Sunday, August 29, 2010

Jacket Challenge

I may (or may not) have mentioned that I need to make a jacket. My local sewing guild issued a challenge to all members to make a jacket for the September meeting in honor of national sewing month. It is the end of August and I am still in the muslin stage!
I am making progress toward getting a good pattern, but it is slow!




This is the pattern I tried recently...call it Jacket 2.
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In the beginning, I wanted the princess seams to be over toward the side of the bust, rather than crossing ON the bust points, so instead of using a PMB Princess draft, I started with the SIDE DARTED BLOCK and created my own princess lines.

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But these seams were too far off the bust to be so 'curvy'.
I wasn't fond of the look.




I didn’t' like that the jacket had 'points of its own' ...but they were NOT 'way up firm and high'! :)





It had boobs to the side of my boobs!
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Also, I was NOT fond of how wide my bum looks with the
back princess darts set this wide!
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I started again, this time using the PMB princess pattern, as it drafts, for the Front.


This moved the front princess seam toward the center a little bit. MY old pattern is blue; the newpattern is green.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


In back, I still created my own princess seam from the basic darted block, but this time I used the medial waist dart postion (instead of the lateral one, as before). That REALLY moved the back princess seam, much more than the front one moved.
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This is how I created the back pattern:
I used a single waist dart.
I rotated HALF of the shoulder dart to the armhole.
I located the MIDPOINT of each upper dart leg.
Then I drew arcs from the armhole to these new mid-points on the dart legs...the arcs intersected the armhole on each side of the 'opening' created when the shoulder dart was rotated to the ah, so the shoulder dart was basically transfered to that princess seam.
I wasn't sure the single waist dart was the right choice...might be too large...but decided to try.
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THE REASON I created my own princess seam in back, rather than use the PMB ah princess, is because of the back shoulder dart. When PMB does the ah princess, they remove the dart, making the upper back width much narrower. Here is my pattern (red) and the PMB one superimposed:
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You can see how much narrower the PMB one is through the shoulders and upper back...MY (red) pattern's armhole is farther out than the PMB one, in green and blue.
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So this is jacket 3...better, but still too poufy at bust level for the seams to be OFF to the side.
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Bad wrinkles and fullness at bust, off to the side!
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The back looks better, though, with the seams closer to center.
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So I replaced the side front pieces,
using Dart Override (-.375),
to get a smaller dart which produces a smoother seam.


Better!
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But there was still 'something' bothering me.
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The Dart Override smooths the seam, but it DOES make the front armhole larger...and I wasn't sure I'd like that or not.*
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I began to wonder if the fit would be helped by more back length. Increasing the CBL (center back length) would change the draft, making the bust dart much smaller (and thus, smoothing the front seam without using D.O.).
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I decided what the heck, I will try it! So after changing the numbers in the program and comparing the patterns to see what pieces would be impacted, I SLASHED my muslin across the upper back and inserted a piece to increase the back length by 0.5".
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Whoa Nellie! This is SOOOOoooo much better!
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This waist position is much lower than recommended by the users guide and my CBL is now 2" longer than my CFL, as opposed to the 1.5" longer that is 'normal'. But it immediately felt 'right'. The upper back feels wider, although no width was added. I think my shoulder blades just needed this!


* Using a CBL that is 2" longer than the CFL makes the bust dart much smaller, so I don't think I'll need to use the D.O. after all...good. That is where I am now...ready to try again.
* I also added some width to the shoulders...even though using 5" bust ease DOES widen the shoulders, I decided that I might like to have them a tiny bit wider still.
* I also decided I had moved the BUST POINT too far toward the side, so tweaked that setting just a little...and will try it in the next muslin.

And FYI, I am actually using septic paper instead of muslin for these test jackets. It sews fast; I can see through it, and it is available in my closet!

But my sewing machine is messed up. :(
I used this machine (Pfaff 7550) to do the quilting on my pictorial trash-bag quilt. I lowered the feed dogs and put on the appropriate foot...etc. This machine has a built-in walking foot and I raised that to disengage it for the quilting. No big deal. When I was finished, I put back on the regular foot and raised the feed dogs and lowered the walking foot. But now, for some reason, the feed dogs and the walking foot are out of time...the feed dog pushes backward as the walking foot moves forward, resulting in no feeding of the fabric! I can sew if I raise/disengage the walking foot, but I will need to have that looked at! Darn it! This has happened before...and that time was also when I had done free-motion work. I might have to consider NOT using this machine for free-motion



4 comments:

Kirsten said...

Hi Trish, love your posts I read them like a novel plus your tweaking in PMB is so helpful, I just dont have the patience to do what you do so I really learn from your experiences.

Trish said...

Thanks, Kirsten! Nice to see you here!

Bafana Madida said...

I have been looking endlessly for male suit jackets sewing patterns and with no avail. is it possible you can help me with this. i have a project i would like to do and i cannot make my own patterns

Trish said...

Sorry, Bafana, I haven't totally successfully made a woman's jacket pattern yet...let alone a jacket pattern for a man!

 
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