Fitting The Ziggi Motorcycle Jacket !

Today’s post is technical. I’ve spent two days fitting the Ziggi Motorcycle jacket and am finally ready to cut  my leather! I thought I’d share how I fitted the pattern. I made an FBA, removed lots of ease from the sleeve, raised the too low for me armholes, and took in the pattern below the bust and at the hip.

muslin1I could tell the fit on the jacket was going to be too boxy for my taste after viewing about a dozen finished versions of the Ziggi. I want a close fitting motorcycle jacket. I’ve read on various fashion sites that you should buy leather jackets sort of tight , as they stretch to fit your body over time. I bought the pattern in a size 10.

Here’s a tip when sewing muslins for leather garments. Use felt. The fit and drape are similar to leather. Plus, it’s cheap. Or buy a heavy curtain at the thrift shop to use.

I should mention at this point, I made a  dumb mistake on my first muslin. I didn’t add the upper front yoke.  After looking at the drawings awhile, I realized why my felt muslin looked so weird! I would start again.

The Ziggy has hardly any directions, a disappointment as this pattern is really pricey. After I had it sent from Australia, it was about thirty dollars. I’ve never spent that much on a modern sewing pattern, though I have gladly, on a gorgeous, vintage forties one.  I thought I would be walked through the arduous task of making a quilted leather jacket with exposed zippers. NOT.

There are only a few paragraphs of instructions, similar to a Burdastyle pattern, and NO diagrams. So I’ve had to rely on a sew along hosted by Sew Maris and reviews on Pattern Review. Thank God for blogs! I didn’t even realize I was supposed to sew the yoke on. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m not good at reading word only instructions and need to see diagrams. Give me a Japanese pattern any day with great diagrams, over a pattern like this in English with none. But that’s just me.Probably some undiagnosed learning disability. Or too much recreational, you know, back in the day! Just kidding…adjustmentsI made a Full Bust adjustment to the side bodice piece . I also lengthened the front two pieces 1 inch to account for the extra length needed for the bust. A huge amount of adjustments needed isn’t a sign of a bad pattern. All of our bodies are so different, and the pattern is just the starting point. Fitting is the real key. And I’m still learning. It’s a long road to the perfect fit!lengthen patternoverfitting!Here is my second muslin. It’s over fitted at this point. My daughter helped me pin. After I took it in, I realized it was too clingy on my tummy. So I added back width below the waist. Fit1That’s better. Now on to the sleeves…..sleevefittingbeforeHere is my sleeve before I made any pattern adjustments. Way too much ease coupled with an armhole cut too low, and you have a really funky fitting mess. Yeah, I’m not feeling this puffy sleeved motorcycle jacket.

armholesafterI removed a few inches of ease from the sleeve pattern and raised the armhole an inch on the bodice pattern. I only want my sleeve to have one inch of ease since easing thick leather into an armhole is not my idea of a fun sewing experience. Also, a too low armhole makes the sleeve tug forward, reduces ease of movement, and is a common problem on home sewing patterns. So is too much ease.  Four inches is just too much ease to have a smoothly fitting sleeve cap. It screams HOME MADE!! But you don’t want to remove the excess ease by lowering the sleeve cap. That will smush the sleeve on the top and you won’t be able to raise your arms.You want to slash and close the sleeve at the cap between the notches. adjusting sleeve easeAnd this is why I’m so obsessed with getting the perfect fit on my Ziggi pattern…. HideStoreLeatherThis gorgeous distressed leather hide from the Leather Hide Store. I’m in love with it. Stay tuned!

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  1. says

    Gasp! That jacket will be gorgeous- I’m dying over that leather. Don’t even let anyone breathe near it!! I have a feeling you and I would’ve been friends back in the day…lol!

  2. Carrie says

    I swear, I love your blog. I can’t think of another blog post that I’ve ever been more excited to see. My two favorite things…. sewing and leather work.

  3. says

    Hi Justine,
    Would love to sew a leather bagI am a little scared. Can you sew your leather on normal machine? I will watch with interest.



  4. lauraborealis says

    A leather Ziggi is going to be my next project, so I am very excited to see your fitting process. And thank you for the felt muslin tip! Can’t wait to see your finished jacket!