The magenta fabric is silk charmeuse draped over my dress form. I envisioned making this into a magenta, grey, and cream collection. I still may follow through on those plans for fall, but for now I want to focus on other things. On with the review...
Sewing this jacket wins the royal PITA award, hands down. Bad fabric can kill all of my sewjo, but I was determined to not be defeated by this one. The jacket fabric is lovely, but the lining is just awful. Awful I tell you! It has too much static and shocks the shit out of me if I handle it too much. I don't have ANY carpet in my house either.
Fabric & Notions:
- about 2 yards of charcoal gray rayon-poly-lycra woven
- 2 yards of stretch polyester charmeuse for lining
- 2 11" x 3" bias strips of cotton batting for sleeve heads
- stretch fusible interfacing for facings, collar, and hems
- size 70/10 microtex needle
Alterations & Fitting:
I met Jeanne Binet (owner and founder of Jalie Patterns) during PR Weekend Montreal. Upon asking her about the size I should use for tops/jackets, she took a couple of measurements and emphatically shouted, "Zed! Zed! Zed!" I did not question her expertise and cut a straight size Z. This size corresponds to my full bust measurement and the fit in the bust is spot on. The shoulders are not too wide, though the upper back is a bit broad. I fixed this by taking a slightly larger seam allowance in this area, tapering back to the normal seam allowance at the waist and hip. As for other alterations, I made a 5/8" swayback adjustment and shortened the sleeves 1.5".
Minor Tailing Details:
I talked about a bit of tailoring in this post. Really, it's very minor! I added a back stay for structure, fused interfacing to the jacket and sleeve hems, and inserted sleeve heads. When I make this again, I will tape the lapel and collar roll lines.
Bagging the Lining:
Oh my gosh! I had an a-ha moment upon following Jalie's instructions. Finally, this technique makes sense! The instructions call for a "partial" bagged lining in that the jacket hem is left open and both the lining and shell hems are finished by hand. I started to finish the hem like this and realized quickly realized how uninterested I was in doing that much hand sewing. Instead, I opened up one side seam on the lining, stitched the jacket hem and lining hems together using a 5/8" seam, and turned the jacket right side out through the opening in the side. So. Much. Better. I can handle a bit of slip-stitching in a place where no one would ever see it. The hem tends to want to "unfold" itself, if that makes any sense. I don't know what I did wrong there, but I'll figure it out before I try this technique again.
Changes for Next Time:
No interfacing in the seams
Now that I've worked with this fabric, I definitely know what I will do differently next time. First, I will not include interfacing in the seam allowances. While I like the heft that this particular stretch interfacing provides, it makes the seams way too bulky and hard to press. Turning a nice corner was also difficult and did not produce good results. The corners on the collar and lapels are okay, but can be much better without the extra thickness.
Flannel or fleece for sleeve heads
While the cotton batting is nice and not too thick, it just doesn't have enough stretch to prevent puckers. Even after considerable amounts of steam, the puckers still show through.
No polyester lining
I'll have to find some way to reconcile the stretch of my fabric with the non-stretchability of my lining. I'm willing to fight that battle if that means polyester lining is banished from any and all projects. The static cling and persistent electric shocks are simply not worth it.
Finish edges and press seams open
The jacket will hang and press much more nicely if I do it this way. It'll take longer, but I think this finish is worth the effort.
Jalie drafts are exceptionally great. I recommend their patterns without reservation. I can see many more versions of this jacket in my regular rotation. Once I've added the buttonholes and buttons, I'll post photos of me wearing it.
Two UFOs down, five more to go!
1. Beignet (almost done)
3. Simplicity 1945
5. Vogue 8426
6. Simplicity 2804
7. BWOF 9-2009-134
Until next time, be well everyone!