I liked the bead detail at the neck line of this jacket. It looked comfortable and cool with just enough coverage to look professional worn over a sleeveless top, on a hot humid summer day. I went with a shorter length, 18 "center back length, to get a 1/3 top to 2/3 bottom ratio in a outfit, where the jacket is 1/3. I was a little concerned about the cap sleeves on 50+ year old arms. I chose to ignore the voices in my head because the cap sleeves add a horizontal element at the top of my body, where I need it.
The fabric is a tightly woven, light weight, shirting material, probably a blend, from a Fabric Mart Fabrics free bundle. The changes made to the basic sloper to draft the pattern include scoop out the neckline. Adding V shaped yokes in both front and back, with bust dart/shaping incorporated into the front yoke seam. Drawing slash lines from the yoke bottom edge to the neck line, and opening the top at the neck line to add extra fabric which will become tucks between the beads. Caps sleeves were drafted using the partial armhole dimensions, so that the sleeve front edge matches the yoke seam at the armhole.
I lined the jacket. This made it easier to finish the sleeve and armholes. The sleeves are lined to the edge and then inserted into the top of the armhole openings. The body lining hangs freely. It is not attached at the hem. This allowed me to easily sew the lining to the sleeve hole opening by machine, cleanly finishing the bottom armhole. For the beading at the neckline, I had hoped to use the eyelet button hole stitch on my machine to make small finished holes through which I could thread the cord for the beads. I thought this would make it easy of switch out the beads for different looks. Here is a sample of gold beads with black cording.
But no matter what I did with stabilizer, stitch width, etc., the eyelet stitch would not end where it started, on either my Designer 1 or my trusty Viking 1100 backup machine. So I went to Plan B, which was to use a large sharp needle and lots of tugging to thread the hemp cord through the pleats of the fabric. I bought both the bone beads and the cord at Walmart. They are permanent.
Here are other examples of bead/pleats embellishment on RTW garments. One is a print tank top by D Collection with beads of alternating colors. The latest issue of SewStylish magazine had an article on Snoop Shopping and had a blouse with pleated bands with beads. I think the bead/pleats could also be used for re-purposing or altering RTW clothing that is too big at neckline edges, sleeve edges, waists on dresses; anywhere you want to take in fabric.
I am so encouraged by my pattern drafting success that I have decided to try drafting a pants pattern using the MRS Stylebook instructions. Last night I took my own hip, waist, crotch depth measurements with the help of a mirror. I made some interesting observations. 1. My waist is rising. I had noticed the length of my tops from front neck to waist has gotten shorter in recent years, but assumed it was because of back curvature. My fat reserves are at my waist and are in a tube shape. If I lost them my waist/natural indentation would be lower. Back near the top of my hip. (Chanting to self. "Sew for the body you have now, not the one you wish you had!") 2. My front waist to crotch measurement is the same as my back waist to crotch. That doesn’t surprise me, as I have no butt. So it will be interesting to see what my crotch curve looks like.