So here is my latest project which I had thought about waiting to post until next week, but it is all finished and I have the urge to use some knits + new patterns so this will probably not be the last item sewn in 2014.
Now that it is finished I am not all that sure about it. I love the fabric, the pattern, the collar, but on the whole it leaves me less than thrilled and I can't say why.
Although I do love the fabric, which I bought (where else) at the sale table at a sewing guild, for I think about 2 dollars. Is this plaid called Black Watch? Tartan enthusiasts please let me know. I might be second to no one in my admiration and desire for all of Duchess Kate's gorgeous coats, and she has worn a McQueen coat in this or a similar plaid.
In my previous post I showed a couple of construction details, with the interfacing in the collar which is all from Fashion Sewing Supply. For the under collar I used Pro-Weft lightweight and then Pro-Sheer Elegance Medium for the upper collar/lapel. Once I had the whole jacket sewn together but for the sleeves I gave it a try on (didn't need to prior as this is version 3 for this well-fitting pattern) and I was slightly disappointed in myself for not interfacing the rest of the front. I don't know what I was thinking as I was making this, just sewing very quickly and not really paying attention except when doing the velvet collar. (Where I used my velvet needle board, see this old post for details on pressing nap fabrics such as velvet, which by the way is the same Simplicity pattern as this jacket).
So this is me being super-picky but if I had my thinking cap on when sewing I would have interfaced that princess portion you see there partially covered by the shoulder pad. Why? because once I tried it on it sunk a little bit and made a hollow in the upper chess that I didn't like. I thought about slapping some interfacing on it but it was all sewn together so decided I could live with it. But then I rummaged through my shoulder pad drawer and found these you see above which I think are more for a man's suit than a woman's. Very wide, I had to trim and grade them near the neck edge to fit into that shoulder area but they extended down along the chest and do a perfect job to prop up the fabric in that area. They are thin, so don't really add any height at the shoulder but just do the job to support the shoulder seam. I put a sleeve head of bias lambswool sewn in by hand. The sleeves on this pattern are so easy to insert, no ripples or extra ease but they fit perfectly. Interesting, although thinking back I have not had any problems with sleeves on Simplicity patterns, perhaps that is an area where their patterns are just right.
Here is the pattern envelope, Simplicity 2455, and based on that styling it is kind of frumpy (what else is new?). I chose this ages ago because the jacket has the hint of peplum without being too ruffly or full, plus shoulder princess seams.
And so far I have ignored the real elephant in the room for this project, Plaid Matching! And I am quite satisfied. This pattern has the front lapel piece continuing down to the bottom and then extending out to the side seam creating the peplum portion, so the matching started in the front and then matching the front bodice pieces to the lapel. Then I continued around to the back pieces. I did do the "cut and flip" single layer method to get mirror image pieces.
Since I was working with barely 2 yards it was a bit challenging and I cut the sleeves out last. In fact I thought I might have to piece them, maybe with a velvet cuff but thankfully - ha - I have very short arms so there was enough fabric. Note that the sleeve doesn't match exactly at the top of the shoulder but as your eye travels down the sleeve it matches the horizontal rows across the body. That was my goal, I like a plaid that matches across the body and sometimes you have to sacrifice the top of the sleeve matching. I would love to know how Burberry does it, I have seen plaid coats that match everywhere - I suspect they design the pattern and all the ease to utilize a specific plaid and it is one system - or their special tailoring magic :)
Someone mentioned in a previous comment that they like to see the insides so here you go. This lining is something I found in the upstairs sale section at Stone Mountain, it says "Guess" in the pattern so we know where that comes from. I think it is acetate which I like to use for cold weather jackets, as it is nice and slippery over sweaters and presses well. The lining is sewn in by hand and I pleated the peplum portion to reduce bulk in that waist seam. I added a patch pocket on the lining big enough to hold my slim new phone (my holiday toy). Note that I generally sew the lining in by hand because I am not a fan of the bagging a lining method and I like to tack down the lapels to the jacket front so they can't shift. Here is a link to a previous post where I show this step.
And the hem with interfacing along that edge (more Pro-Weft) plus a little pleat in the lining to allow for movement.
Another pattern repeat for 2014. I have made this jacket twice before and wear both versions all the time. Perhaps because they are made with slightly casual fabrics and fit well into my day to day wardrobe. Food for thought...
And a look at the velvet collar. Which I added not for any style or fashion choice but because wool can be itchy but velvet is not! So a velvet collar makes this jacket more wearable and eliminates the itch factor.
So this is the last jacket of 2014. But I am sure there are more to come in 2015. If I get organized I will try to take a photo of this jacket on me and add to the post.
I hope everyone had a great holiday and is enjoying the long weekend. Nothing to do in the garden this week other than watch the leaves pile up and notice a few daffodils starting to peek out of the ground.
Happy almost New Year, Beth
today's garden photo - the oranges are just about ripe. I was worried about a this year's crop as the drought made them look kind of forlorn but the welcome rain seems to have done wonders and they have plumped up nicely. Valencia oranges, not great for eating but just right for juice. Plus they don't have to be picked like navel oranges, so can stay on the tree all year round.