Sometime in the late 70's I made a puffy down jacket from a kit by Frostline. Puffy down jackets were all the rage so I have no idea why my mother and I decided to buy a kit rather than something ready to wear. Luckily no one told me that this was NOT a suitable project for beginners.
The kit came in a brown box with fabric (it could have been pre-cut but I don't recall), the zippers and other notions, and plastic bags of down all sized and weighed for the different channels of each jacket piece. I remember being all excited to get started and then quite stunned to find that I couldn't begin immediately without doing hours of prep work. First all of the pieces had to be identified, and at some point I had to mark all of the channels. But the biggest obstacle to starting was that each piece of the nylon fabric had to be prepped by running the edges along a candle flame to lightly melt them to prevent fraying. This was pretty painstaking work because you had to get just the very edge about 1/4" from the flame and run it smoothly along - too far away and it didn't melt - too close and you melted a a big chunk out of the fabric edge.
Now the sewing began and I had to:
- install a collar
- install a zipper
- set in sleeves
- do french seams
- do pockets
- make alterations to sleeve length
Well, in the end it came out great and I wore that jacket proudly for many years. And I did it all by myself (remember this was back in the days before we had computers or internet so no You Tube videos for help). I had never sewn anything more complicated than a purse and had only taken one summer school sewing class. I was 13.