Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Lavender and Gray Skies Jacket - Part 2

Okay I'm officially back on track...*grateful sigh*  My solution worked.  So what was the solution?  Well the "all sweater" arms was too great a contrast.  One solution would have been to find more ways to incorporate the sweater knit into the jacket so the knit sleeves wouldn't look so extreme.  But that wasn't the path I wanted to take with this jacket.  Instead, I decided to use the small piece of felted fabric I had left to make the sleeves.


I folded the sleeve pattern in the center to take some of the width out. I cut out two sleeves from the remaining piece of fabric.  Then I folded the cut sleeves in half and cut them into two pieces.  I pressed the knit sleeves that I had removed from the jacket and cut the center out of them, stitching the new smaller centers onto the two each side of the sleeve.  Here is how the sleeves looked flat:




With much trepidation, I pinned the sleeves into the jacket.  I wish there was a way to add a drumroll here...*LOL*...but it worked.  Here are a few "not so great" in progress pictures to show how the sleeve now looks in the jacket...


A bad mirror shot

A hanging shot

A view of the sleeve on my arm

Laying on the cutting table with the buttons

I'm thinking I need to invest in a new camera and move away from the point and shoot, but I digress.  Because the jacket will work.  It will fit around my body and will play well with the coordinates.  But here's the thing...I don't think the jacket is me.  Seriously.  I know all of this drama and now I'm not sure.  I don't know about you but there are two sides to me...my business side and my creative side...and I'm always trying to jive the two sides of me.  My creative side loves this jacket...the manipulation of the fabric...adding the knit fabric...making something different and unusual.  However, my business side likes a cleaner, linear line, something serious and same...this jacket ain't that!


So I will finish the jacket.  And I will make the coordinating pieces because I want them.  But right now, I don't honestly know if I will wear the jacket often...then again, I don't wear many jackets often...*sigh*  Maybe that's why I'm on the continual quest to find "the perfect" jacket.  Something I can make multiple times, have it work in all situations and feel comfortable in.  I even wonder if that mythical, perfect jacket exists?


Anyway...this is my journey.  This is where I'm at in the making of this jacket and wardrobe. This is my thought process as I work through the construction of these pieces...


...as always, more later!







57 comments:

  1. Brilliant solution - I am learning so much from you.
    I am still excited by the idea of making the back a little smaller than the front to achieve the perfect fit. A radical idea which should work well for me, too. I have similar figure "challenges", shall we say :)

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  2. That is a great save! It's really lovely now. But I can understand your hesitation on wearing it in your professional capacity -- it kind of resembles a very feminine interpretation of a letterman's jacket. I'd wear it in a heartbeat, but I go to work in jeans. :) I'm really impressed at your creative solution though.

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  3. Carolyn, I like your solution. It adds that sweater element without taking over the look of the jacket. I think I know why you don't wear jackets, at least I know why I don't wear many jackets. It's because jackets are stiff to wear. They are very formal and might I add, uncomfortable. Even when they fit correctly. You (and I) wear more cardigans, which are comfortable and warm and look nice, all at the same time. Jackets don't give you that cozy feeling like cardigans do. I'm wondering if this is why you don't wear many jackets either.

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  4. Nice solution to your problem! I like the look of the stripe much more than the total contrast arms. On the one hand, I actually really like your jacket - I think the contrast knit strip is very modern looking, and sleeve details seem to have been something of a trend last year. On the other hand, I can understand your hesitation to wear it to a more formal work environment, as it isn't what I would consider "classic" either. Hopefully once the rest of the wardrobe is complete you will be a little happier with it since it will have coordinating pieces. Can't wait to see it with everything else!

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  5. I love your jacket! I think it is both unique and stylish.

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  6. Such a creative solution and perfect execution! I read your blog often .. you're a real inspiration. Your problem solving and design determination skills and fulfillment are tops. And you know your subject well .. that's
    got to be the most important thing I've learned.

    I'm thinking the jacket could maybe use a little balancing... more accents with the sweater knit to look intentional as the whole jacket design look.

    I don't know if you can serge the sweater knit so it won't ravel, but a few ideas off the top of my head:

    geometric shape of the sweater knit sewed down under the buttons .. framing them - square, oval, round, etc.

    framing the neckline with the sweater knit binding

    a couple, maybe 3 randomly spaced
    sweater knit geometric patches as a design element on the right or left upper chest area of the jacket with a matching button sewed in each .. or some kind of embellishment or classy simple enbroidery on them or even maybe even plain if they looked acceptable

    See what you think .. don't feel bad saying those are dorky .. LOL.

    Thanks for all you do promote the disease (fabriholism ;), giving us the chance to escape and drool over your beauties, and for providing a very kind, encouraging, and calm we-can-do-it attitude about garment sewing. It does a lot to temper the irrational fear that can sometimes overwhelm and immobilize me from even starting a project.

    ~ Joy ~

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  7. Hi Carolyn! Happy new year & thanks for keeping up the engaging posts; I'm so glad you're settling into your new digs!

    Personally, I think this jacket went from 'meh' to pretty freaking cool. Those sweater knit strips really make the look! And I think it would look great over a casual
    combination for weekend wear - ooh, ooh, ooh! You can be a 'lady who lunches' and wear it with pearls over a super-casual white knit top! lol. Being silly now, but it's lovely :)

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  8. A great solution! So much better! I hear you on resolving the creative and practical sides. Maybe let it sit for a bit and see if it grows on you? Anyway, it looks great!

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  9. I totally love the way you fixed the sleeves. To me, it gives the jacket a sporty feel. Maybe it doesn't work for the office, but I think it would make a very hip casual jacket with jeans. I just love the shades of purple in the fabrics you are using.

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  10. It's a great save. I think having things in our closets that stretch us a little is good. I have quite a few garments like this and every once in a while I pull one out and wear it and I'm glad it's there. I'm sure you'll do the same with this. I really like it and I'd wear it.

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  11. Genius solution! It gives the jacket a bit of a sporty feel I think so will work at weekends and at work depending on what you put it with - a great wardrobe item to have.

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  12. I like the two-tone sleeves, I think it works. I hope you have some opportunities to wear it. I understand what you are saying about lifestyle and needing clothes that present the right side of yourself in the right situation.

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  13. Love the edgy styling of your jacket. Enjoy it and wear it at least once.

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  14. I like the new sleeve - I didn't like the big contrast before (but I never have liked that look) and I agree with Shannon... maybe not an office jacket but I think it would look super smart casually.

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  15. Love the new sleeve! It looks great! I think you will be happier once you can actually try it on with the rest of your outfit. Trust me, it's gorgeous.

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  16. I like it! Maybe it won't work for your office but it will be super cute when you wear a more casual outfit, you be the judge! ;-)

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  17. I like your solution; but then I knew you would come up with the right one. I think the jacket does a great job of combining business and creativeness without going over the top on the creative style.

    Maybe after making the rest of the garments you will like it more.Great save.

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  18. Joy beat me to it! I was going to suggest some sort of sweater-knit design patches to tie in the stripes on the sleeve.

    I did something similar to this on a knit top where the sleeves were entirely too tight. I added a strip of the same fabric down the center of the sleeve and flatlocked the seams. It worked beautifully and fits very well.

    Whether you wear the jacket or not, I think you did a good job saving it. If you donate it, believe me, someone will wear and appreciate it!

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  19. I really like your solution for the arms, looks great. I hope you do wear the jacket, great garment.

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  20. I completely love this solution. After you make the other pieces, you may be able to make a narrow infinity scarf to add to the neckline, and pull it all together. It may be just the thing to make you smile!

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  21. If your a non jacket wearer... say you wear to the office and take it off.... why not do just that? It really looks lovely... color, style, etc... good luck with your inner battle. Lol....

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  22. This was not only a terrific save, just as when I run out of a fabric for my quilts, the sweater knit made the design much richer and more expensive-looking. From the pictures, it looks like the buttons are the color of the sweater knit, so I don't think you need any more to tie it together. By the way, what do you do for work that you have to dress so uber formal?

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  23. Great save! It's nice when you can make it work like that. I will say that I too am on the hunt for the "perfect jacket". But the reality is I often find them stiff and then I get overheated.....I really like cardigans....hmmm must think on that.
    Luckily, I'm in a job where it's not a requirement so I get to choose.
    Hope it continues to work out for you,

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  24. I know you don't need me to validate you, but the jacket is REALLY nice. And I am certain it will work corporately. Seriously, it's just 1 detail.

    Now.... Hows about some shirring?

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  25. When I read the description and saw the sleeve picture, I was a bit skeptical, but it came out great. I'm glad you're back on track.

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  26. Your solution looks wonderful.

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  27. It looks lovely. How it feels is the thing to decide though. Two different topics.

    I've never found a jacket that feels emotionally comfortable on me. They are not me. I'm more a sweater girl and you seem to love those a lot too. I haven't thought about what a professional cardigan looks like because I don't work in an office but... hmm...

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  28. I love your sleeve solution and incorporating the original sleeve fabric!!

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  29. I love your jacket and would totally wear it to work. Unlike you, jackets are my "thing" and I wear them everyday to work or play. Give yourself some time to let the new look sink in. And, it will probably have a different feel when you make the skirt, dress and other coordinates completed.

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  30. Positively brilliant, Carolyn. I'm sorry you're not thrilled with it. I agree with an earlier commenter that it does create a little sportier feel. Perhaps that's the aspect you're not so wild about? I like Joy's suggestion of carrying some of the sweater knit onto the body of the jacket. Another suggestion would be to applique some shapes of the felt (geometric, paisley?) over the sweater knit. Also, you could needle felt some shapes onto both the sleeve and body. That might break up the ski sweatery feel of it. Just throwing out ideas-they might be really dumb ones. Good luck with it.

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  31. I really like your solution. Great save. It looks much better than the original.

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  32. Carolyn your solution is fabulous and elegant. I think it looks great on you. But I get it about not feeling it is 'you' - I have had the same experience, esp if a garment has some striking difference from my typical outfits. I like Shams' idea of letting it sit - age like fine wine! - and check it out another time. When the whole ensemble is complete it might look different to your eyes.

    Many congratulations on that sleeve, though! Excellent excellent and tres elegant!

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  33. I like this version, but I understand the whole jacket thing. I finally figured out that I am not a "jacket person" and am much happier in sweaters and such. I like jackets for dressing up for church, and have some really nice ones, but when I get dressed every day, I don't reach for them; I go for the sweaters.

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  34. I think your solution is undoubtedly cool and hip, and I wonder if that is your issue with wearing it for work. Maybe that's why others commented about wearing it with jeans - the cool-as-hell sleeves would be awesome for a weekend look.

    I'm pretty luke warm on jackets for work. There are other, more fun and flattering solutions for womens' professional attire these days, IMHO.

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  35. Like everybody else, I love the jacket. I don't know if you have enough of it, but if you could make a kirt out of the same sweater knit (lined, so it doesn't cling) I think the suit would like very corporate. I can totally see it styled with a solid shell and pearls. In any case, great save! It may grow on you (I hope).

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  36. Great save. Someone suggested wearing it with jeans and I agree.

    ~Sewjourner

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  37. You've done a fabulous save on your jacket, and it looks good on. I would never have thought of that. And, good luck on finding the perfect jacket. My suggestion, and you may already do this, is go to the stores and try on different jackets and see if any of them speak to you, and then of course you can make them. I do this with recipes at restaurants. Try the food then go home and replicate the recipe.

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  38. Yay! I love it. Once you have finished it and put it aside for a while, you may find that you like it better than you do right now. To me, this looks far more polished and professional than the wildly eccentric things I wear to the office, so I was surprised to read that you think it is too far out, lol.

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  39. Like others have said - let it sit for a while. You might not be happy with it as it is not what you expected and had problems with it. It ROCKS! Love it.

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  40. It doesn't sound like an argument between business and creative to me--it sounds like the finished jacket does not match your aesthetic. It's cool that you figured out how to save it, but don't wear it if it doesn't make you feel chic.

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  41. Carolyn,
    I love what you did to the jacket! Would have never thought to do that. It it very classy and creative. Thanks for showing all of us your creative ideas!
    Sally Berlin

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  42. What a great solution! I love it!

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  43. nice. i love this with the stripe - great save!

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  44. Jacket is great. GIRRRRRl! you pulled that out of the fire! It's okay if you only wear this jacket a few times.If it satisfied the creative need in you that's good.

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  46. Personally, I think it looks rich..like a designer jacket. I love Susan's idea of making an infinity scarf to wear with it.

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  47. Carolyn,
    When I first saw your save, I was thinking that it needs a matching element on another wardrobe piece... A side stripe on a dress or skirt. If you really don't think it's for you, I have several yards of the lavender jersey from fabric mart I will send you if you like.

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  48. OMG, this jacket would be totally outstanding with a medium long drapey scarf wrapped around your neck or big chunky gold or silver necklaces. Nice work Carolyn!

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  49. I knew you would make it work beautifully.

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  50. I think your idea to save the jacket was really brilliant. I think if you used the knit in one more place on the front it would give your look better balance from a visual standpoint. That's just my two cents worth, and no offense intended.

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  51. Never mind the brilliant save. You might want to rethink your reservations about the jacket. I think the jacket is amazing. From the photos you do have posted the jacket is beautiful on you.

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  52. I love the detail the contrast brings to the sleeves. It looks like a designer touch that brings something special to your garment :)

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  53. Suggestion? Wear the jacket it looks good and I like what you did. Every once in a while we need to present a new side of us and shake things up, wear it and shake things up in the office every now and then it will be fun.

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  54. I like the jacket on you. Just when you think is not for you it will be just fine when you wear it an you will get great compliments. Step out in style and believe. You inspire me. Thanks and Happy Sewing

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  55. I love your jacket solution. It is very classy!! I think you look well in it but it's you who have to be comfortable with it. Beautiful jacket. I hope you do wear it.

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  56. Carolyn, what a creative solution!!! I think the jacket looks great. I agree, wait until you finish the other pieces and see how you feel. Also, I know you prefer to wear dresses, but I think the jacket would also look great with a pair of dark demin jeans and a white tee.

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