The back button placket vent we came up with View C was one of the options we got really excited about when we were developing our Sienna Maker Jacket pattern. It’s a neat detail that makes this cropped version truly unique. Above all, we wanted a clean finish inside and when we figured out how to do this for this option we were thrilled.
Before we walk you through constructing the back for View C, we have a quick note. The instructions for finishing the hem for all views normally indicate to press the raw edges of the bottom hem up twice and topstitch in place. This means the hem is folded up over the ends of the back button placket and over the ends of the front facings. We wanted to show an alternative way of finishing the jacket here in the sewalong, where the hem is stitched inside the facing and button placket for a cleaner finish and sharper corners. For our green sample we made a few changes to make this possible. The construction will still be the same, with a few extra steps.
BACK BUTTON PLACKET VENT
Below we have the right and left jacket back pieces with wrong sides up. When you cut the back vent facing (pattern piece E), you will cut it once from fabric with right side up, and twice from interfacing, both with the sticky side up so they are the same orientation and not mirrored. This may seem confusing, but if you refer to the interfacing guide included in the instructions when you cut this interfacing it will make sense. Note: We’ve extended the bottom of the back vent facing piece (E) to match the length of the right back vent extension so we can demonstrate our alternative hemming method. Normally the back vent facing piece will end just above the hem allowance, 1.5″ from the bottom. We fully interfaced the back vent facing, which will be sewn to the right back jacket. We also interfaced the left back vent extension as indicated in the instructions, trimming 1/2″ from the longer straight edge. After interfacing, we marked the buttonhole locations and back match points with thread tacks.
Press the edge of the left back vent extension under by 5/8″.
With right sides together, pin the back vent facing to the right back vent extension, and sew at 5/8″.
Press the seam allowance towards the facing. Fold the long unsewn side of the facing under by 1/2″ and press. Fold the small top edge of the facing under by 1/2″ as well and press.
Grade the seam allowance of the facing.
Understitch the seam allowance to the facing from the top of the vent extension and press the facing to the back along the seam.
With right sides together, pin the right and left back pieces together along the center back seam.
Sew the right and left back jacket pieces together at 5/8″, starting from the top of the center back seam. Stop precisely at the circle match point that was marked earlier and backstitch.
To achieve a clean finish at the hem at the right back vent, fold the facing towards the right back with right sides together and pin in place. You will stitch the facing closed at the bottom in the next step. If you are hemming the jacket in the traditional way outlined in the instruction booklet, skip the next few steps.
Mark a stitch line with you choice of marking tool at the 1.5″ hem allowance. Stitch across the facing along this line, backstitching at beginning and end.
Trim the corner of the hem so it can be turned right side out.
Press the raw edge of the right back hem up 1/2″, and again by 1″. Turn the stitched facing right side out and straighten the corner with a point turner. The folded hem will be neatly enclosed inside the facing.
To secure the back vent facing in place, topstitch 1/8″ around the pressed edges. Keep the left back out of the way as you sew. We started sewing at the beginning of the small top folded edge, kept our needle down at the corner, then continued sewing all the way to the bottom hem. The fold of the hem will be secured in place with your stitching.
This is what it will look like so far once you have stitched the vent facing in place.
Press the center back seam to the left, and press the left back vent extension in from the circle marking to the notch at the hem.
To achieve the same clean finish on the left vent at the hem, repeat the same steps. Fold the left vent extension along the pressed edge with right sides together. Pin in place and mark your stitch line at the 1.5″ hem allowance. If you are hemming your jacket the traditional way as outlined in the instruction booklet, skip these next few steps.
Trim the corner and fold the raw edge of the hem up by 1/2″.
Turn the left vent right side out and ensure the hems match on both sides.
It’s time to finish the center back seam. You can finish with a serged stitch, bias binding, or a zig zag stitch. We used a strip of bias tape to do a hong kong finish, since the center back seam will be pressed to the left and topstitched in place. If you are not serging, trim the seam allowance down to 3/8″ before finishing.
Our bias tape is folded over the seam and will be stitched in place at the next step.
Press the center back seam to the left and pin in place. Starting the the neckline, topstitch the seam in place at 1/4″. You will stitch through all layers of right and left vent extensions when you reach the curve. Keep your needle down when you reach the end of the curve.
Raise your presser foot and gently shift the right back vent extension out of the way. Continue to sew down the left vent to secure the edge in place. Sew all the way to the bottom hem.
This is what your stitching will look like from the right side of the jacket.
The folded hem is secured inside the facing and folded left back vent extension on either side.
You may choose to sew your buttonholes now, or leave it for the end. The buttonhole location markings on the pattern piece are a guideline only. You will want the buttonholes centered on the left vent and evenly spaced. Strengthen the buttonholes with some FrayStop before opening them with a buttonhole chisel or a seam ripper. To mark the button locations, use a pencil to mark the position as close to the actual center front seam as possible; if you center buttons on the actual buttonhole the vent will not stay centered while you’re wearing it.
If you are using a thick fabric, you will want a little wiggle room when you sew on the buttons so you can do them up easily. Our buttons had shanks, but if yours are more like regular buttons, sew them on by making a making a thread shank.
SHOULDER SEAMS (VIEW C)
You are ready to assemble the rest of the jacket body. Pin the left and right jacket fronts to the jacket back at the shoulder seams.
Finish the seam and press to the back. We used flat fell seams for our sample. Topstitch the shoulder seam in place at 1/4″.
SIDE SEAMS (VIEW C)
With right sides together, pin the front to the back along the side seams, unfolding the pressed hem allowance on the back. Stitch at 5/8″. Finish the seams and press towards the back. Topstitch in place at 1/4″.
You are on a roll! Next up, assemble and attach the collar and lapel facing.