I loved this Very Easy Vogue pattern when it came out at the end of April. I immediately ordered it before the BMV sale ended. When it arrived, I was a bit surprised. On the Vogue website, they show the jacket on a live model:
However, when the pattern arrived, there is only a diagram on the envelope:
Anyway, this pattern went on my short list. I don't have a lot of striped knit fabrics in the stash, and the pattern specifies a knit, so it awaited the perfect fabric.
Meanwhile, some months ago, I ordered a pleated woven fabric from Marcy Tilton. (It's no longer on her site.) This fabric is very interesting. It's reversible - striped on one side, and plaid on the other. Being pleated, it's rather stretchy. However, it's also rather stiff. When I machine washed and dried it, it became even more pleated. I really liked it, but had no idea how to use it, so it marinated.
One day, it occurred to me that I might use the pleated woven for the cardigan. The fabric has lots of ease, due to the pleats, as well as the bias cut. Why not try it? I decided to avoid a dart and take advantage of the bias. The pattern also has a peplum, which can be difficult to fit, so I quickly whipped up a sample garment using black ponte. It needed a few tweaks, but I decided it would work for the pleated woven.
I decided to sew this jacket completely by hand, including felling of the seams so the inside is neatly finished. Sewing a pleated fabric by hand gives you more control of the pleats. It might not have been necessary – I didn't really experiment with sewing the fabric by machine. But I do think that some of the construction would have been much harder by machine. I enjoy hand sewing, and this is a simple garment, but it did take me awhile.
I made the longer version. I cut the pattern out along different size lines: smaller in the shoulder, larger in the bust, and so on.
Alterations and Modifications:
- Widened the sleeve. This pattern has a fairly narrow sleeve.
- Narrowed the shoulder.
- Lengthened the peplum in front to accommodate my bust.
- For the back neckline, I used the reverse side of the fabric.
- Eliminated the facings. Instead, I finished the front and hem with rayon grosgrain ribbon from Britex.
- I didn't have enough fabric for full length sleeves, so I used 3/4 length sleeves and added a contrast band, using the reverse side of the fabric.
- The jacket is not designed to have a closure, but I added a single button closure. The perfect button is from Britex and the corresponding button loop is a short length of elastic.
- I had some problems with the armscye. Though I widened the sleeve, I found that the armscye is rather snug. It also hit me strangely on the body. The front was too wide and the back too narrow. It took a fair amount of fiddling to get a reasonable fit at the armscye. I will be wearing this over a shell.
- Added a patch pocket. I didn't want to distract from the bold graphic design created by the stripes, so I carefully matched the stripes to make the pocket as invisible as possible.
- When I cut out the bias, I cut the stripes going in a different direction that shown on the pattern.
I'm happy with my jacket. In fact, I liked the unusual fabric so much, I went back to Marcy's site and bought some in the blue/gray/cream colorway. I think this one should become a pair of pants!