will assume if one can master the taking apart and put back together parts repeatedly then one can make a jacket from scratch. And there is the other thread where another member just used a home style Singer machine to sew his fur collar for his Cal, so I wouldn't think a professional machine is needed if just for hobby. For production definitely. I have been stuck at the part where I took off the sleeves of a jacket and it just sat there for years now. It would be nice to see another hobbyist who will go the extra miles and make a jacket, for inspiration...
 

spectre6000

One of the Regulars
Messages
190
Power outage is no fun, you lose everything in the fridge if it last too long and there is no generator...

A thought came to me the other day. Why not just take apart the Vanson jacket and put it back together and repeat the process. Training the muscle memory. I will assume if one can master the taking apart and put back together parts repeatedly then one can make a jacket from scratch. And there is the other thread where another member just used a home style Singer machine to sew his fur collar for his Cal, so I wouldn't think a professional machine is needed if just for hobby. For production definitely. I have been stuck at the part where I took off the sleeves of a jacket and it just sat there for years now. It would be nice to see another hobbyist who will go the extra miles and make a jacket, for inspiration...
I am going to do exactly that. I’m going to get a pattern from it non-destructively as practice for a vintage jacket I expect to have my hands on soon, then blow it apart and check my work, so to speak. I hadn’t thought about sewing it back together for even more practice though! I also need to figure out resizing. Might be interesting to see if I could shrink this down to my size… it’s not really my style, but that would be a huge pile of extremely pertinent experience!

As for a machine, unless a proper walking foot machine comes up cheap on CL/FBMP, I’ll probably get one of those heavy duty Singers and a walking foot like you have. I don’t want to screw up the timing on my wife’s/mother’s machines, and don’t feel comfortable throwing a grand or more at this just yet.

As for food… yeah. All gone. If the risk weren’t enough on its own, wife is pregnant. I checked with a buddy of mine retired from the county health department just to drive the point home. It’s all trash. Major bummer, because I just cooked up a big pot of delicious soup 2 hours before the power went out….
 

photo2u

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,067
Location
claremont california
Power outage is no fun, you lose everything in the fridge if it last too long and there is no generator...

A thought came to me the other day. Why not just take apart the Vanson jacket and put it back together and repeat the process. Training the muscle memory. I will assume if one can master the taking apart and put back together parts repeatedly then one can make a jacket from scratch. And there is the other thread where another member just used a home style Singer machine to sew his fur collar for his Cal, so I wouldn't think a professional machine is needed if just for hobby. For production definitely. I have been stuck at the part where I took off the sleeves of a jacket and it just sat there for years now. It would be nice to see another hobbyist who will go the extra miles and make a jacket, for inspiration...

I have been thinking the same. Regarding the machine. There are plenty of home machines that can take on any jacket leather out there. Including those 4.5+ Lost Worlds HH. I personally own a singer 15-91.



You can get a 15-91 for under $100 USD locally. The beauty of this machine is that the machine only needs to be lube and no major retrofit needed to get it working. Lastly, there are tons of videos that will help you with ANY issue the machine might have.
 
Last edited:

Canuck Panda

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,236
I have been thinking the same. Regarding the machine. There are plenty of home machines that can take on any jacket leather out there. Including those 4.5+ Lost Worlds HH. I personally own a singer 15-91.



You can get a 15-91 for under $100 USD locally. The beauty of this machine is that the machine only needs to be lube and no major retrofit needed to get it working. Lastly, there are tons of videos that will help you with ANY issue the machine might have.
Yeah those pre war machines are really nice. $100 bucks is a very good deal. I've seen them going for much more. The cast housing alone would be worth it. The 15-91 also has the potted motor but I have never used it before. I have a local Singer guy that has these machines and swears by them. They got the job done then they can get the job done now. The only advantage of the modernized machines is the different decorative stitches adjustments. But most leather jackets only uses straight stitches anyways so these should do just fine. I have the modern Singer home machine. The biggest issue of sewing thicker stuff is it tends to throw the bobbin hook timing out of wack. Happened twice to me now and I am only sewing thick denim not leather. Still need to get around to fix that.
 

photo2u

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2,067
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claremont california
Yeah those pre war machines are really nice. $100 bucks is a very good deal. I've seen them going for much more. The cast housing alone would be worth it. The 15-91 also has the potted motor but I have never used it before. I have a local Singer guy that has these machines and swears by them. They got the job done then they can get the job done now. The only advantage of the modernized machines is the different decorative stitches adjustments. But most leather jackets only uses straight stitches anyways so these should do just fine. I have the modern Singer home machine. The biggest issue of sewing thicker stuff is it tends to throw the bobbin hook timing out of wack. Happened twice to me now and I am only sewing thick denim not leather. Still need to get around to fix that.
The 15-91 can use tex 90 thread with no problem. If you use a leather needle the machine works well. No problems what so ever. If you spend some time learning how the machine works, it will handle any leather jacket repair or construction. Cotton or nylon thread is the way to go with this one.
 

spectre6000

One of the Regulars
Messages
190
Interesting about the old Singers. I hadn't really given that sort of machine much thought. A quick google says it's easy to find walking foot attachments for them. A quick browsing of FBMP says there are a handful of old Singers available for reasonable prices, but almost no information about what models any of them are. This seems like very critical information for the sale of a machine, but I guess less important for a living room ornament(?). I wonder if a foot treadle might not be an extra bit of bonus on something like that. I really don't want to be sewing anything with any speed, and the torque available from the tiny little motors I typically see doesn't sound all that capable. Might be a double bonus of extra control (including for back stitching) and extra torque... Plus, old machines like that are generally quite easy to maintain, assuming bearings aren't knackered and parts are available.

When I've been able to find little bits of time in evenings lately, I've been taking in whatever leather garment sewing videos I can find on YouTube. I've seen a handful of videos where people are essentially seeing how little machine they can get away with while still getting the job done. I'm coming around to the walking foot attachment on a machine that's otherwise sturdy enough to handle the extra load without going out of time assuming I can find one cheap enough at a price I can resell later at break even if/when I'm ready to upgrade. A Canadian imported Chinese copy of the SailRite came up a month or so back for $300, but it was right as I was starting to look and wasn't sure what the market looked like. If it came up today, I'd probably jump.
 

photo2u

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,067
Location
claremont california
Interesting about the old Singers. I hadn't really given that sort of machine much thought. A quick google says it's easy to find walking foot attachments for them. A quick browsing of FBMP says there are a handful of old Singers available for reasonable prices, but almost no information about what models any of them are. This seems like very critical information for the sale of a machine, but I guess less important for a living room ornament(?). I wonder if a foot treadle might not be an extra bit of bonus on something like that. I really don't want to be sewing anything with any speed, and the torque available from the tiny little motors I typically see doesn't sound all that capable. Might be a double bonus of extra control (including for back stitching) and extra torque... Plus, old machines like that are generally quite easy to maintain, assuming bearings aren't knackered and parts are available.

When I've been able to find little bits of time in evenings lately, I've been taking in whatever leather garment sewing videos I can find on YouTube. I've seen a handful of videos where people are essentially seeing how little machine they can get away with while still getting the job done. I'm coming around to the walking foot attachment on a machine that's otherwise sturdy enough to handle the extra load without going out of time assuming I can find one cheap enough at a price I can resell later at break even if/when I'm ready to upgrade. A Canadian imported Chinese copy of the SailRite came up a month or so back for $300, but it was right as I was starting to look and wasn't sure what the market looked like. If it came up today, I'd probably jump.
Dude, you are overthinking it. Singers are solid. However, most people do not understand them. They can saw leather no problem. The 15-91 is called the barn machine because it takes care of many fabrics. The motor small but enough to sew 4 to 6 layers of 1.4 mm leather. Many videos in youtube demonstrating it's capabilities. Lastly, I do like pedals, because it SLOWS down the sewing action of the machine. I have many machines, Including 4 industrial workhorses. The 15-91 can do almost the same as my work horses but is not design to be a production line machine like my consews.


The video works. The dude in the video layers thick LOL

 

Canuck Panda

I'll Lock Up
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4,236
The cast housing Singers are good. The only reason I bought a modern Singer from Amazon because I didn't know about these cast housing Singers at the time. The only thing about these old timer machines is they don't have multiple decorative stitch functions like the new ones. But they are all cast body is way superior than the current plastic and sheet metal.
The hardest part is still putting in the hours to actually do it, take apart a jacket sew it back together and repeat. Something I failed to do... Put those thinking hours into sewing hours!
 

spectre6000

One of the Regulars
Messages
190
Overthinking is definitely a thing I do. Not even going to pretend otherwise. I can do that between other activities though, during fairly idle tasks throughout the day, or in the few minutes between shutting down work for the evening and preparing/eating dinner and getting the kid and then myself to bed. The sewing machine is a step or two down the road, so I'm thinking about it now and watching the market so I can buy smart, get a suitable machine, etc.

In other words, I'm thinking about the next bites of the elephant (sewing machine) while I find the time to manage the bites currently on my fork (non-destructive then destructive pattern from Vanson) and rolling around in my mouth (dress form). The latter two are about to swap places.
 

Canuck Panda

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,236
removing threads from seams is gonna be inevitable imo, for us non sewers. For the seasoned sewers and amateur clothing makers they can probably get away with just tracing as they know what seam allowance to add and how to trace the arc linear lengths properly. The sewing seams may seem flat and straight on the screen but they're all linear length that has their own arcs. I will shoot you some pics when I get to, and you can see it. I would suggest to take as many step by step pics when you take apart the seams so can always reference back.
 

spectre6000

One of the Regulars
Messages
190
I found a small amount of bandwidth to work on this project today. Here's the jacket in question. It didn't occur to me until I was elbow deep that this is about the perfect jacket for learning this aspect of things. It has a lot of features, is too big for me in pretty much every dimension, and I could never pull off this style. I think I can use it to make a "core" jacket pattern, and I can modify that to get a lot of different things. Plus, I might be able to modify it to fit as a test with free leather (though pockets and such will all be in weird places, and I still wouldn't be able to pull it off).
IMG_5656.JPG

IMG_5657.JPG


I laid the jacket out on some of that large format paper, and traced it out as best I could. This is sort of my first draft.

IMG_5652.JPG

IMG_5653.JPG

IMG_5654.JPG


Then I cut out the pieces, and with the much more manageably sized materials. I used binder clips to attach the paper drafts to the jacket. That told me where I was off, and I taped on little bits or cut pieces off until the parts were about as exact as could be. I've only finished the sleeve so far, but I'm really happy with the result.

IMG_5658.JPG


This pattern has no details at all (cuffs, zippers, etc.), but those should be easy to add. The separation into three panels probably constitutes a detail, but I'm not sure to what degree. The two smaller panels are connected by a single straight seam, and that could probably be eliminated, but I think the two panels are required for curvature. A major detail will be seam allowances, but that seems fairly simple. I'm reading 1 cm is common for most types of seam with leather, but when I take it apart, I'll get to verify things like that. I also realized just now I didn't do anything to indicate where the sleeve should meet with the bodice...

I'll get to the bodice another day. Hopefully soon.
 

spectre6000

One of the Regulars
Messages
190
Snow and a sick 4yo (and I'm rapidly joining the sick roster) led to some jacket work today. I got two more panels finalized, but came to the realization that I need a better way to hold and fold things... I have one large binder clip, and a dozen or so of the smallest. The small ones can easily hold 2 thicknesses of leather, maybe 3, but any more than that and they just pop off. If the count were the other way around, I'd probably be much further along, but those little guys are nearly useless, and just the one big guy doesn't cut it. For the purposes of non-destructive pattern copying, some large binder clips seem pretty ideal. I'm stepping away until I can get some more.

The non-destructive patterning is practice for a future project that I'm especially excited about, and this will be blown apart to investigate seam allowances, layering, liners, and such. It's not a lot of progress, but it's progress all the same. The goal with this is learning.

Speaking of learning, I found a place where Vanson messed up a bit, and there is a line of holes where a seam was removed and redone in one section. I assume I'll learn more about what happened when I disassemble it. Glad to have found such an artifact for learning purposes.
 

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