I was recently asked to make some jackets for a ladies' social club. The leader for the next year had a general idea of what she wanted everyone to wear, swing jackets, so we went on the hunt for a pattern.
This is what she chose: Simplicity 2002
|pic via patternreview.com|
The pattern is for a knee length fleece jacket with 3/4 off the shoulder sleeves.
|pic via patternreview.com|
While technically a swing jacket, this pattern is for a knit fabric (polyester fleece) with an edging akin to blanket binding. The fabric she chose was not a knit and was sheer. Not ideal, but she was insistent that this was what she wanted, so I would need to figure out how to make it work.
As with anything where the pattern is unusual from what I would normally do, I started with a muslin. I was really happy with how it turned out and was able to spot the areas that would need careful tweaking to make up the difference from not being knit.
Lots of measurements were taken for each of the 12 ladies and the pattern was adjusted for each of them. The length of the jacket was adjusted so it didn't come all the way to the knees and the sleeve was adjusted to full length. And the shoulder seam was brought in for most so that the armscye would lay properly at the top of the shoulder and not droop over as in the original pattern.
The fabric she chose was a organza in all the colors of the rainbow, with little sparkly bits all over it. Because it was sheer and this stuff frays like nobody's business I chose to flat fell all of the seams.
The neckline where the front and back come together forms this tricky little L-shape. This was the only real nail-biter on each jacket because you don't want to get a pucker here but you also don't want to clip the organza so close to your seam line that the stitches will pull out. This is definitely one place where having the added strength of a flat-felled seam really saves the day.
This is either the back of the neck or one of the shoulders. I don't remember and they both look about the same. I just thought it looked nice with the intersecting seams, so I took a pic. Also, it gives you a better idea of the scale of the seams. Because of the way this particular organza was working, I really couldn't go much narrower than this without having it just shred/ fray in my hands.
Once the sparkly organza parts were all together, bands were added to each of the sleeves to finish them off; stitched, turned, and topstitched. Lots of pinning....
And the same was done for the edging on the body. This was one long loop of a band with mitered corners at the front. After the first one I figured out that the pattern length for the bands wouldn't be accurate for any of the finished band parts. This was definitely one of those areas where it hurts you to have a pattern for a knit turned into a pattern for a woven fabric. So instead I measured each of the jackets as they were finished and made band parts with lengths based on that.
And here's what one of the jackets looked like in the end.
Really, the thing I liked most about this project is that it is over. If you've read my blog at all, by now you know I've no love for polyester and these babies were nothing but.
Onward and upward from here.