In the second class, we dove right into construction techniques! Jacque had some great ways to put our jackets together- and an order of operations that really made it a streamlined process. We sewed samples of a few different techniques that she showed us in class (which is great way to remind yourself, when you’re scratching your head at home, and trying to recall exactly how that thing worked so flawlessly earlier…). Here is an image of a crimped edge, which is a great way to ease the lining of the bust curve into the garment. Below is a finished example of the jacket we are all making- and as you can see, there are some fun ways to insert a little personality into your garment. The piping in a a complimentary color serves as a decorative and functional detail between the lining and the outer fabric.
We learned some fail-safe ways of attaching our collars to our collarstands, about the different types of interfacings that might be appropriate for which parts of the garment, and even a fantastic method for getting the lapel to roll at the right place! All fascinating stuff- and things that will make our jackets so much more professional-looking when they’re finished.
One of our classmates had made up a beautiful muslin after her alterations, and got additional help with fitting after our techniques section was finished. Since this jacket is so close to the body, and has so many pieces involved, getting a good fit is critical to how polished the final garment will look.
This weeks homework involves partially constructing both our linings/facings and our outer layers, so that next week we can get into the tricky part of attaching the two!
For the Dressmaker’s Jacket class (and with most other garment classes at Nancy’s), Jacque has made up all the different sizes of the pattern, so that the students in class can try on all the sizes and see which will work best for their measurements. Pretty handy! Then, with an impeccable eye for fit, she pins the jacket to each individual- marking the alterations that need to be made to the pattern. You can see in the image above that I’ll be taking a wedge out of the back and altering the princess line a tad on the front to fall in a more flattering way. We’re also shortening the sleeves a bit. Since this is a vintage pattern, it runs a little smaller than most modern patterns do, and thus I’ll be making a size larger than I normally would. Some features of this particular pattern are functional sleeve vents, a two-piece sleeve, collar stand, princess seams, minimal shoulder pads, and a bagged lining.
The next step is to make the necessary alterations to our patterns. It’s great to have a pattern that’s personalized to your body, because hardly any of us fit perfectly into a pattern right out of the envelope! I’ll be doing my sewing “homework” during the week, which consists of cutting the pattern out and fusing interfacing to certain areas for reinforcement. After consulting with Jacque, I decided on the sapphire blue wool, with a beautiful paisley lining in a matching tone. I’ve got my eye on some iridescent blue buttons to finish the jacket off…
So, as part of the process with any project, I’ve scoured the store and come up with four different fabrics that have great potential for this Jacket. If I’m going to be putting a lot of time and effort into a garment, I want it to be made of something I truly love and will enjoy working with. There are all sorts of opportunities to pick fabulous, exciting lining fabrics or vintage buttons to really jazz it up during the process of putting it together. I’ll hold off on purchasing my yardage until after I’ve met with Jacque, had my initial fitting, and seen how the jacket feels. Until next week…
This is the Vintage Burda pattern that we will be using for our “Dressmaker’s Jacket” class, taught by Jacque Goldsmith. We’re doing a little experiment this time around… I’ll be taking the class along with the other students and blogging about the experience so that our readers can get a little taste of what a class is like at Nancy’s. We’ll follow the process from the initial fittings through to the finished garment!
If you haven’t discovered the Great British Sewing Bee, check out this video. This reality show features British home sewers racing against the clock to complete a range of sewing challenges–from re-styling ready-to-wear to completing (and fitting) a garment for someone else. The judges are very exacting. No glue guns (a la Project Runway) allowed. Amazon UK has credited the show with a surge in sewing machine sales. And it’s already been renewed for next season. The episodes are available online in the US.
Sew Forth Now podcast #78 – History of Patterns
Our regular blogger is in India this month, assisting in the wardrobe department on a film! So in lieu of her astute observations on the intersection of fashion, sewing, and Nancy’s, above is a link to a charming (and free) podcast about the history of commercial patterns. Thanks to one of our terrific customers for bringing this podcast to our attention.