Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Jacket A Month, JAM #1

Simplicity 3884 and Lucky
Felt like I was back in college, cramming for midterms.  Last night I  finished hemming and sewing on the button for Simplicity 3884, my first Jacket A Month for 2011 so I could get a picture this morning.  

Pattern Description:  Simplicity's description:  Lined Dress or Top, Pants in Two Lengths, Jacket
  My description:  Shapely raglan sleeved unlined jacket with neckline detail in wide size range

Pattern Sizing  6-22

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?  Yes, only I think my neckline detail is more obvious than theirs.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  Yes, whenever I decided to use them.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?   Three years ago I was sitting at an ASG fashion show and admiring the jacket that one of women had made.  Of course it was an out of print Burda pattern but fortunately for me Simplicity came out with their spring catalog immediately afterward and this jacket is a near clone of the jacket I admired.   I bought the pattern at the next sale and even made my first muslin of this jacket that spring.  Then I just hung it up in the "muslin closet."  I was hoping to avoid my usual alterations and of course that's just not possible unless I wear a caftan.  I had a bunch of tweaking to do so it sat for two years.  Inspired  frightened by "Hoarders" and the wonderful Peter Walsh show, "Enough Already" I pulled out several of those muslins this fall to make keep or go decisions.  This one was still a go.  The lines are curving and feminine so it was worth making a second muslin.
I sewed that second muslin in time to decide that this jacket would be one of my sewing retreat projects in January and my first Jacket a Month project.
I like the lines of it, the neckline detail and the sleeve slits.  I dislike that there's no lining.

Fabric Used  A cotton matelasse, totally fused with the 60" knit interfacing from Fabric Mart then Hong Kong finished seams on the inside with a silk dupioni from JoAnns home dec remnants.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made  Ok, here's the tweaking list:
FBA of 1/2 ", hollow upper chest meant that I had to remove fabric in the front raglan sleeve and princess seam area.  I did not have to do my usual upper arm widening not did I do a sway back.
I did shorten the sleeves to 3/4 to avoid that one horizontal line when sleeves and hems are the same length.
I'm twisting in this picture but wanted to get a shot of the nicely curved center back seam.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  I will definitely be using this pattern again.

Conclusion:  Nice lines, great start to my year of the jacket.  Here's a better closeup so you can see the princess seams and front detail.

As I mentioned in the review, one of the most frustrating parts of this project was that there was no provision for a lining.  It was a royal pain to decide to bind all of those seams AFTER I had sewn the entire body and sleeves of the jacket.  Much simpler to bind the sam edges when they are flat, as I did with the facings.  My enthusiasm for attending the sewing retreat kept me from really thinking through the lining challenge.

I did want to show my two favorite Viking sewing feet for sewing those yards and yards of bias silk dupioni.  First pass I use my edge stitching foot to sew the 1 1/2" bias strip to the outer edge of the seam.  The metal lip is to the right and I keep it touching the two fabric edges.
Lining up the metal flange for accurate stitch in the ditch sewing from the front of my machine

Second pass (after pressing the strip around the edge to the back) I use the edge joining foot to stitch in the ditch.   I've learned that the secret to this foot is to watch the metal flange piece and keep it right "in the ditch" and not to look at the needle.  If the metal lip is in the ditch, then my stitch will disappear into that ditch as well.
From the back of my machine, stitch in the ditch is virtually invisible

On the home front, Lucky is in day 12 of his heartworm treatment and doing just great.  He was coughing and gagging starting day 7 but that seems to be subsiding as the dead worm makes its way through his heart, lungs and body.  The two dogs are making nice while we keep them from playing.  It will be so great when the activity quarantine ends.


  1. Wow, your jacket looks great. A very pretty woven fabric in spring colors and perfect fit. I have finished seams after a garment was together and know your pain. But I think it was worth it on such a nice jacket.
    Thanks for the info on the spa retreat cost. It was much lower than I expected

  2. I agree this is a fantastic start to the new year! Your jacket looks really beautiful. The fusing seems to have given it the perfect amount of body.

  3. I'm glad you finished the jacket...it looks great on you! When you turn your seam finish to the back, do you overlap the raw seam a bit to make sure you catch the front stitch in the ditch? I'm always missing the back when I do that so I tend to use Steam a seam to hold it in place. Yours looks perfect! Glad to hear Lucky is doing OK!

  4. Last comment was mine, I forgot to sign it!

    Tina in Va

  5. Jacket looks great! Glad Lucky is doing better - he is so cute!!

  6. I am so glad to see this post. I have been so concerned about Lucky - glad to see that he is hangin' in there!
    Michele P

  7. Lovely jacket, and while I know HK finishes are tedious to do, they really look fantastic. Great to hear Lucky is doing well too!

  8. Way to go on finishing up this lovely jacket, before the deadline, so to speak! I've always admired this pastel color of blue/green and you wear it well. Beautiful finish on all your seams. So glad to hear Lucky is doing well.

  9. You look great in your new custom jacket. The hong kong finishing makes it extra special.

  10. That is one gorgeous jacket. I love the way Hong Kong finishes look but they are so tedious to do, especially after construction!

  11. Lovely, lovely jacket. You did a super job on the Hong Kong finish. It is easy enough to make a lining from your jacket pattern pieces, if you prefer to always line your jackets.


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