Wednesday, June 23, 2010

No Jacket for YOU! (Reprise)

As you probably know, I have been on a quest for a great jacket pattern. I have been looking for something a bit fitted, or at least not greatly oversized. I really thought this Sandra Betzina jacket would work for me! A sew group friend made this jacket. I loved it on her and thought it had great potential for me, though her body type is quite different.

My first challenge was the FBA. I needed to add about 2" of fullness and distribute it through the three front darts. Based on my tissue fit of the pattern, it looked like my bust apex was located in the direction of the middle dart. Once I figured out how to slice the pattern to adjust all three darts, I added fullness to all three, but put most of it in the middle dart. I made up a muslin. (I actually used muslin for once!) I tried it on and ... it wasn't quite right. First, my bust apex actually fell between the first and middle dart, but that didn't completely account for my dissatisfaction with the muslin – I wasn't quite sure what I didn't like about it.

Last Friday morning I attended a local ASG meeting. The host, and several friends attending, are good at fitting and have a great eye, so I took my muslin along. The ten or so women remaining after the meeting quickly concluded that the three downward darts were the problem – it just wasn't a good look for me. They suggested either 3 or 5 darts that angle upwards and fan outwards. They agreed that the fit of the jacket, especially the back, was otherwise good.

I sliced and diced the pattern further, creating five upward darts that were 3/4" of an inch apart at the side seam, and fanned them to 1 1/4" apart at the tips. I decided to use black ponte for muslin #2, because I was pretty sure it would be wearable. (HAH)

When I tried on the second muslin (the basic shell was constructed, though only one sleeve was attached), I wasn't happy. Part of the problem was caused when I sewed the 10 darts: I didn't stabilize them, so they were a bit distorted. But aside from that, they just weren't quite working.

Last night I took the second muslin to my sew group meeting. The general consensus of the group was that this jacket isn't for me, though, the overall silhouette is good.

At this point, I'm going to rethink the project. Since, except for the front of the jacket, the overall design and silhouette works for me, I may just change the front to use a princess seam. Or not. Maybe I will just move on to the next pattern. We'll see. :)

The five upward pointing darts. I topstitched them, adding to the wobbliness. If this had been the only problem, I could have fixed it in my next version by stabilizing the darts, but it wasn't the only problem.


On the tangentially related subject (of jackets), yesterday I had an appointment near Union Square, so I decided to dash into Britex to see if they carried a notion a friend has been looking for. I was one or two doors away from Britex, when two jackets in a store window caught my eye and stopped me in my tracks. These jackets were absolutely beautiful and very unusual. Though I didn't have much time, I couldn't resist and I entered Harputs.

Besides selling garments from other designers, such as Yohji Yamamoto and Commes des Garcon, Harputs sells their own line of clothing. The incredibly friendly folks who work there were very excited to show me their line of clothing, which is manufactured right on the spot, upstairs, and designed by the people who work there. They have only been in this location for about 8 months. (The previous tenant of the space, evidently, was Prada.) The pride in their work was evident and the workmanship was beautiful.

I was fascinated by several of their designs, but I was particularly interested in the jacket I'd seen in the window. Their garments have cute names and are designed to be worn in a myriad of ways. But this jacket, which is a newer design and is not shown on their website, has three armholes, or rather, two sleeves and one armhole. I can't remember the name of the piece, but the right side is a fairly conventional jacket, and the left side is more of a wrap. When you slip the third armhole over the opposite arm (over the more conventional half of the jacket), the jacket front forms a soft cowl. It was absolutely gorgeous and they can make the jacket in any size, and customize it to fit, since they manufacture it right there. The price for this piece ranges from $650 to $780, depending on fabric, though all the samples I saw were black. My favorite was the black lightweight wool, underlined with a cream linen - I think it might have been a linen/rayon blend based on the wonderful drape.

I was also entertained by Lulu, Harputs' very cute mascot (a French Bulldog), who loves to visit Britex, next door, for doggie treats. :)

For more information on Harputs, check out this review, as well as yelp, but be aware that they are referring to their previous location on Fillmore. Oh, by the way, I get nothing from nobody, when I post reviews. Nada. :)