Monday, April 15, 2013

Sewing Workshop Opal Jacket

The Sewing Workshop released the Pearl and Opal jacket pattern just days before Puyallup last month. I really liked the look of both jackets. I decided to make the Opal first, largely because it has less fabric over the bust, so I knew it was a safe bet to be flattering for me.

This is actually a very quick sew, especially if you use a fabric like this viscose/wool boucle (also from Sewing Workshop), which doesn't require seam finishes or hemming. Sewing this fabric is similar to sewing a wool felt, but with texture. It is a very forgiving fabric and is easy to sew, or un-sew, if that should be required.

The design is basically a cardigan style, with cut-on sleeves. (The front sleeve is sewn on with a dropped seam, but it's a cut-on style. There is a center back and back should princess seam, as well. Lots of fitting opportunities.) This jacket is the perfect layer for our chilly, but not freezing, San Francisco weather. (It has been very sunny lately, and, in fact, the sun on the camera caused the glare in these pics, but it is not super warm.)

The interesting twist to the design is a downward angled dart, which starts towards the side seam, near the waist. It ends before it reaches the front edge, which results in a soft, ruffling effect. This jacket works well in a fabric with some drape to it, or the released tuck might stick out stiffly.

I cut out a medium, which is where my high bust measurement (37.5") landed on the measurement chart. I then added a 4" FBA, to match my full bust measurement of 42.5". The fit was spot on. So do not assume that you should ignore the measurement charts on this one, or that there is a lot of ease, or it might be too small for you.

I had the rough muslin mostly constructed before my talk at Cañada last week, so I took it along. During lunch, Ronda and her staff evaluated the fit for me. Ronda ended up pinning out a second small dart, parallel to the primary dart. With that one little tweak, the fit was excellent.

This jacket has no pockets, and I might add an inside pocket for tissues. Because I did not have to finish the raw edges, I cut off the 3/4" from all around the outside edges, except the sleeve hems. I cut off 2" from the sleeve hems, which is normal for my short arms.

I omitted the button closure, as I plan to wear it open. The only other thing I did differently was to top-stitch the seams.

I am very happy with the Opal. It is so quick to sew, has a very nice fit, and features boutique styling. I would also like to make the Pearl, and I was able to try on Ronda's, which is *very* nice. I am sorry I don't have any pictures of it.