a flirty brown velvet jacket, finis

It’s done! And I’m even wearing it today…

The final steps went really quickly.

Tom has nicknamed these the birdcage sleeves... or he thinks they should be fitted with lightbulbs. Boys... ugh.

Sleeves: These were sewn right sides together along the lower edge and turned to finish the lower edge. I had originally thought I could put the sleeve lining in by hand as the final step – but due to the sleeve hem being sewn right into the armscye, that plan wasn’t going to work. As result the lining and sleeve heads are gathered separately – but it still ended up working just fine without creating too much bulk.  As a side note… I’m not crazy about the sleeve. It really stands away from the body – and it’s not just because of the weight of the fabric. If you look at the pattern envelope, you can tell… but it didn’t jump out at me until the jacket was done.

Just before sewing in the lining...

I had already constructed the bodice lining at the same time I was putting the jacket bodice pieces together. So it was simple a case of bagging – pinning it right sides together along neckline, fronts and lower edges. Sewing it up went quickly, and I was very careful to shorten my stitch length as I approached the lower edge of the lapel and pivot exactly at the corner of the front jacket edge. I was able to get a very precise finish as a result.

The jacket was turned through one of the armscyes, pressed from the wrong side (so it’s not super flat… but that’s price of this velvety stuff!) and the remaining arsmcye edges were turned to the inside and finished with an underhand hemstitch.

Phew! Almost done! I grabbed a few scraps to test buttonholes and found an old button in my stash. A few minutes later the jacket was complete. (Well until I tried to try it on… and realized I needed to cut the buttonhole open… doh!)

Just what I wanted - it matches the dress perfectly!

You can see the back piecing.. but it's not so bad. Plus it's done, and really that's more important!

Now to get back to the little black dress!


a flirty brown velvet jacket, part deux

A busy end to the week but then the weekend finally arrived! It took sleeping late, a bit of house cleaning, general tidying, a few loads of laundry, and many, many cups of coffee but by 3pm, I was ready for some fun sewing.  I have three ongoing projects, and the brown jacket won today. Stupidly, I wasn’t paying close attention to the deadline for the Refashion Challenge on Pattern Review and missed the chance to enter. It was Thursday night… not Friday, which was when I was planning on doing my sewing. Boo!

Too cute! Although it might even more charming with sleeves and without the raw edges!

However,  I was (and am)  determined to finish the jacket anyway – contest or no! So after all the tables were cleared off (see tidying note above) I grabbed the leftover brown Ambiance lining left over from the dress this jacket will be worn with. It was an odd shaped piece but I just managed to get everything cut out that I needed to.  I wasn’t paying attention to how long that took… but my guess is about 45 minutes at most.  This was actually done earlier in the afternoon – it’s a Saturday… tough keeping track of every minute!

Anyway, moving on… the sewing went outrageously quickly! I did decide to make a full lining, and the collars and pocket flaps  were faced with the Ambiance, too.  Since there was enough, and I figured it made sense, I cut linings for the sleeves, too. In three hours (we’re up to 6pm now) I managed to get the jacket bodice done, with flaps & collar, and the jacket  bodice lining sewn, too. The only things left are sleeves, attaching the lining, and buttons and buttonholes.

Okay… I admit, that does leave a bit to do. But I do love how it’s looking already!

a flirty brown velvet jacket

My very wrinkly and ill-fitting but super pretty brown velvet pants. Doesn't the crazy bedspread just add a special touch?

I keep reading articles about re-purposing, recycling and otherwise re-using old garments by transforming them into something new.  I’ve also been searching for just the right color brown velvet or corduroy for a jacket to go with a dress I made during Christmas break. After having no luck at the local fabric shop (Oh, how I miss the days of perusing yards and yards of pretty things at Fabric Place!) or reviewing my excessive personal fabric stash… I stumbled upon a pair of J. Jill pants in the laundry room that were EXACTLY the right color. And I hated the way they fit. Woo hoo! Perfect candidate for transforming into a jacket. But could it actually be done?

I first decided on a great jacket from Ottobre Magazine… but after tracing off the entire pattern, I quickly realized there was no possible way that one would work with the amount of fabric I had. So back to the pattern catalogs… and found Butterick  5331.  View D turned out to be the winner.

Earlier this evening, I ignored the little black dress calling to me from the corner, and embarked on the puzzle that was getting all the pattern pieces of a short sleeves, hip length, notch collared jacket to fit on four pieces of fabric that had once been pants legs. (Taking out every last seam stitch except serging, plus a good pressing helped increase my chances of success!)

And the results:

Top leg: right sleeve, back, left sleeve AND Bottom leg: two pocket flaps, left side back, right side back(in 3 pieces)

Doubled pant leg: lapel, front, side front, collar (2 piece instead of on fold)

*Almost* every piece is accounted for. Due to the obvious fabric limitations, I’ll be fully lining the entire jacket with leftover brown Ambiance from the coordinated dress, so no need for facings. In addition, I’ll have to cut the under collar, under lapel, and under pocket flaps from the Ambiance as well. Not ideal – but at least by being consistent I can pass it off as deliberate design choice! And yes, everything is more or less on-grain and the nap is all going in the same direction. Plus I even managed to add an extra 1/2″ torso length.  Now to get the puzzle pieces to the sewing machine.