The challenge was to take a panel of fabric (white with black flowers) and . . . do something with it. This is where a good blogger would insert a photo of the fabric pre-cutting. You'll have to hop over to one of those good bloggers to see that. I can tell you that it was loooong (at least 5 feet) and narrow (approximately 24") and somewhat drapey. It really should have been made into a maxi-dress, but since I don't wear those, I had to think again.
I'm really excited about making coats and jackets right now so even though this wasn't really the right fabric, I decided to do it anyway. I made a coat for a client last fall that had overlay panels of contrasting fabric and I generally had that in mind. Let me just admit right now that I really had no idea what I was doing with this project. No plan. I really just started working at it and it took me where it wanted to go, which was probably far far from my scissors at different points along the way. I really felt like I was channeling my inner Oona while I hacked and fussed and sometimes turned my back on the whole thing. Not sure the result lives up to her gorgeous creations, but it was fun to step away from rules for a while.
I started with Butterick 5473, mainly because it is a very simple jacket pattern with very few seams.
I made a muslin and made the following changes: lengthened bodice 1", lengthened sleeves 1", lengthened length 1", added shaping to the waist by curving in approximately 1.5" on each side. I didn't want a waist seam in my final jacket, so I used the muslin pieces as my pattern for cutting out the coat pieces without a seam. I'm sure this messed with the grainline, but it seemed to work.
I also wanted the jacket to be lined, as I really don't have much patience for unlined jackets and coats. I simply cut out the same pieces, decreased the seam allowance to 1/4" for side seams and underarm to give myself more ease, and cut away the facing areas. This is probably all wrong, but again, it seemed to work!
Now comes that fabric panel. I started by interfacing it with a lightweight woven interfacing to give it a bit more stability. I tried just using it as an overlay panel on the back of the jacket, but it didn't look right. So I sketched around the flowers to see what that shape looked like.
|Look close for sketch lines.|
I stitched on top of those lines and then drew around the sketched lines a second time.
After saying a brief prayer, I cut the whole thing out. No turning back now!
Now I had to figure out how to get it onto the coat. I experimented with some scraps, and finally settled on using a satin stitch to sew it down on the fabric using my earlier stitching lines, then cut away the excess fabric. I liked the fuzziness of the edges.
I felt like it needed something more at this point, both to help the overlay stay connected with the coat back (I was worried it might droop), but also to give it some more texture/color variation. I'm currently infatuated with Alabama Chanin style embroidery, so I decided to give that a go. I wanted it as more of an accent than and all over thing (which is good, since I did not have the time to go all out with it), so I added stitching here and there to the flowers:
After assembling the coat, I felt that it needed something to hold it closed. I thought about using a belt, but I didn't like how that cut through the design on the back. I took inspiration from a RTW jacket I own, and attached and over-sized hook and eye using black jean rivets.
|Inspiration from RTW|
And it was done!
It's hard to see the black fabric, but I used this black cotton twill for the back and this stretch cotton metallasse for everything else. I purchased both of the fabrics and the lining from GorgeousFabrics.com. I love love love the metallasse and I'm happy to say I have enough left over for something else (short jacket? skirt?).
I'm not entirely sure what I think of it. It's definitely a statement. I'm just not sure it's my statement. I'll need to wear it around a bit once Spring arrives (too cold now!) and see what I think. I did have a thoroughly excellent time making it and I learned a lot. Rhonda will be posting pictures of all the final projects on her blog Monday, February 2nd. I'm excited to see what everyone else did with their fabric!
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