This garment might be more properly called a “topper” rather than a “jacket”. This drape-front topper is lined to the edge through the bodice and has unlined knit sleeves. It has front and back princess shaping with lovely shaped back center sections. The sleeves are meant to be tight so that the silhouette is slimmed by a glimpse of “daylight” between the arms and the wearer’s sides. The sizing only goes up to a 16 so that should tell you that this is drafted for a slender body. This outfit, while slimming, does not make you six foot tall and 135 pounds, to that I can personally attest! :)
But this style can drive a traditional tailor to madness! Here’s why:
Lined to the edge:
That means there is no true hem. There is no extra weight in the lower edge to weigh the jacket down over the hips and derriere. This type of edge finish can cause the hem to curl outward when it’s stitched and top stitched as you can see here
and in my jacket the lining bags a little which further adds to the outward bulge
All this means is that you might be tugging at the hemline to pull the jacket into place.
Lining and Facing:
The front of the jacket is self faced and is interfaced with Pro Weft Supreme fusible in Medium weight as is the collar. It was perfect for use with the cashmere herringbone I chose for those sections. The rest of the jacket is not interfaced. I should have recognized that the cashmere herringbone would drape differently than the tweed and should have interfaced at least the back sections as well.
Here’s how I prepared the edges of the front panels:
I laid the garment on a flat surface and using my fingertips, rolled the top layer of the wood until the exact seamline became the fold
Where the wool was reluctant I push-pulled the layers into compliance
Then STEAM, do not press
and pinch in the exact edge
I used my store bought seam roll on the wool side to press the edge. I wasn’t ready to press in a solid seam until the wool had been shaped together. Top stitching might produce puckers if any of the wool has stretched during this process
The wool to wool roll and pressure forces the moisture into the fabric and holds it there. I let the shaped wool rest and dry on the board before moving to the next section
I paid particular attention to making the corners squared, not pointy
I love how wool is shaped like dough, not strictly engineered like cotton
The sides and back edges are lined to the edge and require a bit different treatment. The edge must be pressed in with a millimeter of the wool rolled to the inside. I detest a lining that shows on the edges of garments
At the end of the construction all the edges are top stitched.
Some jacket making info will help with this project. The instructions do not have you reinforce the pockets or the point of join to the body and that must be done
The pocket bags seam allowance must be trimmed closely, at least to .25″, or they will be caught up in the topstitching at the bottom edge.
I read in the recent Threads Magazine about using organza to prevent show through when pressing by folding over a rectangle of silk organza into a seam and tried it here. It worked great
The instructions do not mention reinforcing the shoulder seams nor do they mention that the armcscye must be bound to prevent shredding of the lining as the garment is pulled on and off
Serging the edges might work too, but I wanted the firmer support to shape the shoulder and support the sleeve. There is no room or mention of shoulder padding or sleeve heads.
Finally, the ball section of the snaps are placed along the edge of one side of the front as far away from the edge as if they were buttons (right side if you’re a girl) but the fit and drape of the front is adjusted to your liking by the diagonal placement of socket section of the snaps. For me that means a less than perfectly straight diagonal. Eeeee, nails on chalk board!!! but I’m finally going with the flow
A final discussion of this topper comes directly from the fabric I used and their individual properties:
The sleeves are the same medium weight double knit used for the pants even though my camera work shows them at different colors. Gray pants are shown below. The side panels are the wool tweed and the center panels and collar are herringbone cashmere. The cashmere does not have the body that the tweed has and wrinkles against it I love wearing cashmere around my face but I think this topper would have worked better with another plain weave instead of herringbone
As you might see photographing the colors of these fabrics is difficult! It changes all the time depending on the lighting
The true colors are somewhere in between the photos above and below. In fact the blue that shows so clearly in these photos is only barely seen by the eye in real life.
The common denominator is an “olive caste” to each different fabric. I was shooting for a jacket that could be worn with as many different colors in pant as possible: brown, gray and maybe even blue.
I am adjusting to this graceful topper and not trying to make it into a tailored jacket. I put a jersey turtleneck under it and it was quite comfortable, esp with the knit sleeves.
The fabrics for this pattern are listed: lightweight woolens, synthetic suede and double-sided fleece. The model photographed for the pattern envelope is wearing synthetic suede. I personally wanted to try fleece but I think top stitching would be a pain. Might just try it anyway :)