For those of you who have sewing blogs, how in the world do you keep up with posting the things that you make? *sigh*
I don’t know that I’ll ever be very good at posting everything that I make when I finish making it. I feel limited when it comes to taking photos of finished projects because I don’t have a very bright space in the house with good light. Sometimes I use the light by the front windows, but on Portland’s truly gray days, it’s nearly impossible to get a good shot. Thankfully, Rob had a bit of extra time this last week to help me get to a bright spot to take photos of two big projects I’ve had finished for quite a while (I’ll share the second one soon).
I purchased the plaid for this jacket from the Pendleton outlet back in September. It was one of the projects that got me started on my plaid posts. I started and finished the jacket in October, and took what felt like a thousand photos while I made it. I started out by making a muslin of the jacket, and… whoa… I had a lot of pattern altering to do.
It didn’t have anything to do with the pattern. It had everything to do with my large bust measurement, tiny shoulders, and rather high budunkadunk I call an ass. I’ve got lots of curves, and I have absolutely no shame about that (it’s usually pretty awesome). However, it does require that when I use a commercial sewing pattern that I have to alter it like crazy. For this pattern, the Colette Anise Jacket, I made the following alterations:
– full bust
– sway back
– moved welt pockets, and made them deeper
If I was going to make this pattern absolutely perfect for my body, I would have also adjusted the sleeves. As it stands, the sleeves sway backwards instead of forwards, but I didn’t alter them at all. Changing the rotation of the sleeve head and removing about 3/8 of an inch from the front sleeve cap would have given me a much better fit, but at that point I just wanted to start sewing the jacket, because I was on a deadline.
Cutting out the jacket took a good day and a half, because the plaid that I chose is a two-way, one-directional plaid (you can read more about those here). I marked the seam lines on all of the paper pattern pieces, and carefully cut them out, making sure that once the pieces were sewn together, the plaid pattern would continue, uninterrupted, around my body. Each piece had to be cut out on its own (no double-layer cutting), and I made notes by labeling each half of the body with “A” and “B”, so I knew what pieces went where.
The outer fabric is 100% wool, with a very soft hand and beautiful drape, and the lining is a thick, rich, cream colored coat lining from Mill End. I knew that the plaid wouldn’t do well on its own, so I ironed fusible weft interfacing to back of every single piece of plaid. It helped immensely when it came time to do some tailoring. Here’s a word of advice about interfacing- never EVER think you’re going to save money by preshrinking it yourself. Why I decided to save $2.00 a yard and put myself thru cleaning 9 million #!@$& little dots of fusible glue off everything in my sewing room after soaking it is just… ugh. Do yourself a favor and buy it preshrunk from Fashion Sewing Supply, really. Either that, or have wine nearby while you angrily shake your fist and clean up the aftermath. *deep breath* Yes, I still find little crumbly glue dots every once in a while.
The plaids all matched up beautifully, but it’s still not quite as perfect as I would like. If the plaids don’t match, it’s by almost less than 1/16th of an inch, but that’s enough to bug Miss OCD here. I couldn’t get the plaids to match up on the back princess seam (thanks to the curve of the side panels) quite like I had hoped. They match at the waistline (at the bottom of the photo below), but had to slowly creep farther apart as I set the curve in. Oh well. You win some, you lose some.
I’m still smitten with the leather buttons I found for five cents apiece. They give it just the right vintage vibe I was going for.
I’m really happy that I made the choice to move the pockets and make them deeper. I can’t wear a coat (or jacket) that doesn’t have pockets I can put my hands in.
Now as I said, I took tons of photos while I made this. I have my own ways (learned by some very experienced seamstresses) of hemming sleeves and bagging entire jacket linings in one nice swoop. Buuuut… I may save those tips for next fall, when everyone’s back to sewing jackets and getting mad at the mere thought of hand sewing a jacket lining in. Personally, I would never, ever do that. Using industrial sewing techniques is so much faster! BAM! YOU GET A JACKET, AND YOU GET A JACKET AND YOU GET A JACKET (say that in your best Oprah voice)!