After a break to work on other things, here is a little more on my Working Uniform Jacket project. The Back is joined on each side by a Side Back. Anytime I need to sew curved surfaces together I first baste the curve section of each piece along the seam line with a contrasting color of thread. This makes it easy for me to know how far I can safely clip into the seam allowances. It also makes it easier for me to see exactly where the two pieces must come together and where they must match under the needle as I sew. After sewing the seams the basting is removed. These long seam are then finished by serging, or with a zigzag or overlock stitch. The Back assembly is then stitched to the back of the Yoke. I make sure to pin the Back seam lines to align with the first quilt lines of the Yoke before sewing the seam to avoid the pieces shifting.
Since this is a working garment not a lot of effort would be expended on the inside appearance such as seam finishing. However I like to at least try to make the inside of the garment as neat as possible. One plan was to use enclosed French seams on the many straight line seams such as the sides and the Chest-Abdomen seam. When looking at the Chest-Abdomen pieces I realized I could save a some time and fabric by making this union what I will call a faux seam. Since the two pieces have already been split, I will spread them 1/2 inch apart and tape them back together. I draw a line bisecting this 1/2 spread making a faux 1/4 inch seam allowance on each piece. This new line is not cut in the fabric. I fold the Chest down over the Abdomen RST along this new dividing line. I then stitch parallel to this fold - 1/4 inch away from the fold. I use 1/4 inch (doubled to 1/2 for the spread) because I have a 1/4 inch edge guide presser foot which makes sewing a straight 1/4 inch sew line very simple.
When cutting the Front Side, Chest and Abdomen, I make the centerline and side seam allowance more generous than the pattern's 5/8 inch. This will allow a little flexibility when joining this combination to the Yoke if needed. Place the Chest/Abdomen RSU (Right Side Up). Add the front Side Right Side Down (RSD). On the back of the Front Side accurately mark the pivot points for each change in direction which is required to join the Front Side to the Chest/Abdomen. Again I use basting stitching with contrasting thread to make this marking easier. Clip both pieces into the seam allowance at the pivot points to allow you to manipulate the two pieces as you sew. Precise marking, clipping, pivoting, and sewing are necessary to achieve pucker-free jacket fronts. My muslin allowed me to refined the best points and angles for the clips to provide the neatest interior appearance.
There can be several ways to produce the Elbow Pad. It could be as straightforward as pleating the fabric like everyone now sees with face masks. However I prefer to have a smooth interior so my hand does not get caught in the folds when I slip in my arm. The easiest option to sew is to use tucks but this uses more fabric and produces a five layer thick pad. Perhaps that is not a bad thing for a real elbow pad. Twelve 1” tucks separated by 1/2” and folded flat, produces a 1/2” overlap on each flap. Both pads can be made at the same time as an oversize, double-wide assembly which is trimmed down when joined to the other sleeve pieces. Rather than mark the stitch lines I find it easier, faster and more accurate to make small snips into the left and right edges to fold the fabric -snip to snip - to make the tucks. For tucks, the snips on each edge start 2 inches from the bottom edge and again up another 2 inches. Matching the second set down to the first set and sew across the fabric from edge to edge – this will form the first tuck. The snips continue with a series of eleven more repeated sets – up 1/2” then up 2”. Again always matching the second snip down to the first. Add 1/2” beyond the final snip as a seam allowance.
An alternate Elbow Pad approach is to stitch a pleated Pad Front onto a Pad Back. This uses less fabric as it is only four layers thick. This is the method I used. Again the component is made oversize and then trimmed down when joined to the other sleeve pieces. The Backing is 17 by 11 inch. The Pad Front is 17 inch wide by 22 inches long. Stitch lines will be located by making small snips into the left and right edges of both the Pad Front and Back to align the pieces and make the pleats. On the Pad Backing the 12 snips on each edge start 2 inches from the bottom edge and continue every 1/2 inch which will leave the last 3 inch of the edge unclipped. The 12 snips on each side of the Pad Front start 2 inches from the bottom edge and continues every 1 and 1/2 inches which will leave the last 2 inches unclipped. Starting at the bottom, match the first set of Pad Front and Backing stitch lines and sew from side to side. Continue matching and sewing until you complete all 12 stitch lines. I have included a simple illustration of the two approaches and the stitch points for each.
With either pad production approach, it helps to press each sew line and each pleat as you complete them. To hold the pleats before sleeve assembly, I basted from top to bottom along each side of the Elbow Pad inside the seam allowance and down the center of double-width pad. I then steam pressed the pad using a damp press cloth pressing from top to bottom.
I am using a two piece cuff. Each piece is a simple rectangle, 2 inches high to match the hem of the jacket body and, for me, 12 inches long. This is large enough for me to easily slip my cupped hand in and out. One caution is to not make this type of barrel cuff too small since there is no opening placket. Also my sewing machine (Pfaff) allows me to remove an accessory box from the sewing bed to give me a free arm bed. This is perfect to sew small diameter cylinders like cuffs and sleeves but again only if the circumference is not too small. It is possible to top-stitch the cuffs and attach them to the sleeves without the benefit of a free arm but if your machine has the feature it makes the tasks much easier. Each cuff piece is stitch RST. One cuff is turned RSO which is slipped into the other which is RSI. Align the raw edges together but with the seam lines 180 degrees apart (to reduce bulk). One edge is stitched all around, seam allowances trimmed as necessary, turned right side out, pressed and top-stitched 1/4” from the edge. The other end is left unfinished until it is ready to be attached to the sleeve.