Maybe the best part of sewing is having the ability to make exactly the things you want to wear. Then, there's that thing where you sew the garment you think you want, only to put it on and find yourself uncertain as to whether or not you actually like it.
Allow me to digress momentarily... NEW YORK! I failed to mention it here on the blog, but Liz and I made a day trip to New York for a fabric shopping extravaganza last fall. It was quite actually the most extravagant thing I've ever done. I had expiring airline credit to use, and no plans to take any trips. So, I decided I would fly to New York, shop and come home... All in the same day. It felt like something Beyonce would do.
It didn't take a lot of persuading to convince Liz to be my partner in crazy. We left Chicago at 6am with empty suitcases in hand. The entire trip was very short notice, but we were lucky to have some delightful New York Hostesses while we were in town. Lisette, Amanda and Fleur sweetly and generously came to meet us and showed us around some of their favorite shops in the garment district.
Of course, the trip wouldn't have been complete without Meg, so we brought her along. Remarkably, she was able to fabric shop in two places (Korea & NewYork) at once. That Meg, she's multi-talented! The day was a whirlwind. We had an excellent time and both managed to fill our suit cases before we returned home that evening. I'm not sure I would recommend this manner of travel/shopping, since it is a very fast paced way to spend the day. But, I'm glad we did it!
Where was I? Ah, yes. The fabric. I didn't have enough to sew a Robson, but I did have enough to sew a duster. I grabbed my copy of Simplicity 5834 and made a quick muslin. I removed an inch of width from the sleeves, narrowed the shoulders by an inch, and reduced the length of the jacket by 5 1/2 inches before cutting into my wool.
The construction of this coat is very simple. It's a long line design, so there is no shaping through the body. My finished jacket provides approximately 4 inches of positive ease through the hips and is hemmed to fall just below my knee. There is a slight A-line shape to the jacket created through darts at the front and back shoulders.
I wore this jacket over a dress to dinner with my grandma recently, and she smiled as she recalled sewing and wearing this style jacket with companion dress back in the 60's. She said it was very stylish to have coordinating jackets/dress ensembles and she made them for special occasions. My grandma was the first person to ever sit me in front of a sewing machine, and it was really cool to share a full-circle moment with her.
I plan to wear this jacket primarily as outwear, so lining was a must. As I'm not particularly fond of facings, I decided to clean finish the front edges, neckline and cuffs. Then, I set the sleeves using French seams, so that everything on the inside of the jacket is nice and tidy.
My sleeves are lined with a silver colored bemberg rayon. The rest of the coat is lined with lightweight teal cotton. All and all, this is a sewing victory, right? Except, it didn't feel like one. I put the jacket on after I'd finished sewing and looked in the mirror. I didn't feel nearly as cool or glamorous as all the girls in the pictures I'd pinned.
I walked over to ask Mike what he thought of it. His response was that, "It looks like you put it together correctly". This confirmed my doubts. This jacket isn't intended to button in the front, but, I thought, maybe that's what was missing. It wasn't. The buttons are fine. But I still felt odd. Perhaps the (lack of) collar was the problem.
I happened to have some bulky teal CEY Duchess in the stash, so I quickly whipped up an Ovate to wear with my new coat. That didn't do the trick either. Still, I do like my little shawlette, and I have been throwing it on to wear with my jacket on cooler days.
I'm still not sure about this jacket. I have been wearing it- daily. And, I feel a little better about it each time I do. Mike has come to the conclusion that he now likes it. He just needed some time to warm-up to it. Maybe I just need time to adjust too.
Do you find yourself uncertain about any of the garments you've made yourself? Did you come-around to them in time?