Monday, September 28, 2009

Vogue 2949 - Sandra Betzina Jacket

A good friend pointed out that with all my new wardrobe pieces, I was missing a "go to" jacket for this coming fall/winter. She's right. Just the other day I went out, in the chilly fog, without a jacket because nothing worked with my stylin' new blouse. :)

I had some inexpensive, stable, synthetic novelty sweater knit that I wanted to use. On one side, it's an eyelash knit. The background is black and the eyelash is white. I was not liking the idea of an entire jacket featuring the white eyelash, so I decided to use the back of the fabric (which has white threads showing, and only minimal eyelash). This pattern allows the "wrong side" of the fabric to show at the collar and cuffs, where the fabric folds back, and I liked the idea of featuring the eyelash fabric in that way. A "poor man's fur" effect. (kinda sorta)

This pattern has four pattern pieces -- front, back, and two for the raglan sleeve. The collar is cut as part of the front/back pieces. There are optional facings, if you don't want the back of your fabric to show at the collar. There is also an optional flange for the back of the jacket. After reading the reviews on, I was a bit concerned about the "mudflaps" at the back. I decided to wait and see if I liked the shorter length before cutting that piece out.

This pattern could easily be called a "Very Easy Vogue", however I managed to make it much more involved, a questionable endeavor given the cheap synthetic sweater knit I was using, but, oh well. :) I cut out a size F, given my high bust measurement, but I realized I needed to add an FBA for the extra ease. I had never done a Full Bust Alteration on a raglan style before, so I used this recommended technique on Debbie's Cutting Edge page.

To be honest, I have my doubts about this technique. Basically, you create a dart into the raglan line and then you convert that back to flare at the hem. As a small-hipped person, I am not fond of excessive flare at the hip line, but I decided to try it out. For me, the jury is still out, but more on that later. (It may take me wearing this for awhile to decide. Next time, I just may sew a dart into the raglan sleeve. It wouldn't have shown up on this fabric.)

When I cut out this fabric, it dropped schmutz everywhere. I hated all the little eyelash pieces dusting my dining table, floor, ironing board, etc, so I decided to stitch down every single raw edge. Every raw edge in this jacket was opened, turned under, and whipstitched to the main garment. I love this finish, but it took me a long time to get all those seams sewn by hand.

Once I finally had the jacket together, I did not like the hem at the back without the mudflaps. My daughter, who could see my back view better than I, agreed. Then I cut out the mudflaps -- widening them to accommodate the increased width for the FBA, and pinned them to the garment. As I feared, they looked dowdy. I like asymmetry, but on me, this looked off-balanced. My daughter agreed. She didn't like it either way and suggested I cut the flaps down. So, I chopped them in half, heightwise, but left the width. We both agreed that this length was juuuuuust right.

I love the final jacket! I had three initial concerns with this pattern:
  • I wasn't sure about the wide collar with my bustline and was prepared to cut it down. But in reality, I like it on me, though maybe that's because this is a soft, drapey fabric.
  • I wasn't sure about the mudflaps, but am happy with the shorter length.
  • I am not sure about the extra fullness at the front hip due to the FBA. Still not sure about that one. Again, a dart into a raglan might look weird under normal circumstances, but in this fabric you wouldn't have seen it.
To hem this thing, I also turned the raw edge under twice and whipstitched around the entire edge. There were 6 corners that I mitered -- 2 at the collar, 2 at the CF hem and 4 on the mudflaps. Yes, hours of hand sewing on this simple little jacket. Lucky I like hand sewing, but this was a bit much, even for me. :)

I will get loads of wear out of this jacket for the coming fall. It's perfect for the mildly chilly, foggy weather we have most of the fall and winter. I wish I could find more lovely, reasonably priced sweater knits so I could make up more of these, like in brown... :)