Saturday, September 21, 2013

Vogue Jacket made Alabama Chanin style

I have wanted to make a blazer in Alabama Chanin style for a while now. I have been waiting on the perfect pattern and hadn't found it until now. Vogue 8932 has some really fabulous seam lines and look at the curve of the neckline. I think I can work this one up in time for fall.

The details of the back are impressive and I couldn't wait to begin. I purchased some slate grey cotton jersey fabric and used some of it in my beaded sampler. I decided to use the remainder fabric in creating this jacket. My plan was to stitch it up with the seams exposed and adding top stitching. I like the idea of exposed seams felled to the outside. That said, I  haven't made one like this and wanted to have a fall back plan if it didn't work out like I hoped. I decide to stitch it with wrong sides together. That way I have the choice to wear it with the seams felled to the inside if I choose.

I also wanted the jacket to be fitted. That meant winging it and adjusting the size on my custom dress form as I went. My I cut the size 10 and stitched it up using a tip from the Craftsy class, Hand-Embellishing Knit Fabric. I marked my seam allowances before stitching. This really helped me keep the lines straight in this pattern where the lines are key.

  I got to work on it and was making quick work of it.

front only stitched

back stitched, but not attached

Front and back attached.

Love the details of the back

I was having trouble attaching the sleeves. I could not figure out why one sleeve would go in with no problem, but the other was a mess. It would gather and bunch at the middle of the bicep. It is a two part sleeve, so just adjusting the gathers would not solve the problem. 

After a short break I finally figured out the sleeve. I cannot say what the problem was for certain. I am sorry this may not be helpful to you if you make this one. I think my orientation of the pieces was thrown off because I positioned  fabric wrong sides together (intentionally), and didn't mark them (unintentionally). I also think it makes a difference which side of the sleeve you stitch up first. I un-stitched the side I had stitched, flipped it and attached it to the opposite side. That worked! My suggestion to you is to simply mark the wrong and right sides of each sleeve piece before stitching.

Here are the photos of the completed jacket. I love the finished product!

Jacket front
Jacket back
Neckline and binding with the herringbone stitch
Back Neckline
Front binding
 Here is a review of the pattern with the changes I made.

MISSES' JACKET AND VEST: Semi-fitted, unlined jacket or vest has raised neckline, seam detail and shaped hemline. A: front-button closing. A and B: two-piece sleeves. B and C: raw edge finish, seams stitched on right side of fabric, and front snap closing.

Pattern Sizing: (4-12)
I cut the 10 of view B I used larger seam allowances on the sides when I realized it would not be a fitted as I would have liked. Next time I would cut an 8. I wear a 6 in RTW.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes with the exception of my changes.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
They were easy to follow. I believe the problem I had with the sleeves was due to operator error.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Like: I love the seam lines in the back and the curved lines of the front. I also like that the back hem rises higher than the front.

Dislike: From the line drawings there does not appear to be gathers in the sleeves. There is gathering and they are bulky in front. Because they are two part sleeves I cannot space them out the way I like. After fixing my problem with the sleeve, I still do not like the gathers there; it is not a deal breaker though.

Fabric Used: Double Layer of Slate Grey Jersey Cotton. Slate Grey button and craft thread.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: 

  • I made it to be fitted my body. I cut my size, to be safe, but ended up using an 1.5 seam allowance in the side  seams (next time I will cut an 8).
  •  I used a double layer of fabric throughout. I hand-sewed the entire jacket in Alabama Chanin style. 
  • The seams are stitched once, then felled to the inside and top stitched.
  •  I omitted the facing pieces and instead bound the front and neckline with a strip of jersey secured with a herringbone stitch.
  • I adjusted the snap positions to be sure the front lay the way I wanted.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I like this pattern. I may make it in wool in my regular size and on a machine. I would recommend it for those interested in sewing it in Alabama Chanin style.

Conclusion: I love the lines of this jacket. I am tremendously pleased with the way it turned out. I used my dress form continuously throughout the process of making of this jacket.  The combination of making it fitted and in cotton jersey added a challenge I am not sure I would have overcome otherwise.

Happy Sewing,

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