The hunt for patterns began...
I have loved the Kingston Jacket by Rebecca Page since it came out, and generally love her patterns, so it was at the top of my list, but with no particular sales on at the time I wanted to buy, and US-AU exchange rates, it made it quite a pricey option.
|Photo courtesy of Rebecca Page|
My local had a sale on paper patterns, so I checked out what the big 4 had to offer. I quite liked the overall feel of the Gertie Butterick 6390, but wanted a more traditional seam shaping. Gertie's pattern has basically no design lines on the front, just darts, and a V shaped yoke on the back with curved princess seams. I loved the idea of a lining though. It makes getting it on over a long sleeve top sound so much easier!
|Photo courtesy of Butterick|
Then I found McCall's 7729. It seemed to be closest to what I wanted. Reviews that I found were mostly positive, and $5 on sale I figured it was worth it.
|Photo courtesy of McCall's|
Of course I had to start with a Full Bust Adjustment. It took me a while to get my head around that one and in the end was very much a "make it up as I go along" method. I started by joining all the front pieces together as best I could and tracing out as if one pattern piece. Then I did my FBA on this, and then tried to separate it out into four front pieces again. The front is made of a yoke and three vertical panels which all have straight seam lines. I wanted a bit more shape so I ended up with a curved seam between the side panel and the middle panel, to go out over my bust. On to my first muslin....
I always forget to photograph the muslin stage....
It was big and boxy and I did not like it at all. I should have known. Many McCall's patterns that I have made have been rather 'wide and short', for want of a better description. It also needed an inch or so added to the front length, which didn't get added during the FBA. I actually added this at the bust level rather than at the hem, because the hem is narrower than the bust level and I really needed the extra length across the bust, not just because the hem was pulling up a little
I took out 1" from each side on the front and back. This gave the body room to move, it still had the somewhat square-ish shape of a denim jacket but also didn't look like a giant sack on me.
So I added a sleeve to my muslin.....
Then suddenly my arms couldn't move. Standing straight the sleeves felt good. I didn't feel I needed a Full Bicep Adjustment. But try and move my arms forward and it became tight and restrictive. This I did take photos of.
Much searching online was involved in decided what to do. I really didn't want to add extra fabric to the sleeves. I didn't want the jacket to become too loose fitting. Then I realised that perhaps the strain was actually in the back and not in the sleeve. I ended up finding this Broad Back Adjustment.
|Picture courtesy of trumbelina sews|
Another muslin and I was set!! This broad back adjustment was a bit of a light bulb moment for me. I've never thought about having a broad back before, and have had problems with sleeves before, but never thought of it as a problem with the back. I have a dress I started last winter (so over 12 months ago) that languished because of the sleeve fitting problems. I now feel confident to tackle it again in time for next winter.
Putting the jacket together was then fairly simple. I decided to steal the lining idea from the Gertie design. To do this I just cut all the body pieces (ie NOT button placket, collar, cuffs) in the lining fabric, sewed them together as per the jacket, then placed the lining inside the jacket and treated the two as one when attaching button placket, collar and cuffs. This did mean I had to do some of the steps in a different order to the instructions but that wasn't really a big deal.
After attaching the pockets to the appropriate front panel, I discovered that they gaped open a little. I think this was because I made the pockets out of the lining fabric which didn't have enough stability to hold it's shape. I ended up catching the pocket bag in the seam between the adjacent front panel. There was just enough seam allowance to enable this thankfully. Now when the jacket is on, the pockets hold their shape together better.
One negative I had found in the reviews of this pattern was that the band at the bottom was not the right length. With this in mind, I didn't cut this piece until I was up to that step in construction. Then I measured the bottom edge of my jacket and cut the band to length. With all my adjustments, I couldn't be bothered beforehand to work out how long it should be anyway.
Buttons became a problem. Anything I could get locally was just not really what I wanted in colour or design. I started looking online and found some buttons that I LOVED on ebay.... but coming from China they would not arrive until the end of Winter, so I wouldn't get to wear my jacket :( I decided to buy some cheap buttons in the same size so I could do correct button holes for now and then replace the buttons later. So I've done the cheaper buttons and have yet to order the nice buttons, but I'll get around to it one day.