Sunday, January 6, 2013

Baby, It's Cold Outside


Oh boy, oh boy, am I in love with this make.  Or should I say oh girl, oh girl ;)


Yes, I made a maternity jacket.  With a little help from a friend.  Actually, a lot of help.

See, I am convinced that pregnancy totally skews your view of what is socially acceptable for one person to do for another.  When you are pregnant, you think that everyone should drop everything they are doing and assist in meeting your needs.  It starts out innocently enough.  First, people start opening doors for you, picking things up that you drop, offering you their seat, offering to carry your heavy load....  Then something happens.  Maybe it's hormones.  I've started believing that people should wait on me hand and foot.  All the time.  Poor J.  He has no idea what he's in for the next three months. 

Haha! Ok, not really.  But I do feel like I totally took advantage of the lovely Tj of The Perfect Nose.  On one of my first maternity posts a while back, The Perfect Nose very kindly offered to trace some maternity patterns for me.  She linked to a couple of Burda and Patrones issues that she had.  My first reaction was that the offer was super nice.  But I wasn't going to actually request that she spend her precious sewing time tracing patterns for me.  But then those crazy hormones kicked in.... mwahahaha...

I went to check out all the awesome maternity patterns she had on hand and was smitten with this jacket.   So I happily sent an email back and asked her if she would mind tracing off the pattern for me.  Um, there were only about eight billion pieces involved.  (Man,  I'm sorry Tj.  I think I picked the most involved pattern available.  Along with the gigantic wrap dress-  which I will be making up later, don't you worry.)

There's no telling how much time was spent tracing patterns for me.  She even added seam allowances.  Seam allowances!  It was such a treat to not have to trace off a Burda pattern.  Nor add seam allowances, which I always seem to forget.  I don't think I can gush enough and tell Tj how grateful I am.  I am so tickled with how this turned out.  I have worn it everyday this week and I'm sure I'll wear it nonstop until I deliver.  And maybe even after.

Now to the pattern nitty gritty.  I made a muslin.  A straight up, real deal muslin.  I rarely do that.  I usually make up a pseudo-muslin out of some fabric that I really intend to wear.  Or I do a lot of basting and fitting while I sew.  But this time I made a muslin to check fit.  And I'm glad I did because I made several changes.  I lowered and widened the neckline, drafted a new collar, added an inch to the hem, nipped in the midriff and made substantial changes to the upper sleeve.  The sleeves were slim and I tend to need more width for my bodacious biceps.  I wanted the sleeves to be extra big so I could wear bulky things under this jacket.  I added about an inch of width, possibly more.  I did it on the muslin so I'm not sure of the exact amount.   There are some fit issues with the sleeve and armscye.  No doubt due to my alterations.   But I have plenty of room to slip on this jacket over a sweater, which is nice.

 

Because I changed the neckline so much (and it was a yoke piece- not a traditional front and back bodice) I decided to draft a new collar.  I was stymied trying to figure out how to alter the original collar to fit.  I've also never sewn a collar that looked like this one before (see paper pieces above).  I am, once again, so thankful I own Winifred Aldrich's Metric Pattern Cutting for Women's Wear.  There is so much invaluable drafting info in this book.  I whipped it out and had a new collar in no time.  Although I included original seam allowances out of pure laziness.  Sue me.  I figured it's basically just a rectangle anyway.  It worked just fine except it probably would have benefited from bit of slashing and spreading.

The sleeve vents are another story.  I'm not ready to talk about them right now.  Yes, my experience was that bad.  I almost left them off during muslin stage, but decided they looked too cool not to include.  I read many, many explanations and tutorials on the interwebs before sewing them.  I am still confused.  Sleeve vents are one of those things I'll attempt later on when my skills are better.  For now, I'm avoiding them at all costs. 


I'll even show you a picture of how sorry they look close up.  I sewed them up the only logical way I could think off.  I didn't mitre any corners.  My brain couldn't handle it.  I just turned up the hem and  machine stitched it.  Then I slip stitched the lining hem to the jacket sleeve by hand.  Ick.  It's not the way it should be done and it looks pretty sloppy.  Luckily I don't ever see them while I'm wearing the jacket :)  And can anyone tell me which way is the proper way a sleeve vent is supposed to go?  Is it upper sleeve over lower sleeve, or vice versa?  It's possible I did it backwards.  I did upper sleeve vent over lower. 


You can also see the fabric well in the above photo.  I have no idea what it is.  Some sort of suiting.  I swore it had some wool in it when I bought it.  But now I'm pretty sure it's all acrylic.   It came from the stash so I won't complain too much.  It drapes really well and is heavy.  It's almost a cross between a woven and knit.  The outside is the twill or corded weave you see in the photo.  The inside reminds me of double knit.  Yet it frayed like crazy.  I top stitched all my seams to keep the fabric from fraying apart inside.  It frays that bad.  I top stitched the yoke piece in yellow just because.  I like how it highlights the curved seam at the back.  The fabric is also fuzzy.  After wearing it for a week I've noticed little fur balls under my arms where the fabric rubs together.  And I couldn't iron it without a press cloth.  Shiny marks all over the place.

 The original pattern called for the jacket to made from suede. Many of the instructions were specific to working with leather.   So I scratched the instructions and made it up the way I thought it should be made up.  I lined the jacket with flannel for warmth.  But I used a slippery polyester lining fabric for the sleeves.  It slips on and off so nicely.  And I did the midriff band in the lining fabric, too, to reduce any extra bulk there.  Below are the guts in all their glory.  It's pretty wrinkly from all the wear in the photo.   I left all the length on the sleeve lining.  I probably should have shortened it but I wanted enough ease.   I bound the hem in bias, turned it up once and hand stitched it.  I stitched on all those snaps, too.  I did tons of hand stitching.  I searched high and low for the perfect yellow buttons and never found them.  Instead I was drawn to the pale minty green ones I used for some reason. 
 

All in all I really, truly love my new jacket.  It fills a major void in my maternity wardrobe (ha! I have five outfits that I rotate) since my fleece jackets don't zip over my belly anymore.  I know I will wear this everyday.  I can't tell you how pleased I am that it buttons over my belly.  Tj, I cannot thank you enough for your pattern tracing magic!!!


And just for fun-- The belly at 27 weeks.   I feel good.  She kicks me constantly now and I love it.   But I'm expanding everywhere.  Every part of my body.  It's all worth it, of course.  Can't believe she'll be here in three more months.



36 comments:

  1. Love the jacket, Liza Jane.. It looks real nice!!!

    How sweet of Tj to trace and add seam allowances.

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  2. It's a fantastic jacket! So glad you got it made and Tj deserves all the accolades you give her!

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  3. you are too adorable. and it's perfectly acceptable to have everyone wait on you hand and foot, especially as you head into the dreaded third trimester... the jacket is so cute! i have no idea which way the buttons are supposed to go, i haven't done a sleeve vent before!

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  4. Wow, what an achievement!! Liza Jane it looks fabulous and you've done such a great job....looks super professional and we all know how complex it is to make a lined jacket, and with some redrafting too! How cool. I mean how cosy;-)
    Tj is very generous .... She's also sent me things in the past. I'm sure shell be impressed with what you've done with it!!

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  5. What a gorgeous jacket Liza Jane! It looks perfect on you.

    I have shortened jacket sleeves with sleeve vents for my husband, and even unpicking and redoing them immediately I get confused! I've never tried one from scratch, and I don't think I want to now.

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  6. Love the jacket. And what a beautiful bump. I too expanded everywhere. Even my poor toes!

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    1. I've started to notice my feet swelling a bit :(

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  7. Very cute jacket. I like your version better than the Burda's.

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  8. Well aren't you a lucky lady :) I've had the pleasure of going fabric shopping and drooling over vintage tailoring books with TJ, and I can say she's just as lovely in real life as you make her out to be here. The coat looks great! As do you in it :)

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  9. That is a beautiful jacket! I love the lining fabric--so bright and cheerful on the inside! What a sweet friend you have in TJ.

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  10. Fabulous jacket - love it! Enjoy your pregnancy!

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  11. sooo cute.. i loved that jacket when i first saw it in burda, and i love your version even more

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  12. Oh, my gosh, this is such an amazing jacket! It's so flattering and special! TJ is a doll for tracing that pattern!

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  13. Fab jacket! That will be SO useful. And you totally should be waited on hand and foot whilst pregnant ;-)

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  14. Your jacket is gorgeous!! And the cuffs look great to me!

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  15. Your jacket looks great! I bet you will get a lot of use from it in the next few months!

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  16. Wonderful jacket. That looks like a really great pattern.

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  17. WOW!! I'm impressed, it looks fantastic. And the new collar looks great, I know it's a pain to change the style of it, but it was worth it. Your sleeve vents look correct, cause that's the way I did it on my almost finished Burda jacket: upper sleeve over lower/back sleeve, so the cuff points down when you bend your arm. Beautiful coat!

    @ Sew Brunswick: my toes expanded too! I had no ankles, just "calf-ankles" all the way down to the toes!! Horrible time!

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    1. Oh good! I'm glad the vents are pointing the right way. I am dreading the time when I get cankles. I've had several friends warn me about it.

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  18. Super cute, and I love the lining. Great job. Don't fret about the sleeve vents :)

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  19. wow, im so impressed. it fits awesome. great job.

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  20. Congratulations on making a muslin, hehe. And coat is super cute and shapely (avoiding the maternity cape look).

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    1. Thanks! I was excited about the fitted midriff. Since you're right- everything else maternity outerwear seems to be a big cape.

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  21. Nice work! I love it! Well worth the work that went into it. I wore one of Devon's coats in the winter while I was pregnant and since he is almost a foot taller than me it was not a flattering look. Shrug. Can't wait to see the wrap dress!

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    1. Now that's an idea! I didn't even think about wearing one of J's jackets. We actually have the exact same fleece jacket- just he has the men's version, I have the ladies.

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  22. Oh yay you made it up and you're (both, haha) getting some use out of it - awesome! I'm really happy to see that- would that I could hug you (both).

    That two piece collar is actually awesome for shape and rigidity (+flare) -I used the same setup for my Flamboyant jacket but I ended up omitting the stand because the collar was firm enough with the interfacing used and all the topstitching I did.

    I've attached directions for the two piece sleeve with vent at the end of the same jacket post under Comments so you can check that out if you end up making this again. I modified my version slightly in that I cut the actual vent out of the lining as well in case I ever felt like having functional vents in my sleeves-so the buttonholes are functional too XD

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    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

      I am interested in trying out that collar again sometime. My drafting book called it a convertible collar with concealed stand. Although I'm not interested in trying sleeve vents again. At least not anytime soon.

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  23. Very cute jacket - congrats on making something so useful to your wardrobe! And I'm looking up that drafting book as we speak.

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  24. oh that's fab! Lovely job, as always and hooray to wonderful helpful blogging friends. That TJ is a star.

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  25. This is beautiful!! I am so impressed by all of your efforts to remain stylish while pregnant!! You should SEE what I looked like during my first pregnancy, lol. I think I wore sweats every other day.

    TJ is awesome for doing so much work for you! She's put a ton into her good karma bank with this one.

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  26. Enjoy the help while you've got it! I had a hard time getting used to getting my own damn glass of water again (though during breastfeeding my husband brought me one automatically). Also hard to give up postpartum: nightly ice-cream (the only thing I could eat that didn't give me heartburn!)

    THe jacket is great. No one will ever look at those vents sideways, so don't sweat it!

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  27. Very cool and useful coat! Is there enough place for 13 week to go?%))

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    1. Doesn't feel like there is any more room!!

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  28. That is an awesome maternity coat, you look shapely and pregnant, not overwhelmed with fabric from head to toe! I do not want to remember the super sized (to zip over the bump) down filled quilted thing I wore during my 1st pregancy in Michigan. I'm sure it REALLY looked like there were 2 people inside - especially from the back :D.

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  29. The jacket looks great! Love that plaid lining. I've never attempted a sleeve vent because I cannot wrap my mind around how they work. I'm down with lining, but basically only of the "make an identical thing and then sew it together at the edges" variety.

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  30. wow, TJ has more patience and unselfishness than I do ;) that's so nice of her to do that!

    great jacket! i bet you'll wear that all the way until the birth.

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