I have been making a few items to test the patterns and silhouettes I have chosen for my SWAP and this is one of the jackets. View 1, with buttons and button holes. This is a wearable toile – not my finest work but a well-made, wearable item in a fashion fabric, rather than calico.
Style and alterations
I find a historical size 12 about the right size for me, but I did lengthen the torso, just half an inch, above the bust in order to get the dart in the right place. This also made the jacket half an inch longer which is just fine. The sleeves were a bit long. I like them to finish, as in this picture, to reveal the wrist, so took out 1 inch from the length of the sleeve. I do not love patch pockets. This is because they are seen as the most simple to make, but if you don’t get them perfect, they give away that the item is home-made, and of course I don’t have them perfect. I have since found an excellent tutorial by Mary Funt which I shall adopt for the final version. Of course I could use a different pocket treatment, such as a welt with an oblong flap, but I feel the design is made for patch pockets, a tiny bit Chanel-like.
I bought a piece of boiled wool at Simply Fabrics. It is a heavy jersey, pretty stretchy and a gorgeous blue, with flecks of navy and light blue. Both Esme and Bianca admired it and suggested it would work well with denim. Robert tells me it is a Nicole Fahri fabric and it is really nice. Very easy to sew (once stay stitched) and being both snug and warm while also feeling light. This makes me think it has polyester as well as wool in it. For the interfacing I used organdie and I have lined the jacket in painted silk.
I used some of my vintage buttons for the jacket. I didn’t have an exact matching set of five, but the ones I had have a great patina. I guess they are at least as old as the pattern (1967) or possibly older. They have a leather loop on the back for stitching rather than a metal shank. So they could be from the 30s or 40s, almost certainly from a man’s country jacket.
A nice simple construction. No ravel (it’s jersey), yet very stable. Bouncy but easy to press flat. Just great to ease in the sleeves. This is always my most favourite part of making a garment, especially a tailored one. This is how much fabric needed to be eased, and it went in perfectly. Fitting and inserting sleeves all day would be my dream job (in the background my hand printed PJs!). This also shows the colour of the fabric better than the button picture above.
Once all the ease in the sleeve is pinned to the jacket at the right point it is basted in, tried on, corrected if necessary, then stitched by machine.
The jacket is ready for lining, the final pressing.
Making the suit
I don’t really care for the dull little A line skirt supplied with the pattern (although the blouse will be investigated at a later date). I think this suit may look good with shorts. Here is the pattern I have chosen.