Monday, April 28, 2014

The coat that never was

I had high hopes for this pattern – Jalie’s City Coat. It’s gotten a ton of favorable reviews over at Pattern Review and I had found more confidence after completing my wool coat. But alas, there were some key differences that made for a train wreck of a sewing experience.

First, the pattern includes 27 different sizes. Yes, 27; no, I am not exaggerating. You have to find your size based on the measurements and then trace it onto your pattern paper (or artist’s paper as the case may be). Years ago, patterns used to come in one size per envelope – you picked the size you needed and made adjustments on the pattern you had. In the last 20 years or so, pattern makers have moved to multi-sizing, where you get as many as six, sometimes eight sizes per pattern. This is the first time I have ever seen that many pattern sizes on a pattern and I found that many lines to be both confusing and frustrating. I was never entirely sure I was tracing the right line. In the picture below, you can see the yoke piece at the top isn't so bad. But check out the piece toward the bottom of the photo. And there were pieces that were far, far worse with lines blurring into a lot of dark color.

Second, I couldn’t find finished measurements anywhere on the pattern to see how much ease was included. I’m prepared to admit this may be user error (as in I just didn't find them) but in the end it didn’t matter where things went wrong, just that they did go wrong. I traced and cut a U and graded to a W in the hips so that I would have enough room (at least I hoped I would).

Third – and this one is all mine – I didn’t use a stretch woven material as the pattern calls for. No, I used the lovely boucle I had used to make a bag a couple of months ago. Unfortunately, this fabric unravels like crazy so I sort of fudged a bit and cut just slightly larger than my seam allowances so that I could serge the edges. Well, that was a mistake.

There are a lot of sewists who will power on through and finish a wadder. I often do, but not this time. The entire experience was very frustrating, so much so that I’m not sure I want to try again with the right kind of material. It’s too bad, too. I have a highly rated shirt pattern from Jalie also, and I have to say this left such a bad taste in my mouth that I’m not at all motivated to try again.


Paula said...

Holy Moly! Just looking at the lines on the pattern overwhelms me and makes my eyes cross!! :(

Magpie said...

Ack! It's been so long since I cut a pattern. I can't remember ever seeing more than three sizes.