Sew Chicago Challenge 2020

The 2020 Sew Chicago Challenge is to sew a Jacket or Coat in time to wear on the Runway at the ASG Chicago Chapter Annual Fashion Show on October 17th 2020.

This challenge is all about sewing a Jacket or a Coat. It can be a very detailed tailored jacket or a something much less structured. It can be made from woven or knit or a combination of different fabrics. It can be an anchor piece that pulls an ensemble together and gives it a polished look or an extra layer to fight the chill.  It can be a relaxed fall or spring coat or a highly structured winter coat. The choice is yours!! It’s a challenge, so think of something that will challenge you AND something that fits into your lifestyle. Always remember this is supposed to be FUN!

This is a fairly involved undertaking, so we want to help our members in any way we can. To do this, we’re devoting part of our monthly Sew & Tell meeting segments to having participating members give status reports and get any feedback they might need. We’re gearing the milestones to a tailored jacket or coat and members who are working on something that is less complicated can adjust their progress reports as needed. Also, we want to point out that there is extra time built into this schedule to allow for unexpected hiccups in construction or in your schedule and to allow time for sewing other garments.

Here are the suggested milestones:

February 14:  Bring fabric swatches, pattern or sketch, and model your muslin (Yes, you SHOULD make one.)

March 13: Fabric cut and marked. Underlining basted (if using). Interfacing fused or pad stitching underway.

April 10: Pockets completed (bring sample to show) and bound buttonholes in (if using).

May 8: Body constructed, collar set.

June 12: Sleeves set. Shoulder pads and sleeve heads in (if using).

July 10: Buttonholes (if by machine or hand-worked) completed; buttons sewn on.

August 14: Lining constructed and attached.

Submit garment form and picture to Fashion Show Committee before the deadline.

9/11: Project is hemmed and ready for the runway!

February Progress Reports:







Maria has chosen to make a classic blazer using the Jasika Jacket from Closet Case Patterns. She also bought the kit of all the tailoring supplies needed for the jacket and enrolled in the online class to walk her through the tailoring process. Even though Maria has a lot of tailoring experience she’s looking forward to seeing what Heather Lou teaches in the online class.

Chief Creative Officer Steph is right on track with a completed muslin of her Issey Miyake coat from vintage Vogue pattern 1227.

Linda showed the progress she is making in picking apart her well-loved windbreaker to use as a pattern for its replacement.

New member Karen has selected The Princess Coat from Charm Patterns and is now tackling the fun task of choosing her fabric.

Sue is excited about making the Folkwear Patterns Spectator Coat.

Ashley is going whimsical with this adorable McCalls coat pattern.

Liz H. is ahead of the curve, having worn the wearable muslin for her jacket to the December luncheon. And Chief Instigator Wendy is adapting the Francine Jacket pattern from Sew Over It London (the shawl collar version) and taking the accompanying online course.

At our March meeting, Rita reported on progress on her Burda Patterns Alpine Jacket, for which she just happened to have lace that matches the fashion fabric. She’s using the lace on the yoke and the inside of the back pleat.

Liz B. is busy working on a bomber jacket using New Look Pattern No. 6545.  Looking good!


Maria is on track with her Jasika Jacket. The pieces are interfaced, stay tape is hand stitched on, seams are thread traced, welt pockets are done (whew!).

Maria is using the wrong side of her fashion fabric for the undercollar because it is a darker tone than the right side. She’s also chosen a lovely silk charmeuse lining.

Ashley found a fabulous royal blue lining for her jacket from Fishman’s Fabrics and a lace overlay from Vogue Fabrics. The fashion fabric is this great velvet that she acquired at our fabric exchange with the Sew Saturday Neighborhood Group.


Steph reported that she has drawn the line for her color blocking and made all the new pattern pieces required to execute her bi-color version of the coat.

Liz H. reported that her welt pockets are in. Her fashion fabric is gray flannel from Vogue fabrics and her lining is a red China silk.


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