A few weeks out of Me Made May and it was clear I both needed more pants and more outerwear. So I got planning.
It was love at first sight with this pattern, a few years ago now. That neckline…. seriously! It’s out of print now, which surprises me, as the jacket is so lovely and so well drafted. I can’t comment on the pants (and to be honest I chucked the pants pattern pages as I’m hopeless at getting patterns back in the envelope at the best of times). I’ve had this beautiful tan-with-pink undertones boiled wool from the Cloth Shop at least a year. Maybe two. In this current period of my life my memory is now…. well…. shit. It was always destined for this pattern, that much I can remember…. And as such I’m writing this up a mere two days after finishing this lovely jacket as I love it so, and don’t want to forget the details.
So, Vogue 9139. A short, unlined jacket with a funnel neck, dropped shoulders and quite deep armscyes giving a sort of bat wing look. It truly seems like I’m the second person on the internet to make this. The first was this lady, over at Pattern Review and I thank her for her advice to size down and shorten the sleeves. I believe I measured in at an XL, but as my pattern only went up to a M, and with some quick flat pattern measurements I felt a medium would be fine. I measured the finished sleeved length and felt pretty confident removing 5cm from the sleeve at the lengthen/shorten line, and ended up folding up another 1cm at hemming. For reference my current measurements put me at 178cm tall, bust 100cm and hips 110cm.
As for adjustments that’s it! I measured the length of the armscye seams on both the front and back, and realised it had already been drafted with a longer back armscye, bringing the shoulder seam forward and therefore reducing the need for my usual forward shoulder adjustment. With the cut on funnel neck I didn’t want to muck around with the shoulder seem unless necessary so this was a great relief.
This pattern is drafted for stable knits and the boiled wool was perfect. I deviated from the instructions in the following way:
- cut the back on the fold, eliminating the CB seam which is straight
- stabilised the shoulder seams with rayon seam tape to prevent stretching
- understitched the neckline facing after grading the seam – just couldn’t get round those curves
- avoided topstitching anything. Instead I hand basted down all facings and hems and sewed them by hand for a clean invisible look. It took a few hours but I’m delighted with the finish as the stitches sink in and disappear like magic
- used snaps instead of buttons for a similar reason. These are copper coloured snaps from Darn Cheap Fabrics and I’m thrilled with how well they tone with the fabric colour
- Cut the sleeves on the cross grain due to fabric restrictions which worked out absolutely fine – the boiled wool doesn’t have an obviously visible straight or cross grain
- Made a patch label on the back neck facing with a Kylie and the Machine label to use as a hanging loop
Despite boiled wool not really fraying I did overlock all my raw edges using a pale pink thread. I do kind of wish I’d bought some tan but I don’t mind the pink too much. I’d highly recommend finishing the edges separately before sewing (or doing them separately afterwards but my overlocker doesn’t like that) so that seams can be pressed open to avoid bulk. This is crucial for the deep underarm seam as 6 layers of heavy fabric would prevent the curve sitting nicely.
I forced myself to slow down and finish this as well as I could. But I had a self imposed deadline…. I was given the delightful gift of a child-free day off work, and arranged to meet some lovely sewing friends so Of Course I really really really wanted to wear this jacket. 45 minutes before I was due to meet them I sewed on the last snap, sprayed off any trace of marking pen, had a quick final press and was good to go!
After everyone tried it on we found a suitably cool laneway and Anna, directed by a chorus of other fabulous seamstresses managed to snap some great pics for me. Sewing friends are the best. Seriously I can’t encourage real life sewing friendships enough. It’s hard to make friends as we get older I find – it’s been such a joy to make new friends that share a common love.
So these are my two tips of the day – track down a copy of this pattern and if you haven’t already make some real life sewing friends. You won’t regret either.