Monday, November 19, 2012

One Pattern, Many Looks

My local ASG neighborhood group, which is fashion focused, had a challenge this fall. It was called  “One Pattern, Many Looks” .  Everyone was supposed to bring at least two completed items from the same pattern – one made just like one of the pattern views and a second (or more) with a change – embellishment, change the sleeve, collar, etc.  Seeing recent pictures of Chanel jackets and dresses trimmed in sequins like the one below reminded me of a similarly trimmed Burda jacket from 2010.


Burda 11-2010-104

When I realized I had a UFO  from the same pattern,  the Tibi Jacket blogged about previously , I decided to finish it. Then I could make another jacket like the one in the picture above  and have my two garments for the challenge.  My second version of the pattern looks very much like the Burda Style magazine jacket.  The Burda jacket is made of boucle tweed and is trimmed with what is described as beaded tulle and three rows of zipper tape.
I auditioned several different trim combinations. I found a  poly netting fabric with sequins  at Hancock Fabrics.  What I liked about it was that the sequins were dull.  More texture and movement than glitter and glam.  As an alternative I also found some sheer black ribbon with embroidery and small sequins at Walmart.

chain and crochet sequin trim

Walmart ribbon and silver chain trim

Sequin fabric and silver chain trim
sequin band with ball chain trim

The pattern directions have you cut bands of the tulle and shape it around the neckline by gathering the neck edge. That was doable with the ribbon, but I wasn’t so sure with the sequined fabric. I decided to go with the sequin trim to emulate the  Chanel jacket.  But  I cut the sequin fabric in the shape of the front and back neck edge. like a facing.

cutting the sequin trim

 I trimmed the sequins from the seam allowances by cutting them across the middle through the hole, without cutting the thread that held them on to the backing fabric.  I did this with a pair of throwaway scissors from the dollar store so as not to ruin my good sewing scissors.  The last time I had to mess with sequins was when I made four bridesmaid dresses for sis’s first wedding.  Those dresses consisted of a sheer over blouse of embroidered beaded and sequined fabric worn over a slip dress of a matching color.  They were very pretty, but a lot of work.

band with sequins removed from seam allowance

I liked the look of the zipper tape trim shown in the picture.  It is made by overlapping the tapes of three black zippers, two with bronze teeth and one with silver teeth.  But zipper tape is heavy and stiff.  Again the thought of the weight and shaping around the curved neck was daunting.  Back when zipper trim was first becoming popular, I searched for it on Etsy and this trim came up.

ball chain trim
 It has a similar look but is made with 22.4 mm ball chain attached to a bias strip.  It is easy to shape around curves and has a similar look to zipper trim.  I decided to make my own.  I bought several colors of the ball chain and used  my cording  foot to zig zag it on  bias cut strips of  brown wool flannel .

making ball chain trim

 My sample looked very nice. Unfortunately I was running out of time before the Challenge show and tell date, so instead  I used some purchased trim that had silver chain zigzagged to brown woven strips. 

The sequin bands and chain trim make the jacket a  bit heavy in the front so I added a chain weight to the inside  back to make it hang evenly from my shoulders.   I  sewed the trim to the jacket edge and pockets by hand.  I did it the week my MIL was in hospice care.  It was good to have something to occupy my hands during that time.  I am totally sold on the value of hospice care, which I was not before.  It is end of life care  by health professionals and volunteers who provide medical, psychological and spiritual support. Their goal is to help people who are dying have peace, comfort and dignity. They can control pain and other symptoms with powerful medication not permitted in other situations, and can remove the uncomfortable hospital monitoring devices so the patient is as comfortable as possible. Hospice programs also provide services to support a patient's family.  Their explanations of what would happen really helped us accept and deal with the situation.  My MIL has passed and is in a better place now, but I know I will always think of her when I wear this jacket. She was the best MIL a girl could ask for.