It does not pay to dwell on our fashion choices from a previous decade! Perhaps if this had aged gracefully for 40 or 50 years it would become delightfully vintage, but looking at it today all I see is old-man golfer or stereotype country club character from a movie. Also I buttoned it a bit wonky on the form but indeed the plaids do match across the front and all the way around. I had started to take the sleeves off as you might be able to see on the left, then remembered to take this picture.
I started playing around with the proportions and pinned up the hem plus extracted those gigantic shoulder pads and it was looking better already. I removed both sleeves and reduced the top shoulder seam from zero at the neck to about 3/4 inch off the front and back at the outside. That is a big reduction! It was interesting to open up something I had made a while ago, I had done a lot of hand stitching plus taping the lapel and collar roll line. Check out that crease in the collar, and I will bet you will find that on the pattern pieces the roll line is marked. Thank you, Vogue patterns in 1990-something! And why don't you do that anymore??? The result was a lovely turn of the collar and a perfect fit around the neckline.
Because I keep everything...well not everything but a lot of patterns, here is the pattern envelope. Which I found after a very short search (amazing, that I found it. Why can't I find the lining which I just bought last week? chalk it up to the mystery of the fabric closet) And why it has a stamp from a bank is another mystery.
To refashion this jacket I decided to "harvest" the fabric from the sleeves and add a peplum detail in the back, and then update the look with contrast sleeves. I am not entirely sure it is successful but I do like the back detail. I have that other jacket with the contrast sleeves which is one of my most popular makes, blogged here, so I thought it might work. The fabric for the sleeves is bengaline - at least that is what the label said. Not a fabric I am familiar with. I cut the sleeves on the cross-grain as the stretch is vertical on that fabric, not horizontal (selvedge to selvedge) as is typical.
To tell the truth it was a bit tight across the hips, so the gathered detail is a trendy way to make a bit more room over the backside. Sneaky huh? Also I like the look of bias plaid and then I didn't have to match that section to the side seams.
A look at the insides, I had used armo-weft fusible on the front, knit fusible around the welt pocket and on the upper lapel. I reused the sleeve heads in the new sleeves. The lining was completely removed to do these changes so it was certainly fun to have a fully complete lining to pick up and sew back in, with a slight adjustment in the center back to accomodate the gathered section.
Since it is now December I figured it was time to start wearing this jacket which will have a very short shelf life (and I went to a holiday lunch today). So here it is, a side view so you can see the back detail.
And what is that in my hand? A tulip bulb, which I found right there on the retaining wall. Just recently planted by me and then dug up by the evil masterminds also known as squirrels. My nemesis. Nemeses? because they run around in a pack. Curse you, squirrels. Why am I smiling? because I have devised a plan to thwart them, to be revealed...
Happy Holiday sewing, Beth
P.S. If the title of this blog post is confusing to any readers, perhaps those outside of the US, I will direct you to this Wikipedia entry which explains the origin of the phrase "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" and then hope you will excuse me for twisting that sentence into a blog post title.