January 11, 2011

Considering jackets

Next to my ill-considered plans for a 60's dress, one or two suits were also among my more immediate sewing plans for 2011. Which leads me to this post.
The first suit I want to make should become my ultimate black suit (for the second, I've got brown-grey fabric and I'm considering side buttoned trousers and a vaguely victorian inspired jacket). I've got some very nice black wool suiting in my stash and I want to make two or three pieces which can be mixed together and with other items in my wardrobe.

I've made jackets before and have experimented a bit with different shapes. I also have a vintage jacket which I like. I want to be classic and still 'me'. And, considering the way I wear jackets (if I do so) in my everyday life, it should also look good when worn open. And I kind of want it to work with the different trouser shapes in my wardrobe, but more about that in a later post...

With these criteria in mind, I would like to ask your opinion. I'm going to run some option past you and would like to know which of those, which combination or which other one I should consider for my ultimate black jacket.
First: my lovely tweed jacket. The second jacket I made to a self-drafted pattern (the first had some strange issues and is black, so I'm not including it here). I really like it, but the result is somewhat 'Edwardian'. I'm also not so sure it looks good when worn open.
Second: A green tweed double breasted jacket. The basic shape is the same as that of the grey tweed one. I made this (in a cheap fabric and with less interfacing) purely to see whether or not double breasted jackets looked good on me. This one sees a lot of wear as a late spring/early autumn coat. The higher neckline caused by it being double breasted makes it suitable for that. It should get a collegue for that role, but I don't think it's an 'ultimate jacket' option. Even if it's just because it looks a bit funny when worn open.

Third: I made a completely different, 'flattened' version of my sloper after working for a bit with a designer who wanted all her patterns 'slim fit' (her words, not mine. I was just trying to keep her from eliminating too much ease and curve). There is a linen one, and this. I think it looks pretty bad in these pictures and I have to say the fabric didn't exactly cooperate as I had expected. However, this one was designed with 'wearing open' in mind. It gets worn more than the tweed (also because it's thinner). I'm annoyed by it's obvious flaws but often end up wearing it anyway because it's straight shape looks more 'normal'. I don't usually care, but sometimes it is important to look just like a normal person...

Fourth: I didn't make this jacket. I found it at the vintage selling market-stall. It is a rather straight cut which, on me, is fitted at shoulder and hip and just hangs loose between those. I like it. The shape seems modern and a bit androgenous. And it looks good worn open.
I had half-and-half decided to draft a pattern like this one for my new jacket when I got back to thinking about colour. Would this work as well in black? I'm not so sure...

Of course, when I make my jacket, there will be muslins and style and fit tweaks, but each of these has a different basic shape. It's not a lot of work to change the length, or the exact outline of the collar, drafting an entire new shape is. Which is why I want to start with a clear goal in mind.
In the new jacket, there may also be more extensive tailoring than in any of the above, but I'm still mentally debating the merits of different techniques.
I will follow up on this with a post on jackets and trouser shapes but until then, can you help me out?


  1. I really like the double-breasted one with its curvy shape! You might consider adding a peplum and maybe shorten it in the front?
    I would make a pencilskirt or a shiftdress to go with it.

  2. I think the fourth one looks far superior overall (apart from the bunching at the back waist, but I assume you'll sort that). It is the most flattering shape on you, and is the only one which sits nicely while open! I like it's length on you too. It would look nice with some ultra-long Chloe trousers...

  3. I like the last one. You can still tell that there are girly curves under there, even when it's open. That's important!

  4. I initially thought the first one was the most flattering both buttoned and unbuttoned (and I still really like angled pockets and pocket flaps.) But on second look I also like the fourth quite a bit. It looks great open and closed and I love the rounded corners on the bottom front. I look forward to seeing what you create!

  5. I think my favorite overall is the double-breasted, but the last one does look the best open. This may be a case where you have to decide on a trade-off between best closed and best open. Or, more likely, conquer all with your usual fabulousness ;)

    I, too, would love to see you in a peplum jacket---I think it would make more sense with your fabulous hips---but that may not be as versatile as you're looking for here, either. :)

  6. I think the first and second have the best fit and I really like the angled pockets. I also like the curved edges on the bottom of the second jacket and this happens again on the fourth. Made in black, I feel like the fourth would be very ordinary, although it does seem to meet your criteria of looking good open. I probably haven't been much of a help, but those are my two cents.

  7. The fourth is my favorite. I think it would be fine in black. Like Big in Japan, I noticed that I like the curved front edges on you. My second choice is the double breasted.

  8. I like the detailing and uber-stylishness of #2. It's pretty fabulous. A wardrobe could definitely use 2 of this jacket!

  9. I think the shape of the second one is really lovely on you done up, but the last looks best worn open. Can you alter your #2 pattern using something from #4? I'm not sure though why #4 is falling better when open - could it be the shoulders?

  10. I think version 4 has the best proportions for you.