Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Butterick 4980 ~ The Wearable Muslin

Pattern Description:
Misses/Misses' Petite Jacket, Dress and tie belt. Loose-fitting, waist length jacket has neckband and three-quarter length raglan sleeves. View B: button loop closure

Jacquard linen tablecloth purchased at an estate sale

Construction Details:
This pattern goes up to a size 20 and I typically use a size 22 or 24 pattern. Here are a few stats from the pattern: the finished lower jacket edge is 46.5 inches. The finished sleeve (bicep) width is 19.5 and the finished bust measurement is also 46.5 inches. The back length of the jacket is 19.25 inches.

All of these measurements (except for the sleeve/bicep one) are just a few inches short of what I like in wearing ease in a garment. So the first alteration I performed was to lengthen the jacket by 2 inches. This made the jacket hit my actual waistline.

The next pattern alteration was to add one inch to the hemline of the jacket front. I did this by slicing the pattern piece from the bust point (which was clearly marked on the pattern piece) and spreading the pattern pieces so that I ended up with an additional inch at the hem. I also added one inch to the center back seam of the pattern and changed the back neckband piece to reflect this change.

Then I sewed the jacket together. Here it is hemmed and over a black tank dress that I made last year:

It is wearable but after reviewing the fit I need to make a few more alterations to the pattern. First the pattern envelope shows the jacket meeting at the front when buttoned and hanging straight down from there. I don't know if this is the artist's rendering or how the jacket is suppose to hang but I don't like the amount of space over my abdomen area. So I think I need to add another inch or two to the front piece. I also don't like the way the fabric pools in the back. It is the victim of the "place on fold" pattern piece. The next version will have a center back seam which will eliminate the pooled fabric look and the jacket will not only fit better but have a sleeker look. I am also debating whether or not to add another 2 inches to the length.

The directions for the pattern were pretty easy to follow. I deliberately made myself read them and not just follow along with the pictures. There was only one place where I thought a better explanation could be given and that was when you applied the neckband to the jacket. Otherwise, the construction sequence made sense and the jacket went together easily.

I originally choose this pattern because I was inspired by a Liz Claiborne jacket that I saw in an ad. Of course, I can't find the ad now but in my mind, I remember the jacket being longer than this. Even though the short 3/4 length sleeve jacket is in and I like the way it looks, I must remember what works for my body. And I think another 2 inches would give the appearance of a short jacket but provide just a little more body coverage. My other concern is that the jacket won't work for all garment pieces equally. I like my jackets to work not only with dresses and skirts but with pants too. I am not a huge fan of the v-spot showing on my pants...maybe if I had a flat tummy that wouldn't be a problem but I just don't like to call attention to extra plump areas on my body. My other concern is that I don't want to overfit the jacket.

I tried the jacket on with another version of the Sewing Workshop Mission Tank that I constructed from the remnants of the linen jacquard tablecloth and a pair of black linen pants from my closet. I am going to make up another pair of black pants from the herringbone linen that I scored from Ebads Fabrics last friday and wear with this outfit.

I need to make some decisions before I cut into my brown eyelet. Any comments or suggestions?

And has anyone else noticed that all the pieces that have come from my sewing room are black & white!? I need to find some color up in here! *smile* You can see more pics in my Yahoo album here.


  1. Carolyn, I really like the jacket. I think the length is just right on you. I also like it not meeting at the centre, particularly with the black dress. I think it looks very slimming. Maybe you could bring it a bit more together at the front but the splash of black looks very nice.

  2. I like the jacket in its current length with the dress. I think that look is fabulous on you.

    With the pants I am not yet convinced. I understand your points about the length with pants, but am not sure this particular jacket will look all that good that much longer (I am assuming you want it about the length of the tank top you showed underneath).

    I think the jacket could look cute with pants and a longer top, much like the look you showed with the white tank, but I am not sure I like the matching white tank with a white jacket. I am thinking that there is a high liklihood it will look really cute with a white tank and a dark (brown eyelet) jacket, or with the white jacket and a darker or printed, or contrasting color top.

  3. Some thoughts: feel free to ignore what you don't like ;)

    It's hard to tell with the top not fastened at the button placement, and with you standing with elbows to side, which appears to be pulling jacket open - that said, does it still fall in a V open to tummy? 'Cause it looks really cute and nicely fitting the way it is - not overly bulky but easy. But if when you stand without elbows pulling it back like that, if it is still looking "shrunken" then you probably do need to add a little width.
    -From this perspective, it looks as if it will benefit from being buttoned. I would move the button loop right down to the seam and place the button on the seam, rather than in the yoke, and see what it looks like.
    - The short length is trendy and is V cute with the black dress - and will v likely work with all your dresses. Sorry darlin' but get over it, all jackets are not going to work with all garments - let this one be a dress jacket only.
    I'm afraid that if you lengthen it 2" it will go from cute and trendy to dowdy and matronly. Just my two pennies.
    you go girl, productivity is oozing from your pores

  4. I agree with Marji on the jacket length. When you said extend it by 2", the little voice in my head immediately said no. I love the way it looks with the black tank dress. And I am a big fan of black and white together. I think it looks crisp and sharp. I almost wore that combination today myself.

    And a little birdy over at SG tells us it is your birthday today! (song) Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you! - Linda

  5. I think that both Mardel and Marji have good points. I am soooo inspired by your productivity! I really love the polka dot linen from the last post. You sew,girl!

  6. I think it is almost a luxury-sized woman, I agree with marji regarding the length of the jacket and the jacket needing to meet CF .... so if it doesn't meet, I'd add the width. When jackets don't meet on me (design style or not) I get uncomfortable and won't wear it. i've been lurking since the timmel swap and am inspired by your work. keep it up, happy bday and thanks for the talk about metro textile -- I saw Kashi a couple of weeks ago.


  7. I have to agree with the previous comments to leave the jacket alone! It isn't a style that is going to work with everything. Happy Birthday - and how can you say that aren't feeling productive? You've cut out 3 dresses and finished 2 of them (one through no fault of your own!) And you finished the wearable muslin of that jacket. I haven't even finished one dress in the last 2 weeks!!! g

  8. Is it your Birthday?!?

    Happy B'day To You.
    I've just spent every which way to Sunday that I could think of in the internet searching for your phone # to call you and sing you happy b'day. I found 4 previous addresses and your age, middle name, (which I already knew) but NO phone #.

    so, lalalalala, Happy B'day to you, Happy B'day to you, Happy B'day dear Carolyn, Happy B'day to You.


    Sewing vaca definitely the best gift!

  10. I agree with several who said the jacket is great with the contrasting dress underneath. I think it might be just as great with a contrasting top underneath, even with pants. I just don't like the matching tank. It just wrings all the cute shape out of both pieces. Much better wear them separately.

    I have a desire to have all jackets go with all pieces, and it never works, even if you try hard. The best you can do is something that's just "okay" with everything, and great with nothing.

    Happy Birthday! :)

  11. Happy Birthday!!! I am enjoying your sewing vacation right along with you - which is so much fun. Keep having a great time pumping our all of this awesome fashion!

  12. Happy Birthday (late)!!

    I love the jacket with the dress. Not that crazy about it with the white top, though others have spoken about that.

    It is really a nice piece. Good job!

  13. I have to disagree with everyone else - I don't think the white top looks all that bad - but since I'm in the minority you can take that with a grain of salt! I do like the look of the white jacket/black dress, and I think it would work well with contrasting tops under it too.

    Do you have a pic of the back to show the "pooling" effect you mentioned? I'm having a hard time visualising anything after moving house yesterday!


Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! It is so appreciated!


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