January 22, 2011

Jacket muslin no.1

Or, to be perfectly honest, no.3. The first one, straight up from the drafting instructions, was almost the same at the front but seriously baggy at the back. I tinkered with different ways to solve that and tried to decide just how fitted the jacket should be. I also struggled with the shoulder width. I know the shoulders still look like they 'droop' down now, but I think that is partly the fabric and partly the neckline pulling the front open (I just took the pictures this way because it looks more jacket-like). And I don't think I should have a very narrow shoulder in this kind of jacket.

This week was pretty busy, and we had more of those grey days, so I didn't get the opportunity to take pictures of all stages. You didn't miss much though.
Please be aware, when viewing these pictures, that this fabric loves sticking to my top and skirt. The muslin is wide enough in the hip and the back waist length is fine, although you wouldn't say so from the back shot.

I think I'm getting closer to where I want to be (more of less the fit of the orange jacket). I'm still wondering whether I should take a bit off at the front of the arm scye and there's some weird bit of extra fabric at the top of the back neckline. I think I'll try those things by tweaking this muslin. After that, it's time for the fun stuff. Deciding on style.

I already decided not to make one of those 'fitted at the waist' jackets time. That's why I drafted this new block in the first place. But there are so many more things which can make or break a jacket.
Like many of you, I thought the larger curve at the front hem looks good on me, so I will go with that. But...
Am I staying with this length, or do I go a bit shorter (the latter I think, I like the length of the orange jacket)? Vertical at the bottom, like the block, or a slight flare? Do I add side vents or a center back one, or don't I?

I will use at least a small shoulder pad, and raise the shoulder accordingly. However, what size to use?

And do I want a normal sleeve or one with a seam, band or darts? All of these are classics which have been back in fashion this winter but, having said that, that very fact may cause them to look dated much sooner than normal shoulder would.

And there's the collar. I know I will make a deep neckline, down to just a couple of centimeters above the waist. In my opinion, that works best for my small breasted frame. I will also make some form of notched collar and it will be on a single breasted closure. But then... How wide should I make the lapels? At what height should I place the notches? And what would look better, squared notches, or peaked? (drawings are all from Winifred Aldrich's Metric pattern cutting)

And then I'm not even starting on pocket options yet. Which is because I will have to decide on the stuff mentioned above when I start drafting the actual jacket. I can add pockets to that when I'm satisfied with the silhouet.

Usually, I don't write about all these considerations and I don't expect you to answer my questions for me. I'm just summing them up to show them. Normally, I go with whatever inspiration I had for a garment or make some spur-of-the-moment variation but somehow, this jacket project is making me second-guess every step. Of course, this is what you get if you decide to design and draft your own patterns...


  1. Well this is a nice start, but you may want a sway back adjustment to get the wrinkled fullness out of the small of your back. Then you need to pick the style elements and go with them.
    IMHO a boxier jacket with a high stance will look like a lab coat, I'd opt for a lower front stance. I'd also play with the darted sleeve, but a two piece tailored sleeve would be a good option too. I'd look at Erica B's post on her addition of sleeve head padding to her blazer - it looked lovely.