As you can tell from the look on my face, I’m not just happy that I’m finished with my jacket, but am pretty pleased with the way it turned out. While it’s not the best example of my sewing, it’s not the worst either.
So, my overall opinions? First off, I LOVE the pattern. It’s well designed and looks great on (either casual or dressy). There are a few minor errors that I spotted in the pattern and instructions (the faux pocket flap sizes are reversed on the pattern pieces, the sleeve flap is never sewn down before pressed to the side, and the picture of how you sew the collar doesn’t have you sewing enough of the collar before attaching it to the jacket) – however, they are pretty obvious mistakesomissions. Additionally, I do suggest that you have some jacket making experience before undertaking this pattern as the instructions, although clear in most parts, are not in depth. I also learned, fabric choice is also important! I would highly recommend using a solid material unless you are willing to spend the time pattern matching. I intend on using this pattern again once spring rolls around – can’t you see this jacket in a yummy pastel? I’ll be posting a full review of this pattern on Pattern Review later in the day (i.e. when Easton naps).
With much of the pattern matching fiasco behind me, I was able to relax a bit and put together the body of the Boulevard Jacket. I don’t have to tell you, I was extremely anxious to see how everything looked put together. I breathed a sigh of relief when I stepped back from the dress form and saw that things blended together fairly well.
There’s still quite a bit left until this jacket is finished – namely the collar, facings (both for the body of the jacket and sleeves), and buttonholes. More on that soon!
Before I get back to sewing, I wanted to mention that Melissa nominated me for the Kreative Blogger Award! The rules for this award are:
1. Copy the award to your site – 2. Link to the person from whom you received the award – 3. Nominate 7 other bloggers – 4. Link to those on your blog – 5. Leave a message on the blogs you nominated.
Narrowing the talented (not to mention creative) bloggers out there to 7 was tough. If you would look at my feed reader, you would see over 250 sites that I read on a daily basis (yes, I spend almost as much time on the computer as what I do sewing!). But here’s my nominations, in no particular order.
Average Jane Crafter
Erica B’s DIY Style
Girls In The Garden
Lindsay T Sews
Since I had already spent some time determining what alterations I needed to make to the Boulevard Jacket sleeve, I didn’t encounter any problems in this area. The original length of the sleeve was to end at the elbow, but it’s winter and with the cold temperatures, I really needed something with more length. Consequently, I added 7 inches to the length. However, I neglected to shorten the vent – thank goodness that was an easy remedy:
In addition to sewing up the sleeves, I finished the back of the jacket – which meant re-cutting the lower back pieces (the fabric was horribly mis-matched). I am feeling some relief that the pieces are coming together without too obvious of pattern mis-matches and I wont have to call this one a wadder! Up next, jacket assembly!
As you may remember before my week-long crafty giveaway, I had cut out the material for the Boulevard Jacket…. unfortunately, I had neglected to pattern match much of the jacket. Since I had a limited amount of material left, I decided to work with the lower portion of the jacket – this section of the jacket had the most pieces to work with (4) and would be the most obvious area of uneven pattern matching. I will spare you all the gory details, but after hours of working on the front, matching fabric, re-cutting, re-cutting again after discovering a minor error in the pattern (FYI if you make this jacket for yourself, there is no need to finish the long edge of the pocket flap as it is encased in the center front seam), and lots of cursing, I managed to come up with this:
While it’s difficult to see in the photo, the pocket flaps match the side fronts perfectly (since this photo, I’ve added the upper front portion of the jacket as well as the faux pocket flaps)! Although the side and center front are off a bit. The thing that bothers me most is that the sides are not ‘symmetrical’ and are slightly different looking from each other. I just didn’t have enough fabric to re-cut all of the pieces so I worked with what I had. I think that it will all blend in once the rest of the jacket is put together. Worse comes to worse and it’s all off, I’ll tell everyone that I didn’t make the jacket and that I purchased it from (insert you local department store here)!
With the tracing and ‘test pieces’ out of the way, I started cutting into my Boulevard Jacket fabric – a beautiful houndstooth doubleknit from Gorgeous Fabrics. I was really excited to work this is material, but as I started I realized something – pattern matching! This jacket has lots of pieces (even the sleeve is two pieces) which means lots of matching the fabric print at all the seams. Unfortunately I realized this a bit late, so I’m hoping I don’t get some bizarre looking jacket once it’s all sewn up. I do have a good bit of material left over (thanks to creative pattern placement and Ann’s generous cuts) so hopefully I’ll be able to re-cut pieces that may be off too much. Bah, where was my mind when I started cutting this out?
After an afternoon of tracing the Boulevard Jacket I’m happy to say that I’m ready to start cutting into my fabric. Before I start, I wanted to check the sleeve width around the bicep area. I had measured mine and made some adjustments to the pattern, but I was still worried. So I went to my fabric stash and pulled out the ugliest fabric I owned to make a quick muslin. I cut out the sleeves and
started sewing attempted to sew them together – no matter what I did, changed stitches, re-thread the machine, new needle, etc. I kept getting skipped stitches. It was so bad that it wasn’t even zig-zagging, just making a straight stitch (I’ve never had that happen before)! So here’s where the rest of the material ended up:
In the trash. I’ve determined that some fabrics just aren’t meant to be muslins.
Things are finally slowing down around here which means that I can make my way back into the sewing room. In addition to my latest pincushion swap, I’m planning on completing a number of projects. I’ve started listing them on the sidebar, but here’s a breakdown of each one:
I’ve had the fabric for the v-neck version of Jalie 2805 sitting on my sewing table since before Christmas. I plan on working on this first so that it will become the first completed project of 2009.
My second project, Hot Pattern’s Riviera Boulevard Cardigan-Jacket. I purchased the fabric and the pattern in late November and am determined to complete this before 1) spring hits and the jacket starts looking too fall-ish and 2) houndstooth goes out of style! I’ve got the notions ready to go on this one as well so it’s looking like this may become the second completed project of the year.
Another project I’m anxious to work on is Hot Pattern’s Metropolitan Good Times Dress, Tunic & Top. Even though I don’t wear a lot of dresses, I’m really attracted to this design and have already purchased a lovely RPL knit to finish the look – it may even match some awesome tights that I picked up this fall.
Lastly, I’ll start my transition into spring sewing by whipping up a pair of slinky knit beach print pants. For now, I’m planning on using Kwik Sew 3165 (which is the same, heavily altered, pattern that I used in my pants class just a few weeks ago). However, I may look around for a pattern that has a more relaxedcasual look to it.
I’d love to know what everyone else is planning on working on to kick start their 2009 sewing!