Monday, December 30, 2013

Winter Sewing: Janet Jacket Muslin and Fabric Choices

I'm in a posting kind of mood, apparently, about all of the crafts...

As you know, yesterday I cut out the muslin and stitched up the bodice shell for my proposed next sewing project: the Janet Jacket. The fit, following my numerous "pre-muslin alterations" was not bad. In addition to those, on the basis of what the muslin told me, I've made additional muslin-to-pattern alterations:
  • The back was too wide (effectively the back seam where it meets the side back) so I removed about 1.5 inches over those 4 seams, tapering 2 inches above and 2 inches below the waist. Update: I undid this alteration, once I added the sleeves and realized that the addition of them had an unintended impact on the fit of the back of the bodice...
  • While I removed an inch above the waist, from the length of the bodice pieces, I ended up adding it back to the bottom of the hem. I want a bit more length once I hem this thing up... And now I've added it where it needs to be, and where I won't get any pooling above the waist.
  • The bust, while it fits - somewhat miraculously, is potentially a little bit snugger than I'd like. I've opted to add .5" to the centre front piece, starting just at the place where my bust gets full, all the way down to the jacket hem. I may remove this in the end, but I'd like to have the extra width, in case I want it as I finish the seams... I'm pleased to say that the centre bust fullness of the shell is at the same height as my centre bust fullness. That can be a tricky negotiation as one's bust line grapples with gravity, even as a pattern draft does not. This shell isn't gaping above the apex, as some patterns do, once I alter the bust at the princess seams. And, because the original side front pattern piece was so straight, it was pretty easy for me to lower the apex slightly without having to do to much fancy footwork. I eyeballed it, but it seems to have worked. You can actually see the lowered apex in the photo from yesterday's post...
  • I did have to take an inch out of the sleeve head height (my upper arm is short, what can I say?) and, as a corollary, I had to remove 3/8" of fabric from the shoulder seam area on each of the side front and back pieces. I tapered to nothing as I moved towards the underarm...
  • And finally, I darted the side front piece - 2 inches wide, starting from the front armscye to the bust apex. I know I can probably make this adjustment and move the dart to the side seam (aka get rid of it but keep its effect), but that step just isn't coming to me at the moment. And seriously, I don't care if there's an extra seam there. It looks just fine (IMO) and, seriously, the bust fit and armscye depth are made perfect by the inclusion of this dart. To me, at this time, a bust dart isn't a sign of failure to maintain smooth princess seam-lines - it's a sign of my increasing fit awareness. I actually like it!
I managed to learn all of this via one muslin - 2 steps (bodice and then sleeves). Now, I hope my alterations are precise, but I did use a smidge of intuition in lieu of math. (Just occasionally to make things seem more magical!)

I also went out to buy my fabric today:


That's indigo wool crepe, though you can scarcely tell it from black on my monitor. Lord I love navy and wool and crepe. I don't care if it's the same colour as everything else in my wardrobe. Trust me, I look seriously credible in navy.

But, to undercut any potential "boringness", I decided on canary yellow silk charmeuse for the lining:


I know - insane! People, this is what a lack of Vit. D will do to you. And, pls. note: I take 3000 IUs of the stuff every day but I still bought this lining?!

There's method to my madness, however. Every time I've made a tailored jacket in the past, I've used fabric with a certain degree of intrinsic ease (my preferred sort of woven). My rationale is: if you like fitted-ness and you don't want to gain it with wearing ease (what the pattern provides in its base measurements) you have to make up for things with fabric ease (the natural give in the fabric). That's all well and good, esp. given my smallness-with-curves body-type, but, in the past, I have always used lining that has very little fabric ease - and I don't cut it on the bias (which would give the fabric more stretch, as is the nature of bias cut).

The net result of a using lining with no ease is that the ease in the fashion fabric is all but wasted. Nothing will stretch more than the fabric with the least amount of give, which in most cases is a lining.

This time, I was prepared to cut my silk lining on the bias (a huge pain in the ass - and fabric waster) unless I could find some silk charmeuse with stretch. The fabric store (L.A. Fabrics) had just such a lining, but only in one colour - the canary yellow I purchased. Thank goodness it complements navy! (Note: It still might be hideous... Who can say?)

Hilariously, while I checked on the cost of the crepe fabric (a reasonable 15 bucks a yard on sale), I neglected to do so with the lining fabric. Turns out it was 36 bucks a yard?! I got it for 32.00/yd in the end but, egad, that's 64 bucks in lining?!

You know you're making progress - or losing your mind - when you spend $130.00 on suiting materials without batting an eye. (And this doesn't include closures, interfacing, shoulder pads or other notions.) Ah, here's to skill development in the new year...

Today's questions: What do you think of my new fabrics? Thoughts on these alterations or my "one muslin, one garment" process? I suppose the proof will be in the pudding, yes? Let's talk!

20 comments:

  1. I think that $32/yard totally makes sense )))
    But I have a thing for a lining )

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    1. You must if you're not batting an eye! :-)

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  2. That yellows is awesome. It's going to look so good against the navy (which in my monitor shows as gray, go figure).

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    1. I can see how it looks grey - or like washed out black. Too bad cuz it's a very nice indigo! And the yellow continues to grow on me.

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  3. in my opinion, a good lining can make or break a project, so no judgement here! i think those colors will look amazing together. a bright jacket lining always makes me smile, perhaps more so than a beautiful shell! hope the blazer project goes well, i think it will look great on you!

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    1. I agree about lining making or breaking a project. That's why I only line in silk charmeuse now. I've had it with Bemberg and other synthetics.

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  4. Damn! I see my comment got lost again -- and I suspect that's because I went through Bloglovin'. Had said that I love, love, love the idea of that gorgeously sunny silk charmeuse (Silk. Charmeuse. MMMMmmm) lining to your from-the-outside-fairly-sober navy wool crepe jacket. I have a little Mackage leather jacket from quite a few years ago -- has a bubble-gum pink lining that makes me smile every time I wear it.
    btw, I didn't choose to do your sock-in-a-week but I've been following the posts -- what a great job you're doing, so clear. I've recommended you to a reader who wants to finally knit a pair of socks. . . .

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    1. I hate commenting through Bloglovin'. It's so hit and miss - and why?! I'm glad you like the charmeuse. I thought I was a bit insane, but it seems that we all need some sun at the moment. And my fave element of the purple suit I made last year (which I wear regularly - and which I still love) is the Versace lining that was gifted to me by Mardel. I freakin' love that crazy lining.

      Thanks so much for recommending the KAL and for your kind words. Seriously, I've invested so many hours on it. I just hope that people find a use for it now and in the future. It's my way of saying thank you for all of the tutorials that have helped me over the years.

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  5. Love the colours for this jacket! The yellow is the perfect foil for the indigo. And L.A. Fabrics is a great place to shop!

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    1. Thanks Tia! I think it's going to work, the more I look at the 2 colours and textures side by side.

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  6. I have done that before - fashion fabric with stretch and a lining with no stretch at all, not the most comfortable of tops.

    I think that's going to make a fun bit of lining. Really, peeking out behind a navy jacket? All kinds of awesome.

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    1. Oh, I know. It's a lesson one has to learn at least once. I don't know why there aren't more good wovens with a bit of lycra - in all the fabrics. That's what all the RTW lines use.

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  7. Try to think of it in terms of how much it would cost to purchase this jacket and also how much you would spend on "entertainment" to fill some of this time. That's what I try to do. I think the jacket will look fantastic, and a stretch lining sounds fantastic, and will be especially luscious in silk! :-)

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    1. That's what I do - it's an experience, not a jacket. But then I get a jacket at the end - and hopefully I'll like it!

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  8. I LOVE the yellow! Of course, yellow is my favorite color! I really love to have a cheerful or even print lining inside an otherwise staid garment - it's like a little happy secret that makes me smile when I wear it.

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    1. Of course it is! :-) I have to say, I'm fond of it - but this is as bright as it gets...

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  9. The yellow is perfect with the navy...I'm squinting at the cost because it's such a beautiful fabric, so what the heck!

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    1. The cost was tough to take. now I wish I'd got a bit more because I don't know if I'll have quite enough to make the jacket again...

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  10. Wow! Love your choice of lining. One of the best things about sewing your own clothes is getting to include unique details like that. Can't wait to see the finished product!

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    1. It's really lovely fabric. But you know you can get some nice stretch charmeuse at Fabrications Online or at Gorgeous Fabrics (the stretch charmeuse that Ann sells is largely synthetic, but very nice).

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