In the meantime, as a break from the horror of fitting trousers, I decided to make an easy unlined jacket.
Back in mid-February I had a mini brainwave about what to do with a piece of linen/mix fabric I'd bought back in 2012 that I didn't really like and couldn't imagine using. I threw it in the washer with a box of navy blue Dylon dye and the result was actually very good. The fabric didn't take the full colour of the dye, coming out a sort of denim blue rather than true navy. Most interestingly though the green lines, which are woven into the fabric, must be some kind of polyester or other synthetic because they didn't take the dye at all. As a result, the fabric ended up a really interesting mix of blue and green, with quite a lot of texture. I earmarked it for a lightweight summer jacket and added the project to the queue.
|Pre- and post-dye fabric|
Somewhat unusually for me, I eventually settled on an envelope pattern. This is an OOP Simplicity pattern that I got on the front of a magazine when I first started garment sewing. It's one of the Lisette patterns from before the designer moved over to Butterick, Simplicity 2209, and both dress and jacket have been widely and mostly positively reviewed. I chose view C, which has a flat collar, little pockets set into the princess seams, and, as written, 3/4-length sleeves.
I made a size 16 based on the finished garment measurements. It actually felt quite risky because I didn't muslin (bad sewer! no biscuit!) and I don't make enough Simplicity to have a sense of how they fit me. The fit isn't TOO bad, but if I were to make it again I'd do a few things differently.
|Simplicity 2209 in blue/green linen-and-something mix - front|
|Simplicity 2209 in blue/green linen-and-something mix -back|
By far my biggest problem is/was the armscye/sleeve. I had SO MANY problems getting these sleeves to look reasonable. As written the sleeve caps were very tall and pointy. I struggled to get the sleeve in at all without puckers because there was a lot of sleeve cap ease. I finally managed to baste one sleeve in neatly but when I tried it on, the point of the shoulder was fully 3cm down my arm. The shoulder position hadn't looked quite so bad when I measured the flat pattern, so that was a bit disheartening.
|Better photo of the colour/texture of the fabric plus the button detail|
I ended up doing multiple rounds of basting and stitching trying to get the shoulder in the right place and re-shape of the armscye. I took somewhere between 2.5cm and 3cm out of the shoulder width of the bodice, took in the back armscye and flattened the sleeve cap significantly. The outcome is... wearable? I mean, I'm happy enough with it, if I'm honest, even if the fit isn't brilliant.
|As modelled by me -- note the twisty sleeve issue!|
|As modelled by me from the back -- rising back hem issue also visible!|
Other than the sleeve/sleeve cap ease, this was a very easy jacket to sew. Originally I planned to Hong Kong finish all my seams, and I even bought some bright emerald green bias tape to do so. However, I did half of one seam and realized that though I loved the colour combination, the bias tape I'd bought was too stiff for the fabric, so I unpicked it and decided to just overlock all the seams instead. It's a shame because I think the bias tape finish would have looked nice, but it did speed up the construction process a lot.
|View of the innards -- all the edges are just overlocked|
Next up: I made a double gauze top earlier in the year that I love to bits. I almost immediately I bought another piece of double gauze and my next plan is to turn that into an easy late summer blouse. :D