I used to wear cropped jackets and cardigans all the time when I was a teenager, in fact, I didn’t really like wearing long-line jackets – they made me feel like I was growing in them. But then life happened and I had children and spent many years in maternity wear. Although my ‘baby’ is now 4, when I still look at clothes, especially tops and I find it really hard to break out of my maternity-wear mentality.
Tops that aren’t extra-long, always seem to look too short to me. Nevermind cropped tops or jackets – I never thought that I would wear something cropped again, even though I’ve been seeing them around quite a lot.
However, I made this jacket, and I like it.
This pattern is Butterick 4414, quite an old pattern. Included in the pattern is this jacket and a dress that I intend to make in the next few weeks (hence the part one in the title of this post).
The jacket is unlined, has long sleeves, and no closures.
First up I’m going to say that this jacket fits me perfectly with no alterations whatsoever. I didn’t need to do an FBA, the sleeves weren’t ridiculously long, and the shoulders weren’t too wide.
I learnt to sew using vintage paper patterns from the 1960s, so I’m quite comfortable with the style of instructions that tend to be provided with paper patterns. I’m also familiar with techniques that aren’t used in PDF patterns so much – such as setting in sleeves, facings etc. However, I found that this pattern to be somewhat peculiar in that it has no darts.
And yet, it is quite beautifully shaped through the shoulders, bust and sleeves.
It has easing-stitch and small slightly-gathered sections throughout. Here is a look at the centre front, you can admire my near perfect pattern matching, but can you see where the bodice piece was eased to fit the facing?
That one is quite subtle, this next one is easier to see. This is the side seam where I would normally expect to see a dart for a fitted or even semi-fitted jacket.
There is even a small section of the sleeve seam that is eased to fit, reminiscent of much older patterns where sleeves were cut in two shaped pieces!
There is also some easing at the shoulders, but that wasn’t even worth taking a photo of because now that it has been stitched together, it can’t be seen at all. Of course, the lack of darts made this made it quite an easy and quick garment to sew.
The other odd part of the construction of this jacket was the facing. There is a separate back neck facing, the beautifully shaped front facing that continues around…and stops at the side seams!
The instructions were irritatingly vague for just how to finish the back hem so that it matched up to the facing without any raw edges showing. In the end I overlocked all the edges and somehow made it fit together, and it did end up rather neat, but I don’t think that was how it was actually meant to go. I’m left wondering why there wasn’t simply a facing that went all the way to the centre back – that would have provided a much neater finish and simpler construction.
Have you ever made something that had what you thought was an unusual way of doing things? I’m quite intrigued now as to what other oddities there may be lurking in other, especially vintage, pattern instructions.
I must give some mention to this fabric, firstly I apologise for the incredible amount of fluff in these photographs! This fabric seems to attract fluff and the colours also seem to show it up really well. I was fussily running my lint roller over it in between every shot, and yet there was always more! I don’t know how it will go when I’m wearing it, my hair is very fine and tends to shed a lot (I’m surprised I’m not completely bald sometimes).
The fabric is a stretch suiting from Lincraft. I have actually cut the fabric with the stretch running vertically – which I know is not the proper way to do it, but I had a very good reason. You see, this tartan pattern has a definite one-way stripe in white, and I didn’t want those white stripes to be running around my middle (probably making me look dumpy!), so I cut out the entire jacket across the grain, considering that it is designed for woven fabrics it did not need to the stretch. It does mean that the garment now has vertical stretch, but it also has the illusion of making me look, at least a little, longer through the body by having those white stripes running vertically.
I actually haven’t worn the jacket yet. Due to the lack of closures, it does not stay where it is supposed to be, so after recently re-reading this post on Gertie’s Blog for Better Sewing, I think that I need to acquire a “sweater guard” (or maybe two, or many).
Challenges, Blog Tours and Giveaways
This jacket is another project completed as part of my planned capsule for the “Sew Alongs & Sewing Contests” (Facebook group) Seasonal Sew Wardrobe: Deep Stash (SSW:DS) challenge. The challenge for this is to sew 8 coordinating garments using only patterns that you purchased prior to 1 January 2017. I have a huge stash collection of patterns that I’ve been accumulating over the years, so this is a great challenge to bust into that collection and pull out some patterns that have been on the to-do list for a long time.
I’m really enjoying this challenge as I delve deep into my long-ignored to-sew list. I seem to be finding just the right things that I need! Over the next few weeks I will also be joining up again with Sewing by Ti for another blog tour “Date Night February”, and I will be making up some of my PDF patterns that have been on the to-do list. I will also be having a couple of giveaways here on my blog! So I hope to see you back again.