Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bracelet-sleeve jacket in raspberry

I finished my jacket for Sherry's RTW Tailoring sew-along!  Finally...
Hehe, I wouldn't blame poor Sherry for giving up on me in disgust, what with my intermittent effort thanks to pattern indecision, as well as the interruption of hiking trips and charity balls, both of which required some intervening sewing effort from me, but here is my RTW jacket, finally finished.  Of course eagle eyed readers will notice immediately that this is a completely different jacket from my original good intentions (snort).  No really, I still do intend to get onto that pattern and that fabric properly.  One day...
Now did I employ the couture techniques learnt from the wonderful Vogue 8333 in the making of this simple little thing?  (pause for effect..)  no.
I basically followed this pattern, and just made a few adjustments for fitting considerations.  Namely, took some width off those grid-iron shoulders, and removed considerable width from the top half of those weight-lifter-worthy sleeves.  
The thing I'm fairly proud of is that I only had about 1.3m of this raspberry-red hessian silk in my stash, enough for a good length skirt.  Not really enough for a jacket!  Thus the choice of this pattern, a simply proportioned cropped jacket with bracelet length sleeves.  And even so, my sleeves are about 5cm shorter than specified in the pattern, and I barely squeaked the pattern pieces out of my length of fabric.  And I had to leave off the pockets (sigh, I do love pockets...)
If you look at the front facings inside the jacket, you will see more evidence of my lack of fabric, see that triangular patched in bit?  It looks the same on each of the facings, and was necessary because I really didn't have enough fabric.  Usually I hate that sort of messy piecing together of bits to get a pattern piece out of the available fabric, but every now and again it has to be done, in emergencies.  This was an emergency.  I even traipsed out to the fabric shop to get a bit extra of the same fabric... you guessed it, it had sold out and the colour was discontinued.  That will teach me, for hanging on to fabric for years before using it...  Thankfully the patch is completely unseen when I am wearing the jacket, or I wouldn't have considered it.
The pattern incorporates a very interesting sleeve design, a design I've not come across before.  They are two pieced sleeves, but not the usual kind.  Instead, they have an under-sleeve seam, hitting right at the lowest point of the armscye, and a top of sleeve seam, running along the top of each arm.  The top shaping of the sleeve cap is enhanced by two darts.
Also, the coat has side pieces, with no side seams; resulting in princess-like seams on the front and the back.  So that under-sleeve seam doesn't meet up with a side seam.  A unique design in my experience.  
The jacket is completely lined with raspberry coloured acetate lining. 
I chose not to block-fuse the entire jacket.  This is because I like my jackets to be soft and comfy, like a cardigan.  I used fusible interfacing on the front facings, the collar and on the hem allowances of the jacket and sleeves.
However, patched-together facing pieces aside, I do love my new jacket.  It is a colour I love, in a comfortable easy to wear style that I love.  I'm sure it will be appearing a few times here, come Me-Made June.

Jacket; Vogue 2894 with some fitting modifications, raspberry hessian silk
Skirt; Vogue 7303, olive green corduroy, to see this skirt styled in 6 different ways go here
Scarf; made by me, a re-fashioned Tshirt, see here
Top and tights; Metalicus
Shoes; Francesco Morichetti, from Zomp shoes

And if you are interested, below is the review of this pattern I submitted to Pattern Review...

Pattern Description:
Loose-fitting fully interfaced, lined jacket with collar, patch pockets and three-quarter length sleeves.  Pleated skirt, 2" below waistline with yoke, side pocket opening and below mid-knee length.  I have made the skirt as well but this review is just for the jacket.
Pattern Sizing:
8-10-12, I used size 8.  I would usually fit a size 10, but the 8 is still quite a loose-fitting jacket on me.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you had finished sewing it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
very easy
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
The sizing runs quite big.  Even though I went down a size, the shoulders were still very grid iron on me, and the sleeves themselves so puffy as to make me look like a weight-lifter on my day off.
But after removing fabric off each of these areas I'm very happy with the boxy yet streamlined shape of the jacket.
I like that it didn't require much fabric.  I only had 1.3m, from which I just managed to squeeze out the pattern pieces.  Admittedly, I had to make a small patch on the front facings, but I still managed to get out my jacket!
The design is quite unusual, which I really like.  The sleeves are two-pieced, but not in the usual way.  Instead there is an underarm seam, joining up with the lowest point of the arm-scye, and a top of sleeve seam, meeting up with the shoulder seam.  The sleeve cap is shaped with two darts.  I've never come across this sleeve design before.
The body of the jacket has side pieces, meaning there are princess like seams on the front and back of the jacket, but no side seams.  Meaning that under-sleeve seam doesn't meet up with a matching side seam... interesting.
Fabric Used:
Silk hessian
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Because of the grid-iron shoulders, I took off about 4cm off the width of the shoulders, and graded in the arm-scye and top of the torso area accordingly.  The sleeves are also very roomy.  I took in about 2.5cm from the width of the top of the sleeves.  I sadly had to leave off the patch pockets, and my sleeves are about 5cm shorter than the pattern, thanks to lack of fabric...
I chose not to fully interface the jacket, as I like my jackets to be soft.  I used fusible interfacing on the front facings, the collar, and on the jacket and sleeve hem allowances.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Definitely I will sew this cute little jacket again!
Great little pattern with some unusual design features, and very very easy!


  1. Ah! I love your whole outfit! The raspberry color is gorgeous, especially with all the gray. I like the cropped length and sleeve as well.

  2. Lovely jacket, and great use of fabric. The color is gorgeous.
    Regarding your story about triangular shaped patches - I made a corduroy coat and I had to lay the facing pieces in grosgrain direction. While I'd normally say that this is a big NO NO, especially when working with corduroy, the coat turned out quite nice, and the fabric rotation isn't noticeable at all.
    A bit of experimentation is my preferable way of working, it can give wonderful results!

  3. wonderful jacket. I really like your entire outfit.

  4. The colour is great! You really eeked every last bit of fabric out, didn't you? Pretty clever, I'd say.

  5. This is wonderful and i love the colour!

  6. I love your jacket! Terrific save with a bit of invisible piecing and I believe you created the nice soft cuddly jacket you envisioned. Beautiful

  7. Very cute! I love the look. A friend made this jacket recently, so I tracked down the pattern. It's nice to see yours made up!

  8. First off that's one of my favorite colors. I really like how the jacket looks so simple, but once you start looking closer there are all these interesting details that you talked about.

  9. Beautiful jacket! I love the sleeve length and the colors. It goes very well with the rest of the outfit.

    And yes! I'd love for you join in on the bellbottom craziness. They should be a nice mental break compared to tailored jackets and remade ball gowns!

  10. there's something very feline about this outfit - or at least the grey shades speak to me that way! interesting jacket pattern!

  11. I really LOVE everything that you make, this jacket included. You have such a great sense of style.

  12. What a great little jacket! And it looks FABULOUS with your colouring. I bet you'll get a lot of wear out of it, and BRAVO for the ingenious and unseen piecing!

  13. What a versatile shape on this jacket. I love the way you have it styled here. Great job working with what you had to put it all together!

  14. What a nice jacket, I love the cropped look and same-length sleeves. Isn't it satisfying to cut something successfully out of too-little-cloth?!

  15. .. and very very chic. I love the sleeve length and colour too - what an interesting design.

  16. I love this jacket!Thank you for your very inspiring blog. I am one of your new readers and I love the clothes that you fashion! I have to say that Australians are very lucky sewers! I just started reading Australian Stitches and also checked out some of the websites for the fabrics stores listed;Fabulous Fabrics and the Fabric Shop Robina. I wish that we had such resources in The States!

  17. I love your whole outfit. The jacket really does give it a pop of colour. Good on you for producing such a lovely jacket from suck a small piece of fabric.

  18. Great jacket. I love the term 'bracelet sleeved'. Did you make it up?

  19. Thank you!
    Gail; I did not make up the term bracelet sleeves. I read it somewhere, but can't recall where. It means a sleeve length than enables one's bracelets/jewellery to still be on display.

  20. sdBev; I will reply to your comments here since your profile is private now, and I can't find your blog... thank you so much for taking the time to read and leave your lovely comments!

  21. I too, love the color! and the side panel making the "side" seams a design feature in the front and back is nice too. This could be so easily dressed up or down. Maybe you should do a "six ways" hint hint ... :)