Friday, January 02, 2009

A Chilly Day Outfit - Part 1


This is my first project for 2009 because on Monday mornings it is really cold in my office. It's because I sit in front of 2 very large windows and the cold air seems to just flow in...or maybe its because I work in a very tall building and the building across the street is just as tall so the two form those NYC canyons that seem to harbor cold and/or heat? Whatever the cause, its cold by my desk on Monday mornings.

The second reason this is my first project is because this is a quicker project than a normal Carolyn project...especially since I'm still easing my way back into my overly obsessed, planned to the ninth degree, all encompassing sewing.

So a few stats:

Pattern:
(This is the same jacket pattern I used for the Jackie O. Retro suit and the Coldwater Creek jacket.)

Fabric:
Brushed herringbone fleece from Fabric Fixx in New Hampshire

Notions:
4 yards of beige foldover braid
5 - 1" buttons
a pair of 3/4" shoulder pads
2 yards of 2.25" grosgrain ribbon

Machine Settings
Size 90 Universal sewing machine needle
Stitch Length: 3

Some interesting construction details:

First the jacket back pattern piece was cut on the fold instead of with a center back seam which is how I normally construct the jacket.


The sleeves have a seam down the center but that wasn't my original intent. When I first planned the jacket, I was going to use the whole sleeve pattern and place it on the bias. I was hoping for some decorative interest and a little additional stretch in the body of the sleeve. However, due to a nasty cutting incident that I am still to traumatized to speak about...*sigh*...the sleeves had to be cut out in pieces and then sewn together before inserting into the jacket.

I also added two inches to the body of the jacket fronts and back because I wanted the warmth. What do I mean? Normally, this is a shorter jacket - see here - and since I plan on wearing this jacket over a pair of pants, I wanted it to cover my behind a little more - for warmth! *smile*

I also basted on grosgrain ribbon facings to the jacket front before sewing down the foldover braid trim. I went through several buttonhole applications in my mind but I didn't want to overly complicate the construction process. By adding the ribbon facings, I could make regular sewing machine buttonholes without having any issues with them sinking into the fleece.


The foldover braid was added to the flat sleeve hems before the sleeves were stitched into the jacket. I cut 1.5" off the hem area so that the sleeves wouldn't be too long. Also the sleeves were sewn in flat, not in the round, in the jacket. I was concerned about easing the fleece into a circle...I wasn't sure that it would ease well without puckering...so I used a flat construction. This worked very well. The final thing I did to the sleeve seams was to trim them from notch to notch on the underarm seam to relieve some of the excess bulk in that area.

After sewing up the side seams and pressing them flat, I pinned the foldover braid to the entire jacket...fronts, back and hemline area. After insuring that it was pinned on properly & securely, I slowly sewed the entire binding down using my sewing machine.

A few hints:

~Most books tell you NOT to press fleece because it burns. I have never been able to get seams to lay flat with finger pressing so I've developed a technique where I press seams lightly using a silk organza pressing cloth, with the iron on a silk setting. Very little pressure and quick presses followed by the clapper sitting on the seams works for me. This can be a little time consuming but I've never burned a piece of fleece since I started using this method.

~The foldover braid was applied flat on the sleeves with a 1/2" of overlap left. When I sewed up the sleeve the unfinished edge of the braid was left. I folded it under and added a few hand stitches and it neatened the braid up nicely.


~The buttons were sewn on using a brown embroidery floss to give a little interest to the buttons. Since it's thicker than regular thread I only had to make 2 passes through the holes and made a great thread shank on the buttons underside.


I'm off to work on the pants to go with the jacket. I have several vanilla colored turtlenecks (both sleeveless and long sleeved) that can be worn with this outfit so I won't be making a top to complete this outfit.

Part 2 tomorrow!

37 comments:

  1. The jacket turned out beautiful! I love the look of the foldover braid.

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  2. The jacket is very pretty, it's going to be a nice outfit!

    Hugs,
    Lory

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  3. Oh, that foldover braid is so beautiful. It adds an additional sophistication to an already elegant jacket. You have done a wonderful job and I know it will keep you cozy on chilly Monday mornings. I also dress a little more warmly on Mondays, as my office is a bit cool then, too.

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  4. Very nice, it looks really warm and cozy...Thanks for the sewing details.

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  5. Very nice, pretty and cozy.

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  6. Carolyn, this has to be the most elegant fleece jacket I have ever seen. Perfect for chilly Mondays at the office. The braid and buttons are just the right touch. I also like your solution to use ribbon as facing which solves the fleece buttonhole issue. Great tip.

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  7. If you had not said it was fleece, I never would have guessed. That is one fantastic jacket. And when were you up at Fabric Fixx and why didn't you call me???

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  8. Wow, that jacket is the bomb. Okay, keep the inspiration flowing.

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  9. Great looking fleece jacket. Definitely will keep you warm on those cold days! I like the look of the foldover braid.

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  10. Wow! I would have never guessed your fabric was fleece. It's absolutely beautiful. You did a wonderful job finishing the jacket. Love it! ...Susan

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  11. Love it! I am another who would have never guessed fleece if you hadn't spilled the beans. g

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  12. I love this! Really classy and perfect, Carolyn. Didn't think it was fleece either.

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  13. Wow! I didn't know that fleece could look like that! great job on the jacket. Thank you for showing the details!

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  14. Your new cosy jacket turned out as an elegant one, never would have guessed it was a fleece fabric. The fold over braid matches perfectly. I only wonder why you sewed the buttons in a vertical way while the buttonholes are sewed horizontally.

    Happy New Year.

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  15. I cannot believe that's fleece--it looks too couture! You have a great eye for fabric and mad skillz!

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  16. I love the jacket, I didn't know it was fleece until I started reading, and thanks for the ironing tip I made two fleece jackets and ironed both, thankfully I didn't burn them but I will use a pressing cloth in the future. The future being tomorrow I'm working on a hot pink fleece jacket. It should keep you very warm.

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  17. Great jacket Carolyn! Love the houndstooth!

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  18. You did such a wonderful job on this. So professional. I've never seen fleece like that. I learned something new today!

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  19. I can't believe that is fleece, looks fantastic. Where did you get the foldover braid?

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  20. WOW!!! This jacket is beautiful. I'm dying to see the whole outfit. I would never have thought that fleece could be so...so...so...elegant as others have said. I will look more closely at the fleece next trip but I doubt that Joann's has anything as nice.

    Teresa

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  21. I love this jacket - the fabric is perfect for it!

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  22. Very clever with the ribbon facings!

    I really need to get off the computer and go sew, but all my sewing blog friends are so inspiring that it's hard to break away!

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  23. I can't believe you made that with fleece! It's so elegant looking.

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  24. This jacket is fabulous. It's classy and stylish. Love it!

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  25. I really love this jacket! Very nice looking fleece. I love the colors as well.

    Best wishes for 2009!

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  26. Looks great, Carolyn! Thanks for the tip on pressing fleece.

    Most offices are cold on Mondays in the winter; building management turns the heat down over the weekend, same as most of us do overnight, or when we leave the house empty all day and go to work, or leave on a winter vacation.

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  27. Great jacket! I love the binding - it adds such an elegant touch.

    Glad to see you easing back into the sewing!

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  28. Very impressive to have the first garment of the year! Looks great!

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  29. Nice jacket! I'd never know that was fleece! Like the way you finished the binding on the sleeve hems.

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  30. Oooo . . very nice! I think you're the first person I've known that can make fleece look chic. The print and the binding are just right.

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  31. Love the color! Who would have known it was fleece. Very impressive ms.c!

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  32. I love the fabric...hard to believe it is fleece...it should really be great for that chilly office

    Tina

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  33. It's a fine looking jacket.

    The reason it's always cold on Mondays is because most buildings turn the heat down to 50 on Friday afternoon, and it takes a long time to come back up to 68 or so. Planning to stay warm was an excellent program!

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  34. Nice job! I couldn't believe that was fleece. Can't wait to see the rest of the 'fit.

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  35. Lovely jacket and I like the details. Fleece sounds like a wonderful idea for those chilly Mondays. I had to look at the photos again after I read your post as I didn't "read" fleece the first time around. Very nice.

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  36. Gorgeous jacket and style! I love it! Well done, Carolyn!!

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