Baby Steps

Vogue 7448

The other day I stole a few minutes to sort through Vogue 7884 and extracted the bodice front, back, and sleeve pieces. This is not as easy at it sounds, as there are separate, and confusing, interfacing and and lining pieces. I had to actually read the writing on each piece!

As is this my first take on a Vogue pattern, I had some thinking to do.

It’s a size 12 pattern, which is pretty much my standard size, aside from that whole waist issue. Which shouldn’t be a problem in a coat, really.

The back length Vogue lists for the size 12 is 16 1/4 inches. My back length is an even 15″, so that’s the first issue. The coat is drafted to have a “slightly raised waist”, which is a look I love, but I still want the waist to be raised on ME. So I figured I would need to take out at least an inch in height. The question was, where? Typically I’ll take height out through the armscye, as I like a high armscye anyway, but I thought losing a whole inch in that region on a coat might be a bit much.

Armscye comparison (back) (remember the white pieces have no seam allowances)

For comparison, I dug out my tweaked Fitted Jacket block, from Built by Wendy: Jackets & Coats, the base pattern for my wonderful run of little jackets last spring: the cowl-shoulder jacket, the cropped jean-jacket, and the springy coat. Interestingly, while there is indeed a full inch difference in the armscye length (height?) on the back piece, there was considerably less difference on the front.

Front comparison

For a compromise, I decided to remove 1.5 cm through the armscye, and 1 cm at the lengthen/shorten bodice here line. We’ll see how that works out. I also did my usual swayback alteration (1 cm above waist, to be matched by 1 cm below when I get to the bottom pieces), and lengthened the sleeves by 2.5 cm. (It’s my blog and I’ll hop randomly between measuring systems if I want to)

Erm, all these alterations were done as part of the tracing process. Hacking and tucking a vintage pattern (even 70s vintage) horrifies me at a visceral level.

There is a substantial bust dart. It terrifies me.

I am torn between trying to muslin the bodice out of some cream sweatshirt knit I have on hand in the hopes that I’ll be able to wear the result as a sweater, or using some of the awful 80s sweatshirt knit from my aunt and turning that into underlining for the final version (should it work.) I like the idea of a semi-tailored jacket topper made out of a stable knit, but I’m a little worried this outerwear pattern will have too much ease built in for that. On the other hand, Tyo and Syo both adore the godawful 80s knit, and far be it from me to deny my children the opportunity to repeat the fashion disasters of my youth.

I’m also torn on what to aim for for the final project. Me being me, I am powerfully drawn to view A, the crazy long length (which the pattern envelope assures me has a finished length of 57″!), although probably beltless as in view E because me and cinching don’t get along so well. Though it might require a back vent, as the skirt doesn’t seem overly full. However, I only have one or two pieces of coating fabric in stash that would be long enough, and neither are particularly wintry—I feel like a shorter length would be appropriate for a spring-weight jacket. Speaking of which, winter has arrived here, although we’re still a bit scant in the snow department. Last weekend temperatures dipped below -20C and the windchill hit -30C, which to me is legitimate winter weather. It’s warmed up a bit since, but my psyche has officially been switched to Winter Mode. Which means my desire to make a light, springy jacket I won’t be able to wear for months is limited right now. And if I’m going to try to outdo my Great Winter Coat of last year (which is great, but not quite as warm as I’d really like) it will require a significant investment of materials and thought that I don’t really have the resources for right now.

It’s enough to make a girl want to just go sew quick projects for her kids.

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17 Comments

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17 responses to “Baby Steps

  1. Your description of the weather reminds me that although I live in Canada, I’m in one of the warmer areas. We had a little freezing rain last night, the car was covered in slush by the time I went out to the car. I hear rumours (I don’t quite believe the weather forcasts) that it’s going to be 10C by Friday. Crazy.

    Interesting how the armcythe line up and don’t line up. It’s great to hear your thinking process for this. I spend a lot of time pondering projects, sometimes too much time. But it’s all for a good cause on a bigger project like a coat.

    • Most of Canada lives in the warmer areas of Canada ;). Actually, compared to, say, Edmonton, I’d include my area in the warmer areas. Just not last weekend (again, though, Edmonton had it worse). Our forecast high for today is 9C, so I really don’t have anything to complain about.

  2. Childhood fashion disasters (and the photographic evidence) make excellent ammo for blackmail when they are uppity teenagers. LOL (Probably a good thing that I’m not a parent, huh?)

    Version A could be gorgeous! Wow, but it would take a LOT of fabric, huh? Why does the bust dart strike fear into you?

    • Never underestimate the value of blackmail material on your kids. Why do you think all parents take bath-tub baby photos? πŸ˜‰

      Version A calls for 3.5m of fabric, just under four yards—a fair bit, but not ridiculously bad, considering the length. It’s just that most of my coating lengths are 2m :P. I don’t have a very big difference (comparatively) between my bust and my waist, so I am terrified that the bust is going to be way huge (or, alternatively, that the waist is going to be way small).

  3. Wow. It’s always discouraging to me to see how long it takes to do things properly! I really enjoyed this post- I’m learning alot from this one.

  4. Being that I love anything verging on costumey and dramatic, I would say View A, while simultaneously acknowledging that it would probably be really impractical. I don’t really have any knowledge about coat alterations, but allow me to say that reading about living in Canada makes me feel like such a wimp for complaining that it rained on Sunday here in LA!

    • Yeah, I, too, tend to go for the extreme or dramatic, often at the expense of practicality. /sigh.

      To be honest, in terms of annoyance, I’ll take snow over rain most of the time. You can walk through snow without getting wet, I’d rather manage a scarf and hat than an umbrella, no puddles to dodge… which is not to say that I’m a fan of the cold (I’m a huge winter wimp), but in and of itself rain is way more annoying than snow.

  5. Neat coat pattern! The mid length is so 70’s – I imagine it with a fur and fedora a la Gucci!
    I often need to remove some back length from the armhole area too – my back is quite flat when I stand normally. And thinking about the bust dart, if you don’t go in at the front waist much you might want to redistribute some to the back. Imagine your bust circumference and waist circumference in 3D, the waist circ is not centred but anteriorly placed, the dart suppression needs to follow suit.
    Can’t wait to see it!

    • Yes, that’s it exactly. Swayback + prominent abdomen (maybe the same problem, actually). From the side, it’s pretty much a vertical line from my bust point to my tummy. Hmm, will have to think upon that.

      So is it actually possible to remove height unequally from the front and back armmhole? The world won’t end and the pattern gods come down and smite me? What will that do the sleeve cap ease?

      Answer: make a freakin’ muslin, Tanit. >_<

      Sherry, thanks so much, as usual, for your insight! πŸ™‚

  6. O my. That is going to be adorable- a great graduation from springy coat. I can imagine you in the long length, you carry off drama so well! However, what would be most useful?

  7. Love the pattern! I learned to sew on Vogue patterns (my mom wouldn’t allow anything else in the house) and always appreciate not having to draft the interfacing, underlining and lining pieces. That said, it does mean you have to read the print on the pieces!!! πŸ™‚ Regarding the bust dart – could you not just do a small bust adjustment – which, I’m sure you know, takes out all the extra space the dart would create. Doing a muslin is never on my list of proper garment construction for myself because of the TIME it takes (when sewing for others, heck yeah!), but I know you know like I know I know that doing a muslin would be the way to start this baby. And nix practicality – go for the drama.

  8. I’d go with whatever you will use — which means the long version of the coat if you want a long version. You couldn’t get me into one of those — I’m a fingertip length girl all the way!

    I do think coats need muslins, because they’re too time-consuming and expensive if they’re done wrong. As someone also small-of-boob, I’d slash the dart and spread some (not all, but some) of the extra out just so you don’t have big hollows up front.

  9. love the pattern, and I say go for the long length. I love seeing men and women who have the courage to step out of the house in something other than the usual black ‘uniform’. Looking forward to watching this materialize.

  10. I’ll keep this short.
    – Long view of coat = super fab, + super fab for your figure (go for it!)
    – Umm, yes muslin sounds v.v.v.v good idea espesh re: bust darts/waist/armscye length ;)!
    πŸ™‚

  11. I think you would really, really rock the long coat. It’s perfect for you. (says me…)

    I’m kind of considering a foray into 1970’s sewing… Maybe an Annie Hall jacket…

  12. tumblina

    I’ve made an ankle length coat from a (considerably newer) Vogue pattern, and have issues with the warmth too. Standing still, it’s awesome. But the buttons only go down to hip level, and mine has a significant vent in the back (above the knee, which makes sense), so as soon as I start walking, there’s wind from everywhere :P. Maybe you can test out with a sheet whether the ‘skirt’ would have enough walking ease as-is?

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