Monday, 16 March 2015

The wool jacket project

Hello everyone and how are you? Well, after a few weekends and now and then getting time to sew in the evenings, my wool jacket still isn't finished! Bit of an anti-climax there and I'll bet you weren't expecting that...but I have got some photos to show you which C took yesterday just after lunch. They show the fitting issues I had (note the past tense).

The first two photos show the first basting of the sleeves. So, the shoulders are too wide and the sleeves are also a bit too puffed up at the top for my liking so need to be changed too. Enter stage left, the seam ripper!

There are also two places where there's excess fabric across the upper back, just at the sleeves. To get the pattern to match on the back seam I had to take very generous seam allowances so it was a bit of a surprise to find excess fabric here. I've also got a broad back, something that's happened
since I started swimming again. I have tried the 'stretch both arms out front' test and the jacket feels like it's the right size, not too big and not too small either.

It's impossible to see what the fit is like on the back unless you've got good mirrors or someone else can take photos. I've narrowed the shoulders by a good 0.75 inch at each end and reduced the 'height' of the sleeve. Strangely, this seems to have worked! I have no photos though.

The collar is very tall, even for a tall person like me. In these photos you can see that I've folded the collar over otherwise it would be half way up my head! I still love the big collar though. Here's a photo of a bit of the jacket front. There is a line of top-stitching on the front right which you can just about see is relatively straight. Result! There's also the top of a welt pocket and I'm rather pleased at how they've turned out. You can see my old puffy jacket photo-bombing its successor!

I have some photos of the guts of the jacket. I made my own sleeve heads using some of the fabric. I just googled and found instructions . They've worked well. I pinked and then zig-zagged the sleeve head edges because the tweed frays like anything. Here's a photo of my hand made sleeve heads. I had to use the flash to get a decent photo so you can see how they look hand sewn into the garment. This pattern didn't call for shoulder pads but I have put some very small ones in anyway. I just feel it needed something to support the fabric and the jacket is quite heavy. Another thing this pattern didn't ask for was a back stay, which I have included. I washed some of the 100% cotton sheeting I'd used to make my muslin, cut round the coat back and that was that. I pinked the back stay edges and then machine basted it to the back around the neck, armhole and side edges. That's worked well! And of course, me being me, if I've sewn something, I press it. Even if it's machine basting or stay stitching. I'm an obsessive presser but it's really paid off with this jacket.

So, what can I possibly have left to do? There's a lot of hand sewing still to do- sew in the sleeve lining x 1, sew the sleeve hems x 2, sew the snaps to the jacket front x 4 and sew some thread chains securing the lining to the jacket fabric.

Lots of text and quite a few photos in this post so if you've read through to the end, well done! I really, really hope to get this finished very soon. It's about time I started wearing it before the heatwave arrives. Edinburgh...heatwave...?!?


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