I am top heavy so I always need bust darts for shaping. Since this assignment required that we draft the pattern for a boxy dartless jacket for a stable fabric, I knew I was in trouble!
The jacket was not meant to be a couture level type of jacket so the jacket was unlined with serged seam allowances. The best thing about this assignment was that we learned a really nice way of finishing the edges. I am sure this is nothing new and someone somewhere has already written about it. Nevertheless, I want to share what I learned because I think it's a cool technique.
We pressed the seam allowance to the right side of the jacket. My seam allowance was 1/2 inch. We then were to purchase trim slightly wider than the seam allowance so we could apply it on top of the seam allowance thus covering the seam allowance and providing a clean finish outside and inside. I chose trim 3/4 inch wide.
|1/2" seam allowance turned to right side|
|Trim 3/4" wide applied on top of |
I did not feel confident I could apply this trim successfully by machine so I painstakingly attached the trim by hand sewing tiny stitches on both sides of the trim.
The following photo shows how nice and clean the inside looks:
Back to the issue of fit. As you can see below, the photo of the side view shows that the jacket is screaming for a bust dart. You can see the fabric fold trying to become a dart.
The pattern draft assignment also required that the front and back be the same (except for the neckline) because that's how pattern drafts for knits are done for the mass market. Now since in the industry patterns are drafted for the B cup, if you are a B cup or smaller, this would not pose a problem. The fabric would give enough to allow a nice fit. I may be able to squeeze by with a very stretchy fabric or one with a loose weave but this does not work for me at all in a stable knit.
In my case, I am disproportionately bigger in the front than the back. Thus, by drafting the back the same as the front, I ended up with excess fabric in the back. Ugh! Look at those folds! I sure could use a sloping shoulder adjustment here as well. Oy.
After the class was over, in a futile attempt to somehow redeem this jacket, I decided to line the sleeves in charmeuse so it would be easier to slip my arms in and out of the jacket. I used the same sleeve pattern as I used for the jacket but sewed the lining with 3/8" seam allowance instead of the 1/2" used for the jacket sleeve so as to allow a little ease in the sleeve so that the lining would not strain or tear. I also created a jump pleat at the bottom of the sleeve. I attached the lining by hand all around the armscye and sleeve hem.
After all of this effort, I do not like this jacket due to the poor fit although it is warm and comfortable. This was a frustrating assignment - maybe I should have drafted this particular pattern for the perfectly symmetrical B cup dress form available in class (that was an option). Oh well! This particular assignment confirmed for me why ready-to-wear does not fit so many people.