Stay Warm for Autumn Fun
Atlanta is having an unusually delightful September -- much cooler than normal! This drop in temps has me hoping for a chillier than usual Halloween, and just in case my wish is granted, I thought I'd prepare with a jacket to keep me warm but still in the spirit of the season (my absolute favorite time of year). The female castmembers at Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion attraction have adorable little green jackets to wear in the winter that have fabulous batwing collars, and I thought it would be fun to make my own version.
I started with green and black upholstery velvet. This was mostly based on color -- the green available in the upholstery velvet was my favorite of all the green velvet options. Since this jacket will be a little costumey, I also like the sheen on the upholstery velvet.
The jacket is pretty straightforward, but I wanted to share the pattern alterations I used along the way. It's so simple to tweak a design to make it something truly your own -- if you've never done so before, I highly encourage you venture outside the pattern envelope and do some experimenting.My standard jacket pattern is actually a Frankenstein version of various pattern pieces I've used, liked and copied through the years. It's somewhere between a tailored jacket and a barn jacket, and I usually just tweak it for any given occasion. It's rather similar to this Indygo Junction pattern. But it has a neckline that's cut for a two-piece collar, which is not what I wanted for this project. So, first, I had to cut the front neckline to have a gentle sloping edge, as shown below.
I'll come back to the collar piece in just a moment.
I wanted a finish to the sleeve similar to the ones I so admire at my favorite Disney attraction, so I cut the sleeve with a curved notch at the bottom, and I cut matching pieces in my black velvet to applique over the bottom edge to create the cuff.
I basted the black overlays into place (a little tricky with the nap of the velvet fighting me), and then treated it as one piece going forward. The bottom edge is finished by the seam that joins the sleeve lining, and the top edge of the appliqued piece gets covered with trim.
Here's the collar piece on its own, so you can see the shape. It's cut on the fold. Because this fabric has a good body on its own, I didn't interface it. I just stitched it to the lining along the curved batwing edge, turned it, and set it in at the neck line.
And here are all the pieces together, in jacket form. You'll notice these sleeves are a little shy of full length -- I want the option of basting in a ruffle later if the mood strikes to more closely emulate the Haunted Mansion costumes.
This is how the cuff detail turned out. I hand stitched the braid in place, because all the layers were making my machine fussy. I could have applied the braid before closing up the seam, but I wanted to avoid the bulk at the stitch line,
This is the back of the collar (in need of a little more steaming!).
I am now ready for some real-and-for-true autumn weather this Halloween! Whether I'm taking a walking ghost tour through the cemetery, visiting a pumpkin patch or taking a hay ride, I know I'll be cozy. I'm now wondering if I could adapt this jacket to having some sort of elfy or poinsettia vibe for the holiday season ... hmmmm ....