EVOLUTION OF PALMER/PLETSCH JACKET PATTERN B6960

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The Butterick B6960 Palmer/Pletsch Blazer Project

by Pati Palmer with Tammie Pontsler

Last spring I asked CSI Tammie Pontsler if she would like to sew our new jacket and I would mentor her on writing the guidesheet for Butterick. Having moved from San Diego to Grand Rapids, MI, and with a new sewing studio, she welcomed the challenge.

FedEx package from Butterick

IT ARRIVED!

A week later, in April 2022, a FedEx box was at her front door. Inside was a design croquis, a size 10 pattern tracing, and a jacket muslin.

Tammie put the muslin on a size 10 dress form and opened the tracing.

Butterick Palmer/Pletsch jacket pattern B6960 muslin
Butterick Palmer/Pletsch jacket pattern B6960 tracing

Now what? Well, you collect your tools and sew a jacket.

Tammie Pontsler

Tammie Pontsler, Palmer/Pletsch Certified Sewing Instructor and Tissue-Fitting Specialist, is in charge of our new online LIVE Zoom School where you can take Palmer/Pletsch seminars and workshops. Read more about her background. palmerpletsch.com/palmer-pletsch-zoom-online-sewing-school/

Tammie taught her students at San Diego College of Continuing Education online during the pandemic. She even taught the Palmer/Pletsch jacket techniques online. While sewing this jacket we Zoomed daily because the fabric she was using was tricky to sew. The lightweight stretch woven polyester was a nice quality, but not as easy to work with as a wool would be. Here is the finished jacket sent to Butterick in time for photography!! Well done, Tammie!

B6960-finished-jacket-front
B6960 finished jacket back

the patterns and the process

Tammie took photos along the way and wrote lots of tips as she sewed. That makes her co-author of this blog with me, pulling together her photos and favorite tips.

She followed up by sewing the next pattern in the same fabric— a fabulous wide-legged pleated trousers and culottes—and writing the guide for this. These two patterns were designed to work together to create a stylish suit. (FYI, because of the fullness, we didn’t crease the legs, for a softer look.)

Butterick Palmer/Pletsch blazer pattern B6960

Follow the guidesheet for tissue-fitting and sewing tips.

guidesheets for Butterick Palmer/Pletsch jacket pattern B6960

tammie's tips

lengthen the pattern pieces

When Butterick asks you to add 2” of length for the model, Perfect Pattern Paper gridded tissue makes it easy!

test interfacing

Test your fusible interfacings: Tammie chose PerfectFuse Tailorultra for the front and undercollar and PerfectFuse Light on upper collar, facing, back, and sleeve cap—a nice idea for a lighter weight fabric. You could test PerfectFuse Sheer as well.

Press fabric to remove wrinkles.

Press fabric to remove wrinkles.

Also TEST pressing on a scrap. Tammie found the poly/spandex to be very steam sensitive. She found that less steam was best and letting anything you press cool completely before moving. That promted her to do more tests.

FROM JACKETS FOR REAL PEOPLE CHAPTER 9

A quick way to steam shrink 100% wool fabric is to place your iron on the fabric and steam for 5-10 seconds in one place. Lift iron. If you see an iron imprint, steam press entire piece from wrong side. Let steamed area cool before moving fabric.

Use a steam iron on fabric.
iron imprint on fabric

iron imprint on fabric

TEST fabric seam. Sew. Press.

TEST lining seam. Sew. Press.

Test lining seam.

TEST thread color (buttonhole).

Test thread color.

Tammie also tested sewing and pressing a dart. More on that later…

Trim pattern to cutting line with paper scissors (or rotary cutter) first. Lay out pieces and pin in place for cutting with shears. If using a rotary cutter, weights hold paper flat. Use a sharp blade. Cut a few pieces, pull fabric toward you, and cut more pieces.

Use a rotary cutter.

Mark an X or W on wrong side of all pieces. (Trust us on this one!)

Mark the wrong side of the fabric.

Cut PerfectFuse TailorUltra. 

front interfacing—PerfectFuse Tailorultra

Cut PerfectFuse Light.

Fuse. Move iron forward by one-third every 5 seconds.

Mark center front, roll line, dart, lapel circle, and buttonhole.

Mark center front

Apply ½” Stay Tape inside of roll line. Pin at top.

Pull the tape ¼” shorter, or up to ¾” if you are very full busted. Pin and smooth the ease evenly along the tape.

With a press cloth on top, lightly fuse the tape with tip of iron. Fell-stitch each side of the tape to the front.

Fell stitch each side of tape.

NECK DART

Pin neck dart, making sure pins are on the seamline on both sides. Stitch to 1” from the end, and change to 1mm stitch length. Stitch the last ½” on very edge of fabric fold. Remove from machine, allowing long thread tails. Tie a knot.

Pin on the lines.
Tie a knot.

Reduce bulk by cutting dart open.

Press open with tag board or paper under seam allowances to prevent marks on other side. While fabric is hot, press firmly with a wooden clapper, removing it when cool.

Press dart open.
Use a clapper.

And one last tip from Tammie:

This photo shows you the snip on the jacket side that you need to make to easily turn the corner when sewing the neckline to the undercollar. See step 25 in the blazer guidesheet.

snips to make turning the corner on undercollar

now follow the guidesheet

Now that Tammie has helped you get started, follow the guidesheet for Butterick 6960. We’ve included lots of Palmer/Pletsch tips, but remember a pattern can’t be a book. If you need further help, refer to the Jackets for Real People book or video, which includes Marta Alto sewing an entire blazer. If you want a live Zoom class online, Tammie has a 5-day Palmer/Pletsch Blazer Workshop coming up this year. We also have in-person 5-day Palmer/Pletsch Fit, Design, Tailor a Jacket workshop in Michigan. Scroll to the bottom of this blog for more information.

SINGLE-WELT POCKETS

Tammie suggests changing the pocket width if you alter the jacket in the hip area, since the welt pocket sits over the seam between the front and side panel of the jacket. However, if you add 2” to hip width you don’t want an 8½” welt! The length of the welt can be between 5½” – 6½” depending on your size. Shorten it so it looks right on you, then adjust the pocket width accordingly.

We’ve always used a lightweight nonwoven interfacing for welt pockets. Draw the box on the nonwoven. All sewing from now on is done on the box. Pretty hard to go wrong. Practice on a scrap first.

pocket welts

This welt technique is like the single-welt back pocket in our book Pants for Real People. Tammie refined the instructions a bit for this pattern. Well done, Tammie. More welt pocket information is in the book Jackets for Real People.

SHOULDER PADS

Our favorite shoulder pad for jackets is a layered molded raglan pad.

raglan shoulder pads
raglan shoulder pad

shoulder pad and sleeve head tips in guidesheet

shoulder pad tip from guidesheet
sleeve head tip in guidesheet

NOTE: CHAPTER 12 IN JACKETS FOR REAL PEOPLE is an excellent resource for both sleeves annd shoulder pads. This page shows “why” we like to use raglan sleeves in a set-in sleeve jacket.

Pati’s and Tammie’s Word to the Wise When Sewing a Tailored Jacket

“Enjoy the process. Take your time.
Think of how many hours of wear you will get, not the time you took to make it.”

RESOURCES

These books are also available as flipbooks on our digital website.

These videos are also available for streaming or download on our digital website or as DVDs at palmerpletsch.com.

Don’t forget to order the interfacing you’ll need for your blazer project.

And order your pattern! The guidesheet will be such a help.

Butterick Palmer/Pletsch blazer pattern B6960
a guidesheet from Butterick Palmer/Pletsch blazer pattern B6960

do you want more guidance? take a tailoring workshop.

Palmer/Pletsch tailoring workshops are offered in-person or live on Zoom:

IN PERSON FALL 2024 AND SPRING 2025

Janet Dapson, Palmer/Pletsch Certified Sewing Instructor, Michigan will be teaching a 5-day Fit, Design, Tailor a Jacket Workshop Oct 4-8, 2024

Can’t make it this fall 2024? We have one on March 21-25, 2025.

Janet will give you a choice of jacket patterns.

Janet Dapson teaching tailoring

take a tailoring class on zoom.

Tammie Ponstler, Palmer/Pletsch Certified Sewing Instructor, teaches our live Zoom workshops. Follow along with other students fitting B6960.

Starting in January 2025 Tammie is offering a 5-week series of Saturday workshops—
FIT & SEW A TAILORED JACKET

An optional Jacket Pattern Tissue-Fitting 1-day workshop is offered on January 11 for those wanting to learn more about tissue-fitting a jacket prior to taking the 5-day workshop.

OR FIND A SEWING TEACHER NEAR YOU

check out these other blazer and jacket blogs:

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