Sew Here We GO!…
How To Sew the Ziggi Moto Jacket designed by Style Arc
Style Arc is an Australian pattern company which is perfect for my body type! I love the style and fit of the Ziggi Moto Biker zip jacket. It has beautiful embellishments to include quilting accents, zippers and tons of top stitching. Fore warning… this is a challenging pattern, however, with some tips and tricks you can sew this beautiful jacket. With a little encouragement, I hope you take this challenge and give it a go!
For guidance in choosing a size, I am 5’3″, 155lbs, 40″ chest, 35″ waist, 41″ hip. I find that the Style Arc patterns in size 16 give me a very roomy comfortable fit. For a more fitted garment, I will go with a size 14. I made this jacket twice now. I found that the lining can be a bit fussy as directed so I made a couple adjustments that were helpful to me. You can choose to follow my ideas or continue with your preference. I found that the lining pieces at the bottom hem needed to be a little longer so I could hem them easily. ONLY THE LINING I added a couple inches to them for hemming. As we go along, I will show you pictures of tips and tricks.
Style Arc suggests using a leather, denim, wool or other fabric that can support a heavy zipper. I chose a faux leather for my jacket, a silky charmeuse for the lining, and got my zippers on line at ZipperShipper. You will need 4 – 5″ zips (or 6″ if you prefer) and 1 – 20″ separating zipper. You can request to have your zippers shortened for a fee if you like, but I decided to take the opportunity to learn how to shorten my own zippers. I purchased 2 – 5″ pocket zips, 2 – 6″ regular zips (size 5) and a 24″ (size 8) separating zipper knowing I would need to shorten them. With a little tug and pull removing the zipper teeth and attaching new stops, I was ready to go. The pattern piece is marked for 5″ zips on the sleeves and pockets, but the pattern tells you to get 6″. If you do get 6″ zips, ensure you add that extra inch to the pattern pieces going up towards the neck instead of down towards the hem.
Let’s get this party started! (see below about quilting embellishments before you cut your material). Prepare your pattern pieces. Notice how Style Arc is very different from the American pattern companies. Don’t let this deter you from moving forward in this venture. Look at it as learning exciting new skills that you can easily tackle. I will be here guiding you and giving you tips and tricks to get you through to the finish line! First of all, Style Arc prints its seam allowances on each pattern piece; some are 3/8″ and some are 1/4″ so ensure you become very familiar with the patter pieces and the directions on them before you start. Do not use the regular American 5/8″ seam allowance! Notice how the pattern pieces each tell you if it’s a “Main” or “Lining” or “Fuse” (interfacing), pattern piece. I know this may be a little self explanatory, but keep it mind. ALSO..Cut 1PR (cut 1 pair) means cut 2 pieces and don’t forget if you’re cutting one piece at a time (which I do) to flip the pattern over on your second cut so you get mirror pieces.
Style Arc has very sparse directions. Stay with me and we will get through it all.
BEFORE YOU CUT… You will need to figure out if you want to do any type of embellishment quilting for your shoulder yoke, upper sleeves and lower back pieces. I highly recommend you do! It looks super cute, high end and gives you a new skill to learn. I sandwiched my faux leather with a soft black felt as a backing for my quilted pieces. Quilt enough material to cut out two pieces of upper sleeves, two yokes and one lower back piece. Do this before you cut due to quilting shrinkage. I used a 1 inch block pattern, but if you’re adventurous, try any pattern that suits you. Be creative here.
Now it’s time to cut out your main pieces. Notice there is no specific pattern layout so I suggest you follow my lead. Start with your larger pieces and cut one piece at a time ensuring you keep your grain lines in the same direction. Try not to waste yardage. Place your pieces in the same direction for nap and texture consistency. Ensure you mark your pattern pieces at each notch. Notice that there are notches at the seam lines of some pieces. I have found them very helpful in reminding me what the seam allowance is and where to line up the stitching lines at. Now is the time to attach your interfacing (fuse pieces) to your main pieces if you chose to do so. I used a sew-in interfacing for my collar piece but that was it. My fabric choice really doesn’t need any extra heft to it. (Disclosure: I have sewn this pattern twice; once with an off white faux leather and once with a copper color faux leather. I have photos from both colors in this tutorial so don’t let that throw you for a loop!). Below is a picture of my finished size 16 white zipper jacket just to give you a sneak peak. It’s a bit large but I like to think of it more as “roomy”.
Cut out your lining pieces. (Again, I suggest you add a couple inches to the bottom hem to give you a little more room for hemming at the end). Just because I like bigger pockets, I added some extra to my pocket linings around the curved end where my fingers rest. One item I found that has been a great tool for lining material is pinking shears or pinking rotary cutter blades. This is a real help in avoiding raveling edges of lining.
Ensure your sewing machine is ready to go. Install a new needle using the correct size and type for your material choice. I’m using a size 14 leather needle and an all purpose Gutermann thread. Do a test sewing on a scrap piece of fabric to ensure your tension and stitches are looking good. There are no fancy stitches needed for this pattern and any sewing machine will be able to handle this project. Even though it’s not necessary, to make this a breeze it’s nice to have the following presser feet to help you though the project since the seam allowances are quite small.
- Zigzag foot
- Zipper foot
- Professional foot
- Overcast foot
Sew the collar pieces together down the side and edge of collar leaving the curved edge open. NOTICE the seam allowance for the collar is a sparse 1/4 inch seam allowance (SA). Turn right side out and complete a top stitching around the edge.
Next sew the pocket linings to the pocket facings. Notice there are Two Pair (4 pieces). I like to reenforce my pockets so I have two lines of stitching just to be sure they don’t come apart a year or two down the line after shoving my paws into them.
Now for the back of the jacket. Sew the center back seam (3/8 inch seam allowance) ensuring you are matching up all your notches. I chose to top stitch my garment for a couple reasons, one being it looks great and it helps the seam lay flat since I can’t press the seams.
Sew the lower back panel to the upper back. Top stitch seam towards upper back panel.
Stitch lower hem facing to the lower back panel matching notches. This one threw me for a loop for just a second… the longer side of the hem facing is what you sew to the lower back panel. This allows it to be folded under as the hem. DUH! I then top stitched it too.
Sew the side back panels to the center back panel lining up the notches. Top stitch.
You can choose to join the front side panel to the back matching notches here and top stitch OR you can complete your front side and center panels with the zipper pocket first. The first jacket (white) I made I connected the back to the front first and it was a bit bulky to me when constructing the pocket zippers. The second jacket (copper) I decided to construct the pockets first.
Now for the fun and games of inserting our pocket zippers. Do not let this step overwhelm you. Go slow and methodically and you will get through it easy peasy. This is one of those processes that is not written in the directions from Style Arc very well if at all. If you look at the directions on #7 and #8 in the Style Arc Ziggi Jacket directions list, it doesn’t tell you how to put the zips in. But if you follow along, you will see how easy it really is. First things first. Read the following directions a time or two so you are familiar with process and why it’s done in this order. You should have marked your notches where your zipper will be inserted. I marked a 5″ opening for my pockets.
You will be making a zipper “window” on the FRONT SIDE panel which matches up to the front center panel.
This is not in the Style Arc directions sheet so follow along here. Cut a couple pieces of lining that are approximately 2 inches or so longer than the zipper. You can also use organza which makes a great zipper facing. Place your facing next to the edge of your “side front” panel, rights sides together and mark the window lines appropriate for your zipper size on your facing material. Then mark a stitching line on your facing approximately 1/4 inch in from that so you can catch your zipper when you sew.
Sew the facing to the side front panel around your stitching line ensuring that you are matching up the notches. Cut a diagonal line up to both corners so you can turn the facing to the other side of your panel. Be careful not to clip past your stitching, but get as close as you can.
Turn the facing to the back side of your fabric and top stitch it down. I have a couple pictures here from my white jacket so don’t let that throw you off. I just want you to have as much reference as possible.
Place your zipper in the window and sew over the top stitching very carefully to set your zipper. HINT: Ensure your zipper pulls are at the bottom when open so when you put your hands in the pocket the pulls don’t dangle on your wrist.
You’re almost there! Next you are going to sew the front center and front side panels together rights sides together matching notches and ensuring you catch the zipper in the seam.
Ensure you match your notches when you sew this seam. Notice how this particular seam leaves a “hanging chad” when you match your notches. Don’t freak… that’s how it’s supposed to be. EASY PEASY!!!! See you did it! Now top stitch this seam and go get a glass of wine.
AND… now it’s time for POCKET LININGS! This is where I suggest you get a needle and thread ready to hand baste. Trust me. As you have come to know by now the seam allowances are very shallow. We are now going to attach the pocket facings to the seam allowances on each side of the zipper. Follow along and you will see how easy it is. Ensure your pockets aim down towards your hem and not up to the armholes. This is where a professional foot comes in SEW handy! The narrow foot helps you be precise in tight places like here.
Once you have your two sides of pocket linings sewn to the seam allowances, sew them together and reenforce your pocket stitching. Notice to leave about 1/2 inch open so your pocket lays evenly with your zipper. You can hand stitch this to your zipper if you like.
Now you’re done with your pockets. Step back and be in awe of your great work! The hard part is now done.
If you haven’t already done so, attach the front side to the back panel. Top stitch.
It’s time to insert the front zipper! YAY. Don’t freak out. It’s easy peasy if you follow along. Grab your separating zipper and examine which side will be placed on the right side of the jacket and which will be placed on the left. If you hold the zipper up to your body it will make it easy to identify the left and right sides. Mark them somehow so you don’t forget which is which once it’s separated.
Your Ziggi Biker Jacket Front piece has markings on where your zipper will be placed (left and right). Ensure you have properly sized your zipper before you start sewing.
Notice that the front zipper panel is shorter in length than the rest of the jacket. This will become clear why further down due to the hem and lining. Just match your notches and it will work out. On the FRONT piece, baste your left zipper FACE DOWN in place between the notches ensuring you fold the top end of the zipper over to give it a more finished look.
Time to sandwich the zipper! Line up your notches with the front and center front pieces and sew together. Do not sew past the bottom notch.
Note that the left zipper does not go all the way up to the shoulder. Don’t worry. It’s not supposed to.
Time to do the right side zipper. Again, baste your zipper in place FACE DOWN. Go slow. Start your placement a little above the bottom hem notch and ensure you fold the top of the zipper over again for a nice neat finish. Make note again that the front piece is shorter than the rest of the jacket. Only sew to the notch hem line.
Great job! Take a break and get ready to insert the should yokes. Make sure you match your double notches. Now it’s starting to look like a biker jacket!
Time to attach the collar. Grab your collar that you have put to the side. Sew right sides together to the jacket. You will be sewing through both layers of the collar onto the jacket shell. This is different from the American versions of how to set a collar but give it a go with me here. The seam allowance is 1/4″ so be aware of your stitching allowances. Match the notches. Go slowly and evenly. You have probably noticed by now that the Style Arc pattern notches line up with seams from time to time.
Good JOB! Now let’s sandwich the collar into the front facings. Notice the seam allowance markings as they go from 1/4″ up to 3/8″. When you sew your facing start at the notch, not at the edge. I suggest you start at the top sandwiching your collar, turn at the corner to sew down towards the hem, turn at the hem line and sew to the last notch. Stop at the notch so it leave the material free to attach your lining. Remember that you will be sandwiching your right zipper in place when you attach that side of the zipper.
Time to take a break from the main shell of the jacket and move onto constructing the sleeves. There are three parts to the sleeve and zips at the wrist. When sewing your seam which includes the zipper, ensure you don’t sew past your notch so you can insert your zipper properly to show a little of the zipper cloth. When inserting your zippers make sure you keep your pulls at the wrist when zipped. I chose to use 5″ zippers.
Top stitch your upper sleeve before you sew the rest of the sleeve together.
Now let’s attach the main sleeve panel to the under-sleeve. Review the notches to ensure the zipper is properly sized for the markings. Now sew the seam which has the zipper insert from the arm hole down to the zipper notch. Set your zipper ensuring you have the pulls at the bottom of the sleve.
OK… this is how I set the zippers. It may not be the same way you do it, but this works for me and it may work for you too. I place the zipper face down on the right side of the fabric and line it up next to the edge in-between the notches. I fold the sleeve panel out of the way that’s free. After that I flip it over and do the other side the same way and waahlaa! Don’t forget to fold those zipper ends over to make a neat finish. For another way to set your zippers and add a gusset, check out Communing With Fabric.
Top stitch the seams and around the zipper. Sew together the other seam and top stitch. Sleeves can be a bit of a pain to stop stitch. If you go slowly and one or two inches at at time you’ll get there.
Complete the sleeve by hemming a narrow hem of top stitching at the bottom. I like to do a double row of stitching at the hem because I think it looks better, but it’s your choice. Ensure you leave the extra hem loose; we will be attaching the lining to it.
Attach the sleeves to the shell of the jacket. Match the notches. Super easy breezy! Instead of pinning my sleeve in place, I used clips to avoid pinholes in my faux leather. To ease the extra material in place I just put the clips closely to each other and went super slow around the cap-sleeve. Stand back and be in awe of your work!
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty of the lining. Construction of the lining is very similar to main body of the biker jacket with a couple differences. Recall at the beginning of this project I suggested you cut your bottom hems a little longer so you have some wiggle room when inserting your lining into your jacket? Here’s the back panels with the extra length added below. ALSO, the back lower panel is sewn with the small side next to the upper back as shown below, matching the notch with the center seam.
When you look at your center back seam, you will see a marking for a pleat. This gives you some roominess to your jacket. Sew approximately 2 inches down for your pleat. The Australian’s call it a “tuck”.
Complete the construction of the lining. When you sew your sleeves, make sure you line up the notches and don’t sew past where your zipper notch. We want that bottom portion of the sleeve lining open so we can attach it to the zippers.
One last tidbit. When you attach the should yoke to the front center panel, keep in mind it only goes “half way”. Remember the other half of the front is your front facing which we will attach to the lining, so don’t let this throw you off. Only sew to the center of the yolk leaving enough of a seam allowance to attach the front facing. Study the next two pictures.
Now let’s finish this puppy up! Time to attach the lining to the main shell of the biker jacket. We will take this in sections. First, we will attach the lining at the neck line. With right sides together, we will sew the lining ensuring we follow the stitching line of collar. Match up your lining to the neck line at the seams and center of the back. This will be a 1/4 inch seam, again FOLLOWING THE SEAM LINE OF THE COLLAR.
Next sew the lining to facing matching the notches. Continue down the facing to the hem line notch, turn and sew facing up to the where the lining is attached.
Turn right side out and use a point turner to get your collar points nice and sharp.
Let’s work on the hem now. Turn your main jacket hem under even with the front facing and secure. We are now ready to top stitch all the way around the jacket facings, hem and neck line with one long top stitch. Go slow and ensure you pull both the main material and lining of your jacket evenly around the neck to give you an even crisp top stitch that will show on both sides. Do the same down the zipper.
A little extra step I take to ensure the jacket hangs evenly is tack the lower panel hem facing to the quilting material. It give’s it a little stability to to the hemline to not roll. Be careful not to sew all the way through the jacket to the out shell. Just tack it to the quilting medium. Also tack the hem at the seam intersections.
Tack your lining in place at the armholes, back lower panel and side seams to give it some stability. Adjust your hemline of the lining, press and clip in place. We will hand stitch the lining hem in place. Be careful to not sew through all the way to the front of the jacket. Only catch the turned hem with your needled.
Next we need to hem the sleeves and attach the lining around the zippers.
Hem the sleeve lining and tack in place to the main sleeve.
So that wasn’t hard at all, now was it! We are done with the Ziggi. It’s a beautiful jacket. The size 16 is a bit big so perhaps I just might make another one!
I hope you found this sewing tutorial helpful and fun. Let me know if you enjoyed sewing the Ziggi! Until next time when we say, “Sew Here We Go!”