I’ve wanted a biker jacket since I was in high school. I researched different patterns, because I knew I wanted one with some details like sleeve zippers and quilted panels that could be sewn in faux leather. A lot of patterns are for more refined moto jackets with only a suggestion of the old-fashioned leather motorcycle jacket. This pattern has those traditional biker jacket details.
Pattern Name: Faux Suede Jacket (Plus Size) 08/2017 #127A
I made the BurdaStyle Biker Jacket (Plus Size). This is the “plus” offering for the BurdaStyle Academy’s Biker Jacket Sewalong.
Size Range: The size range of the pattern is 44-52 or US size 18-24. This accommodates bust sizes between 39.5”-48” (100 cm – 122 cm).
What size did you make?
I tried making a muslin for a size 48-50 hybrid, but it was a bit snug. I decided to make a 50 for my final jacket.
What are your measurements, height, and body type?
My measurements are 44″ (112 cm) bust, 40″ (102 cm) waist, 48″ (122 cm) hip. My bra size is 38DDD, and I’m 5’4”. My body-type is “apple”.
What adjustments did you make and how long did they take?
My muslin showed me that the armscye was much too deep, and the shoulders were too wide. I narrowed the shoulders by 1.25” and raised the bottom of the armscye by 1.5 inches. The new armscye was now quite different than the pattern, but the sleeve still fit well enough. I didn’t want to try to redraft the sleeve, so I just trimmed a little off the top of the sleeve cap to make it easier to ease into my smaller armsyce. My fabric was thick and forgiving.
Overall, it took me a lot of tinkering to get the armscye to fit my body. This jacket is a lot more fitted than ones I’ve made in the past. I did a bit of research to figure out how it should fit. I wanted to be able to raise my arms and move without the sleeves pulling. It turns out that a smaller armscye is the key to greater arm mobility.
Once I assembled the body of the jacket, it was gaping a little at the front of the armscye. I sewed a narrow dart roughly parallel to the seam on the side front panel. It does not point to my bust apex, but because it is parallel to a diagonal seam, it blends into the design of the jacket better. I also took out 1.5” out of the side front panel under the sleeve tapering to nothing at the waist.
What fabric did you use?
My fabric was a thick 100% wool coating. The weave wasn’t very tight, so I interfaced every piece with medium weight Pro-Weft interfacing. I added additional interfacing to the collar, waistband and facings as suggested by the pattern.
The secondary fabric is a soft, slightly-stretchy faux leather. I don’t know how other people mark top stitching lines on faux leather, but I ended up using masking tape to guide me. None of my usual marking tools would work.
What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you?
The BurdaStyle instructions are minimal with no illustrations. They do give you an order of construction, but sometimes the order wasn’t clear or didn’t make sense. Some seams are numbered on the corners of the pattern pieces, but it wasn’t always clear which seam was being referenced. Luckily, Burda Academy has a free video tutorial on a similar biker jacket. Some of the trickiest parts of this plus-sized version are detailed in a supplemental video. This was very helpful for attaching the collar and installing the sleeve zippers. It was a little confusing having to look at the main video for construction of the panels and then switching over to the plus sized section for the collar construction.
Just having clear images of the jacket in the video was helpful. The pattern photos are of a leopard print version. The print makes it hard to see the details.
I had to wing it for the attachment of the facings, because the aren’t included in the video. The print instructions aren’t clear at all.
How do you like the pattern’s fit? Do you think the design works well for your particular body shape?
The pattern seems to be drafted for someone with large shoulders. The armscye is unnecessarily large. The jacket is designed to be slightly boxy which is what I expect in a biker jacket.
Will you make the pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make?
I’m not sure if I would make this pattern again. I don’t need another similar jacket., I might make a light version out of twill or maybe waxed canvas.
Do you have any advice on this pattern for other curvy sewers? Are there any resources (blog posts, fitting books, tutorials) that helped you sew this piece up?
The pattern and video tutorial are available free through Burda Academy.
My dive into armscye size and sleeve shape was aided by this post.
Size Range (1-5): 3 The pattern is plus-sized, but the range is small.
Instructions (1-5): 2 It would be very difficult for an intermediate sewist to use only the printed instructions to construct this jacket. The video tutorial makes a huge difference. With the video, I would give the instructions a 4. There are still a few things that aren’t clear, but those aren’t the hardest sections.
Construction Process (1-5): 4 Once the adjustments were made, it fit together well.
Overall Rating (1-5) 3 I think many sewists will need to make significant changes to the armscye and shoulder. The written instructions aren’t detailed enough. I am very happy with the final jacket. The biker details are a lot of fun especially the arm patches and sleeve zippers.