Friday, February 13, 2015

Vogue 1385, a felted, painted jacket


I'm meh on this one. I've worn it and received a lot of compliments. I just don't feel it looks that good on me. The style is just not right for my frame. I think it looks better on me belted. Wearing it unbelted just isn't very flattering. The fit can probably be tweaked more but I think in the end the actual style was not meant for me. I have a long skinny neck which I thought would look good with the frame of the collar. It does nothing, IMO. But I don't think it is the collar line so much as all those darts sloping down from the neck and over my arms, bust and neck. With a good sized bust that age has lowered a tad (wishful thinking!) all those darts pointing down and clinging to my narrow sloping shoulders just don't work. I added shoulder pads which helped some but still didn't make it work. There is plenty of room in the bustline but it would be improved with a button. Not sure I would like that and at this point it's move on time. I did get what I wanted, a soft sweatery, not fitted, garment that is slouchy enough to make a good throw on for a cold day. I even think I will wear this to work today as we hunker down for another storm. But this pattern? Not for me! Here's my actual review:


Pattern:

This is Vogue 1385, a Sandra Betzina Today's Fit design. It took some effort to get this design to come close to fitting. It is shown as a silk type blouse and some that I have seen on the web, like Sham's, are fabulous. But her shoulders are the exact opposite of mine and it looks great on her. Her shoulder line is straight across and the jacket hangs beautifully. I did shorten the darts a tad and "petited" the pattern as well as I always do and that made the muslin a lot better. The sleeves on the pattern have tucks and a good amount of volume. I knew that would  not be flattering in this heavier fabric and chose a longer length with a slit in  the cuff area. Not sure that is very flattering either but it is comfortable. This is a great design, IMO, just not for me. 



Fabric:
I used a 100% wool that I felted by washing and drying on hot twice. It took the two spins in the machines to get it to felt to the point where it would not ravel. It became soft and sweatery, what I wanted. I painted the fabric with a "twig" stencil on the upper bodice and sleeve edges using Lumiere metallic fabric paint. The project was pretty thrilling through the painting part. I love to paint/dye fabric and really should do more. It makes me happy. Once dry, the "twigs" of paint had deliberatel sort of random topstitching applied with the triple stitch and rayon thread. Notice: the thread on the shoulder topstitching matches perfectly but the camera makes it look nearly white. It's not. I love the color of this, like a deep periwinkle, that blue purple combo. The sleeve picture below is the true color of the jacket. 



Construction:
First there was the fit! It took a couple of muslins to get that down. I made the mistake of following Betzina's instruction to buy "her" patterns by the bust which put me in a letter size equivalent to a size twelve. Well, that sure didn't work. After a lot of frustration, I did my usual Big Four adjustments starting with the smallest, Size A, pattern, much better. But this design is not an easy one to adjust, raglan sleeves, all those collar darts, etc.


Seams were stitched twice and then topstitched on the outside with regular sewing thread. I ran a band of the wool around all the outer edges and then triple zigzagged it with the rayon turquoise thread. This technique had worked for me before and I think it worked well here. There is no facing to this garment so the collar reaches a bit higher, which I thought would be better for my long neck. The lack of facing adds to the sweatery feel I wanted. Since I didn't do the facing which is stitched into the neck ruffles, it was a fairly uncomplicated process. 

In conclusion:
This is a lovely pattern on the right body. My narrow shoulders, long neck, and and those downward darts were just not compatible. I think in a lighter blouseweight fabric I might have stood a chance. The weight of the wool I think was just too much to get this to hang properly on me. At least that's this afternoon's thought. I won't be making this again. I congratulate those, and there are many, who were able to make this design work for themselves. It's a lovely design.  I am not sorry I went to  the effort, paint and all, and I do have a pretty  toss on for chilly afternoons at home and work but I just can't get excited about the finished project. Maybe it's just all the deep snow and sixteen below temps I am seeing on the thermometer right now.  Cabin fever?
 

.......Bunny

Oh, my bag is nearly done and that is making me happy!

29 comments:

  1. It's hard to say a garment is beautiful when the creator doesn't love it but it is a really pretty color and the painting and stitching on the collar and sleeves is amazing! Hopefully the next project will be one that you love!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Carolyn. My bag project is making me really happy and I can't wait to share it with you all. I just have to sew the lining to the outer shell.

      Delete
  2. This is so beautiful. You do such lovely work. I'm sorry it doesn't suit you. I especially like the painting embellishments

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I really enjoyed the fabric painting and there was nothing difficult about it.

      Delete
  3. I have never posted here before, understand my opinion is meaningless, here to offer support. In viewing the photo, to me your garment comes across more as a sweater or jacket. I think it would look smashing if you wore a top underneath, like a turtleneck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had the same feeling once I saw the photo. The times I have worn the jacket it is with a black turtleneck. I thought having a bare neck might show off the collar better but you are right. It is very sweatery and looks better with the turtleneck. I can't tell you how many pictures I took and none of them looked that great IMO. So on to the dummy it went.

      I am thinking I am having a bout of cabin fever here and not much wooly is going to please me right now. My next project will be something not winter-y for sure.

      Delete
  4. Bunny, I have to say, it really is a lovely jacket. The color is beautiful and the painting is just right. My mom had a thin neck and narrow shoulders, and often had fit issues in that area, so I can understand your frustration with the outcome. Perhaps a scarf may help, if that's to your liking? Looking forward to the finished bag!

    ReplyDelete
  5. The jacket and its artistic treatment are wonderful. May I suggest a leather belt instead of the tie, to offer it a bit more structure? That could really up the look and make it more likeable for you. See Allison's comparison of her recent creation with/without belts (http://allisoncsewinggallery.blogspot.ca/2015/02/mccalls-6844-cardigan-jacket.html) - quite a difference in the looks, eh?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a great idea, Digs, Thanks. I will try it.

      Delete
  6. I have your same shape and have to put shoulder pads into everything. I was thinking the front looks so nice hanging down straight and maybe instead of a belt you could pin out some vertical darts in the back. They could mimic the front darts and be long curvy lines to take up some volume and eliminate the belt. There is also a point in our lives when wearing very deep intense colors of our youth can overpower us at our present age as our skin and eyes lighten in color. I love all the painting and stitching and it just looks so darn cozy!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ah! It's beautiful!!!!!

    Do you have a lucky someone who could wear it happily? It would be a shame for it to hide in a closet!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Bunny, it looks like it's hanging differently on Tilly than on you for some reason. I think, like other have stated, that a scarf or top underneath would help. I also wonder if tacking those front two darts on both sides would "pull" it toward your neck giving you a more tailored look (removing the flare basically). Maybe pin it first to see if you like it. I also think it would look cute with no belt with some leggings. I'm certainly no expert, just thinking out loud.

    ReplyDelete
  9. P.S. The painting is beautiful!! And I love the colors.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Beautiful work on your part. I understand how you feel. I worked very hard on a dress (still unblogged) that I thought I was going to love (and have seen looking great on others) but it does not look good on me. It's still hanging in the magic closet, but no magic has happened yet;) That's the one part I hate about sewing - you don't know how it's going to look until the bitter end.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This might enjoy a bit of vakay in my Magic Closet. I've been having thoughts of a bit of refashioning but I will wait and go with the leather belt trick.

      Delete
  11. The stenciling is beautifully done and the jacket is very well sewn, but I just don't like the style. It has an old lady vibe (I'm probably around your age, maybe a little younger). You don't seem like an old lady. A blog I read for inspiration is "That's Not My Age." http://thatsnotmyage.blogspot.com/

    I've pondered how to predict what a project will look like: personal croquis? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBbH8AkSktY Photoshop and Illustrator? There's always risk.

    ReplyDelete
  12. It's a real pity it didn't end up working out for you it I have to say that the stenciling is truly stunning, I love how it changed a basic coat into a work of art.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thats a shame because you have made a beautiful jacket. I wonder if a turtle neck underneath would help? Or a silk scarf?

    ReplyDelete
  14. It's such a beautiful jacket, especially with the twiggy painting. Your work is really inspiring Bunny! Perhaps when winter finally gives way the jacket--with a tweak or two--will seem more appealing. Or perhaps it will be the pride and joy of a strong-shouldered woman elsewhere--

    ReplyDelete
  15. It's a work of art, Bunny... I'm sorry it didn't work out for you the way you've envisioned it. The coat is beautiful, well executed, the fabric is a dream and your embellishments made it into one of a kind timeless piece.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wow, you've made a beautiful jacket! The painting is so pretty. It's too bad you aren't happy wearing it, but maybe one of the suggested edits can help. I never thought of my shoulders as "straight across" at all. What an interesting observation. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Compared to mine they sure are! Your jacket looks fabulous and I love your latest jacket as well, Shams. The colors are great.

      Delete
  17. I love the color and embellishment Bunny. You did so much work so I understand your disappointment at not loving the finished garment. What about adding some shaping to the side seams to create more of an hourglass silhouette rather than the straight boxy look. I think that might be why you like it belted.

    ReplyDelete
  18. As others have said, the color is beautiful and I am in love with the stencil work. Something I do is to leave something hanging in my sewing room and eventually something comes to me as to what adjustments would make me happy. I don't consciously stare at it, just passing the garment by seems to let me subconsciously figure it all out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's just what I am going to do. For now it will just chillax in the corner while I get some inspiration working on a couple of other projects. Can't wait to show my bag. Now that, I am happy with!

      Delete
    2. That's just what I am going to do. For now it will just chillax in the corner while I get some inspiration working on a couple of other projects. Can't wait to show my bag. Now that, I am happy with!

      Delete
  19. I think it's beautiful but if you don't like it well I'm sorry for all that work you have put into it. One question; do you always make a muslin of all that you sew? That is a lot of work!!! What do you do with all the muslin you have now over the years? Warm regards from Amsterdam, The Netherlands,
    Viv

    ReplyDelete
  20. Beautiful jacket. I love the painting details.

    ReplyDelete

Engaging commentary: