Friday, June 9, 2023

Mandarin Collars, Denim Jackets, Railroad Twill, and a 1977 Pattern

New Look 6513, my recent make, put me on to Mandarin collars. A search found a vintage pattern on eBay, Simplicity 7998, a pattern so old that there is only one size provided (or it may that it is the Canadian version). Just one size meant there had to be a muslin made. The fabric is duckcloth left over from the bag I made, 100% cotton, 44" wide. The 2 yards were $9.99 reg, $4/yard on sale, $8 total. Once I laid out the pattern pieces, I saw that the pattern was missing the two pieces for the short sleeve option. With only the long sleeve option, the fabric was not enough for all the pattern pieces. The seller could not find the missing pieces and sent a refund. I used that to buy a size 12 version of the same pattern, figuring I could use the sleeve from it with a slight adjustment. (Note: The first pattern came with an extra yoke piece from another pattern--it's now in the envelope for Vogue 9255. That pattern includes a yoke top that might could use a lower, deeper yoke.)

There was over two yards of the arrow print, in a gorgeous slate blue, but it was narrow and missing a large chunk (the pockets in the bag). To get the best use of what remained, I cut just the pieces I needed as I worked through the construction of the jacket. This is a carefully considered approach, one that allows for a lot of thinking and testing, necessary because I was not only dealing with limited fabric, but I was also trying to align the print and match it as much as possible across pieces. First I cut out the body pieces and sewed them together, thus allowing me to visualize how it would look before placing the next pieces on the fabric to cut. Next, I pieced together the facing, putting a seam through the longer portion to save as much fabric as possible for the sleeves, pockets and cuffs. Once I constructed the jacket body, I realized that the fabric I had pulled out of my stash for the binding and trim would not look good with the main fabric. Neither would the main fabric with its large graphic. Another trip to the store yielded white duck cloth for contrast. Since the contrast is extreme, I decided against using the contrast fabric for pockets. I eaked out long sleeves even though they required piecing in additional fabric so that the seam line was hidden by the cuff.

The construction was tricky. However, the duck cloth was easy to sew. It helped too that it was very much a test garment. I am not sure I would ever wear this graphic print. Rather than having the pressure of creating an error-free finish, I concentrated on the details of construction, planning a final jacket in an nicer fabric that I will wear. Contruction details, such as reinforcing the 90 degree corners and aligning the collar edges to the jacket front were particulary time consuming but not overly frustrating. The 46-year-old pattern instructions were exacting but easy to follow.

Sleeves set in easily and the fabric pressed out smooth. Loops, bias binding, all per pattern. The exact size buttons required were located on Etsy. Only after ordering did it become obvious that they are being shipped from the Netherlands. For a couple of dollars! Unfortunately, they are not white enough to use for the jacket. However, they were sufficient to determine that a 1" plain rectangular toggle button looks good on the jacket.
Mood fabrics in New York City stocks a nice button selection. They had a white toggle button reasonably priced.
The white shirt is the Toaster sweater, version 2. The skirt is a summer ponte knit from JA, cut to McCalls 8055, size 14 with a size 16 waistband and 2 inches in length added to view C.
A good version of this jacket is in my future, but the fabric choice is not set at this time. It could be something to wear with the railroad twill from Stone Mountain and Daughter. The twill fabric is 2 yards of cotton spandex twill with a railroad stripe in indigo/ivory, $26.00, 8.26 oz/sq yd, 280 gsm. 52" wide. This is silky but heavy, not much stretch but feels smooth. A skirt from McCalls 8222, view B came out great but convinced me that there will not be enough of the twill left over for the vintage jacket pattern, not even with a cropped jacket and the short sleeve piece. (The size 12 is just 1/4" deeper in the sleeve cap, so a small mod in either the sleeve cap or the jacket armholes should make it possible to use the size 12 sleeve in the size 14 jacket.) Adding 1/2 yard of "denim" from JoAnn still wasn't enough to complete the jacket. (This is a very stretchy denim, selected for its weight, softness and similarity in color to the railroad twill. It is so stretchy that it ruffled when the edges were serged. 64% cotton, 33% modal, and 3% spandex. cold wash, line dry, $6.25.) It is disappointing, but there just isn't enough of the railroad twill left for a reasonable jacket. On top of that, washing the 1/2 yard of denim made it stiff. This unseasonable project is put on hold until the fall.
Making a knit top to wear with the skirt served as consolation. The particular shade of indigo in the railroad twill was difficult to match, but careful shopping turned up a knit jersey, 60" wide, "Peacoat Navy", 200 gsm, 95% rayon, 5% spandex, Machine or hand wash, cold, line dry, $10.78, made in China, at Hobby Lobby. It is a wonderful, soft and drapey fabric, lovely to wear and difficult to sew unless there are multiple layers or stabilizer to secure the stitches. Prior to figuring that out, I ruined a sleeve after a good solid chunk became embedded in the feedplate. Thankfully, there's over a yard left, so I was able to cut out a replacement and continue with the otherwise straightforward construction of New Look 6458, a pattern I have used for two dresses. This top uses the dress pattern but has sleeves instead of armhole bands. The sleeves are near perfect but need a bit longer hem. A size 14 tapered out to size 20 at the hips worked well. In a heavier fabric, tapering to size 16 would be better. Rayon jersey tends to stretch out long and narrow, making excess fabric a safe bet. This simple jacket pattern will probably be followed by a more traditional denim jacket, in khaki cotton twill $3/yard on sale, 60" 3 3/4 yards, $11.99 reg, $11.25 total. Someday. For now let's concentrate on summer clothes.

No comments: