Tag Archives: jacket

Next big thing

I feel a little floaty with having the coat done. Not sure what to tackle next. Now that I have my whole wardrobe back, it seems like I’ve got jillions of clothes. Make something for the kids? It’s Tyo’s turn, I guess, but she just got two whole big black garbage bags full of hand-me-down clothes from a friend. I could work more on my Lady Grey coat. I’m distinctly behind, but since I can’t buy my fashion fabric yet (and probably not util the very end of October) it’s hard to get too pumped up about that. Not to mention I’m heading off to a conference on the weekend that I need to get ready for (myself, but the family also, house clean, childcare figured out).

So what do you think I should do next? Something frivolous like the 50s petticoat? Be good and work on the Lady Grey (make my muslin wearable? I have a few ideas floating around for knit tops but I haven’t got the fabric at the moment. I want to try knocking off some of the drape-drape ideas I’ve seen, since the odds of me actually getting my hands on one of those actual books are vanishingly small.

August Burda jacket---finished

Anyway, I did manage to motivate myself to stitch up the last of the lining hem on this jacket (first mentioned here), which has been hovering between wadder and UFO status for the last month and a half. It’s my first (and so far only) stab at a Burda magazine pattern; I guess I need to make at least one more thing from this issue to justify buying the magazine, otherwise I might as well have bought the pattern off the website ;). The biggest problem with it is that for some reason I cannot fathom, the shoulder seam is wonky. It sits in the right place at my neck, but angles backwards from there. Which means that when matching the shoulder seam to the top of the sleeve, it hung and pulled very strangely. Basically I had to pretend that the apex of the sleeve-cap matched up with a point about and inch and a half in front of the

August Burda Jacket---Back

actual shoulder seam. And they’re still a bit wonky. A more minor problem is that it’s a petite. I made the 18, which is allegedly the petite equivalent of my regular 36, but somehow when I got the lining in it became really snug. Maybe I should’ve gone up a size… or done an FBA? Seriously, if I need an FBA, it’s pretty silly, folks.

These are, of course, all the reasons why you do a muslin, but when your thick wool fashion fabric came from the thrift store for three bucks… well, I rush in.

Being a petite, it is quite short, but we’ve already discussed the disproportions between my limb-length and body length ad nauseum :). I could’ve added half an inch above the waist, perhaps, but it works. Most importantly, it conceivably gives me something to wear right now when my awesome winter coat is still a wee bit too warm.

Also, I lengthened the sleeves by one inch. Incidentally, this is the sleeve pattern I swapped in to the winter coat—the problem with the armscye/shoulder seam is why I didn’t want to try and use the armscye from this pattern, too (because that, y’know, would’ve saved me about fifty headaches.)

Anyway, here it is.


Another cute back view

Seriously, though, people, what do you think should be my Next Big Thing? 🙂



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How to take cute pictures of a sucky coat

Burda Jacket... almost finished

Ok, the pictures aren’t even that cute. It’s not totally finished… not sure at this point that it will be, except for bloodymindedness and so I have something to wear during Self-Stitched September if (when) it gets too cold for my jean jacket. Note the hands on the hips in the first photo, creating the illusion of fit. Note how it’s pulled around to improve the rear fit in the second photo; this makes the front look super-doofy.

So, what are my issues?

Well, partly it’s fit. I never did get the shoulders *really* figured out. If I take them in, it’s too narrow in the

Burda jacket, back(ish) view

shoulders. If I let them out, there’s that bump that you see in the photo. And somehow when I put in the lining, the whole thing shrank (go figure :P) so that it doesn’t even overlap nicely in the front (without pulling at the shoulders). Instead of the lone visible button at the top and two hidden ones lower, I might just put in a low button, since that’s the only part that closes nicely.

And partly it’s my fabric. The jacket was designed for faux-leather, and my wool is MUCH thicker than that. I think this thickness is the main problem with the collar, which is sort of heavy and ugly without anything being obviously wrong with it.  I think someone with perfect tailoring skillz could have made a nice fitted jacket out of this wool, but I suspect that someone of my calibre should’ve stuck with something a little more basic. D’you think a sleeve-head or a shoulderpad would help?

On the up-side, the sleeve length is dead-on. And it’s super, duper warm.

Kasia skirt pattern

And, just to show that I’m truly a sucker for punishment, I printed out and assembled the Kasia skirt pattern for my next project! I’m going to grade it out from a size 36 at the hip to a size 38 at the waist and hope that gives me enough ease… I measured the pieces and according my calculations the finished size of the 36″ waistband should be 28″, which is technically the size of my waist but wouldn’t be comfortable at all. But one size up should be adequate.

Just for the record, I haven’t worn an item of clothing with a waistband at my waist, except for one Christmas skirt that fits like a dream, since I was a teenager.

Oh, and here’s a picture of the jacket before I put the sleeves on, inside-out to show all the


interfacing. This was all as directed by the pattern, but maybe it wasn’t such a good idea on my thick, thick wool. You can also see very clearly that rogue shoulder-seam.


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Jacket Suckitude

The sleeves on this jacket are driving me nuts! Is it me? Is it the pattern? Is it my punishment from the fickle Sewing Gods for daring to try to make a—ulp—petite pattern?

Part of the problem comes from the shoulder seam, which runs well to the rear of my actual shoulder. Actually, the neck-side of it is perfect. But for some reason it angles backward at the outside. (I had noticed this in the muslin but thought it was due to me distributing the fullness of the sleeve cap poorly. Now I suspect that this is WHY the fullness was all concentrated to the back. Also the shoulder seemed a bit too wide, especially at the front, and I’ve now tightened the curve of the front princess seam a bit. I am dangerously close to the kind of billiard-ball alterations that turned my Lydia Disaster from a well-constructed top that didn’t happen to fit me into something suitable only for my 10-year-old’s scissors. But wool is considerably more forgiving of stitch-ripping than a cotton knit (I’ve now had sleeves basted in at least five separate times, by machine and by hand… I like by hand, it only takes about 2 snips to rip it all out). I’m hoping if I give up on the shoulder seam as a reference and mark my actual shoulder point, I’ll have some better luck. I hope so. I sure love this fabric.

Seriously, though, this is a pain. I have pretty easy-to-fit shoulders. They’re a little broad (not for this pattern though!) and square, but they’re straight and even. No forward-shoulder alterations here. And I’ve set in plenty of sleeves before, even in jackets, with none of these problems.

Man, I wish I had a dress-form.

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Fools rush in…

oops... a jacket.

Where wiser seamstresses fear to tread.

This is a jacket from my new Burda mag. This jacket, actually. Minus pockets, on account of I don’t really like patch pockets on coats and I’m too lazy to learn to do the welt pocket on the left breast right now.

Yes, THAT jacket.

Yes, I went ahead and cut it without doing a proper muslin or anything. I am not in the right headspace to be tackling this, by any means. I haven’t read up on my tailoring in a few months. I haven’t gone through my sole sewing book for whatever tips may lurk within. Most of all, I’m not feeling patient, although I am working on it.

I traced off a size 18; this is the Burda petite size equivalent to my regular size, 36. The arms of the pattern

front of lining/muslin

are long to begin with, but let’s face it, I’m no petite. I measured the pattern pieces, and my own arms (this is always touch-and-go as it varied by where the shoulder/sleeve seam falls), and added an inch for good measure. Plus a 4cm hem allowance, so really I should have plenty to play with.

I cut out the lining first and sewed it up quickly to test the fit. The bodice was surprisingly good, although I’m not quite sure there’s going to be enough overlap in the front. Odd, since that should be the one dimension it actually fits me in. Here’s a few shots of it, though they’re mostly terrible. The darts actually fall in a really good place for me (which never happens). The bodice length is awesome (Ok, an extra half-inch somewhere probably wouldn’t’ve hurt, but I like a short jacket so I’m not going to bother). The fit at the curve of my (sway) back is great, too.

Back of lining/muslin. Something is WRONG with those shoulders.

Something is WRONG with the shoulders. It’s like all the fullness is gathered behind the shoulder, pulling the shoulder-seam back and making it poufy at the back there. I think I got the easing in the right place according to the pattern, but it does not look right at all. I think it’s just a problem in how the ease is distributed, though (as opposed to how the pattern is cut.) Also, I sewed the side pieces in backwards, which may have thrown off the armscye a bit.

Don’t ever try to use your lining as a muslin. It’s way too slippery and hard to get right—and then you won’t know which fitting issues are genuine and which just come from your own screw-ups. And then you pretty much have to pull it all apart to sew the facings in anyway.

Also, Things I Learned Tracing My First Burda Magazine Pattern

  • even if you remember to leave space for the seam allowances, leave more, they are LARGER than you think.
  • try to get all the pattern markings, including the seam numbers, down when you first trace it. You WILL need this info, and going back and finding the pieces again on the pattern is a PITA.
  • However, you will miss some markings. Go back and add them as soon as you realize it.
  • Burda uses little lines instead of notches. Draw your notches in (or out 😉 ) because you will forget them, otherwise. Don’t forget to do this at the seam allowance line, not just the stitching line.
  • the information is there. It’s just not always where you think it is.
  • look up how to sew a mitred corner.

Ok the last one probably isn’t very widely applicable. That’s all the instructions say for finishing the rear vent.

Anyway, I have a bit more interfacing and a LOT more reading to do. I have a feeling there will be a fair bit of basting and fitting for this one, especially around the shoulder area. But if I end up with a nice fall-weight jacket for Self Stitched September, I’ll be swimming, right?


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