Sunday, March 5, 2017

Vogue 2357 not quite vintage but current, wool jacket

When does a pattern become vintage? As that same question for fashion. Is something retro? Revived? Reinterpreted? Reimagined? Is there anything new in fashion? I often say there are no new patterns, by that I mean that clothing styles and shapes come and go with the designs and details traceable through the ages. We can see fashions that reappear in our own lifetime or across the centuries.

What brought on this philosophical musing? Recently I unearthed some older Vogue designer patterns which I had stored in a box in a spare bedroom, tucked away on the shelf where things like that stay because I can't let them go. Looking through most of these not quite vintage patterns I could see a lot of details and silhouettes I just saw in the most recent designer collections shown in NY. Also I bought a couple of patterns on eBay this year, which are not new but less than 10 years old. I'm always on the lookout for interesting details these days, a shirt with an unusual collar or neckline, or a dress with some clever pockets. Basic patterns have their place but I hope that pattern companies continue to provide the more complex and interesting ones as well.

Which brings me to my latest sewing project. I got a pattern sometime last year, probably at an ASG sale or maybe at a swap. I can't really remember, but it's a pattern that I took out and looked over at least once a month, thinking about making it. Also I had some fabric that was not at all what the pattern called for, but I really liked it, so I gave it a try and now I love the result.

It is a bit of an odd one so I will give you the dress form view first, but I do have plenty of pictures of me wearing it. Check out that interesting darting, and the seaming is unusual as well, although it is really hard to see it.

blue denim wool jacket on form front

The main jacket fabric is wool (I definitely recall buying this for $3 at a sewing group sale, score!) It behaves like wool and presses really well, crisply, almost like denim which is kind of odd for wool. Perhaps that gave me the idea to make it into something that is more casual. AND I only had 2 yards and it was 45" wide so no possibility of getting the sleeves on the solid blue. I had that idea in the back of my mind to change it up and do contrast sleeves (due to my success with this favorite jacket). So I carried a little swatch of this solid blue wool around with me for ages, knowing that whatever jacket I used it for it would need another piece of some fabric. What I found was the proverbial needle in the haystack as this sweater knit is pretty much the best possible color match. And was at Joann's, and is thick and soft and exactly what I had in mind. The selection there is uniformly terrible and then every once in a while I find a gem.

bluewool jacket on me unbuttoned

Now we get to the not quite vintage part of the pattern. It's a Vogue Marc Jacobs pattern, copyright 1999. So almost 20 years old. By the way - I have plenty of sewing and fitting details which I was going to post first - but since I have been wearing this jacket already I decided to show the jacket first and then in the next week I will do a post on fitting and sewing.

Maybe I liked it because the model has short hair 😊.

Vogue 2357 pattern envelope

No, not because of the short hair.  Look at these details - I just thought the darts and seaming were really interesting.  There is no seam at the top of the shoulder, the front wraps around to create the diamond shaped seaming in the back.

Vogue 2357 techdrawing of pattern

I do think this jacket looks best when closed. But then when closed it also has a slight Star Trek vibe  - not a look I typically go for.  Also it calls for the large snaps as closures, as opposed to buttons or a zipper, which is interesting. I don't think I've ever made something with the large snaps. Certainly fast to sew.

blue wool jacket buttoned up

I think it is a bit broad in the shoulders - and I already narrowed it a bit when sewing. But I might do another adjustment. Details in the upcoming post.

blue wool jacket  back view on me

This is one of those fabrics that looks a different color in every photo and in every light. The outdoor pictures are more accurate. I put the sweater knit on the inside of the collar so there would be no possibility of itchiness on the neckline -my achilles heel in winter wear.

blue denim wool jacket close up collar front

The pattern envelope specifically mentions these "invisible patch pockets." I didn't think they were anything super unique - but the instructions were good and they came out perfectly. And add to the sleek shaping of the jacket body, the pockets kind of wrap around the side seam.

blue denim wool jacket pocket details

This is one of those blue jackets that I think - does it go with jeans? what color denim? darker denim or close in color?  Oh well, I will probably throw it on with any old jeans as the knit sleeves make it super comfortable and the whole thing is lightweight yet warm.

blue wool jacket seated view

In a post a few years ago I posed the question of what to call these patterns that are not new, but not really old. I think I called them recent-retro which seems as good a name as any. I think we need a name for this category. Think about it and let me know if you have an idea.

I keep thinking spring is about to be declared around here, the trees are blossoming and the bees are all over my citrus trees. But today we had hail, LOTS! and snow on some nearby mountains. What? Check back with me in a couple of weeks - all will be different and I might be planting my tomatoes.

Up next, no idea. I'll see where the weather and my mood take me.

Happy almost spring sewing,

today's garden photo - the first tulip!

first tulip


  1. I bet it would look fabulous with some white jeans or even jeans with a pattern, although the blue on blue has a certain denim on denim look that has a certain western appeal.

  2. Like you I love sewing tailored jackets/coats. Unfortunately I live in hot, humid Houston so I choose lightweight fabrics like cotton, silk and 4 oz. denim for my jackets. Thanks for posting this great vintage jacket. You've really taken it to current fashion with a different fabric for the sleeves and pairing it with jeans. Well done! Karen

  3. Great jacket -I love the contrast of the knit sleeves ! I too love jackets ,but they aren't practical in Phoenix AZ area . But I still love seeing them & this one is a keeper .

  4. Lovely as always! The fabrics are such a great match. We had a lot of hail at the coast yesterday too! Of course, I had just transplanted a couple sweet tulips a couple hours earlier. They came through okay, but my calla lilies have looked better!

  5. So great meeting you at Stone Mt. the other day and seeing this beautiful jacket in person. I agree that the older designer patterns have many fabulous details. I cling to my vintage pattern with the thought of incorporating those details into garments I'm sewing now.

  6. This is a great pattern and I love your interpretation. With regards to vintage, I had always understood that one used 20 years. Abbey

  7. Beautiful jacket. Love the colors and the fabric combinations are perfect. Yes, this jacket most definitely has some really cool style lines.

  8. Oh, another gorgeous jacket! And it does have some nice details not often seen.

  9. Your jacket definitely does not look like it is made from an oldie but goodie (OBG) 20 year old pattern. Looks great and I love the contrasting sleeves. I can't believe you found the fabric at JoAnn's. The sleeve fabric looks like it might have a bit of black in it, so wearing it with black jeans or pants might be an option. I don't recall you wearing a lot of black though.

  10. Beautiful jacket. I love the pocket and Star Trek vibe. Are patterns like cars? 30+ years are vintage. 20-30 years are 'late model' in car parlance. Is there something similar for patterns?

  11. Great looking jacket (as usual)!!! That muted blue called my attention because I fell in love with the latest Dior runway show, did you see it? Because of it, I'm obsessed with the idea of wearing "star trek" jacket and midi tulle skirt!

  12. What a cute jacket Beth! I love the details! Those sleeves...gorgeous! I know this one will get a lot of wear! If not, you can send it to me! LOL! (Seriously!)

  13. Always enjoy your posts. What a beautiful tulip! And a lovely jacket. I'm feeling the Star Trek vibe so I'll see if I can get my hands on this pattern.