First up, last week’s puzzle, revealed…..
I want to thank everyone who responded here and on Facebook with highly educated guesses! Some of your guesses were spot on!
This jacket is from another leaflet from Coats and Clark company in the 1930s. Titled “The Gay Flannel Jacket” the leaflet crams all the basic, important information into a small space – for which I have the utmost admiration.
As with the slip project in a previous post, dimensions of the pattern are printed inside, with minimal instructions, fabric recommendation and the rest is up to the seamstress. Perfect! I didn’t do a trial run; so either this is going to be an utter failure on my part, or a really good garment. I jumped in, dreaming of a nice, loosely fitted topper for the non-existent Texas autumn. As it turned out, I think I like this jacket.
Here’s what happened.
Analyzing the design: At first and somewhat cursory glance, it’s a boxy, unlined jacket. A closer look reveals interesting things; the armholes are square, large and low. The sleeves are very long and loose, and the lapel is really the front facings turned back. Inside, most seams are bias bound, per leaflet instructions. I’m including images of the leaflet, in case you want to try it out for yourself – for your own personal use.
Fabric and materials: the recommended fabric is brightly colored wool flannel, which I did not possess. I decide to use a dull black wool crepe which I have three lengths of – not sure how it came about that I have so much black wool crepe in my stash. To give some “beef” to the wool crepe, I decided to underline it with a garishly printed china silk (or maybe habutai), and use a neon hot pink scrap for binding the seams. The garish silk was purchased from a fellow sewer at a long ago ASG Houston Chapter event. Long ago.
Pattern: I started by following instructions and diagram to make the pattern – exactly.
Pattern Tip #1: running out of pattern paper should not stop one from using newspaper – except on light fabric the ink might cause problems. Since my fabric was black, I had nothing to fear about the newsprint ink rubbing off.
Pattern Tip #2: make sure that the pointy sleeve cap measures the same as the armholes. If the pattern is followed exactly, the sleeve cap falls short and that is potential disaster. I got saved because I had to slant the shoulder seam a good bit. The original was too square and pointy.
Construction: I cut out one jacket in the black wool crepe and another in the silk for underlining. Then, I hand basted them together, and used both layers as one.
The instructions have no indication of a seam allowance measurement, so I decided to use 3/8″ seam allowance which is standard in the ready to wear apparel industry – I’m not an apparel industry insider and believe what the insiders tell me.
An interesting detail here is that the sleeve cap is appliqued onto the armhole. That is a good thing. The cap/armhole design is angular (check the pointy sleeve cap) and applique worked better than a conventional seam. The contentious part is that from the back the seam has to be overcast by hand. If sergers were in common use in the 1930s, the instructions would totally ask you to serge finish the sleeve cap before appliqueing it one. Totally. Well, I made like a 1935 seamstress and hand overcast the armhole/sleeve edge.
I really do believe that the lines of the sleeve/armhole area are getting lost in the black wool crepe. What do you say I saddle stitch on the seamlines? Any other ideas to emphasize the angular armhole?
The sleeves are a little too long and wide but I decided to just go with it. Will I drown in this jacket, or will I have the 2016 trendy, boxy and billowy look?
Also, I’m making a list of why this “simple” jacket took two weeks to make. I’ll let you know when I figure it out. I have to get the sewing priorities in order here, y’all.
Have a great fall season! If you’re in Florida as I write this, take care. I hope Matthew did not affect you too much.