Friday, January 31, 2020

Colette Anise Jacket

Making a wool peacoat has been on my ultimate sewing list for quite some time. I've had this black wool coating from for at least 4 years, probably more. I took a long time to settle on  just the right style of peacoat to fit my taste. The Anise jacket was not first on my list. I actually found a style I really wanted on However, when I was ready to download the pattern and get started, the 2019 Burda Style Cluster-eff occurred. At that time, Burda Style transitioned to a new web site manager and customers were not able to download nor purchase patterns for weeks. The Anise was a close second to my first choice and was available for "free" with my Seamwork subscription. 

Aside from the wool coating, I used a muslin interlining, and a polyester charmeuse from my stash. I went on a hunt for the perfect buttons and found these interesting silver buttons on Mood Fabrics. I used a horsehair interfacing. 

I cut a size 14. My measurements would put me in a 16, but I find that Seamwork has quite a bit of ease in their patterns. Although I didn't make a muslin, I fit as I went and this worked out well. 

As for the construction, it is time consuming, but not difficult. Colette includes detailed instructions with their patterns, and the Anise has a sew-along, with even more detail (just Google it). I did bound buttonholes, really not as difficult as they look! 

I padstitched the undercollar, which ensures your collar has a nice turn and lays correctly. I used the serpentine stitch on my machine to create the underlining, a technique I borrowed from Kenneth King. 

Instead of installing the lining as directed, I used the bag method. The Colette instructions would cause much more hand stitching and a not so clean inside, IMO. I followed the Threads Magazine tutorial to bag my lining. It is easy and creates a cleaner inside. Also, much less hand sewing!

The jacket is gorgeous! I am loving the details I spent extra time on, such as the bound buttonholes. This jacket is timeless and I know I will enjoy it for years. 

By the way, I finished this just in time for 70 degree weather in Phoenix! I might be great at sewing by will never be great at sewing the right season!


Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Vogue 8804 French Jacket

 The French jacket has been my ultimate sewing goal for the last several years. In a fashion sense,  it instantly levels up any outfit whether it be casual, business, or dressy. In the technical sense,  the French jacket forces the maker to slow down and apply advanced techniques and attention to detail. And of course,  lots of hand sewing! I didn't have the nerve to try my own hand at it until I came across Angela Wolf's Contemporary Couture Jacket class on Pattern Review. With this class, she demonstrates how to utilize machine sewing to speed up the process while maintaining the hand sewing in key areas.  When I initially started the jacket, I was keeping a written tally of the time spent. Unfortunately,  I lost the original tally but I estimate 20 hours total.

The pattern is Vogue 8804.  I used a loosely woven green tweed. The lining is a floral silk organza. I cut a 16. I made a muslin to start. As many reviews have stated, this pattern is very boxy. I found that most of the ease was in the back and took out about an inch in the center back. I shortened the body by 1 inch.

As for the construction,  I ignored the pattern instructions and completely followed Angela Wolf's methods. The body and quilting is done by machine, while the lining is hand sewn together. I made bound buttonholes for the first time. There are lots of online tutorials to be found and I dare say they are not any harder than traditional buttonholes.

My motivation ebbed and flowed during this project, and turned into a UFO for years. I started it in 2015 and 2 sizes ago. I started to hate the green color and I definitely hated the trim I originally picked. I could no longer picture the end look, got frustrated and gave up.

I hated to see the project unfinished and eventually turned to the McCall's Facebook group for suggestions on trim. I'm so glad I did. I got lots of great advice and settled on a cream trim which was far better suited for this color. I even sewed in a chain along the hem.

While I don't love the end result, I enjoyed the process, learned new techniques and am inspired to make different versions. As mentioned,  I cut this when I was 2 sizes smaller. With the extra ease, the jacket is wearable but no longer a perfect fit. I'm still not thrilled about the color. I made plenty of mistakes along the way but see them as learning opportunities for my next jacket.


Friday, August 23, 2019

Closet Case Pietra Pant

When the Rome collection by Closet Case Patterns was released,  I immediately scooped up the PDF bundle of the three new designs.  I love the relaxed,  cool girl vibe of Closet Case and the patterns never disappoint.

My first make from the bundle is the Pietra pants. These pants are high waisted with an elastic back. The front leg is seamed, creating a vertical line.  Of course there are pockets! It comes in different lengths and leg widths. I did the tapered leg with the ankle length. 

I've had the fabric in my stash for ages and couldn't say where I got it. I do know it's a rayon polyester lycra, one of the best fabrics for slacks in my opinion. The instructions were great, they are well illustrated and thorough. The methid of elastic installation was new to me but went smoothly. I took about 3 inches off the length using the shorten lines on the pattern. My measurements put me in a 16, and that worked great. 

The high waisted style is new to me and I may never go back to mid rise styles! The pants stayed right where they needed to, no need to adjust or hike them up during the day. They were perfect for the office and I would like to make another pair in both black and gray.