Reviews: September 2012 Archives
I had hoped that this jacket would just be a two-parter but it seems that the fabric/sewing gods are working against me. Never have I underestimated a project so much. This is my first time working with a Simplicity Amazing Fit Pattern and while I am thoroughly impressed with the pattern, its tips and the general outlook that I have obtain so far, I am stressing under the weight of creating such a detailed, fitted jacket while 9 mo pregnant. I assumed that this pattern would fall together like my previous jackets (which for the record were a breeze): Kwik Sew Knit Blazer, Indigo Junction Trench and Oliver + S Brunch Jacket. I have been hacking away at this blazer since my last posting, doing a bit more everyday working until I get frustrated and then taking a break to avoid mistakes. Mostly I get frustrated by misinterpreting diagrams and instructions. My frustrations also stem from so many markings and while you can transfer them as well as can be that fact is that some markings need to be on the Right Side of the fabric and sometimes on the Wrong Side and you won't know until you read (and re-read) and pattern. I have also gotten frustrated, as I mentioned in my previous post, by the many different seam allowances used in this pattern and how they are not always referenced in the instructions just on the pattern pieces.
I am at the end though, all I need do is go through clip any and all way ward threads, do a finally clipping of all seams to make sure each seam sits just right and hand sew the bottom of the lining to the bottom of the jacket. Then just a final steaming (since we are working with velvet) and sew on my buttons. This translates to only about 1-2 hours of work which is nothing. However, I have yet to choose my buttons. I am undecided on the direction I want to take with my buttons. From left to right: Do I want to go traditional (gold anchor), vintage (mother of pearl), academic (wood tone), Donna Reed (gold rimmed Bakelite) or retro (vintage fabric covered). Let me know what you think?
As for assembly, I made some fit alterations to the jacket as described in the pattern by taking in approx ¾'' at the waist on the back and front seams as well as letting it out about ¼'' at the hips. I did not take in the sides at all. Like I mentioned in Part 1 I cut out for a C cup since I need the extra bust room. I really like the drape of the C cup since it hugs more. I then transferred all these alterations to the freezer paper pattern pieces I cut out from the originals so I could match the lining to the exterior.
I am loving my navy polka dot lining that I feel is classic but fun so as to contrast with the subtle velvet. I opted to craft the under collar from the lining so when it is cold, brisk or rainy out I get a pop of fun to cheer me up. Be sure to use a stiffer interfacing on your jacket than you would normally pair with your jacket fabric so you can have a nice crisp lapels and collar. Also, do not scrimp on time spent on your sleeves. This is where jackets can be the most uncomfortable whether from being too short, too tight or ill fitting. Any extra time spent on a well fitting sleeve is time well spent and that means this jacket will spend more time in your wardrobe. Also when working with velvet, invest in a walking foot. Sewing velvet is often like trying to push like-ended magnets together; the ends don't meet and want to slip right past where you want them to meet. Steam your seams and wrinkles, don't iron or press. Be patient and keep your pattern pieces to hand so you can quickly reference any markings or transfer them to the Right Side of your fabric as needed and to double check fittings. Follow the instructions and BASTE FIRST. Don't try to eye ball fittings or save time but stitching when you should be basting. You will appreciate the look and finish in the end.
Don't forget to vote on your button choice and I will let you know the outcome when I return from Maternity Leave in November!!! Have fun!
Being a preppy girl at heart, I fell in love with blazers a few years ago and my favorite retailer, J.crew, sells one that is at the top of my list. It is velvet, cropped, fun and a little funky given the colors it is offered in; it is just perfect. However, its price tag puts it far from my reach. I decided that recreating it would be a great addition for back to school season. College students, teachers and professionals all need a great blazer so why not make your own inspired by this great high-priced piece from J.crew.
I am starting with Simplicity's Amazing Fit Blazer (2446) because it offers the fit I am looking for (fitted and trim) with the cropped option as well as hip length so I can make several different versions if I like. I am also attracted to the fact that you can get a custom fit with this pattern given that you can cut for your bust size and it teaches you how to baste, fit and tailor to your size. While this is a very attractive feature, I am making this while 9 mos pregnant for wearing after I have dropped my baby weight so getting an exact custom fit will not work for me. However, my DIY custom dress form (see post here) will help me get a basic fit, similar to the fit you will get shopping off the rack or purchasing a blazer from our inspiration store. I will be cutting for the biggest bust size because I am on the busty side plus I want to wear it right away. I will also be cutting one size larger than I normally wear for the same reason. I love the velvet look and will be using our Doux Cotton Velvet, which is a dream to work with. I wanted to be daring and use our Lime Green at first but thought something a little more neutral might be better for my first velvet blazer go-around so I choose Green Lily, which is actually more of a dusty teal than green. The color is true to the sample below and not to my pictures. I tried to get it in the best light to make the color of the jacket true but it was either sharp details or great color. I went with details for you.
So far I have the shell completed and that was a task because of all the fitting. This means cutting and pinning, then basting with 1'' seams then fitting, occasional ripping out and repining then marking, ripping out all the basting then re-sewing. Phew! I actually just basted with RS together instead of WS together because I overlooked that bit in the instructions by accident so I sewed over my basting lines and it saved a bit of time. I did end up ripping out about 8-10'' of my basting on the back to accommodate my hips and also on the front to a lesser extent. I ended up going from 1'' to 1/2'' at the back and to 5/8'' on the front.
My one pet peeve concerning this pattern is that there are several different seam allowances and all are written on the pattern pieces and not also on the pattern instructions. Since I trace my pattern pieces onto freezer paper I have to pull out my tissue pattern every time to check on a seam allowance. If only Simplicity had thought to include them again in the instructions.
I am going to be making some pattern modifications as we go along including a fun collar among others. The only differences I can see from this pattern and our inspiration is the angle of the pockets, and the omission of the welt pocket right above the right side flap pocket.
Stay tuned for the conclusion of my blazer in part 2 and I can't wait to show you my fun lining!!!