Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Mrs Stylebook - Lands' End Jacket

Gosh, this summer is flying by. We just got back from our annual beach vacation at the Delaware shore. It was lovely, but this week it is back to work. Right before I left, I completed my second project from the Japanese pattern magazine MRS. Stylebook (MSB). A jacket from Issue 150, pattern 179. It is a fairly simple style, no collar, no front fastenings, princess seaming with a side panel, and ¾ length gathered sleeve. It was drafted from the same unfitted (undarted) sloper as the blouse shown in my last post. The challenge in drafting this pattern was adding double pointed darts to the front and back, and creating a side panel using the darts as the edges.
Some of the international pattern magazines contain patterns for copies of designer garments. About every pattern in Patrones is attributed to a hip European designer. What tickles me about the jacket pattern I chose from MSB is that it is one of the few with a "designer" label, and it is Lands’ End! You can see the label in the photograph of the jacket. (The blotchiness of the photo is because my scanner had problems with the shiny page and dark color of the jacket). For those readers who might not know, Lands' End is a USA based Internet and catalog retailer known for it basic, conservative styles, very good quality and excellent customer service. Not what I would call a "designer". The jacket style was simple, but current. And nothing like any jackets I had seen in Lands' End US catalog or web site. On a whim I googled "Lands’ End Japan" and found this information.

The catalog and online retailer of classic American casual wear has flourished in Japan. The key to the company's success has been a thorough localization of its website, products and services while keeping with the company's breezy and accessible identity.
Lands' End established a wholly-owned subsidiary in 1993, beginning its local catalog sales with only five or six people. After its website content was carefully structured to fit the Japanese consumer, the company launched its online shopping venue in 1999. In addition to localizing the website, Lands' End tailored its clothing to fit Japanese body shapes and offered more styles that satisfy local preferences for a more refined look. Its call centers practices were also changed to adhere to local conversational formalities as hours were extended to accommodate later shopping hours.

The jacket was not shown on the Lands’ End Japanese web site either. However, I spent some time browsing the web site, translated to English, and copied Japanese characters for different sewing related words, like "pleats" and "linen", to add to a list I use when trying to translate MRS Stylebook.
The jacket is made out of a dark red, coarsely woven, burlap type material in a mystery blend. It has been in my stash since the 80’s. I shortened the jacket 2 inches to high hip, and lined the body, since the fabric was so ravely and slightly see through. I did not line the sleeves. I did have to make my normal alterations for jackets made from US patterns. I added back shoulder darts and length to center back for curved upper back and prominent shoulder blades. Then because I was so inspired by recent mini wardrobes done by Robin Robin's Capsule and Sheila Sheila's Capsule, I pulled some other fabric out of my stash and made a few coordinating tops. A tank top in a red/cream silk knit print from Simplicity 4192
and a top from brown cotton with red and gold embroidery using Butterick 4549.

I wear the brown top with brown slacks. Both the brown and cream slacks were sewn last year.
I actually read sewing books on the beach during my vacation and did some sewing, which I'll tell you about in my next post.


  1. What a lovely outfit. The colour of the jacket is really pretty and the silk tank matches so well. Love to see a photo of the other combo with the brown pants. Sounds really nice too.

    The style of the jacket is cute with those sleeves.

  2. You did a wonderful job on both garments!

  3. That jacket is simple but oh so stylish. Love the colour

  4. I really love the jacket...the color...the styling...the sleeves! And the other two tops are very pretty as well.

  5. Love the jacket. Ms Stylebook is so intriguing to me, I love reading about the process.