Piece #2 for the Patternreview Mini-Wardrobe contest is done! Wow, this little jacket turned into a quite a project for me. It just took me a lot of reading and a couple of muslins to get my head around what on earth I was looking at. The good news is that the next jacket will be a million times easier.
I love the details on this jacket. The bias cut bands on the sleeves and the bias strips covering the princess seams and threaded through the buttons are really fun with the stripes. This seersucker from Gorgeous Fabrics was a dream to work with…easy to sew, with a lovely lovely feel, and a wonderful concealer of mistakes design features. This jacket was also really simple to alter. It fit me perfectly through the bust, so I only had to shorten it (it would’ve hit my full hip otherwise), and I shortened the sleeves to match the proportion a little better. The shoulder slope of the jacket also matched me perfectly (which I always have to change in big 4 patterns), so while I didn’t need shoulder pads, I made some very minimal ones out of fusible fleece just to smooth things out.
What I learned
1. How to train your lining: This was really much simpler than I thought it was going to be. No, actually, simple isn’t quite the word. This is plain slick. I followed the lining techniques Ron Collins showed in Sandra Betzina’s Linings A to Z video (I highly recommend this video by the way. My library had it, which is even better.). The only thing is that I wasn’t too careful when I was cutting out my lining pieces, so some of them ended up being longer in places than others. Very strange. With all of this, the lining went in without a hitch and it looks swell.
2. A new use for all of those ugly Father’s Day ties: Peggy Sagers showed a technique for easing a jacket sleeve in when she was at the Sewing Expo in February that I thought looked really cool and too good to be true. If you cut open any tie (even clip ons!), there’s this really unique interfacing inside. It’s a bit thick, has an open weave to it and it strong and cut on the bias. You take a 1″ wide strip of this stuff to ease the sleeve in. With the sleeve on the bottom and the interfacing on top, stitch along the seamline a couple of stitches, then pull on the interfacing to stretch it while you stitch along the seamline all the way around the cap. Like magic the interfacing pulls in some of the excess fluff, and you’re left with a really nicely shaped sleeve (and she claims that you don’t need a sleeve header if you use this either). All I know is that there was no pinning/weird threads/tears of frustration happening when I was setting in my sleeves. Peggy sells tie interfacing by the yard, but if you’re curious, you can do like me and slash open a thrifted tie. It’s probably more cost effective to buy it by the yard, but I suppose it requires a commitment to sew jackets.
3. Tailoring is a thick subject: Enough said. I studied hard about notched collars between an old issue of Threads (no. 68 as recommended here) and Tailoring. While I learned a lot from these resources, this is just something that takes time and practice. Making a jacket is just a lot more complicated than making a t-shirt. This collar is better than my last. There. That’ll tame my perfectionism monster for the moment. The thing that I’d really like to see someone do is a 2 piece sleeve. I’m still not sure how precisely the seam is supposed to look when you sew it. I had the same problem with my trench coat–it might be just how I’m adding seam allowances to my Burda patterns…somehow I think just lopping off pieces that seem excessive is not the best way to proceed. 🙂
4. Covered snaps are so cute: I covered the snaps for the jacket. They sadly are too bulky to actually be functional, but as Nathan wisely pointed out, it’s not like I’ll be shielding myself from the cold in this jacket.
Next up is my knit top for the contest. I cut it out this morning from the pretty red violet rayon I got at JoAnn. I’m stitching down my pleating by hand today, and I should be able to constructimicate it tomorrow Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.