Thursday, March 14, 2013

Rose Red is my new blue, Vogue 8865 Jacket

The last 12 months have been the year of blue. It seems like everything I sewed was blue or some variation. OK not everything but the year did include the vintage dress, the tunic top, the denim skirt, and my whole coat refashion project. It even continued into January with some knit tops, but did you notice a new color creeping into my palette? There was a hint of rose red with the Lekala dress I made for the holidays. I think this will be the year of red. Or pink...which do you think this is?  Actually I call it fuschia. Perhaps raspberry?

Do you recognize this fabric?  Maybe it is hard to tell but it is the same wool that I used for the V1247 skirt recently, or as I like to call it, the best skirt pattern ever.

V8865 inside seamsVogue 8865 pattern jacket

This is a semi-recent Vogue pattern release, so I am kind of suprising myself by making it so soon, ordinarily I let these new patterns age for a while in my stash (unintended, I am just slow getting to the new ones). But this jacket requires very little fabric so it jumped to the top of the list. I bought this fabric at a sewing group sale, priced at two dollars for about 1.5 yards. I could not resist.
I haven't finished it yet but was in the mood to take some photos as I sewed, so let's talk trimming and sleeves.

You know I am a maniac for trimming. This jacket gives lots of opportunity to trim away all those corner junctions where the seams meet. The pin there on the shoulder seam shows how I trim away all those little squares which I feel add bulk and lumpy spots. On the right is a seam junction where I can trim away 4 little squares. I am positively giddy with snipping all these spots on this jacket. I don't know why I like this so much, similar to rose deadheading, somehow very satisfying.

V8865 trimming 2V8865 trimming corners

Sewing sleeves can be tricky on a solid color like this, you want the sleeve cap to be smooth and unrumpled. The only way I can achieve this is to pin it until it looks like a porcupine. Do you put this many pins in your sleeve?  I start at the shoulder and underarm seam, then pin the notches, then the dots which are marked with tailor's tacks. From there I divide the extra ease between those places, pinning at the halfway spot and then again between those pins and so on until it is a mass of pins. And all the ease is distributed.  Then sew inside the circle.  Repeat, inside the circle. Let that be a mantra. Applies almost always for sleeves.
V8865 sleeve pinning
First stitching is long length at about 1/2" seam allowance, take out pins - check the sleeve. If there are any places where the ease is not quite right I take out just that section and repin and restitch until it is smooth. Once I am happy with it then I stitch again in a regular stitch length at the normal 5/8" seam allowance, and then stitch about 1/8" inside that.  Sleeves need this double row of stitching, this is the place that is most likely to fail on a garment. 
After that it is time to press, inside the circle.  Go around the whole sleeve seam with the tip of the iron and just press the seam as below. 
V8865 sleeve pressing

Time to trim.  Just the part from front to back at the notches, close to the inner row of stitching. This makes space for your arm in the armhole. Leave the rest of the seam allowance as that supports the sleeve cap.
V8865 sleeve trimming2

Here is a look at my finished sleeve. This pattern is very well drafted, note that the sleeve fits so smoothly in the armhole. It is a two piece sleeve. The back princess seam looks a bit lumpy as I am playing around with the fit and took that seam in a bit, I haven't decided if that was needed and so I put the sleeves on as that is definitely needed to evaluate the fit of the upper back. The black coat I showed in the last post is there in the background, it still needs the lining and a few more details. I left that scrap of red wool on the floor to give verisimilitude, a fancy word to say that the floor is always littered with a zillion scraps until I can't stand it any more and get out the vacuum.

V8865 sleeve finished

Onward with this jacket and a few other projects in red this spring. I like that Poppy Red in the Pantone  spring 2013 palette so maybe a casual cotton jacket. 

One more day to enter in my Blog Anniversary giveaway from my previous post. 
Happy spring sewing, Beth

Today's SunnyGal garden photo, things are starting to bloom around here. Tulips will be next but here is an azalea that lives next to the front door. I don't really like azaleas and have taken out a few in the backyard but this one likes its spot and blooms very well for a few weeks.

pink Azalea mar13


  1. I love the color of your jacket and look forward to the finished product. Thanks, too for your helpful tips!

  2. Trimming is something I´m afraid to do. I´m afraid everything will start to fray and the seam will open, but I´ll try next time. I hate bulky seams!
    About the sleeve: do you gather the cap first? I actually make it like you, with lots of pins, then I baste it before stitching twice. Don´t like gathering the cap, I loose the "perspective" of the whole thing.
    Azaleas are my favourites!

    1. Hi Merche, on a sleeve like this where there is not much ease I don't do the gathers if I can avoid it. I get better results with lots of pins. I notice on 2 piece sleeves the gathers don't work as well. I do the gathers if I am working on silk or cotton since they are not like wool which is easier to mold to the right shape.

  3. It's looking perfect from my view. Love the color!

  4. Love this 'raspberry' colour.
    The sleeve sits perfectly. Love your work.

  5. Your sleeve cap does look *perfect*!
    Thanks for sharing your routine with sleeves. It gives me reassurance that I am on the right track.

  6. Beautifully installed sleeve. It looks just perfect. Thanks for the tute.

  7. Thanks for this excellent explanation! I never considered sewing the sleeve twice. It looks beautiful.

  8. Hello again Beth. Please e-mail me at
    I cannot find a contact e-mail adress and I´d like to send you something ;)

  9. Hi Beth - thanks so much for posting this re: sleeves, as I had no idea to trim under the arm - makes sense!! I also like to pin rather than gather but not on delicates. Also sewing the sleeve twice - thanks, didn't know this either. Love your jacket and colour.

  10. This is looking great! I love the color, and can't wait to see the finished look!

  11. That sleeve insertion looks perfect!!!