High school varsity and college sports teams incorporate letterman jackets as part of their team attire. Creating customised letterman jackets entails mixing different fabric textures, such as tweed and leather, as well as combining school colours and emblems. The jacket is instantly personalised with these changes; the letterman jacket is customised by the individual’s style and expression.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Fabric: your choice; 2 to 3 yards
- Lining: your choice; 2- to 3 yards
- Sketch pad
- Coloured markers or pencils
- Premade letter font stencil
- Premade school logo, insignia or emblem
- Pattern paper
- Paper scissors
- Straight pins
- Fabric scissors
- Double-sided fusible: 2 adhesive sheets
- Premade jacket pattern
- Sewing machine
- Jacket zipper, your desired length
- Tailor's chalk
- Sewing machine's zipper-foot attachment
Choose your jacket’s outer shell fabric by selecting a specific texture for the body and a different texture for the sleeves. Keep in mind that if your design includes elbow patches, the body fabric texture will most likely be used for the elbows. Fabrics such as tweed, wool and fleece are often used for the body, and leather, fleece and rib are often used for the sleeves.
Choose your jacket’s inner shell lining by selecting a complementary colour coordinating back to your school colours. You can opt to add padding for warmth to your jacket as well. Although this step is optional, jackets with linings ensure a clean, professional look, and the lining hides all raw seam edges.
Sketch your design in your sketch pad. Add seams to depict pockets, contrast sleeve insert panels, a striped welt collar, sleeve cuffs or a waistband. A welt is a yarn-dyed stripe pattern that is knitted into specific colours as well as specified widths and lengths, such as a 2-inch width cuff. Make sure you include your patch placement on your sketch, as well as any trims such as a zipper front or a snap-front closure.
Colour your sketch depicting your fabric and trim colour selections. Use your coloured markers and pencils. This will be your guide as you cut your fabric parts and assemble your jacket.
Draw your customised school letter in your sketch pad. You can opt to make your own font type letter on your pattern paper or purchase a pre-made letter font stencil.
Add a premade iron-on embroidered school logo, insignia or emblem to your jacket. Logo-driven embroidered trims are challenging to duplicate, and it is beneficial to purchase pre-made iron-ons.
Colour in your letter and emblems incorporating your school or team's colours. For example, make your letter out of chenille in your school’s primary colour and back it with felt in a complementary school colour. Keep your jacket’s fabric colour placement, which was designed in the previous section, when adding colour to your letters.
Trace your school letter onto your pattern paper. For example, if you are making a two-color letter, make sure the contrast bottom-layer letter pattern is slightly larger than the top-layer letter pattern. This will ensure the letter will feature an all-around contrast border. Cut out your patterns with your paper scissors.
Pin your letter pattern onto your fabric with straight pins. Cut out with your fabric scissors.
Assemble your letter according to your design. For a two-color chenille and felt letter, trace your letter patterns onto two sheets of double-sided fusible. Cut the top and bottom layer fusible out with your paper scissors.
Preheat your iron to your fusible’s instructions. Normally it will require a high cotton setting. Remove the backing and position it onto the back of your top layer letter. Iron on.
Remove the remaining backing. Position it onto the bottom letter layer. Iron on.
Purchase a premade jacket pattern that resembles your design. Make sure it includes a lining pattern as well. Although you can create your own pattern, a jacket pattern is challenging. You will need to ensure that the chest, sleeve and length are modified to fit over your existing clothing to ensure comfort and ease.
Trace your premade pattern onto pattern paper. Keep in mind that you will be tracing the outline of the patterns and modifying the copy. Keep the original for future reference. It is important to copy zipper or snap-front placement and spacing, notches, which are markings indicating your fabric alignment during construction, as well as all seam allowances to your tracing.
Modify your traced pattern by adding any seams or shaped inserts according to your design. Make sure you add your notches as well as seam allowance.
Pin your pattern to your fabric with your straight pins. Refer to your coloured sketch guide for your contrast fabric parts. Cut out your patterns with your fabric scissors.
Position your letter and logos according to your design and attach. You can opt to iron-on your letterman patch and logos or stitch directly onto your fabric with your sewing machine. It is beneficial to add your letters and logos to your outer shell prior to construction to avoid stitching through lining or padding.
Assemble your jacket by pinning your outer shell parts together as well as your lining. Place it on your dress form and make any necessary changes prior to stitching. Check the outer shell and lining sleeve and waistband length.
Mark your front zipper insert or snap front spacing with your tailor’s chalk directly onto your front jacket panels.
Stitch your outer shell and lining separately. If your design includes angled pockets, it is important to construct the pockets prior to attaching the lining shell to the body.
Pin the shells together with the fabrics' right sides facing each other. Include your collar and sleeve cuffs.
Stitch the shells together. Keep the bottom hem open. Turn it inside out and attach your waistband. If you are adding a zipper, make sure you change your sewing machine’s straight-stitch foot to your zipper foot attachment to complete your customised letterman patch jacket.
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