Tuesday, September 27, 2016

FO - Simplicity 2728, NOLA SWAP The Big Easy

It would seem that a sewing retreat weekend can be super productive.  I finished five tank tops (not really worth a blog post since I've made a zillion of them and they're pretty straight forward), almost two Sew Over It Alex shirts (see my previous post here) and a jacket.  I love tailored jackets, and feel that every capsule wardrobe needs one.

For my NOLA The Big Easy SWAP, I chose a simple cardigan style jacket that is pretty modern in styling.  I used Simplicity 2728.  This is not a TNT pattern for me, but going with the theme of the weekend, I based decisions for pattern alterations on my historical standards (and even forgot some, which resulted in a design feature - see the details below).

Simplicity 2728 is out of print (OOP), but details can be found on Patternreview here.  

Pattern Description:  The description on the envelope is very plain, "Misses' Jacket with collar and sleeve variations."  As a Project Runway pattern, this pattern contains a lot of collar, sleeve and pocket variations, as well as front button placement options.  I chose to use the relatively "plain" version of the cardigan style front with three quarter length sleeves with fold-back cuffs, and pleated front rounded patch pockets.

Pattern Sizing: 4-22.  I chose size 12 based on the fact that was the largest size in the pattern grouping that I had.  I graded up at the waist and hip to about a size 16 (standard adjustment for me).  In retrospect, I would have preferred to use a size 14, but just didn't have that pattern available to me.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, I think I did.  At least one of the many artist's versions depicted!

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, though I really didn't rely on them that much.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  I love the variety of options.  This way once you get the basic jacket fit down, you can make up a number of jackets pretty quickly - and they won't all look like they're from the same pattern when you vary the design options!  Simplicity even includes a croquis template in their directions so that you can play designer very easily.

Pleated patch pocket with rounded corners

Fabric Used: Black and tan check wool boucle suiting from my stash.  I believe it is well aged, and I have no idea where I purchased it, though something says I bought it online.  The buttons also came from my stash, though the lining I bought last week on sale at my local Fabricland chain store.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:  Because I started with a size 12 (and typically would have started with a size 14), I increased the waist by adding to each of the seam allowances.  I also used a smaller seam allowance at the front vertical darts - this helped accommodate my bust cup size.  Next time, I will probably add a bit more to the shoulder width, as this one seems just a bit narrow for my taste.

I will also need to do a swayback adjustment next time on the pattern.  I'm not sure why I didn't do it on this one initially, as this is a standard adjustment for me.  Since I forgot to do it before I cut the jacket out, the first time I tried it on, I noticed quite a bit of fabric folding at the small of my back.  I decided to "save" the jacket by sewing a horizontal dart across this area from the side seam to the other side seam.  The pattern of the fabric, along with the boucle texture and the tab that I placed over it (which was planned even before this on-the-fly alteration) hide this alteration quite nicely, ifidosaysomyself.

I chose to do a fair bit of speed tailoring techniques with this jacket as well - using a few different weights of fusible interfacing to mimic hand tailoring.  After receiving my tailoring degree, I've really noticed how much I like to wear a decently tailored jacket, but didn't want to take the time to hand tailor a pattern I hadn't used before.  I interfaced the entire body with a very lightweight fusible interfacing, both the fronts and the backs.  I then used a heavier weight fusible interfacing over top of the lightweight interfacing on the seams at the neckline, centre fronts, and upper back area (instead of a back stay).  I also used a narrow cotton twill tape over the seam at the centre fronts and at the centre back to stabilize the seam.  I find it adds a crisp-ness to the edge of the garment that I really like.

I used a bias cut length of tailoring canvas for sleeve heads and I sewed narrow cotton twill tape over the seams around the armholes for support.

Lining pieces are also included with this pattern, which I really appreciate since I prefer my jackets to be lined - and often have to make my own lining pieces based on the jacket pattern.  The instructions are included for a bagged lining which, in conjunction with the speed tailoring techniques, makes for a pretty fast tailored jacket!

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Yes, I will sew this again.  I need a plain black jacket but want a cute (aka not boring) design.  As I mentioned above, you can change the design details such as the sleeve length, button placement, back tab, collar details and pocket styling to create a very different look without the hassle of fine tuning the fit again on another pattern.

Conclusion: A cute jacket pattern with lots of options.

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