Thursday, December 18, 2014

Pattern Whisperer creation and tailoring sneak peek

Happy Holidays and welcome to so many new readers. I noticed a whole lot of clicks the other day and then Karen's post on Tailoring Resources popped up in my blog reader. Thanks for the compliments, Karen! As it happens I have a tailoring project in the works right now with another one planned.

Holiday party season is approaching - or actually upon us and I selected Rachel of SewSouthLondon as my first Pattern Whisperer choice for some party dress pattern advice. I gave her a bit of a challenge by recommending Vogue 1342 but knew she could do it. And wow, has she ever !!! Gorgeous. I love it on her and especially love the color which looks fantastic. I won't spoil the details but just give you a sneak peek at her and urge you to pop over to her blog to see the full effect.

Rachel sample
Rachel of Sew South London in her Pattern Whisperer dress selection
If you are in the midst of party dress sewing, there are plenty of other recommendations in my post for party dresses patterns that have lots of opportunities for a good fit so check it out.

Now making a u-turn from party dresses, moving on to tailoring. In between sewing other things this December I decided to make a wool jacket. I had a piece of plaid wool flannel that just seemed very holiday-ish without being red and green so I decided to extract it from the stash and sew it up. And I thought OK, this will be a straightforward project, no fitting, using an old pattern...However, plaid !

That is guaranteed to add extra work to any project. Thankfully this is an even plaid (here is a link to some plaid tips from an old post). But I was able to sew this up fairly quickly and now it just needs the lining sewn in. 

I find the key to getting a good result on jackets is all about the interfacing. Well that, and trimming and grading, pressing, basting....ok a lot of things are needed. 
Below you can see the various interfacings used, all from Fashion Sewing Supply. Note that I have stitched down the neckline seam allowances using a catch stitch. Here is a link to an old post with some details on doing that.

plaid jacket collar interfacing

And just a hint of my pickiness on small details.  I have the sleeves basted in  (I always baste sleeves first)  and see how the shoulder seam got caught flipped back on the one on the right. I will unpick that section and restitch flat. Might seem like a small detail but it is an easy fix and if not done there might be a slight bump there that cannot be eliminated later. 

plaid jacket sleeve seams

When I was doing the collar I noticed this and thought it made the one of the best illustrations of the turn of the cloth that I have done. Collars are three-dimensional (duh, all clothes are but you know what I mean) Collars don't lie flat on jackets, they rise up from the neck and fold over toward the jacket back. So the upper collar needs to be longer than the under collar and that difference needs to be maintained when sewn but even more importantly when pressed.

Turn of the cloth3
That's all for this jacket now, I hope to finish it by this weekend and start wearing right away. Under my rain jacket when out and about - as it is raining a lot. This is our holiday gift for California this year :)

Happy almost Christmas sewing,  Beth

Here is today's garden photo - the bright red camellia blooming just in time for the holidays. These blooms are so big and are adding a nice spot of color to the otherwise drab winter garden.

camelia red 2014


  1. Wow Beth! Amazing plaid matching and turn-of-cloth. I can't wait to see the entire jacket!

  2. Ooh, is that a velvet collar? Can't wait for the big reveal!

  3. Looking forward to seeing your finished jacket, please post some pictures of the lining- Always interested in the insides of garments!
    Sew South London does look great, excellent pick by you and a difficult pattern mastered by her.

  4. Great example on the turn of cloth!

  5. Great post as always Beth. I'm planning a jacket in between christmas and new year when I'm on holiday from work so this is just tickling my fancy! Cant wait to see more ( and to start mine too)

  6. Great post! I can´t wait to see that jacket!
    Happpy Christmas to you too!!!

  7. Dang, I can't wait to see this coat!!!!!

  8. Oh, lovely plaid and tailoring techniques.

  9. LOVE the velvet collar and the pattern so beautiful!