As planned, I’ve been working on making the Little Somethin’ Jacket into something I want to wear. Sadly, I haven’t been successful with velvet, yet. Actually, velvet is the reason I haven’t posted in so long. I started making a simple, shoulder princess seam dress out of velvet and was so incredibly frustrated. I had sewn each seam at least twice and it still isn’t presentable. I pinned the seam every 1/2 inch. I did diagonal basting. I resewed seams. Then I abandoned the velvet dress for A Little Somethin’ else.
Here’s my first attempt, which might get worn. The fabric is a rayon/lycra knit and you can see how the stand-up collar just crumples. It’s not the pattern’s fault; this is all about fabric choice. (Also, I need to get the sleeve length and shoulder seam right.) But I liked the direction; this showed promise. Please note that this is the Little Somethin’ Jacket front grafted on to Marcy Tilton’s short jacket Vogue 9190. I’ll show you how I did that below.
This first attempt was promising enough to use some lovely 50cotton/50 wool knit. Which turned out great!
I wear this dark grey version all of the time. It’s very comfortable and breathes well. That gave me enough courage to proceed with a longer version (dress length), made out of a wool french terry cloth.
I’ve only worn this one once, but it worked well – not too hot and very cozy.
My philosophy with sewing has developed into “use what works”, and for me that means taking patterns that I like and re-using them in a variety of ways. For this long version of the cardigan, I used the body from my woven dress pattern (self-drafted – see previous posts), the collar from the Little Somethin’ Jacket, and the sleeves from V9190. Here’s my very inelegant but practical process.
I used the woven princess seam dress pattern as the basis for the front, and matched center fronts (sort of, the front of the Little Somethin’ is very diagonal, and I explain why below), and matched the shoulder seams. Then I pinned the fronts together, and folded away the excess tissue. Because of the Little Somethin’ front diagonal, I chalked in the front line on the fabric before cutting. The folded front area is 2.75″, and I added a little off-graining (see Roberta Carr’s Couture Sewing book).
I like the sleeve from V 9190, which means I need to use the armscye from that pattern, too. I matched the shoulder seams and close to the side seams, pinned the patterns together, and folded away the excess from V9190.
Ditto for the back armscye.
Finally, I needed to use the upper back seam from Little Somethin’ for it to work with the front collar. There’s not a huge difference, but this will make the collar work better than my dress pattern. When I was cutting, the beige tissue on the left was folded away.
Now all of the pattern pieces will fit together. I used the instructions for the collar from the Little Somethin’ Jacket and the rest of it is simple assembly – sew side fronts to front, sew side backs to back, sew shoulder seams, insert sleeves, sew side seams, and hem.
Finally, since this blog is focused on sewing for a flat chest, I want to point out where the bust dart is in the Little Somethin’ Jacket. See how wide the hem is here?
I was pretty sure that the dart was rotated to the hem, and you can sort of see that in the photo below. On the left side, you can see a fold of fabric at the hem, and the diagonal closing is also in part due to the dart rotation. It’s less obvious on the right here, and I think that’s because my arm is sticking out.
In any case, you can remove this dart if you want to use the pattern (and not graft the front like I did). Essentially, this is a small bust adjustment for a rotated dart. This is the cheater method – fold the dart out:
If you wanted to do a proper method, this post should help – http://www.queenofdarts.com/2013/03/small-bust-adjustment-part-2.html.
I’m now on a quest to make leggings. I cut apart an old pair to compare it to patterns, and I’m very surprised at how dissimilar the old commercial leggings are to either of the two patterns I have (StyleArc Laura and M7514). My inclination is to trace a pattern from the commercial leggings. I’ll update…