Project: Vogue 9820 (1959) Jacket, Part 6

Readers,

Just a little report on the progress of the leopard collar jacket.

I cut a stencil of the collar pattern piece from heavy paper and laid it on the velveteen to preview the look before I cut into the fabric. This leopard print varies from dark in the middle to lighter toward each end, and I wanted the pattern to be balanced.

Before cutting the fabric, I laid a stencil on the fabric to preview. Not a necessary step, but fun.

Before cutting the fabric, I laid a stencil on the fabric to preview. Not a necessary step, but fun.

I have done similar things–cut out a window from plain, heavy paper–to preview the look of a plaid pocket flap I considered cutting on the bias. I’ve found this easy, useful, informative and fun.

All these years I’ve hesitated to chop into fabric that’s close to irreplaceable. This stencil/window thing is a little trick to nudge me toward taking the big step of cutting.

Another preview I did, just for fun, was to lay the velveteen on my wearable test jacket, folding under the seam allowances. Now I have a pretty good idea of the impact of the leopard print pattern as part of the overall garment. It is certainly eye-catching, but it looks like it will be in balance.

Preview: the velveteen collar piece laid onto the wearable test with the seam allowance tucked under. I am liking this!

Preview: the velveteen collar piece laid onto the wearable test with the seam allowance tucked under. I am liking this!

I cut the wool-cashmere pattern pieces yesterday, working around the moth-holey parts of the yardage. (I bought this fabric second-hand–buyer beware!)  Luckily, there was more than enough intact material for this project.

The handy dandy leopard collar jacket kit. Easy assembly!

The handy dandy leopard collar jacket kit. Easy assembly!

I pulled a milk-chocolate brown lining from my stash. Interfacings are next.

A few steps closer.

A few steps closer.

Project: Vogue 9820 (1959) Jacket, Part 5

Readers,

I finished my wearable test this morning, and am pretty pleased with the result.

This jacket is comfy and easy to wear.

This jacket is comfy and easy to wear.

When I saw how well this was coming together I realized this could be a garment I’d really wear. So I lavished more attention on it than I would a usual test. I went ahead and interfaced it, put in sleeveheads, made and installed shoulder pads–the works.

The good news is that I gained a garment for my trouble, and got valuable experience that should make my “real” jacket–the one with the leopard-print velveteen collar–easier to sew and better looking than it would have otherwise.

Just this morning I noticed that my hat looks a lot like the hat in the pattern illustration.

Just this morning I noticed that my hat looks a lot like the hat in the pattern illustration.

The bad news is, in my imagination I was going to have this finished on Tuesday–four days ago–and the leopard one finished yesterday. Uh huh.

So for all the success I should be enjoying, I feel late. Behind “schedule.”

I just might skip the vent in the next jacket I sew. Then I could install the lining almost entirely by machine.

I just might skip the vent in the next jacket I sew. Then I could install the lining almost entirely by machine.

Oh, I’ll get over this; by tomorrow I’ll be all jazzed up to start the leopard collar jacket and will have forgotten this ridiculous “late” business.

Here’s the strangest part: I feel more late having finished this jacket today rather than this past Tuesday than I feel late about having had the fabric and the plan to sew this jacket since 2002!

I used a milk-chocolate brown lining from my stash.

I used a milk-chocolate brown lining from my stash.

Surely somebody has studied this phenomenon of disproportionate and misplaced something-or-other. If not, there’s PhD research material here, and I volunteer to be a subject.  If there’s a cure, clue me in.

My “lateness” was for the best of reasons. I saw that taking more time to do the job as right as I could–like installing sleeveheads to smooth out the wrinkles in the sleeve caps, mitering the vent to reduce bulk, stabilizing seams, etc., would be good practice for all my future projects and would yield better looking, longer lasting results.

The materials for the next jacket.

The materials for the next jacket.

Oh, and the doing often wasn’t as time-consuming as figuring out what to do and in what sequence, because I don’t always follow the instructions in vintage patterns, which can be either vague or unnecessarily labor-intensive.

But I did figure out what to do.  And I did figure out the sequence.  This turned out to be a straightforward project with nothing very tricky.

This is such a smart looking jacket, easy to sew, easy to love, vintage enough for vintage lovers but contemporary too.

Vogue Patterns, a new audience awaits the reissuing of this pattern!

Coming soon!

Coming soon!

Project: Vogue 9820 (1959) Jacket, Part 4

Readers,

The orange wool wearable test I’m doing before I make my leopard collar jacket has continued to come together nicely.

Taking shape nicely.

Taking shape nicely.

I made the upper collar-lining unit yesterday.  Then I pinned it to the under collar-jacket unit, and stitched the units together in one long seam.

The upper collar-lining unit is pinned to the under collar-jacket unit, ready for stitching.

The upper collar-lining unit is pinned to the under collar-jacket unit, ready for stitching.

Pinning and stitching this long seam is always exciting and a little suspenseful for me. I’ve done a lot of work up to this point. Then I stitch, press, and grade the long seam. There’s the moment when I turn my project right side out and see it transforming into a garment. Boy, do I need that moment!

On me, the jacket is shifting and looks rumpled because I haven't yet anchored all the parts.

On me, the jacket is shifting and looks rumpled because I haven’t yet anchored all the parts.

This practice run has gone so well that I just might finish it and wear it for real.

This jacket is as soft and rumpled as a shar pei puppy.

This jacket is as soft and rumpled as a shar pei puppy.

I’m going to take this just as it is to my next Coat Craze class at Treadle Yard Goods Nov. 2. I’m wondering about interfacing the sleeve and jacket hems, anchoring the two units so they don’t shift, and finishing attaching the lining.

I think the rumpling problems will be solved with additional interfacing, hemming topstitching for body and support and handstitching the neck seams together to stop the shifting.

I think the rumpling problems will be solved with additional interfacing, hemming topstitching for body and support and handstitching the neck seams together to stop the shifting.

While I wait for the next class, I can choose my next coat pattern to tackle.

Yes-more coats are coming!

Project: Vogue 9820 (1959) jacket, part 3

So far, so good.

So far, so good.

Readers,

I’m sewing a wearable test from stash fabrics before I cut into the leopard print velveteen and the wool-cashmere blend for the final version. I bought the orange fabric, which I’m guessing is a wool blend, at the Textile Center’s annual World’s Largest Fabric Garage Sale a few years back for two or three dollars. It has a nap and is soft and malleable like my final fabric but a little thinner.

The wearable test so far. Muslin interfacing in the front and hair canvas in the under collar.

The wearable test so far. Muslin interfacing in the front and hair canvas in the under collar.

This lined jacket is sewn in two units: the jacket-under collar unit and the lining-upper collar unit.

The back and under collar.

The back and under collar.

I finished the first unit at 5 pm and raced to my very makeshift photo space in our little sunroom to take advantage of the last remnants of natural light on this cloudy day.

Inside out, to show the muslin back stay I added to support this rather loosely woven fabric.

Inside out, to show the muslin back stay I added to support this rather loosely woven fabric.

This wearable test is going together swimmingly. I’ve never had an easier time with a vintage pattern. I’ve gotten so used to the mysterious directions in older patterns that my easy sewing day came as a welcome surprise.

Inside out, to show the muslin front interfacings. The pattern included a pattern for this interfacing, which was a time saver.

Inside out, to show the muslin front interfacings. The pattern included a pattern for this interfacing, which was a time saver.

I’m always puzzled about what interfacings to use and where. The right choices can help ensure the success of a garment while the wrong ones can make your garment too floppy or stiff. One of the advantages of taking the time to make a wearable test is trying interfacings without losing sleep over them.

I tested a fusible interfacing on a big scrap of the orange wool. The steam and pressure from the iron crushed the pile that was visible to me but too difficult to capture in a photo. I’m using all sew-in interfacings in this test and in the final version.

Inside out, with the under collar pretending to be the upper collar. I couldn't resist previewing the big, orange collar.

Inside out, with the under collar pretending to be the upper collar. I couldn’t resist previewing the big, orange collar.

Well, the photos speak for themselves. Even though this is far from done, it’s still gives a sense of the result.  I like where this is going.