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Burda Magazine 2006/08 #128 Faux Peplum Jacket

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The jacket is finished and the pants are in-process.


I am trying to decide how much more energy I really want to put into this fabric. It is a stretch wool, plain weave, slightly brushed on the side I put to the public, but lacking the weight and body of a true gabardine. Below you’ll see lots of different colors but it’s actually gray with a slight greenish caste to it. I do need a better camera, don’t you think?

Here’s the jacket last night after a fresh pressing and before topstitching: Right Sleeve

Freshly Pressed side

Here’s the same sleeve today after wearing for an hour:

Right Sleeve

And here’s the Left sleeve, freshly pressed:

Freshly Pressed Left Sleeve

and after an hour’s wearing:

Left Sleeve (sigh)


Closeup Front

This pattern is a plus-sized pattern. I cut to fit my bust waist and hip measurements. I did not suspect the extreme width of the shoulders and didn’t even try to measure myself through the back and shoulders. I should have!

And I could have, had I brought this little gem into The Stitchery! Check this out: here in US is marketing the Hurth Measuring Tool designed by Ursula Hurth, owner of Home Atelier in Germany. In early February Mz Hurth’s website also listed the Tool on her “Zubehör” page but I don’t see it there now. Perhaps my European readers might contact the Home Atelier to see if she intends to offer it again. There’s a handy dandy PDF at Cochenille that shows how it is used here: RulerHowTo

The pattern instructs that the peplum is lined in self fabric with no call for interfacing or lining. I didn’t follow the pattern instructions since they really didn’t apply to the garment I was building.

I lined the whole body with fleece-backed satin for warmth and a pleat for wearability mid back and the sleeves are lined with bemburg.

Fleece Backed Lining

The sleeves were 17″ wide at the underarm and the back and shoulders so extremely broad that I decided to try to correct the armscye and sleeves after the bodice had been constructed. That’s new territory for me. I thought that making 2 piece sleeves out of the 1 piece pattern would also help the fit.

I dove into these murky waters with the Threads Magazine vol. 38, article Drafting a Two-piece Jacket Sleeve From a One-piece Pattern, by Margaret Komives, published in the Dec 1991-Jan 1992 issue on page 38. Many bloggers over the past decade have recreated her instructions on their blogs and you can find them by using a search engine so I’ll not recreate it here. (I think only one blogger actually credited Mz Komives with the technique.)

After carefully following the instructions I created a muslin for the sleeve out of a polyester knit pin stripe fabric from a Michael’s Fabrics bundle (the stripes are handy for checking the grain lines) and inserted the basted muslin it into the armscye. It seemed to fit just fine but the whole unit was still too large and the under arm was cut too deeply. I found myself forced to take in the back at the side seams on the jacket shell and lining, which created even more extra ease in the sleeve pattern.

I reshaped the bodice armscye to reflect my more narrow shoulders and back which resulted in removing up to an inch of bodice armscye as I cut away the upper front and back. And now I found that I could insert the sleeve, just barely. I further deepened the curvature of the front sleeve but then was at a loss as to how to proceed with narrowing the back of the sleeve.

I see on my pattern pieces that I toyed with the idea of removing more sleeve width through the upper and under sleeves pieces but then changed my mind, fearful that I would be unable to raise my arms after all this cutting and snipping. I didn’t want to chop-chop myself into a worse situation than I already faced!

So I inserted the sleeve using a loosely woven wool bias strip to gather the sleeve cap. I inserted a sleeve head. the whole sleeve itself was already interlined with Pro-Weft Supreme so I didn’t add another piece of interfacing. Perhaps I should have? Anyway, shoulder pads inserted, I machine bagged the sleeve lining into the lining bodice, leaving open 10″ on the front sleeve lining of each sleeve so I could turn the garment enough to machine stitch. Topstitched, pressed, sewed button and wore.

Collar Back

Do you see how the collar stands away from the neck? There should have been a better result since I had cut the under collar a full 1/8″ smaller on all outside edges and used armo to create the collar stand inside this one piece collar. It rolled nicely before insertion into the neckline.

Or perhaps my neck is somehow not thick enough? Hardly!!!

I do think this pattern was drafted for a much larger person and poorly graded down to size 48 in Burda sizing. I can think of no other explanation for the oddness of the upper body drafting. I didn’t alter the waist and hips at all, just the shoulders and armscye.

Ah well, much as I would have preferred a more fine piece of tailoring, I like this jacket. I love the look of the collar turned up with a scarf wrapped around like in the second picture above. It’s a warm and utilitarian jacket and I’m really really glad it is finally finished!


About Mary Beth

I am fascinated by changing patterns and colored threads. I sew garments and am teaching myself to machine knit. Since selling the building that housed my workrooms, The Stitchery, I'm searching for a place to set up the knitting machines again. There must be room here somewhere!

13 responses »

  1. Very nice indeed. I especially like the first photo with your hair loose like that. Classy.

  2. Well, we are hard on ourselves, aren’t we? I think we see imperfections that other people wouldn’t notice at all. I like the style of the jacket, the detail at the waist. And of course, your hair!

  3. Pingback: Tracing Magazine Patterns | The Stitchery

  4. The jacket looks gorgeous! Simply stunning! Congratulations on your perseverance too!

  5. Thanks for a thoughtful and well written review. I’m glad that you’re happy with you’re finished jacket.

  6. Love that collar design detail.

  7. Wow, Mary Beth. The inside of the jacket looks as good as the outside. Don’t blame yourself for any shortcomings, it sounds like you did a masterful job with a pattern that wasn’t properly drafted. It looks great anyway. Maybe German ladies are on the bigger side through the shoulders. I am definitely finding that, as I get older, everyone else seems to be getting bigger!

    By the way, the difference in colour is possibly because of the lighting – inside to outside.

  8. Mary Beth,
    I really do like your outfit. You look especially lovely in your new outfit. You did a masterful job on the inside and outside of the garment. As always, you give so much detail on your reviews. Often, I go back and re-read your blog posts and find little nuggets to use in my sewing.

  9. Mary Beth…..your attention to detail is amazing. I like your jacket…and as always I come away from your blog having learned something.

  10. Thanks for mentioning these Measuring Tool – it would be a great help for me… I will check if I could buy it somewhere here in Europe.


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