Taking my time - Amy Schmitz

Taking my time

Oct. 14, 2016

Like most sewers, I have a fabric stash problem. I have plenty of fabrics to choose from, but that doesn't stop Mikey and me from finding beautiful pieces we can't resist. Especially when we go to our favorite stores while traveling.

I bought this red wool from Elfriede's Fine Fabrics in Boulder at the end of our May trip. It's been sitting in my sewing space all summer just waiting for me to turn it into a pretty fall jacket.

Now it's a Bellatrix Blazer by Papercut Patterns. This is my first time working with Papercut. They make several cute patterns, but most of them just aren't my style.

I've been wanting a simple cut that buttons (many jacket patterns don't fasten) and thought Sew Over It's Francine jacket was perfect. But it's only a class, and I can't exactly fly to London to make a jacket. Enter Bellatrix, which Papercut sells as a PDF.  I hear the printed patterns are like opening a present!

Fitting this jacket was quite a bit easier than I expected. When I put on the muslin, I saw several issues I was going to have to fix in the princess and side seams. And then Mikey walked over and pinched out a couple of inches at the shoulder. Problems solved.

That meant I had to remove 2 inches from the sleeve cap. I couldn't just remove 2 whole inches from the center of the whole sleeve. That would have been two narrow at the forearm and wrist. So I had to do a real ease adjustment to the sleeve cap.

Everything worked rather well. The armscye fits well. I was surprised considering how many muslins we had to do to get Mikey's jacket to fit comfortably.

I cut size XS and other than the shoulder adjustment, I didn't make any other alterations. I think it could use a little taking in at the waist, but I couldn't do that after attaching the welts. They would just get too close to the side seam.

This was actually a really easy jacket to construct. For one, the lining pieces are the same as the main pieces. You just switch to lining fabric for the side front and back panels. I highly recommend this pattern to someone who wants to make a tailored jacket but wants or needs an easy option.

You can also see how the lack of interfacing on the side seam panels affects the structure. The side panel collapses, but the front and collar do not.

The silk lining is also from Elfriede's. It feels so lovely, and the jacket slides on so easily. Isn't it such a cool print before and after cutting?

I topstitched the hell out of this jacket. I pressed all seams open, so I topstitched on both sides of each seam.

When I topstitched the waist seam, I treated the welt the same as I did on the Chloe. I incorporated both designs of the silk in to the pocket bag. And hurray, my phone fits inside cleanly!

We also picked out a button with Elfriede's help. This photo also is a great representation of the wool pattern.

So as I said easy pattern, and I don't really have any other notes on it. So here's a photo purge:

Taking these photos made me realize I need a pair of black cigarette pants. Wouldn't those look great with this jacket?!


And the shirt I'm wearing under the jacket is new!

It's another Skinny Bitch Curvy Chick Gibson Blouse. The fabric is a double gauze from Portland. I can't remember whether I bought it at Bolt or Modern Domestic. It's suuuuuper soft.

I used French seams because the gauze frays like crazy. It was a little tricky because the seam allowance on this pattern is half an inch, not five-eighths. I was proud of myself for remembering to check the seam allowance before staystitching.

I used muslin as interfacing because I didn't want anything too stiff. It also makes for neat finishing on the inside because I attached the muslin to the facing along the edge. The only change I'd make in doing this again is a slight construction order change. Instead of attaching the muslin interfacing to the individual facing pieces first, I should have constructed all shoulder seams first and then attached the muslin to the facing. Make sense?

I think the gathers in the back of the shirt are fantastic.

The side seam needed taking in a little at the waist, and I didn't grade back down enough when I reached the bust. I ended up with a 5/8-inch seam allowance at the bust, which makes it a touch snug across the buttons.

These are not the sleeves designed for this shirt.

The sleeve for this was comically large. (I wrote down HUGE in my notes, but I don't want sound like Trump. Shudder.) I saw no good way or reason to redesign it, so I borrowed the cap sleeve from the Sewaholic Alma.

I lined up the ends of the Alma sleeve with the Gibson notches, moving the front notch 1 5/8 inches closer to the side seam, and I eliminated the gathers. I finished the armscye with a 1 3/4-inch-by-20-inch bias binding and followed the Sewaholic instructions. A kimono sleeve would also be a good option, I think.

To squeeze the shirt out of somewhat limited fabric and match up my dots, I cut this out on a single layer.

I did the math to line up the dots at the bodice side and princess seams but figured it didn't really matter at the skirt because of the gathers. Oops, it did. I should have lined them up a little better where the skirt attaches to the center front.

Faux pearl buttons are from my Kaplan's stash. I had actually planned to reverse the fabric (white with blue dots) along the button band for a contrasting panel but ended up liking this simplified look better.

I didn't sew either of these projects with great speed. I'm a fairly slow sewer anyway. Both were easy, but I took my time and enjoyed them. In the past few weeks, I've also squeezed in a circle skirt for my sister to wear to a '50s event later this month.

Now onto some more fall projects. :)


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