November 24, 2015

Not... quite...

Obviously, I should have made a toile. Such an unusual shape, randomly drawn with just some reference to the sloper... No guarantees of success. At all.

But I had more fabric than I needed anyway and it was cheap. As cheap as anything I might use as muslin. So, I just went for it. I cut both dress and jacket and just started sewing them.
The dress will need some serious tweaking too but that mostly comes down to taking in the hip curve. 

This is what the jacket looks like. It is not without some good points but on the whole... bleh. 

The main problem is the neckline. High and tight necklines are quite period correct for the 1950's but this garment shouldn't have one. And I've never been a big fan of that particular feature anyway. 

I may or may not have placed the button a bit too high. I'm not sure but I really think it is above the bust point on the model as well. I may lower it a bit but I don't want to put it on the bust point. 
The real issue it the cut of the neckline itself. It should have been a LOT wider. And I should have drafted the real shawl collar after all. A fairly wide one with enough room in that outer edge to roll over gracefully. 

Then there are the sleeves. Although mine are wide they are nowhere near the statement of those in the original picture. I thought I couldn't really make them any wider with the kimono sleeve like curve under the arm. Now I look at the picture and see that there hardly is a curve there at all. There's a very short vertical bit and then there is the bottom of the sleeve. I can make that.

And then, there is the bodice itself. I had noticed the forward tilt of the sleeves in the picture and guessed it might be achieved by taking in on the front seams. I didn't really know how to draft for it right from the start though. 
Now, my jacket has clearly too much bulk at the front, at chest height but between my body and arm. Bulk which doesn't go away by pinning the overlap a bit tighter (that just causes pulling lines). I think I could take in the front bodice, which is looking too wide anyway. This would bring the sleeves in a bit and reduce bulk. I may have to add a little ease at the back to compensate (I am now sort of obsessed with center back ease because I know my upper back muscles are growing because of the climbing). And some part of the messy fit at the top will go away anyway with the wider neckline...

I think I have plenty of clues to try and alter the pattern. Or rather, make a new one using the old one as a starting point. And this time, I will make a toile.

It's just a shame I don't like wearing those tight necklines otherwise I would call this a wearable muslin. Especially because I already made a perfect bound buttonhole.


  1. You have a very critical eye. I do see the things you mention, however when I looked at the picture before reading I just thought "how chic, how elegant." I agree about the neckline and I do think the sleeves will be better if cut more like the photo. I admire your sewing so much.

  2. And I think that serious interfacing-work (maybe hair canvas or horsehair braid?) will help the sleeves a lot. Yes, the shape still needs work, but the stiffening will make it clearer. But you go from insp to mock up really fast!

    -- Tegan

  3. It's not your original vision but the jacket still looks good!

  4. I think you've done a really good job but you're a perfectionist so until you get it right you're not going to be happy. Would it work if you cut the sleeve part as a cape so you'd get the very wide bottom to the sleeve?

  5. I like it very much, so fun to see a clever jacket esp. handmade! So chic on you as connie says above, but if you don't care for tight neckline that is understandable. New to your blog, will look again soon and check out more... thanks! jeannine

  6. I am not too sure what pattern shapes you used for the jacket but I am thinking the 50s jacket has no underarm sideseam and the front is all bias? which could give the falling off shoulder effect. the sleeve is a dropped shoulder (I think) rather than kimono and the sleeves are on grain but I think eased and steamed in and cut with a flare? . its a dramatic look, but I like the lines of your jacket a lot....

  7. The fit is lovely on the muslin, especially on your figure. The collar on the original reminds me of a very large roll collar, perhaps that approach would be helpful? I like 'tracker's' suggestion of hair canvas on the sleeves, it seems like a good solution.

  8. Amazing post dear! You have a wonderful blog:)
    What about followingeach other on Instagram, Bloglovin, Twitter?.. :)

  9. You're so clever! this is amazing. I wish I had your drafting skills! I'm interested in how you're going to re-create that lovely neckline, and would really love to see the drawings of your pattern pieces, if you are willing to share them here. And, yes, your bound buttonhole is sheer perfection!

  10. It's not the original but I do think that is a pretty cute jacket! Very curious to see what your mods achieve. :) and OMG buttonhole! :D