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Vintage Through the Seasons

July 1, 2012

Sometimes, I fall so in love with a vintage pattern that I want to churn it out like a uniform. I want to test it out with different fabrics to see how it behaves. Because if there's one thing I've learned about vintage patterns, it's that they never look quite like the stylized sketch on the envelope.

This week, I was feeling gung-ho for a jacket project. I decided to go with the jacket that comes with Vintage Vogue 8767. I chose this one because it's similar to a jacket owned by a friend that I have been coveting for quite a while. (Hers is a true vintage piece, given to her by an old friend of the family.)

Since we are in the midst of a ridiculously hot summer, I opted to make a short-sleeved striped stretch linen blend version first. My thinking is that even though we're in the steamy season, it will be fine for early morning on the way to work, and a welcome layer in office air conditioning. This fabric was ultra dreamy to work with. Crisp enough to make handling easy, with enough give to make working around curves a snap.

One of the things I love about vintage patterns is that they don't rely on interfacing much. This one is completely free of it, and it's unlined. That means all you have to cut is your fashion fabric, so it's a simple project to get underway.

There's a bit of handwork that goes into this one -- the buttonholes and the facing both require a needle and thread, but it's all pretty straightforward. There are actually two phases of hand stitching on the buttonhole -- you apply the facing for it to your outer shell and hand tack the facing to close it, then you slit the facing and hand stitch it to the back of the buttonhole you've already created. This makes for a nice, clean finish with all raw edges encased, so it's worth the extra effort.

The other technique that this pattern features, and which I have seen on other vintage patterns, is layering the pressed edge of one fabric on top of another and stitching it in place from the outside, rather than the usual "right sides together" approach. It takes some getting used to, but when joining curved edges like the front pieces of this jacket, it really does help to ensure a clean, perfect join.

I almost always work on (at least) two projects concurrently, and I really love cutting out two projects from one pattern at a time. Keeps things interesting, and saves time in the long run.

My second version of this jacket is for autumn and winter. It's a long-sleeved version cut out of plum stretch velvet. I am SO pleased at the richness of this fabric -- I remember a time when all stretch velvet looked a little cheesy, but this stuff is divine.

Here's a little tip I use when marking dark fabrics, especially knits: metallic Sharpies. It won't work on all fabrics (bleeding through can happen), so be sure to test with your fabric!

Of the two versions I made, the stretch velvet is by far my favorite. The drape of it is very flattering, and I can't wait until the weather cools down so I can wear it! (Though at the moment, it seems like the weather will never be cool again.)

Instead of blind-hemming the sleeves for this version, I made a quick cuff finish. I always find it cumbersome blind hemming on stretch velvet, so it seemed like a natural change to make.

I love that this style is lady-like enough that you could wear it to work or even a semi-fancy luncheon or shower, but you can also style it with jeans and graphic tee to pull of a thoroughly modern look with a nod to the past.

Here's to time traveling in style!

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This page contains a single entry by Holly Frey published on July 1, 2012 10:13 PM.

Christmas on a schedule I hope! was the previous entry in this blog.

Simple Summer Book Bag is the next entry in this blog.

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