Lekala 5917 Waxed Jacket: How to make a waxed jacket
"Learning how to make a waxed jacket. This is a pretty basic wind jacket with pockets and a drawstring waist. It's easy to put together but as with all Lekala patterns you need to have your own ideas about construction."Buy it for £1.76
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Once I’d cut all the pieces out for my waxed jacket it was really a case of getting the garment and the lining put together. This is my second jacket, so I’ve learnt a lot. It’s also a lot easier than the last one was because it isn’t “tailored”.
In order to line it, I’m simply creating a second version of the jacket but in lining fabric, which I’ve box quilted with a poly-cotton wadding. I’m not including any facings, as this is a casual jacket, plus I want the flannelette tartan pattern to be quite easily visible even when the jacket is worn. The only area where it will be a little different is for the collar and the sleeves. One side of the collar will be waxed cotton and the other side will be corduroy. For the sleeves, I plan to add cuffs in William Morris Strawberry Thief print so it can be seen when they are turned up.
Constructing Lekala 5917
It might seem like this is quick to whip up but because of the number of details, it’s necessary to work on some of the smaller parts first before jumping into the main construction.
Constructing the outer pockets & flaps
The first thing I did after cutting was start work on the pockets. The jacket has four pockets, two upper chest and two lower hip, and they also have little pointed pocket flaps. I decided to a zipped inner pocket to the lining (for storing a phone or credit cards when out and about), although waxed cotton is waterproof it makes sense to store these bits on the inside of the jacket.
To create the patch pockets, I first took the pocket lining piece and trimmed it down a tiny bit. The reason for this is so the outer naturally “turns” inwards because the lining is a little smaller. This means you can’t see the lining once the pocket is sewn in place. It’s a bit tricky, because you have to ease the lining in place and it bubbles a bit, but I got there in the end. I left a gap to turn the pocket through. I didn’t need to worry about hand-stitching the hole closed as I did a row of top-stitching to flatten the pocket edges down, and that row caught the hole and closed it for me. I recommend using a long stitch for top-stitching on waxed cotton, it gives a really nice look. If your machine can handle thick threads and you want to give it a really good look, then use a heavy duty, shiny thread.
I decided to use one pop stud per pocket, as this looked good with the little pointed flap. I purchased 15mm brass poppers and a popper tool from Amazon. You can purchase a similar set here for just £5.99 (and you get 30 poppers, plenty for more crafts in the future!). They are really not difficult to install. You push the little stick part through a hole made in the fabric, then place the cap on, and then you hammer them in!
I found it was easier to add the poppers and studs and then pin the patch pocket in place, because then you can ensure that the pocket flap will match up correctly when sewn, without having to worry about handling the entire jacket.
Box quilting the lining for Lekala 5917
Box quilting, or diamond quilting, is common in Barbous jackets but it’s also the best way to create a warm lining. The flannelette on it’s own wasn’t really warm enough, so I added a layer of thin poly-cotton wadding. This gave warmth but didn’t add bulk. You can see from the pictures below that the wadding is very lightweight. A thicker wadding would provide a more padded, quilty look. But this is just perfect for keeping the jacket light. It’s also important to note that adding a bulky interlining can change the size of the garment. So if you’re going to box quilt something you might need to scale up your sizing!
To box quilt I pinned the wadding and fabric together with many pins, to ensure it’s all laid out flat. I then used my quilting rules and drew lines in chalk at a neat diagonal. I used the halfway point on my quilting ruler as a guide. I don’t think it would be possible to do this job without a quilting ruler. I got mine from Creative Grids and it’s seriously amazing, so useful for so many projects. I couldn’t live without it!
When sewing the quilt lines, I used a long stitch length and gently pulled the fabric on the bias to keep it nice and flat. Then I gave it a good press to smooth it out a bit. Quilting uses loads of thread, I went through two 500m reels!
Constructing the inner pocket
For the inner pocket, I just worked with the lining to create a zip opening on the lining front piece, with a small pocket inside. I suggest interfacing the inner pocket because you don’t want it to weigh down and cause the lining to sag when it’s filled with something heavy (though I suggest not filling it with rocks if you can avoid it). I interfaced both the pocket inner and the area that I attached the pocket to.
Zipped pockets are really easier than they look. Unlike most pockets, you don’t build the pocket first. You start with just one piece and place it right sides together with the fabric. You mark out a rectangle that is about half the width of your zip and sew all round the rectangle. I use my rotary cutter to slash open the rectangle and then trim it on the corners with little triangles (this helps with the turning). Then you push the pocket fabric through the flap and press until you have a perfect little letterbox. Sew the zip in place, and then attach the other pocket piece and sew round all the edges. It’s really really easy, I swear!
Sewing the bodice pieces
The bodice part was pretty easy to put together. There is a centre back seam and darts in the front piece which gives it a slight fit but isn’t difficult at all. I also used a scrap of Liberty print Strawberry Thief around the neckline to create an interesting back of neck piece, which is of course totally optional too! The front darts are easy to construct, and although the shape is boxy, I haven’t added the drawstring yet.
I’m going to be lining and turning through the base of the garment so to put the pieces together I just sewed front and back together at side seams, and then joined the shoulders. I had to take the shoulders up by about an inch.
What do you think so far? Let me know! Keep watching this space for the next post…<