Sunday, September 1, 2013

Red Alligator Anne Klein Jacket - Vogue 1293

It's done at last!

This jacket has been a long time coming:

  • I bought the fabric in May, both for myself and for Margy.
  • I started sewing it in early June.
  • I then realized that I needed the correct interfacing and a custom zipper. In mid June, I ordered the zipper from Zipperstop and the interfacing from Pam Erny (Fashion Sewing Supply).
  • I had to wait for the things I ordered, so I had to put the project aside. (Never a good thing, since I am then very likely to get distracted.)
  • The interfacings and zipper arrived, but there was a slight problem. I ordered the zipper by phone. I ordered the zipper to be 19.5" long and a donut-shaped zipper pull, to match the 4" zippers I purchased locally that also came with donut-shaped zipper pulls. I am pretty sure that I asked them to put the zipper pull ON the zipper, but the order was not in writing, so I couldn't verify. The zipper pull was not on the zipper.
  • Rats. This meant that I had to change out the zipper pull and I was not eager to do it, though I ordered some zipper stops from ZipperStop, so that I could do so. They arrived some time later, but the project continued to sit.
  • Sometime in July (maybe late July), I sent Margy her piece of the same fabric. My project continued to sit.
  • A couple weeks ago, Margy told me she had cut out her fabric and had started a jacket.
  • OH! OH! This was the excuse I needed to get mine back out and finish it up. I suggested to Margy that we do another of our little mini challenges and she readily agreed.
  • I searched and was lucky to find all the bits and pieces and supplies, which were kind of all over the place. Phew.
  • I started by changing the zipper pull. I had not done this before. It's not technically difficult to do, but it requires some brute strength and some care so as not to shred the zipper tape.
  • Finally, I was back on track with the jacket, but Margy was having some technical difficulties. She had ordered some special zippers and then realized she did not have the quantity she had ordered. She ordered more, but there was a delay of about a week getting them shipped.
  • I didn't mind the delay, since work has also been rather demanding lately. But I finally finished my jacket last Wednesday night and was not in a rush to take pics and blog it.
  • Margy received her zippers on Friday and hit the sewing room hard. She finished sewing the jacket Saturday - yesterday.
  • Phew!

The pattern I used for this jacket is Vogue 1293 - an Anne Klein design with some very nice vertical seaming. The jacket front consists of three vertical pieces and the jacket back consists of three vertical pieces and then there is a shoulder yoke. The collar is also very nice. It folds back and there is a separate pattern piece for the collar stand, but it doesn't extend to the CF - it's just in the back and it's very much a RTW collar style. The jacket is not lined, but I drafted a lining pattern. The jacket features a hidden button closure, but I switched it to a zippered closure. I also added three zippered pockets and zippers on the sleeve hems, for a total of six zippers in the jacket.

Collar stand with contrasting top stitching


  • The fabric is a very interesting polyester (I believe) that is crinkled and embossed with a mock croco texture.
  • The lining is a very cool fabric I purchased over two years ago. I used it to line another garment, a Sandra Betzina jacket, but I had some of this fabric left over and I was able to squeeze out this jacket. This fabric was designed to be sewn up as scarves.
  • I used scraps of black silk organza to make the windows for the zippers.
  • The 19.5" separating zipper and donut-shaped zipper pull were from ZipperStop.
  • The five 4" zippers with donut-shaped pulls were from Fabrix.
  • I used scraps of solid black lining for the zipper gussets on the sleeve hems.
  • I top-stitched the entire jacket with contrasting black Gutterman top-stitching thread.
Sleeve unzipped

Alterations and Modifications:

  • This is a rather fitted jacket. I started with a size 14.
  • A standard princess-seam FBA, adding 1" in width.
  • Converted the hidden button closure to a zipper closure. I extended the zipper all the way to the tip of the collar and ended it where the jacket angles outward at the hem.
  • I drafted a lining pattern.
  • I replaced the pockets with three angled zipper pockets, two on the left and one on the right. The one on the right is positioned vertically between the two on the left.
  • I drafted a center back facing piece. (I hate it when patterns, even unlined patterns, don't include this.)
  • I narrowed the shoulder by 1".

The Jacket Lining

Notice the lining?

If you look at the scarf fabric pic, you'll see that there is a red stripe separating each scarf.

When I drafted the lining, I added a pleat for wearing ease at CB.

And, of course, I placed the red stripe at CB to maintain maximum symmetry.

The consequence of this was rather... interesting. I can't help it, but it reminds me of the female anatomy.

I am too genteel to be more explicit, at least in writing, where it can be used against me.

Sorry I brought it up. :)

The Result

Both Margy and I experienced some difficulties sewing this fabric, though we are not sure why. The fabric itself was pretty easy to sew and easy to iron, but each of us experienced some fitting weirdness. Margy thinks the fabric might be at fault, especially since she made her jacket pattern before with a more challenging fabric, and did not have such problems.

I don't know... it's a mystery.

I am pretty happy with the jacket. It replaces the red jacket I made two years ago that no longer fits and I'm glad that I was able to use the last of this great lining, which makes me very happy. I will admit that, when I first put the jacket on with the sleeves in place, I looked in the mirror, and watched all of my dangling zipper pulls. I was wearing a very funky pair of wide-legged pants (that are really too big for me, but I enjoy wearing them at home), and my first thought was that I looked like circus ringleader.

But the next day, I tried the jacket on again, in better lighting and with different pants. I decided it would be ok. So if you do think I look like a circus ringleader, be kind and do not tell me. ;)

Make sure to check out Margy's jacket, made with the same fabric!

Collar up

Collar down and zipped. I couldn't bear to cut the bougainvillaea out of the pic!

Worn open


Hat Attack Addendum

I only own one summer hat! (I'll have to rectify that.) I love this straw hat, which I purchased second hand. The label says Laurel Fenenga, San Francisco. When I bought the hat a year ago, I googled this name. She is, apparently, out of business. This hat folds up to be perfectly flat. I love that!

It was sunny today (eventually) but not warm. Please check out Style Crone's Hat Attack #2!