How to Tailor a Jacket From Scratch

by Emma Rensch ; Updated September 28, 2017

Sewing your own jacket lets you achieve your ideal style and fit.

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Sewing your own jacket allows you to decide on the style, color and type of material, giving you more options and control than you can find at a store. Sewing your own jacket also allows you to create a garment that fits you perfectly, unlike the mass-produced garments available at most clothing outlets. Making your own jacket also ensures that your garment was not produced in a sweatshop. By following a pattern, even beginners can sew an attractive jacket from scratch.

Spread your fabric out on a flat work surface. Unwrap your pattern and place the pieces on the fabric so that none overlap.

Draw around the pattern pieces using a fabric marker. Draw as close to the edges of the pieces as you can and do not move the pieces around during the drawing process.

Remove the pattern pieces and discard or save them for another use. Cut out the pieces that you have drawn. Cut around the fabric marker ink so that none remains on the pieces you will be using for your jacket.

Examine the instructions that accompany your pattern to ensure that you have cut out all of the pieces you will need and that they resemble the shapes indicated in the instructions. Common jacket components that exist in most patterns include two identical pieces that constitute the front panel of the jacket, two identical pieces for the back, an upper and lower portion for each sleeve, a pocket and a pocket lining and a neck band or collar. Some more complex patterns include a large piece of fabric called a continuous bias that you sew inside the front and back panels of the jacket as a lining.

Sew the pieces of the pattern together using a sewing machine. Most patterns require that you first attach the two halves of the front panel to the back panels and then connect the back panels in the center, creating the shape of a vest. If your pattern include a continuous bias, or lining, you will attach this to the inside of the vest.

Connect the lower and upper sleeve sections and sew the sleeves to the shoulders of the vest, as this is likely to be the next step in the instructions that accompany your pattern. Sew the pocket lining to the pocket and connect the pocket to the lower right-hand corner of the jacket. Sew on the collar as a last step.

Snip off all loose threads and turn the jacket right side out. It is now ready to wear.


  • Choose a pattern for a style of jacket that you feel would flatter your body type and match other items in your wardrobe. A large variety of jacket patterns are available online as well as at most craft or fabric stores. Choose a pattern in your size. You can make minor alternations after finishing the jacket to create a perfect fit. You can use a needle and thread to connect the pieces of your pattern instead of a sewing machine, but this will be much more time consuming. Follow the instructions that accompany your pattern when connecting the pieces, using these steps as guidelines to help you understand the process. Each pattern is different, so read your specific instructions carefully.

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About the Author

Emma Rensch earned her B.A. in writing for contemporary media from Scripps College in 2011. Currently, she lives and writes in San Diego.