Thursday, December 15, 2011

Highland Fling

Tomorrow is my firm's holiday party.  While it's supposed to just be a "lunch" - beginning at noon and ending sometime before the bars close - it still involves much preparation and overdressing among my co-workers.

As in sequins before noon overdressing.  Ahem.

Me, I'll be ridiculously under dressed tomorrow, at least in their eyes.  Because I haven't gotten my winter dress finished, and I don't want to rush and try to finish it tonight, I'll be wearing my recently completed (but not yet worn) plaid jacket.

It's green.  It's red.  It has shiny red and brass buttons.  It has a freaking olive green silk charmeuse lining. 

I say I'm dressed up.  I don't care what they call it.

This pattern is mostly McCall 5859.  I made a sleeveless version last summer (because I ran out of fabric before I cut sleeves).  This time, I had just enough.  Literally, I couldn't have made a vest for Lily the sewing room cat out of my scraps, and she only weighs 7 pounds. 

Here's the revised patternreview:

Pattern Description: Princess seamed peplum jacket with collar, pockets, short and long sleeve variations.

Pattern Sizing: Some variation between 12 and 14.  I tend toward the 14 these days, but it's princess seamed front and back, and doesn't have to button across the bulkiest part of me, so I went a little more fitted.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? More or less.  The lines are the same, though I de-poofed the sleeves and took some of the cute out of it.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Very easy. I looked them over the first time and this time I just went for it. I did check back regarding the collar, because collar and lapel are two separate pieces, not meant to be sewn together.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I loved it when I first saw it, and while I really like my gray pinstripe summer version, I hadn't planned to make another.  But the last time I wore the pinstripe, I caught a look at myself in the mirror and decided that the peplum look was really flattering and gave me a bit more waist definition than I usually can achieve from a jacket.  Good enough reason for a re-sew in my books.

Fabric Used:  Oh, yum, the fabric.  Mossy green wool/cashmere flannel wonderfulness from Metro Textiles.  It was in Kashi's remnant bin and it just drew me across the store.  There wasn't much of it, so this jacket took some creative cutting.  Lining: olive green silk charmeuse purchased at PR Weekend NY 2006.  I got the last 5 yards on the bolt, knowing it was a color I'd always wear.  This is my second jacket lining, and I think there's enough for one more, if I choose my fabrics carefully.  Buttons are vintage, brass with a rusty painted overlay.  I buffed them with an emery board to let a little more of the gold show through.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I changed the sleeves.  With the gray pinstripe version, I only had enough fabric for the tiny sleeves, and I hated them.  This time I had enough for real sleeves, but the sleeve as drafted was still too puffed for my taste, so I fiddled with it and took out most of the ease (not all; I was working with wool, so I knew that I could get away with some). 

I also cut the peplums on the bias, because I knew there'd be no way to match plaid both coming and going on the princess seams. Because the peplums were bias and I didn't want them to stretch out, I interfaced them with a fairly crisp interfacing.  It also gives a slightly structured vintage feel to the jacket when worn.  I also interfaced both sides of the collar and lapel, the facings, the center back panel of the jacket, and fused strips of interfacing at the hems of the jacket and sleeves. I used very minimal shoulder pads and made sleeve heads from some puffy shoulder pads I took apart.

I was actually going to treat myself and take the bus up to NY and have my buttonholes done at Jonathan's.  They do the best buttonholes.  And I'd started this jacket before we went to Paris, so this has been hanging around literally for almost 2 months.  I don't let projects linger this long.  But I decided against NY - because I know myself.  I wouldn't have held it to buttonholes, and then there would have been more fabric in my house.  I sat down at my machine, took my beautiful jacket in my hands, and made 4 perfectly good buttonholes all on my own.  (Okay, so they're not Jonathan, but I'm fine with them.  Really.)

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?  Absolutely, on both counts.  I hadn't planned on sewing it a second time because of the distinctive collar, but when I got my hands on this fabric, this was the first pattern that came to mind.  You have to trust your fabric's instincts; it knows what it wants to be.  And it doesn't pay to argue. 

Conclusion:  One of my favorite garments for the year, and I haven't even worn it out of the house yet.  I'm a sucker for a good jacket, though, and every time I make it one step further along in my journey toward the perfect jacket, it just makes me want to keep going.


Sheila said...

Gorgeous jacket and it will fit every aspect of dressed up.

Amy said...

Wow! I really love this jacket!

Debbie Cook said...

Beautiful jacket! (I'll be one of those overdressed in sequins/jewels before noon today for our party. lol!)

Lisette M said...

Truly gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

STUNNING jacket. Perfect for this time of year. Why would you not have considered wearing this to the holiday party?? Hey, could you throw a sequined/beaded tank underneath for a rustic glam look?

PA - adore the olive silk charmeuse lining.

Anonymous said...

Wow, great jacket. I love the red and green plaid, and the bias detail or the peplum.

SEWN said...

Gorgeous jacket. You will definitely be the best dressed at your party.

Jane M said...

What a stunning jacket. You will be the most chic person there. I had to laugh at your sequin over dressed remark. Years ago our regional manager alerted our local staff that the top brass were coming from across the country for an inspection tour of the newest facility...."look your best" on Thursday was the order. It definitely impressed (and surprised) the men in suits when they arrived at 8am and the young receptionist was displaying plenty of cleavage in a dress that was ready for a night on the town. She did look her best:-) Hope you have fun.

Uta said...

Gorgeous! I love the fabric, and it suits this style very well. A peplum jacket is on my wishlist. (That sounds like someone else is going to sew it. Not really!)

Kyle said...

WOW! Great job!

gMarie said...

Oh Karen! That is lovely. What will you pair it with? And I think you'll be dressed completely appropriately. g

velosews said...

Nice work on the jacket.

Lynn Mally said...

Did you see in the new Vogue that peplums are back? You are ahead of the curve! Gorgeous work.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Totally love the jacket. That is so gorgeous. I need to check out that pattern because I love a peplum.