Personalizing the Duke Jacket Part 1 - Add a Zipper and Chin Guard


I love the Duke Jacket, its fit is just spot on and it’s classy yet perfect for everyday too. However, my 4 year-old girl needed some adjustments to hers. Buttons aren’t her 
forte yet and I wished to ease her dressing up time for daycare. So I replaced buttons with a zipper and hook and loop tape.

For playing in the rain, a hood with functional cords was necessary. Finally, I added a hook strip and a tag, so the jacket doesn’t go missing! Here’s how I did all this.
 

What you’ll need…

  • All the pieces of the regular Duke jacket BUT the LINER Wrap Over Front Bodice piece. We will alter that piece for the zipper.

For the zipper option:

  • Modified liner for the Wrap Over Front Bodice piece, some parts in liner, some in main fabric

  • A separable Zipper (an inch smaller than the bodice height is just fine)

  • Hook and loop tape for full closure of the Wrap Over (some 6” or less)

For the chin guard option:

  • Two rounded pieces (see picture) in main fabric

You can eyeball the size you need, or check on a RTW you own


Zipper (and hook and loop tape):

First, let’s find where the Under Front bodice edge lands under the Wrap Over Front bodice. That’s where your two halves of the zipper will meet.

Before we go hunting for measurements, take a look at the result first. 
 
   
You’ll end up with one big lining piece and two main fabric strips (or just one if you prefer).

Here’s how to find the width of those strips:

  1. Measure the distance between the right edge of the Under Front and the left end of the button marks. Note it. For me, on the size 6, it was about 1 1/8”. 

  2. Measure that distance starting at the left edge of the Wrap Over Front and place your zipper on the right side of your measurement, its teeth about 1/8” to the right of your measurement. You just found where you’ll have to sew you zipper in your Wrap Over liner. 

  3. Since I was using a sherpa, I made two strips of main fabric to go each side of the zipper to avoid it getting stuck. But you could just make the strip that will create the tab hiding the zipper when it’s closed.

    1. Do like me: 

      • Find where your seams would be (as in purple on this image). The first one attaches the two main fabric strips to the zipper, the second one attaches the second strip to the liner.

      • Measure the RED strip width from the left edge of the Wrap Over to 1/4" past your first seam.

Note: 1/4" is your seam allowance, you can adjust this to your liking.

      • Measure the BLUE strip width by going 1/4" to the left of the first seam and 1/4" to the right of second seam.

      • Finally, shorten your liner by the distance between the left edge of the Wrap Over piece and a 1/4" to the left of the second seam.

For example, my red strip was 1 7/8” wide and my blue strip was 1 1/8”, with a seam allowance of 3/8”. My liner was shortened by 1 3/8”.

    1. Do just a hiding tab: 

      • Find where your seam would be (as in purple on this image). It will attach the Main fabric strip to the zipper and to the liner.

      • Measure the RED strip width from the left edge of the Wrap Over to 1/4" past your seam

Note: 1/4" is your seam allowance, you can adjust this to your liking.

      • Finally, shorten your liner by the distance between the left edge of the Wrap Over piece to 1/4" BEFORE the seam.

  1. Cut your pieces according to your measurements.

REMEMBER: if you cut your main pieces (the exterior of the jacket) fabric facing UP, you have to cut your lining pieces (inside of the jacket) fabric facing DOWN, or vice versa.

  1. Clip your BLUE strip to your Wrap Over liner and sew. Topstitch to assure that everything lays flat. 

     

  2. Put some wash away double-sided tape on the BLUE strip raw edge.

  3. Right sides together, the teeth towards the liner, place the zipper bottom at least 3/8" from the bottom edge of the BLUE strip. You need this space for subsequent steps. 

  4. Put some wash away tape on the left raw edge of the RED strip.

  5. Right side facing down, place the RED strip on top of the zipper, aligning it with the BLUE strip. Sew the zipper sandwiched between the two strips using a zipper foot.

Note: if you need, like me, to shorten your zipper, many EAM patterns that imply sewing a zipper have instructions for that.

  1. Topstitch to ensure everything lays flat. Your zipper teeth must face toward the RED strip. 

  2. Clip your other zipper half to the Main Under Front piece, 3/8” away from the bottom, right sides together. Baste in place. Leave some unstitched zipper at the top if you intend on inserting a chin guard.

Your pieces are ready. You can go back to the regular instructions of the Duke jacket or continue for other options, but once everything else is done, grab the hook and loop tape and continue here.

  1. To keep the zipper well hidden, sew some hook and loop tape on the edges of the Wrap Over liner and Under Front main, right by the zipper.

I eyeballed this part. I also put one hook and loop piece instead of a button on the neck tab.

You can put as much or as little as you want. As long as it secures the tab closed on your zipper.
 

Chin guard:

  1. Take the two chin guard pieces and place them right sides together. Clip/pin and sew.

  2. Reduce seam allowance with pinking shears or by making slits in the seam allowance. Turn your chin guard right sides out.

  3. Mark the center of the raw edge of your chin guard. Align this mark with the end of the zipper, placing your chin guard between the zipper and the Under Front main piece.

  4. Fold the chin guard over the zipper clip/pin and baste in place. 

Your pieces are ready. You can go back to the regular instructions of the Duke jacket or continue for other options. 

You’re done! Good job!
  

Part 2 about adding a hood with functional cords will be coming soon! 

(Written by Isabelle Couture, this blog contains affiliate links)

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