Sunday, August 11, 2013

Flash from the Past - Vogue 2853

I am joining with Patti and the other fabulous ladies of Visible Monday!

Yesterday I went shopping in Union Square with DD1, who (among other things) wanted to buy a birthday gift for DD2. DD2's birthday isn't until February, but she will be in Ecuador or Thailand or some such country on her actual birthday, so DD1 is thinking ahead.

DD1 took this picture in Yerba Buene Gardens in downtown San Francisco. I am wearing the first tailored jacket I ever made, back in 1984 or '85, when I took tailoring from Ronda Chaney at Cañada College. I am also wearing my Barb pants (gee, I wear these a lot! I need to make more...) and a tank purchased from Uniqlo. My necklace is a fabulous art piece I bought in Lititz, Pennsylvania on my East Coast blog tour of 2011.

The pattern is Vogue 2853, a Claude Montana jacket. The jacket is fairly conventional, with two welt pockets, a notched collar, and set in sleeves. The interesting twist is the contrasting trim at the upper collar, the sleeve hems, and triangular appliques on the shoulders. The plaid cashmere fabric was from Britex, the contrast is green pig leather that I mail ordered, and the lining is a scrumptious, beefy silk charmeuse from Thai Silks. It was in this class that I first learned that I have narrow shoulders, as I still remember my dismay that I had to chop off the tips of the triangular points to accommodate my narrow shoulder width. (In the end, it was fine!)

The jacket also features a Spanish Snap buttonhole. Ronda Chaney worked, way back when, with Roberta Carr, who later published this technique in her book and video. At the time I'd never even heard of a Spanish Snap buttonhole, but it's a great technique.

When I made this jacket in the 80s, I weighed approximately 130lbs. I didn't wear the jacket much before I outgrew it and it's been in a closet for years. About a year ago, DD1 spied it and tried it on. She loved the retro feel and asked if she could abscond with it to college. I wasn't quite ready for it to become college wear, but I told her I'd think it over.

Recently I started thinking about the jacket again. I now weigh 125lbs (40 lbs lost since last October), less than I did when I made the jacket, but the weight is distributed differently, so I was a bit nervous about actually trying it on. When I got dressed for my outing with DD1, I decided that I would attempt to wear it, and I tried to find clothes that fit me and would coordinate with the colors in the jacket. (I can see I need new basics in a wider variety of colors!)

After I was dressed and ready to go, I retrieved the jacket from the back of the closet and, cautiously, slipped it on, prepared for it not to fit me and already planning an alternative outfit.

It fit!

It felt so weird to wear this yesterday, but it's so soft, comfy, and luxurious. In fact, my first stop was to Britex to buy buttons for my current project. As I entered the store, on the first floor where the woolens are located, I found myself staring up at the ceiling-high fabric stacks, wondering if they still have a similar fabric and thinking about my mom, who was diagnosed with the cancer that killed her while I was taking the tailoring class.

DD1 noticed my jacket right away yesterday and said, "Hey, that's the jacket I wanted!"

She may have to wait a bit longer. ;)