The first alteration I always make is to the sleeve pattern. It is rare when a sleeve has enough space for my very bodacious biceps. Since this pattern goes up to a size 20 and that is what I'm starting with...the finished width for the biceps is 17 3/4". I need 18-19" for comfort. So I added width to both sides starting at the underarm seam and adding 1/2" at the bicep area through the sleeve and tapering back to the seamline at the sleeve hem.
To both the front and back pieces as well as the front facings, I added 3" at the lengthen/shorten line on the pattern. And to the front pattern piece I added 1/2" to the hemline by gradually widening the pattern from the underarm seam at the side seam. I also added an inch to the front band and moved the center front line over to accomodate the added width. Since you place the back piece on the fold, I will use the pivot and slide technique to add a 1/2" at the center back hemline that way.
I increased the collar by one inch to accomodate the change to the front pattern piece. I also added an inch to the front facing piece for the same reason. Then I re-measured all of the pieces, omitted the 5/8" seam allowances to determine if my new measurements would fit my body measurements as well as the amount of ease I like in a jacket. As of now, my calculations appear correct, so I will cut the fashion fabric after it's pre-treated.
Pre-treating the Fabric:
Even though this is a cotton blend fabric and I should be able to wash and dry it...I am concerned about removing the "shine" of the fabric. So I'm going to load the steam generator with water and steam the heck out of this piece. I believe that this should be sufficient for pretreating the fabric.
Since I've never made this jacket before and the reviews on PR did not heartily endorse this pattern, I did spend quite a bit of time reading the instructions. I've already noted where I'm going to make some changes.
One, since I'm making my own bias binding using the pattern piece supplied by Vogue, I noticed that nowhere in the instructions does it tell you to mark the lines on the pattern piece prior to cutting it out. Ummm, I know this is a general fact but seriously it could be reiterated. Also, for making the binding it tells you to iron down a 1/4" on either side of the binding. Now most of us know that you can use a bias binder maker for this job...why wouldn't the patterns instruct you to use one? I can just see some poor sewist burning his or her fingers while they tried to iron down 1/4" on either side...*sigh*
Lining the sleeves:
The pattern instructs you to baste the lining and the sleeve together, then after the sleeve is sewn into the jacket to hem the sleeves. Okay that's one way...but I think I'm going to use the Nancy Zieman method ~ the lining and fashion fabric are sewn together at the hemline. Then the side seam is sewn and the lining is flipped inside. I just have to insure that none of the lining fabric hangs from the bottom of the sleeve. This method allows the hem to be sewn before the sleeve is placed into the jacket. Cleaner and easier.
Since I've added three inches to the length of the jacket, I will add some more buttons to the front of the jacket as well as one to the collar. I don't understand why there isn't one there already! The jacket presently has 3 buttons...I'm thinking 5 or 6. Speaking of buttons, I want to use a silvery nickel type which I have in the button collection.
For the buttonholes, I'm thinking about making corded buttonholes. The fabric is a little busy and I think that by adding some cording to the buttonholes it will provide them with a little more oomph. I will have to make a few samples to see if this will work or not.
Otherwise, I'm ready and will go into "sewing mode" in the morning...I..CAN'T...WAIT!