Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Make do and Mend Jacket Pattern

Watching The Great British Sewing Bee (Ep. 3) last night, both their jacket making and their remarks on 40s wartime sewing, I was reminded of my mission to make a 'Make Do and Mend' Suit. The update on that is that I've almost finished the skirt (which I'll put up pics of soon) but because I decided to make it 6 gore rather than 4 (You'll understand why when you see it) I need to do some creative piecing, which I'm hoping to acquire scraps from the jacket for.

I found it really interesting that Ann commented on how much more fabric there was in 1940s trousers with the waist pleats and baggy style. This added to the fact that people were naturally shorter then and very slim due to surviving on wartime rationing, so I don't feel quite so bad that I was unable to get an a-line skirt to fit me from a single pair of trousers.

But I need to start actually making the jacket.

I'm not a great wearer of jackets. I realised I've never actually made a proper tailored suiting jacket. I've made costume coats, tailored bodices, silk jackets and waistcoats, but never a fashion jacket, so I've decided that buying a commercial pattern to follow is the way to go. I also want something with a good size range so I don't have to fiddle around with trying to scale up a small size actual vintage pattern.

I don't always like to use commercial patterns as I find they are really expensive and often you can get a much better shape and fit drafting your own. But if I do, I have a rule that it has to be one of three things:
  1. Really basic, so I can use it almost as a block to adapt it to use it for many different items of clothing,
  2. One of those multi patterns that makes about 7 or 8 different items so I get value for money.
  3. A really complicated design for a special project that I would take me a long time to patternmake myself (vintage, evening, costume, etc)
So I had a look online for a vintage or classic jacket pattern and was really disappointed. I thought I would be spoiled for choice but there really wasn't many that were tailored to a high enough quality to tempt me. I was determined that it had to have princess seams, not only because they give the most flattering fit if you have curves, but they're also the easiest to fit properly. I think I've finally decided on this Vogue Claire Shaeffer Custom Couture Collection Jacket No V8333. It's a beautiful classic hourglass shape which I can add period collar, pocket and cuff details if I choose, but also has an interesting seam detail to stop it from being too boring.

So watch this space.

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