Liberty Ridge Shell Instructions
© 2005 Paul AYCE Nanian
All Rights Reserved
Prepare the Pieces

Cut out your pattern pieces.

Heads Up! The back comes in two pieces, indicated by the "Back B: Tape to Back A" and "Back A: Tape to Back B" marking on the paper pattern. Cut the straight dashed margin off the larger of the two pieces (Back A) and tape to Back B so that the seam lines match up..


Heads Up! There is only one sleeve piece pattern; when the printing is UP on fabric that is right-side up it cuts the left sleeve piece, and when the printing is DOWN on fabric that is right-side up it cuts the left front piece.

Heads Up! Left and right refer to the left and right of the wearer of the shell, not the person looking at the wearer.

Lightly sear the edges to prevent fraying.
An alcohol wick lamp works great for this purpose as it burns very evenly at a lower temperature than a candle. Be careful with this step as it's easy to oversear the edges.

Take a Closer Look at the Back Piece

The back/sleeve seam is not like a shirt seam; it does not run along the top of your shoulders. Rather, it's on your back and runs from your neckline over your shoulder blades, ending at the armpit.

You'll be attaching the sleeve piece to the back starting at the circled point A and ending at the circled point B.


Take a Closer Look at the Sleeve Piece

The shape of the sleeve/upper front piece is anything but obvious.

The back/sleeve seam is not like a shirt seam; it does not run along the top of your shoulders. Rather, it's on your back and runs from your neckline over your shoulder blades, ending at the armpit.

You'll be attaching the sleeve piece to the back starting at the circled point A and ending at the circled point B.

Heads Up! The sleeve piece actually forms the sleeve, the two halves of the upper front that are separated by the zipper, and a little bit of the back between the shoulder blades and the upper part of the shoulder.

Heads Up! Look at the blue line between points A and B for the sleeve and the back. Notice that they are not mirror images of each other. This is not a mistake in the pattern. The length of the blue line (ie: the seam length) is the same for both pieces.
French Seam Overview

The Liberty Ridge Shell uses French seams. This style of seam produces a very nice finished seam where the raw edges of fabric are completely enclosed. This both prevents fraying, and also keeps a rough seared edge from an unfinished seam from being abrasive on the skin. The following pictures show the way a French seam is sewn. Practice on some scrap before trying it on your project.

Sew the Back to the Sleeve with a French Seam

Follow the instructions given above to sew the sleeve to the back with a French seam. Don't skip pressing your seam with a cool iron: it really helps. Check the temperature with some scrap fabric before trying it on your project.

Heads Up! The raw edges are trimmed just prior to sewing to prevent ravelling. This will keep any ravelled edges from poking out of the finished seam.


Fold Collar and Press

Fold the collar in half the long way with wrong-sides together.

Press a crease into the collar with a cool iron.

Fold and Press a Hem into Collar

Press a 1/4" hem into the collar, fabric wrong sides together.

Head's Up! The 1/4" width hem is important: don't eyeball it. If you're off, the collar won't properly line up with the neckline seam later on.

Sew Collar to Neckline with a 3/8" Seam

Pin the collar to the neckline.

Alignment: right-side together.

Sew with a 3/8" seam allowance.

Head's Up! The 3/8" width seam allowance is important: don't eyeball it. If you're off, the collar won't properly line up with the neckline seam later on. Mark and measure the distance on your machine with a piece of tape or post-it note.

Trim Collar

The collar will be longer than the neckline. Trim the excess collar to fit.



Prepare Zipper

Install the zipper slider onto the coils and zip up the zipper to a couple of inches from the top. Sear the top edge of the zipper tape to prevent it from unravelling.

Install the top zipper stops by pushing the side of the stop with two prongs into the tape. Use pliers to bend the three prongs of the zipper stop flat.

The zipper runs between the half-height crease your pressed into in the the collar seam allowance and the bottom of the sleeve's zipper edge. Cut the bottom off the zipper to make it the same length as needed for your size jacket.

Zip up the zipper and lay it out on your kit's extra fabric square to the ripstop grid. Cut a strip the width of the zipped up zipper tape and a couple of inches long for use as a zipper wedge.




Mark Zipper Tape and Wedge Fabric

Mark the zipper tape zipper wedge fabric 3/4" from the end.
Sew Wedge To Back of Zipper

Lay the wedge fabric onto the back of the zipper, right side up.

Sew the wedge to the zipper tape at the mark you made 3/4" from the bottom of the wedge in the last step.

Remove 5/8" off the bottom of the zipper tape, leaving the sewn seam line at 1/8" from the bottom of the zipper.

Lightly sear the raw edges of the wedge and zipper tape.

Finish Zipper Wedge

Wrap the zipper wedge around the freshly cut and seared bottom of the zipper.

Sew the wedge to the zipper tape at the mark you made 3/4" (prior to trimming) from the bottom of the zipper.

Fold the wedge down along the seam you just sewed. Sew a final line of stitching just inside the fold line to secure the wedge fabric to the bottom of the zipper.

Install the metal bottom zipper stop just above the start of the zipper wedge fabric.

Sew Zipper to Shell

Lay the zipper onto the right-side up shell coils down. The top of the zipper ends at the crease you pressed into the collar, and the tape edge of the zipper lines up with the raw zipper edge of the front/collar. Pin it in place.

Using a zipper foot, sew the zipper to the shell 1/8" from the coils. Sew the neckline seam into your line of stitching pointing up towards the collar top.

To keep the zipper slider out of the way: zip the zipper for the first part of your line of stitching, then stop with the needle down. Zip the zipper past the pressure foot, then finish your line of stitching.

Sew Zipper to Shell

Turn the jacket inside out.

Lay the other side of the zipper down onto the right-side of the other zipper edge edge coils down.

Sew the zipper to the shell as before.

Press Collar

Turn the jacket right-side out.

Notice how the raw edges of the shell's zipper edges are folded inwards.

Extend that fold to upper part of the collar (the part without the zipper) and press it in place with a cool iron.

Fold Collar

Fold down the collar along the crease.

From the outside of the shell, pin the collar in place along the right zipper. Remember, the right side of the shell refer's to the wearer's right, not the observer's right.

Then continue pinning the collar to the neckline seam so that the collar's raw edge and the neckline raw edges point upwards. As before, pin the collar from the outside of the shell.

Pin the collar in place along the left zipper as before.

Sew Collar

From the outside of the shell using a zipper foot, sew down the right side of the zipper to the neckline seam.

Lift the pressure foot and pivot the shell 90° so that you can sew along the neckline seam.

Sew right in the neckline seam. This is sometimes called 'stitching in the ditch'.

When you get to the other zipper, lift the pressure foot and pivot the shell 90° again. Sew up the zipper to finish the collar.

Attach the Lower Front to the Body

Fold the lower front piece in half (armpit to armpit) and mark the center point.

Pin the lower front to the body wrong-sides together with the center point mark located at the zipper coils.

Sew with a 3/8" seam.

Finish with a French seam as before: trim to 1/8", press & pin, and finish with a 1/4" seam to enclose the raw edges.

Sew Main French Seam

The main seam runs from cuff to hem.

Sew it with a French seam as before. Remember, for the first French seam line the jacket is right-side out (ie: wrong sides together).

For the first line of stitching, start at the armpit and sew to the hem, then repeat the process going from armpit to cuff. By starting at the armpit, any unevenness between the front/back and sleeves can be trimmed off without affecting way the internal seams line up.

Trim back the seam to 1/8", press, and finish the seam with fabric right-sides together (ie: the shell is inside out) with a 1/4" seam line. It's not necessary to start at the armpit; you can start at either the cuff or the hem.

Trim off any unevenness between the back/front hem and sleeves. Also, if you'd prefer to not have the drop-tail of the back, feel free to shape that in any way you'd like. By folding the back in half, you can ensure left/right symmetry for the shape you choose .


Lycra

Your kit included a length of lycra binding which you can use to finish the bottom hem and cuffs. Alternatively, you can choose to finish them with a simple hem. It's up to you.

Wrap the lycra around your waist and cut it to length without stretching it.

Fold the first 3/8" of the leading short edge (ie: the start of the strip) of the binding back onto itself and pin in place. This will conceal the raw edge within the binding tape in the finished shell.

Evenly stretch the binding tape as you pin it to the right side of the shell as shown in the picture. Start at one of the two side seams.
When you're finished, the binding should be stretched very consistently around the entire bottom hem of the shell.

Sew the binding tape to your shell by stretching it while running it through your machine. Use a 3/8" seam allowance.

Lycra2

Wrap the lycra binding around the raw edges of fabric and pin it in place.

Sew through the right side of the fabric into the lycra binding you just wrapped around the raw edges of fabric. Your line of sewing should be right into the 'ditch' between the shell and the lycra from your first line of stitching.



Lycra3

Trim the excess lycra close to your line of stitching.

Decide if you want to install lycra on the cuffs or if you'd prefer a simple hem instead.

Turn the shell right-side out and put it on. Mark your sleeve length and trim the sleeves to length if necessary. Move your arms up and down to ensure that you have them the way you want, accounting for freedom of movement. If you're going to hem the cuffs instead of using lycra, add 3/4" to the marked cutting line to account for the hem allowance.

Sew a simple hem or install wrist lycra binding.


Congratulations!

Enjoy using your Liberty Ridge Shell on the trail!