Category Archives: 42911 A Cute Angle

2012 Spring 6PAC: Blue Jacket

SO I”m starting my blue jacket.   I knew I wanted to make a blue jacket as soon as I found this fabric on the sale table nearly 2 years ago.  I have an interesting denim-y jacket now. But It ‘s a good 12 years old and was created with fast tailoring techniques.  Tailoring short cut have some real advantages.  I’d never get a real Channel type jacket done. Never. For most of my working life traditional tailored jacket would have taken about 2 months. But when I started incorporating some tailoring short cuts, I could complete a jacket in about 2 weekends.  The downside is that every time I substitute a traditional technique, I seem to degrade the jacket either in appearance or life span.  So time for a new one.

 

I believe the fiber in my jacket is all cotton. It is an upholstery fabric and like many upholstery fabric has a coating on the back side.  This coating would cause the fabric not be rated as 100% cotton and it would certainly skew any burn test I made at home.  So I’m treating it as 100% cotton.  I’d say it was a jacquard weave, but it has not floats.  It has a wonderful texture.  The background is a plain weave that is overlaid with solid dime sized circles of various weaves.  No other fibers. No other colors.  It is definitely a tight weave but a medium to heavy weight fabric.  I mean it’s not as heavy or stiff as a canvas but definitely more body and heft than a dress wool crepe.  It is such a dark navy, that the fabulous weave can’t be seen until you are up close.  For that reason, I’m showing a second photo of the same swatch but greatly lightened.

I wanted to use Louise Cuttings A Cute Angle jacket pattern:

 

I love the collar, just love it. But I hesitated. I have just spent weeks measuring, remeasuring, and making muslins.  I’m really not in the mood for a lot of work just getting the tissue ready for use.  Secondly, see those lovely points at the bottom of the jacket?  I’ve got a couple of vests which feature similar ideas i.e. the front hem is lower than the back and comes to a point.  What I’ve noticed is catching a glance of myself in the mirror and thinking I’m standing stooped over.  So I stop correct my posture, and damn I still look just a bit stooped over. It looks great straight on from the front or back, but looking at the side, I look stooped over.  I think this is a result of my actual posture (created from 40 years bent over a desk) combined with the lower front which makes the back look like it is rising.  My conclusion is I need to stay away from garments with front hems greatly lower than back hems. (I have a blouse pattern that I’m anxious to use because it has a much longer back peplum resulting in the back hem being much lower than the front. I want to see if that ameliorates the stooped over visual.)

 

So for 2 reasons, I’m hesitating to make the jacket which I really want to make.  My solution was to dig out my trusty Kwik Sew 3386

I’ve had this pattern in my stash for a number of years and used it through several sizes.  It was my choice about this time last year for my Red Jacket.  Happily, I know that the bones of this pattern already fit and satisfy me.  I’ve lengthen the body some; squared off the hem; narrowed the shoulder and made my back waist length adjustment. I skip the fake pockets and usually skip the darts. Funny, I buy patterns that are pretty fitted, but then I sew them semi-fitted.  I’ve never used a belt (probably never will).  This is a one piece sleeve with elbow dart.  Sometimes I make the dart, sometimes I ease the dart.  I decided to forgo the beautiful deep pleat on the CLD pattern and use the center back shaping.  So the back and sleeve are the same as the 3386.  For the front however, I made the pattern sandwich.  I placed the ACP on the bottom,  my 3386 on the top and aligned the two along the center fronts and horizontal balance lines under the armscye.  Then I taped a bit hunk of tissue paper to the top of the 3386.  Sleeve, shoulder side seam and hem were copied from the 3386, neckline and center front were copied from ACP.

 

That was it for creative work.  After that I spent close to 2 hours cutting first the fashion fabric, stacking it and hanging in the closet; ditto the lining and finally the interfacings.  I wanted to take this jacket up a step from the jacket in the closet and even last year’s Red Jacket.  These existing jackets have the huge facings which at one time were promoted byNancy Zieman.  They don’t have linings and the interfacing is all on the facings with a scant 1-1/4″ line in the hems.  My new jacket will have full linings, front facings; interfacings in the facings, but also the jacket back will be interfaced across the back and shoulders and under the arms; ditto the front which will also have a 3″ wide interfacing extending down the front.  In the hems will be a 3″  strip of interfacing.  I am using fusible weft interfacings from The Fashion Sewing Supply.  Fusible interfacing is one of the few quick tailoring techniques which do not degrade the jacket.  I should say a Good  fusible interfacings. The stuff FSS sales actually adds to the beauty of the garment and I hope the life.  I do like to use my pinking blade to cut along any lines that will be fused to the interior of the jacket.  Pinking helps avoid that straight line which forms and can’t be gotten rid of.

 

So change the needles and the thread. I’m ready to begin this jacket.

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A Cute Angle

I completed this blouse several weeks ago, but haven’t blogged about it because I have mixed feelings.

 

First the good stuff:  as always this CLD pattern is excellently drafted.  Read and follow directions carefully because the finishing techniques shared here are useful everywhere.  Like most other reviewers, I’m particularly impressed with how the hidden buttonhole band snaps into place.  Knowing how it works, and knowing where I need to place my buttons, I will sew the buttonholes at a earlier and more convenient stage. This pattern gets the very highest marks for drafting, style, and technical details.

 

Why do I have mixed feelings?  Well the blouse is stated as “closer fitting” which leaves room for interpretation and error.  The wiser sewist, measured the pattern for ease and selected size based on finished measurements.  I took Louise’s advice and made the size small.  Confession, I know that only in Louise’s patterns am I a small.  In most other patterns, I’m not even a medium.  I am a large or extra large.  The first time I tried on the blouse, I felt like I was 8 years old and had grabbed my younger sister’s blouse instead of my own.  It just felt too tight in the arms; too short; too tight across the chest.

 

The hem is just above the largest part of my but! which serves to bring attention to the very place I want to minimize.  The sleeve, and again I was warned, at bracelet length isn’t short enough to feel right.  It feels like I didn’t have quite enough fabric for a real sleeve so I shortened it and tried to make up the difference with a cuff – which didn’t work either.

 

I finished the hidden buttonholes and buttons and wore it for a full day.  I wondered if most of the issues with the blouse were in my own mind.  I’ve often stated that I don’t like close fitting garments. I’ve frequently stated my preference of sleeve lengths and this is the first time bracelet has appeared in my blog. Oh and I seldom have ever made or purchased a hidden button placket anything.  So here I am with this garment wondering if the fit issues are fit issues or just that I’m completely out of my comfort zone.  I wore the blouse twice.

 

Despite my reservations, DH assures me it is flattering in both color and fit.  He thinks it is one of the best fitting garments I’ve ever had.  My friends also complemented me on such an “fabulous top.”  Well maybe the fabric has something to do with their opinion.  I did use a 100% rayon, plain weave, with rich patterning. It drapes beautifully. Washes and irons like a dream.  Sewing couldn’t have been easier.  I did soak the fabric in starch and let it dry before sewing.  I must remember to do this with all 100% rayons (more on this in another post) because this completely tamed the fabric during sewing.  Stitches at both the serger and sewing machine were perfect.  Buttonholes were easy peasy and perfect.  I used plain 4-hole shirt buttons and attached them with the button foot. Nothing.  Just no problems in sewing.

 

So why did I wait so long to review the blouse?  I don’t think I’m going to wear this one very much.  I’ve worn it twice and it continues to feel a size too small. I do prefer to wear it with the neckline folded back into a V:

That’s just a little more flattering for me.

 

I’m reviewing this blouse now because I’m getting reading to make a 2nd one.  The next one will be in a size medium or large.  (I haven’t finished measuring the pattern pieces.)  I know for sure I’m adding length to both the body and the sleeve.   It was these contemplations of what to do for the next version which prompted this post.  Because

 

This pattern deserves TWO THUMBS UP.