I’ve always thought one of my greatest strengths is flexibility. It’s a nebulous term for sure, but for me staying flexible includes the ability to change directions mid-course without becoming rattled. My flexible nature was put to the test during the past several days while constructing the latest –
Last year I ordered an interesting and cheerful stretch cotton sateen from Promenade Fabrics. The store sent me a little extra due the the fabric design and my yardage request.
I was somewhat overwhelmed by the fabric when it arrived but I loved it and made a simple skirt with the extra fabric (blogged here).
Afterwards, I questioned how to use the rest of the fabric. My original intention to make a dress was out. I adore large scale prints but at 5’2″, I must wear them judiciously. Suddenly I was obsessed with making a jean style jacket with the fabric. I thought the small pattern pieces would work with the different fabric designs. The pattern is McCalls 7729.
I spent one day contemplating the layout, and a second day cutting out the pattern. My contemplations were not in harmony with the fabric design, so being flexible, I listened to the fabric and placed the pattern pieces accordingly. Each piece was cut one at a time to ensure pattern matching.
I sewed the front bodice first………and I hated the way the three pieces went together, so I was flexible and substituted a piece of black linen for the middle front bodice section. I attached the striped pocket flap…… and I hated the way it looked, so I was flexible and cut a pocket flap out of black linen which I piped in a contrasting green. I didn’t like it either…… maybe if there was a real pocket, but the flap alone bothered me…
so I was flexible and removed them, then inserted piping between the yoke and front bodices to provide a little detail. The front band was originally black and white stripe, but there were too many stripes in too many directions. I was flexible and cut another band from the black linen.
To provide a visible topstitch, I topstitched the black linen with Coats & Clark Black Trilobal Embroidery Thread.
This, I could live with!
Are you exhausted?
Fortunately, after continuing to practice the art of flexibility, there is a happy ending.
The pattern is boxy which led me to taper the sides for a closer fit.
I started with View C, but shortened the length by four inches.
I loved everything about the collar – the fabric, contrast and its shape (topstitched in Coats & Clark LIME Trilobal Embroidery Thread).
I also shortened the lower band significantly to make the stripe pop, and to keep the jacket at a flattering length.
As I was putting the finishing touches on the jacket I concluded the black front bands had to go. Had I sewn the jacket in a single fabric they would be fine, but the contrast made them stand out. Large buttons were needed, maybe in a contrast, and it was too much….. plus I knew I would never button this jacket.
Once more I was flexible and turned the front bands to the inside and slipstitched.
Does my jacket sound like a mess? Actually, I love it and will wear it often! In hindsight, I wish I had piped all of the seams, and I’m still contemplating embellishing the sleeve cuffs but if I don’t, please understand why 😂