Thursday, December 27, 2007

Am I Shrinking?

I hope everyone is having a pleasant holiday season. For me Christmas is over, the visitors have come and gone, and I am heartily sick of Christmas cookies. I got my sewing machine and serger back from the shop, where they went for minor repairs and a long overdue tuning. They were gone for a little over a week, but I was so busy getting ready for the holidays, I didn’t miss them much. They positively hum now. I am working on the Vogue 2987, Anne Klein jacket. In November, I was following along with Ann’s blog her “adventures” as she worked on this jacket. But she left for a overseas trip before finishing, so I had to go forth on my own. Based on Ann’s experience, I decided to pin fit the pattern on my dress form. I found that the pattern pieces fit together well, but that there was a lot of ease in this pattern. It is described as semi fitted which by Vogue Patterns definition is 4 3/8 - 5 3/4" for lined jackets. I prefer fitted lined jackets to have no more than 4 inches of ease in the bust and 2 inches in the hips based on the fit of favorite ready to wear (RTW) jackets. I typically make a size 16 in Vogue patterns, and taper out to an 18 at the hips. When I pin fit the pattern on my dress form, I was shocked to see the size 12 had the best fit in the bust area, and the 14 in the hips. Because I am using garment weight suede which is thicker than most fabrics, I cut out a size 14 on top and 16 on the bottom. The following picture shows the final fitting on the dress form. I used binder clips, since pins could not be used. I need to take 1” seam allowances on the side seams and there will still be plenty of room for the lining and wearing ease. Just to make sure I hadn’t stretched the suede while sewing, I measured the flat pattern and compared the measurements to those printed on the pattern pieces at the bust point and waist. The printed measurements are the finished garment widths. Size 14 finished garment bust was printed as 42”, flat pattern measurement was 43.75 inches. No wonder the size 14 was still too big for me. My bust is 38”, a size 14 would have been almost 6 inches of ease. Long story short; I am making this jacket two sizes smaller than I normally do in Vogue Patterns. Before I cut out the sleeves I need to shorten the length, not something I normally do but they are really long, and reduce the sleeve cape ease to zero to accommodate the suede. I also need to do some top stitching on the back and front seams before sewing the jacket pieces together . I can’t decide to do matching topstitching (green) or contrasting (gold). I am going to use snaps in an old gold finish rather than buttons.

As of today, I am planning on participating in the Timmel 2008 SWAP, but I am not in the throes of cutting and sewing preparation like many of the other participants. I have a couple of garments I made several years ago that will work as the presewn garments. I am going to take my 2007 SWAP on the road again when I visit the Charlottesville, VA ASG group in a couple weeks to help present a program on Wardrobe Planning. It should be fun, and there are some independent fabric stores in Charlottesville.


  1. Just stopped by to say thanks for a very nice presentation at the Charlottesville group today -- although I'm not one for contests, you've inspired me to start looking through stash fabrics and patterns with a view to wardrobe sewing, instead of just making random garments. My first time at the C.ville group, and I'm glad I was there today!

  2. I really like the clean lines of this pattern. Be sure show us the finished product!
    Your sister Sue