Monday, September 5, 2011

StyleArc - Jacqui Sweater Coat

More pics

Labor Day weekend is almost over. I used it to make a Style Arc coat. Yes, it was fun. :) I'd hoped to get more done this weekend, but shopping with daughter, and napping also occurred. Who says my life isn't full? :)

I bought this wool sweater knit from Fashion Fabric Club last winter. This fabric is interesting. If you look at one of the closeup pics, you will see little "white" patches. You can actually see through those areas if you hold the fabric up. In the "non-white" areas, it's pretty beefy. The knit is stable, but I knew this was one I didn't want to preshrink by tossing into the washing machine (I could tell it would felt like crazy), so I took it to my local dry cleaner to have it steamed.

Has your dry cleaner ever argued with you that it was pointless to get wool steamed? That it would "do nothing", not even shrink it? Mine did. Her English is poor, so I didn't belabor the point, other than to say that I wanted them to use LOTS of steam and for it to be single layer - no creases. I didn't measure it beforehand, but I do think it shrunk; the texture felt different afterwards. She charged me $10 for the 4 yards. Lazy me felt it was totally worth it.

I wanted wool ribbing for this coat, which, as you know, it harder than heck to find as yardage. I went to Thrift Town to see what I could find ready-made. Wow, too many people are upcycling these days, because I could find almost no wool sweaters of any kind. I looked in both the men's and women's sections and they were almost picked clean. All I could find was a black sweater and this red 100% cashmere turtleneck in a women's medium for $10. I was plenty grateful, believe me.

I mail ordered the zipper and the Bemberg lining. Sometimes it takes awhile to collect the things you need for a project.


  • 100% Wool Sweatering from Fashion Fabric Club (no longer available).
  • Black Angel Weft fusible interfacing from Apple Annie's for the front and neck facings, and for the hem.
  • Red 100% cashmere sweater from Thrift Town ($10). I harvested the ribbing from the sweater for the neck, wrists, and pockets. The sweater tag indicated that it was a Bloomingdale's brand.

  • YKK #5, 30" black, antique brass, two-way, separating zipper from ZipperStop. (I bought the 36" and had them customize it to 30" for $1.) I don't like an overly long zipper.

    Bottom of separating zipper

  • Black Ambiance Bemberg lining from Vogue Fabrics.

Alterations and Modifications:

  • I started with a size 18.
  • 3" FBA (into raglan seam) in both the front and the front lining pattern pieces. Also lengthened the front facing to match.
  • I did not use any of the ribbing pattern pieces, which are intended to be doubled. I used the single thickness ribbing from the sweater. The dimensions of my ribbing (both width and length) weren't exactly the same as the pattern.

    The collar, in process

  • Shortened the sleeves by 2".
  • Moved the shoulder "bump" at the top of the raglan sleeve inwards. The pattern is drafted for a wider shoulder than mine.
  • I tapered the side seams in about a 1/2" at the high waist. I could have fitted it even more, but I wanted this coat to have a relaxed fit.
  • Once again, I used Marcy Tilton's video instructions for inserting a separating zipper that is featured on her Inspiration Paris CD.
  • The instructions tell you to bag the lining, but I am not a fan of the bagged lining. I sewed mine in by hand.
  • I was a bit confused, at first, by the instructions for constructing the curved pocket. I took a few pictures and created a tutorial. Once I figured it out, it was not at all hard.


I really like this coat! It's not too heavy, and it will be perfect for chilly San Francisco. The fabric is a bit scratchy, so it's perfect with the lining and the cashmere at the neck and wrists. Yummmm...

Once again I am impressed by Chloe's attention to detail when she drafts her patterns.

When I went shopping with DD1 at the Thrift Store on Saturday (she needs clothes for her new job), I found this great gathered red scarf. It still had the brand-new Limited Edition tags but I got it for $13. Shams likes. :)

(In these pics, I am wearing my favorite pair of Au Bonheur pants.)

More Pictures

Partially zipped

Fully zipped