Academy Jacket Part 2: Almost Done
September 19, 2012
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!
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