Burda tailcoat jacket #132 09/2012
I loved this jacket the moment I saw it in the September issue .....and knew I wanted to make it exactly as pictured. The collar and facing make it just a little bit different.
I downloaded the pattern from the Burda website here . so happy it was available, tracing those magazine inserts are my personal nightmare....
This jacket is marked advanced skills , and it definitely requires experience. I read through the instructions that came with the download and put them to one side, I was absolutely none the wiser, could not make head or tail of them!
The pattern comes with the basic pieces for construction with Burda recommending a iron on/ sew in interfacing but I wanted to see if I could make a hand tailored jacket using couture methods were ever possible.
I referred mainly to Thomas Von Nordheims vintage couture tailoring book. This book has become my go to, its incredibly detailed with beautiful photos and is very clearly written, I can't recommend this enough if you have any interest in hand tailoring.....It also makes great bed time reading!
My muslin fitted well, I don't have many issues other than wide shoulders, the only thing that was obvious were the very baggy arms, I had to reduce the width almost 1.5' in total above the elbow and then taper it below, removing from each arm seam equally, but honestly finding and rectifying fit issues while wearing a muslin and twisting around to see in the mirror is so frustrating! It always reminds me that I should have a proper sloper fitted....its on my list for this year.
I am consciously trying to use fabric I already have , So the three yards of Ralph Lauren cashmere left over from my cape last year bought at Michaels fabrics was perfect. I had enough scraps of white wool left for a facing and my lovely husband ran over Mood last week to pick up a half yard of red cashmere....... good for me that he works close by...bad for him, although he does love a Swatch sighting!
On a side note, I saw today that Cation design has a great flickr group stash challenge started which I think I will join to stop me cheating! Maybe every other garment could be stash fabric?!?! anyway...
After laying out all the pattern peices I knew I needed to make 1) a back stay, 2) hair canvas pattern peices for the facings and 3) change the collar so that the stand and undercollar become one. This definitely would make it easier for pad stitching and shaping, and remove an extra seam allowance in the lower collar.
I had forgotten how amazing it is to work with this kind of wool, its like the softest felt with a really springy hand, but very light weight. So beautiful.
Pattern all cut out, thread traced and front bound button holes finished...
Hair canvas sewn onto the front facings and steam pressed:
and onto the sleeve bound button holes, in my enthusiasm I decided to do the two on the jacket front and the four on each sleeve vent....yep a whole day later.....
The sleeve vents were tough, the button holes are so close that each had to be done individually with self fabric patches instead of in a quicker strip which means they do not match exactly, although I tried by counting the stitches, I must have started one stitch off a couple of times ....not my finest work but they do look great from a distance!
Once the sleeves were sewn together I refered to Kenneth D Kings cool couture book for the bias strip sleeve heads. This is the coolest method I have ever used, and its always successful. The cashmere is fairly light so I used self bias strips, eased them into the sleeve heads and then steamed them and left them to dry overnight.
The collar was so much fun, I love the way it comes together...truly amazes me that somebody worked out hundreds of years ago that the techniques of pad stitching and the heat from a hand would show the wool where to gently fold. Once I had finished stitching, I set it on my ham and gently steamed it, letting it cool overnight. Walking into my sewing room the next morning seeing the ham and collar never fails to make me laugh :-)
Once the sleeves were attached- like a dream again -those bias strips rock! I inserted a 2 ply layer of ice wool just to support the sleeve heads. I prefer this to shoulder pads, I don't like the look of them very much, probably a flashback to being a 80's teenager!
This stuff is crazy, has a great bias stretch, decent recovery and is baby soft....I stocked up at a Fashionable Stitch Sunni has some hard to find tailoring items, and was so lovely and helpful.
A quick bias tape basted into the collar area
This is me wearing it, I think the angle of the camera make my shoulders look even bigger! but look at those sleeve heads already...heaven!
It felt great and hung nicely, not tight anywhere so I basted the collar on to make sure it fitted,
and that"s as far as I got this week, life is busy...the plan today is to sew the front and back facings together, fit them to the jacket and collar and start machine stitching them in. Then it's onto the hem's and lining.
So far I love it, I can see that it will need some kind of weights in the side tail coat hem, the sleeves and front have their bound button holes which add weight and the back will have a interfaced vent but the sides are going to need some help.
Excited to get this finished, although the weather on the East coast is still very cold , with another unexpected snow storm and school delay earlier in the week, the dogs love it!
Audio book this week: attempted JK Rowlings The Casual Vacancy, what a epic fail, got to the end of part one and could not go any further..and instead listened to The end of the affair again, read by Colin Firth..need I say more?!
Music was all over the place, lots of Amos Lee, David Gray, The Specials, David Bowie old and new, espeically his new single which makes me a little sad .....his voice is so much weaker....but I think makes for a poignant beautiful song...and weirdly some country stuff.
Kindle book I have just started after finishing Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl (deeply disturbing) is Barbara Kingsolvers Flight Behaviour, looking good!
Have a great week........