Completion!

It is finished!

I have thus far not managed to get the SuperFabric company to sell me their fine product, so the elbow patches, cuffs, and waist band are made from black aramid. In the event that I managed to secure some SuperFabric I will stitch the elbow patches closer to the edge in order to produce a flatter look. I stitched them on about 1/4" in from the edges and as a result they stand up more than I like. (I had intended to sew quilting lines around the circumference of the lower sleeve to promote rolling,  as shown in the sketches, but I forgot. Perhaps I will do so once I replace the elbow patches.)

I wanted this jacket to feel just as natural with the cuffs flipped up as flipped down. To accomplish this the aramid cuffs are only attached to the polar fleece liner, leaving a tiny gap between the cuffs and the aramid outer sleeve. This worked as well as I had hoped and despite the stiffness of the aramid, the cuffs feel quite comfortable when flipped up.

In order to maximize the temperature range over which this jacket is comfortable, I decided to add some large zippered vents under the arms. This lead to a surprising aesthetic problem - while one side of the zipper was sandwiched between aramid outer and polarfleece liner, the other side was only sewed onto a single layer of polarfleece fabric. Either the interior or exterior would have to be unfinished. I experimented with leaving the zipper edge exposed to the outside, but made it look very finished by running a zigzag stitch along the edge. The black thread is invisible in the brown polarfleece and this keeps the zipper so flat to the cloth that it looks like a cosmetic black stripe. I'm really happy with that decision!

sketch 09

I tweaked the pockets to have a more comfortable angle of entry and changed the zipper pulls to be in line with what I'm expecting to purchase. The collar has been updated with a conventional motorcycle jacket collar. Also the polar fleece sections have had their color updated to match the color of the material I have purchased. 

second muslin and the collar

I really like this muslin except the collar is terrible. It didn't occur to me that the rounded collar, when folded down, would essentially be Peter Pan collar. (Not the look I'm going for!) Also I thought the asymmetry would give a jaunty look when open, like double-breasted jackets. Instead it just looks awkward to me. Instead I intend to go with a traditional motorcycle jacket collar with a snap closure. It looks good with this jacket style and allows the zipper to stop at the collar bone rather than poking my throat. 

pattern making

I sliced up an existing jacket to give me a starting point for pattern. I wanted different seam lines and a different fit, so it was more complicated than just ripping the existing seams. From this I made my first muslin, but I didn't like the results. I made a much better pattern by cutting up an old fitted dress shirt and that muslin was almost perfect. 

sketch 08

I think this will be pretty close to my final design. I removed the stripes as I found them a bit strong and shrank the venting side panels. I also added some zippered vents in line with the pocket zippers. 

sketch 07

Here I explore using quilting and breaks in the elbow pad to facilitate sleeve rolling. I also added a cosmetic stripe pair across the shoulders. 

sketch 06

I refined the telescoping sleeve mechanism to make folding the cuffs up and over the upper sleeve more practical. When shortened, the sleeves are held in place with snaps. The collar closure is changed slightly to be less bulky. I also added zippers to the pockets. 

sketch 05

Here I am experimenting with telescoping sleeves (as opposed to rolling sleeves) because the aramid cloth is fairly stiff. I like the look better, and the aramid lower sleeve will prevent sparks from burning holes in the sleeves. The collar forms a complete circle without any snaps or zippers touching the neck (something I hate). In less chilly weather the collar can be fastened open with a snap. 

sketch 03 and 04

I experimented with telescoping segments in the torso and forearms to facilitate ventilation while still protecting from wind. I drew the sleeves upside down though, so a drizzle would result in water being funneled into the sleeves! 

I corrected the sleeve vent direction, but the overall look resembles something a froofy female alien would wear in Star Trek - not the look I'm aiming for. 

sketch 02

trimmed pockets, zipperless soft collar, cuffs have breaks to facilitate rolling sleeves