How to Make a Bolero Jacket

Written by pat olsen
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How to Make a Bolero Jacket
White Bolero Jacket (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Learning to make a bolero is a beginner's sewing project. It takes about an hour to make a bolero and the cost is reasonable. The project uses about a yard of fabric and can be done without a pattern, although I recommend using patterns for more difficult styles of boleros.

In this how-to article, I suggest that the reader make a small paper mock-up to understand the shape of the garment and why it can be made with out a formal pattern.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • 1 sheet of plain letter paper
  • Pencil
  • Glue
  • Fabric (about a yard)
  • Chalk fabric marker
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Binding tape (optional)
  • Fusible interfacing (optional)

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  1. 1

    Sketch the shape of the bolero on paper. Cut the paper into the shape. Glue the edges as though they were seams.

  2. 2

    Measure your body for width and length of the garment. Add 1 inch on the length for the hem.

  3. 3

    Purchase enough fabric to match the length and width requirements. Fold the fabric right sides together as you did the paper model. Leave an extra 1 inch on both sides of the width for ease. Leave an extra 1 inch on the bottom for hem. Using a chalk fabric marker, make the neck curve. Using chalk fabric marker, draw the sleeve and side seam lines. Pin just inside the seam line and cut away excess yardage.

  4. 4

    Sew the underarm and side seams. Steam the seams open. Turn the garment right side out. Check the fit.

  5. 5

    Finish the raw edges with either seam binding or iron-on interfacing and hem.

Tips and warnings

  • See Resources for websites that show how to make this project from a T-shirt
  • Measure twice; cut once.
  • Remember to add an inch to either side of the under arm and side seams.

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