I always intended to take my time and tailor this jacket as much as possible, but I didn’t intend to take this long. Everything was going beautifully methought, when I hit the snags in fitting mentioned in my last tedious post. I still can’t understand how that happened as I made a toile beforehand and that was fitted fine, but it will have to remain one of life’s mysteries because I am over it already. ~ Then we had the hiccough of the lining. I had used a soft gold lining on the pocket flaps, but I thought it a bit gaudy, so determined to use a fabric described as ‘snakeskin’ [referring to the pattern not the texture] in soft muted gold and cream. I made up the lining and had half sewn it in when I realised how ‘blah’ it looked. It made the whole jacket look drab, so out it came and I cut out and sewed the original gold lining. Thankfully this went in smoothly and without a hitch and I could declare ‘fini – enfin’ .
what I had intended. I had been taking pictures of the progress of the jacket as it went along for a final pictorial record when matters came to a bit of a stall. As more and more of the pieces went together it became clear that more fitting would be necessary
When the sleeves were sewn in, the front seemed to be a bit big, so I decided to unpick the front seams and take them in and make a shallower curve up through the bust making sure that the alteration didn’t compromise the shoulder seams. As the pockets were already fitted and much of the interlining was stitched in I had to be careful and unpick only down to the waist level and check that it didn’t compromise the shoulder seams. This certainly helped somewhat but then it obviously needed something more, the side seams and back centre seam needed taking in at the waist to give the jacket its distinctive waisted shape and that seemed to do the trick. It’s all done now and the collar and lapels are on.
Meanwhile I was taking still taking pictures of the work as it went along. The buttonholes were finished – they went in quite smoothly, which is just as well given the added bits and bobs. Here is the Ugly Duckling as the pad stitching was underway. Hopefully the story will have the same ending!
There is a blog that I read called “Feel the Fear and Sew it Anyway “ http://sewitanyway.wordpress.com written by Tania who seems pretty fearless anyway. It is such a good mantra that I think I ought to have it tattooed somewhere. As has been said many times – it’s only fabric not world peace. So I started to prepare for the buttonholes. There’s only three so what’s the problem? The fact that OOPs doesn’t just stand for Out of Print patterns. And in true Blue Peter tradition -here’s one I made much earlier as illustration. These buttonholes I am not proud of – the reason why this jacket is not worn a great deal, and if I remember rightly I didn’t prepare properly and paid the price.
So today I am preparing…I’ve done
a zillion one or two practice pieces, using different methods until I found one I liked ;- I replaced the buttonhole markings – the yellow tramlines are in yellow = the width of the buttonhole, the bottom two are in white and the top in yellow so as not to compromise the balance line when I come to remove the tacking – so here we go, onward and upward.
[QUICKIE FRIDAY ]You always know when you are putting off doing something when you resort to folding fabric, sorting patterns and generally organising your sewing space. So what was I avoiding doing all day Friday? The buttonholes of course.
After Terrible Thursday I thought I should take a step back and get back some enthusiasm for the project. I always find that enthusiasm overcomes fear and gives you confidence and I find I get that enthusiasm from looking at the excellence of others. I went through all my sewing magazines, sorted those to go and those to keep, strangely more have gone out than stayed which can’t be bad for organisation. I also find the Vogue Sewing Book still a source of all that’s wonderful about sewing, even after 40 years [I bought it in the 70's]. Has it worked? You betcha! I am raring to go – tomorrow!
Thursday 20th Feb.; In every life a little rain must fall and sadly today I have unpicked far more than I have sewn. I did finally get the second pocket in,[bottom left below] then I did a few dummy bound buttonholes, – O.K.ish but not what I want for this jacket. I am determined to festine lente on this one – hasten slowly and get it right. When I re-activated this blog a year ago I had come from many years of preferring hand sewing and tailoring, so I was used to pinning, tacking and taking my time sewing - but this year I was determined to conquer my aversion to using my sewing machine, particularly the buttonholing attachment. I had always thought of using the machine for ‘rush’ jobs and none too hopeful on the outcome, I was often proved right. The situation has changed somewhat and my sewing machine is now usually my ally and trusty friend – but not today. Feeling a bit ‘blah!’ about sewing and unpicking…..I thought I would stitch the buttonholes on the sleeves before sewing them up. A nice safe job I thought. The trial buttonholes worked very well, but in the middle of the real thing my trusty friend coughed loudly and fouled up yards of sewing thread. Yet another unpicking job.
However, not all doom and gloom, a few more minor adjustments made. I thought about shaving off the generous curve of the lapel and make it a straight ‘no nonsense’ lapel instead, which I think is an improvement – what do you think?. I did manage to sew the back and side back pieces together without a hitch and pressed them. No problems there, back finished. However, having done that I could now pin the fronts and back together and try it on – then I noticed that the front pouched a bit above the bust, clearly needing refitting again. More unpicking, but now tacked properly, ready to sew tomorrow. the picture on the right above shows the adjustment on the right front [left side as you look at it from the front]. The left side has not yet been adjusted. Hopefully it will be a lot better than today. As Scarlet O’Hara once famously said “I’ll think about it tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day”.
Just a very quick update. I covered the buttons in the dark brown faux suede filched from a charity shop skirt, as was the dark brown petersham ribbon on the pocket flap. A couple of years ago I remodelled a dark brown tweed suit and couldn’t find anything suitable to cover the buttons on the jacket [it had previously had a zip front], so I had to resort to sacrificing the skirt waistband. What I wanted and needed was fabric like this faux suede, so when I saw it, I bought it just for the fabric. I also changed my mind about the four buttons – still too many, I have now opted for three. Here they are just pinned on to see if they’re OK, as are the right hand pocket pieces – I was just too tired to actually sew the pocket in tonight, and I was wary of making mistakes. So tomorrow [Thursday] I intend to put the second pocket in and do the three buttonholes. The pattern calls for four buttons on the sleeve cuffs with fake buttonholes -[i.e. they don't actually open - a pet hate of mine], so I have changed it to three small buttons also covered in dark brown suede and will sew the buttonholes so that they function. It isn’t usual practice to make bound buttonholes on sleeves – too bulky, but I expect someone, somewhere, has done it – but it wasn’t me! [**p.s. I have been asked what OOP means - OutOfPrint, I apologise for the abbreviation, I know it can drive you mad - it took me ages to work out what TNT meant - I'm still not sure - I think it means TriedAndTested - in other words a 'go-to' pattern, let me know if I'm wrong, but be sure to tell me what it does mean in that case]
Now just a gentle reminder to those who think that hacking style jackets are old fashioned and passé – whilst trolling the Burda Pattern site I came across this pattern; Burda 7321 ;-
A vent in the back and smaller collar, but essentially the same shape and construction as Vogue 2651 in the body. Just thought I’d mention it.
Bear with me, this is a long post, sorry! I don’t usually post ‘in progress’ pictures, mainly because I forget to take them and also because I rather wonder who would be interested. BUT contrary as ever, I do like to see other people’s posts as they go along to watch their progress. I have no jacket posts to date because the couple of jackets I have made recently were made before I started blogging. However, this Vogue jacket is a little bit different from those and I think I would like to have some record of how it went for my future record. So at the danger of boring you all to death, here goes. We can take it that the pattern pieces have been fitted for size etc., and the fabric cut, next I mark the grain line [perpendicular to the floor] and a balance line across the pieces, this is at right angles to the grain line and ensures the garment balances well. Next I mark the roll line, centre front line and buttonhole placements. All this prep. can be seen here.
The balance lines make sure the fronts match.
The side and fronts pieces are sewn together, These are ‘princess’ i.e. curved to fit, seams and took some drafting to get the fit right. After every seam is sewn it has to be pressed. In this case the seams were clipped and pressed open. The curve is pressed over a tailor’s ham and as woollen cloth can mark easily with pressing, I didn’t want the edge of the seams to show through on the right side – hence the cards, this helps you to press the seams well without marking the fronts.
then comes the fun part – the pockets. No matter how many things I make, I angst over pockets and buttonholes. Always doubting myself I do a few dummy runs. At the same time I work out what buttonholes I will do and what material the welts will be etc., What can’t be shown in these pictures is the blood, sweat and tears……..well perhaps not quite as bad, but a bit of stress - it’s the same every time. As ever, I tried a few button choices too.
Finally I decided on a medium button covered in dark brown suede and a dark brown petersham trim on the pocket flap. Here is the first one done, phew!
Now for the second pocket………….