Victory!

I’ve been trying to think of a good name for this jacket.

Like “The post-partum delusions jacket”

Or maybe the “Biting off more than I can chew jacket”

Or maybe just “Soldier on”

But I think in the end the name David came up with is the best.  It’s the one in the title of the post.

Let’s recap shall we?

It started with the dubious decision to make the muslin when I was 8 1/2 months pregnant.

Then the decision to add a bunch more design features to a pattern already loaded with details.

Then the thought that I would just sew this up quickly in the last week of March, in time to start another jacket for Sherry’s RTW jacket Sew-Along in April.  (Note to self: a jacket takes 3 months to sew.  That means if you want a spring jacket you have to start in January, not March.  Unless you want it for spring of the following year.)

Here are the details in the original pattern:  Lined, pleated hip pockets with flaps, shoulder tabs and cuffs with working buttons, full lining, contrast topstitching.

Here are the details that I added:  Lined, pleated chest pockets with flaps, shoulder yoke, back yoke flap, hood with lining.

Here are a few of the things I learned while making this:

  • I cut the interfacing for the collar and facings on the bias, which helps the jacket fall open nicely at the collar.  I’ve always had trouble with before— probably from using too stiff of interfacing— so I’m really happy with this technique and will use it again for future jackets.
  • At Mary-Nanna’s suggestion, I bought two topstitching feet with guides 3/8″ and 1/4″ from the needle.  As promised, this made all the difference for even topstitching, although I still have to learn exactly where to stop and pivot when sewing around a corner.  And I’m still not that great on curves.  Let’s just say that much swearing occurred during the making of this jacket.
  • I learned to pull one thread through and tie off the threads at the end of a row of topstitching, rather than backstitching.  This trick came in super-handy when sewing my knit dress and other delicate fabrics.
  • I wish I had left a larger opening for turning the pockets.  As it was, they got all bunched up and stretched trying to turn them through a tiny opening.  Since the openings are on the top edges and covered by the flaps it’s not such a big deal but I would do it differently next time.
  • I fixed the poofiness in the back by taking it in at the side seams.  By about 2 inches.  Never muslin when pregnant.
  • Although I was unable to use her suggestions about pattern-drafting this time, I did use Sherry’s tips for closing off the collar, attaching the sleeve hems of the lining and jacket, and finishing the bottom hem invisibly with no hand sewing. Love it!!!  I will admit I haven’t yet sewn up the opening in the sleeve seam, just in case I think of something else I want to change inside the jacket.  The sleeve hem thing still seems like magic to me.  Thank you Sherry for such awesome tutorials!
  • Finally, I learned that if I want to get a nice picture of a garment the best thing to do is to ask David to take the picture.  Preferably while I hold the Joe.

Thanks to a bout of cold weather I was able to wear my new jacket to work yesterday, despite my poor seasonal planning.  It felt *great.*  Hip, comfortable, stylish.  I could roll up the cuffs to do my dissections and fit my wallet, cards, and keys easily in the roomy pockets.  I might just have hit that perfect balance of structure and comfort, dress and casual, feminine and masculine, that I am always aiming for.

Victory is sweet.