Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Vintage Vogue 9057 Jacket in Japanese Over-printed Twill

So, things are pretty weird right now, but I need to structure my day and writing a blog post seems achievable right now. Onwards!

Some months ago I decided there was a hole in my wardrobe for second 'denim jacket' type garment. I made the Republique Du Chiffon 'Jacqueline' a while back and I've worn it a lot. (Great pattern - never blogged it sorry.)

Its only drawback is that it's fairly cropped and has quite fitted sleeves, so it doesn't fit well over loose tops. I began hunting for a pattern - preferably raglan sleeved - that would accommodate more sleevage.

Online I fell in love with a vintage pattern - Vogue 9057 from 1957. I soon had a copy winging its way to me from the USA. It was at least a couple of sizes too small for me but I was happy to take my time over this and grade it up.

My first step was to trace all the delicate pattern pieces so that the original stayed intact. Then I made a rough muslin without any alterations to check the sizing. To my surprise it was more generous than I expected, and a friend explained that vintage jacket and coat patterns were often drafted quite large to accommodate layers of clothing underneath.

I did need a bit more room though, and widened both back and front bodice. I also lengthened through the bodice and upper sleeve to deepen the armscye, for extra layering room. I consequently had to alter the front facing and collar pieces to match. I widened at the side seams around the hip, and also shaped in a bit through the centre back seam to remove some fabric pooling.

front bodice
back bodice

sleeve back & front


I took quite a lot out at the shoulder curve - a combination of my narrow shoulders and not wanting to add shoulder padding which may have been the vintage style.

A second muslin confirmed a pretty good fit - I just needed to move the bust darts a little towards the centre.

The fabric I chose is a denim-like Japanese twill, which is yarn-dyed in a kind of tea colour and then printed on the face side in a lovely faded-jeans type blue. It's 100% cotton, and a bit lighter and softer than traditional denim. It was very nice to work with and I think it complements the vintage jacket style.

I chose to make the jacket unlined, with seams bound in Liberty bias tape I made.

There were a couple of tricky points in the construction. Firstly, curved welt pockets. Yikes. Obviously it would have been a really good idea to do a test version on some spare fabric first but after two muslins, I just wanted to get on with it. Haha. For a start, the method was the kind where the welt's short ends are attached with hand-stitches on the outside of the jacket. I find this quite flimsy, given how much I tend to use pockets. (It might make more sense in a much thicker or fluffier fabric, perhaps.) The second issue was a mistake in the instructions. For some reason I feel like vintage pattern instructions should be infallible! The upper and lower pocket lining pieces are put in the reverse positions, which I didn't work out until I'd sewn them in, cut the welt and so forth. Anyhow, I carefully unpicked, soldiered on and figured out how to make the welts with sewn-in corners and the innards in the right positions. By making the welts a little longer, I was able to cover over my first attempt.

At the time I was all excited about working it out and thought I might put up a little tutorial but my brain isn't quite up for it right now. Anyhow, they're not perfect but I have two functional and quite pretty curved welt pockets!

The other part of construction that had me quite frustrated was the collar insertion. I remembered after a while that I'd had similar issues with a Pauline Alice jacket I made a few years ago. Instead of the collar being sewn separately then inserted like a shirt collar, one half is sewn to the body, one half to the facings then all sewn together in a continuous line, pivoting at the collar, and then turned right way out. This means a large amount of clipping where the rounded ends of the collar come down to meet the bodice, in order to try to get this junction to turn through cleanly. I can't imagine how it would work in a bulkier fabric! In the end I had to reduce the curve of the collar a little to decrease the severity of the angle of the join, and then clipped and clipped and clipped and bathed the inside of the corner in Fray Stopper in the hope that all that clipping didn't just result in the area falling apart! If I make this pattern again, I'll draft a small facing for where the collar meets the bodice back, so the collar can be constructed in full and then nicely sandwiched between facings all the way.

There was quite a lot of hand finishing on this jacket, with part of the collar and all facings stitched down by hand. I was in the zone for this and found it quite a pleasure.

I realised when I got to the button stage that the pattern showed bound buttonholes. There are some minor instructions at the end referring to incorporating these with the facings, but no actual instructions about making bound buttonholes. Too late... so I was lucky that my vintage Singer buttonholer did a beautiful job on some keyhole thread ones.

And I had some perfect chunky vintage buttons in my stash.

Look at the pretty insides!

I love my new jacket and it's already had plenty of wear. It's easy to throw in my bike basket, over my arm, in the car and over the back of a chair. It's that simple extra layer that goes on over (and goes with) just about anything. I'm really happy that I spent plenty of time on the fit, and I think there's a good chance I'll use this pattern again.

Thanks for reading, I hope it was a pleasant diversion!

- Jane xx

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Zero Waste Sewing by Elizabeth Haywood - the Blog Tour

If you're new to The Drapery, hello and welcome! We're Jane and Fiona, and we established The Drapery fabric shop in Adelaide, South Australia, in 2013. We're delighted to be part of the Blog Tour for Elizabeth Haywood's exciting new book release, Zero Waste Sewing. Read on to see the project we tried!
Sewing, and making in general, often encourages the maker to have a greater sense of environmental responsibility. Hands-on, deep involvement with the base materials of common objects (fabric, yarn, timber, clay, leather, metals) will almost certainly lead to an appreciation of the limits of our earth's precious resources.

It's not surprising then that there has been a growing interest in the concept of 'zero waste sewing'. It's not a new concept. Pre-industrialisation, it was common practice for many people to farm their own fibres (flax, hemp, wool etc), process the fibres into threads and weave their own cloth. If you had laboured to produce every thread, you'd be pretty keen to see every thread put to use. Garments were often made of simple rectangular and triangular shapes, cleverly pieced, gathered and gusseted. Zero Waste Sewing takes readers through Liz's journey of research and experimentation with different shapes, cutting and seams that result in a great variety of zero waste garments. To find out more, check out the rest of the blog tour:

At The Drapery, we're definitely on board with cutting down waste in sewing practice. We know how satisfying it is to eke a project out of a bare minimum of fabric and have only a small handful of scraps at the end. We very much appreciate pattern designers who give accurate, non-wasteful yardage recommendations for their patterns.

We're very fortunate that Liz Haywood is practically a local, living just a couple of hours away in the gorgeous Clare Valley. She was kindly able to drop in and allow us to see and try on the samples for her Zero Waste Sewing book.

I was drawn to make the Hooded Blouson. The sample I tried on was both cute and fascinating, with its hood (always a win in my books), puffball shape and clever pockets.

I chose our Japanese cotton corduroy in Peony. The pattern calls for 130cm of 115cm wide fabric. My fabric was 140cm wide so I cut just 115cm, letting my width be the extra 'length'.

The cutting and assembly process feels more like origami than traditional sewing. It's not difficult, and a tape measure, ruler and chalk easily take the place of pattern pieces.

After I had inserted the pockets and tried on the partial garment, I realised my fabric choice was not ideal for the pattern 'as writ'. (If I'd read to the end of the instructions first I would have realised this and seen Liz's handy tips! There are a lot of layers that come together at the pockets.)

I needed to re-think. I spent some time with my friend the unpicker, mulling it over. Liz had made a cape version of this pattern, and I thought that might be more suitable for the corduroy. In keeping with the zero/low waste ethic, and also with my love of pockets, I decided to re-use about half of the pocket bag fabric for a pair of patch pockets.

Playing around with possibilities
I rounded off the bottom corners using a French curve, and finished the bottom edge with cotton bias tape to preserve as much length as possible.

I kept the armholes, so I'm not totally sure if this qualifies as a genuine cape but it sure has that swing.

It was quite a warm day when these photos were taken so please pardon the unlikely combo of cape with shorts and t-shirt!

If you'd like to see this cape in person it's now hanging up in the shop. And the book is available in store and online here!

Thanks so much for having us on your blog tour Liz, and here's to less waste of beautiful fabric.

- Jane & Fiona xx