Sunday, February 23, 2014

Close call

The best fabric store in Kansas City – and by best, I’m talking about quality of fabrics, not the cheapest price – is closing at the end of this week. Kaplan’s has always had extremely nice, high end designer fabrics; you didn’t go there for a bargain, you went there when you wanted exceptionally special fabric. Kent and I dropped by two weeks ago before we left on vacation and picked up some really amazing pieces. The one you see on the left is a wool and I believe cashmere blend. Even half off, it was expensive. Whatever I make needs to work well with the fabric and also fit me. I should also mention that I’ve only got 1 and ¾ yards of the fabric so there’s not a lot to work with.

For this fabric, I didn’t want a lot of seaming or fussy details, so I chose New Look 6012, view B (it's on the left in the picture at the bottom of this post). I made a couple of decisions that have ended up saving me much heartache and disaster with my beautiful fabric. First, I decided I would line the jacket since wool is itchy to me. Second, I double checked all measurements including the amount of ease, and also compared the new pattern with another, similar New Look jacket pattern (6082, second from the left) I’ve made before. With sewing patterns, sizes are governed strictly by measurements. For most sewing patterns, I measure between a 14 and 16 depending on how close fitting the garment is. Based on the measurement comparisons and the amount of ease listed on this pattern, I didn’t cut my normal 14, I cut a 12. Finally, I sewed up the lining before I did anything else.

The tent on the table
I am so glad I did all that. This thing is enormous on me. It’s not just a little bit big, it’s a tent. And the sleeves are too short, like by five inches or so and that’s before any hemming.

And that brings me to the point of this post. I realize I am no expert sewist. I have a lot to learn especially about fitting and adjustments. But I don’t think this pattern issue is because of me. I’ve made New Look jackets (from 6082, and 6028) and while they aren't huge, the sleeves for both jackets are pretty short. I had put the blame on me, even though I have normal arms but now after making this third New Look jacket, I don’t think that I screwed up. And I’m not the only one to notice these kinds of issues – recently two other bloggers who are amazing and expert sewers blogged about pattern issues and the stupidly large amount of ease built into most patterns. (Wearing ease is the minimum amount of ease needed for comfort and it's added to your measurements; design ease is above and beyond wearing ease.)

So now I’ve got an unwearable lining and still need to find a jacket patterns for my lovely wool/cashmere blend. I think I will give Burda 7183 a try. I’ve only made a couple of their patterns but I love how many more measuring points they give so you can adjust your pattern to really fit your body. Based on my unwearable lining experience, you’d better believe I’ll make a lining from this pattern first.

Maybe it's New Look?

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