Monday, December 03, 2007

An Oldie but Goody

In my quest to overhaul my work wardrobe and "upgrade" it...I found this jacket in the back of my closet. It was my very first attempt at tailoring, constructed during a weekend session with Colleen Jones several years ago...egads more than several, more like seven!!!! Wow! I didn't realize that it had been that long.

Anyway, the fabric was a gift from a colleague when I worked at the button company. She had previously worked at a menswear firm and brought me several shopping bags with bows on them for Christmas. None of the pieces in the bags were more than 2 or 2.5 yards in length and a few pieces still reside unsewn in my collection...especially since they were classic menswear fabrics, they just don't have a shelf life or expiration date.

During the weekend session with Colleen I learned many things about tailoring since I was a complete neophyte. Things like a back interfacing piece cut from muslin, how to make piping from pleather and what filling inserts to use, how to interface the hemlines (both sleeve and jacket) and how to bag a lining.

As well as learning many things about my own sewing ability...the words "Seam Integrity" still echo in my mind. See back in the day, before I fine tuned my fitting abilities, I would regularly take some extra space from my seam allowances. I was told in no uncertain terms that Seam Integrity needed to be preserved and that there were other places and options for fitting. Another term that comes to mind is "Directional Sewing" and its purposes in elevating the look of a sewn garment. Needless to say that I learned a lot in that weekend that still affects how I sew today.

Last winter I pulled the jacket from the depths of my closet and wore it. Since then, it has found its way back into my normal clothing rotation. This is how I look after 14 hours in it today.

Vogue 7022 - OOP Sandra Betzina's Today's Fit Jacket - the pattern was issued in 1999. The pattern envelope describes it as a loose-fitting, partially interfaced, lined, below hip jacket has shoulder pads, princess seams, welt or patch pockets and long two-piece efffect sleeves.

100% wool menswear fabric

3/4" shoulder pads, pleather piping, 3 leather buttons, rayon lining

This jacket stands the test of time...for the things I learned...the construction techniques used to make it and how a classic piece of clothing is still in style SEVEN years later. I didn't wear it much after I first made it. It didn't really fit my business casual lifestyle. However, it works now and I am even contemplating making another one from the SB pattern.


  1. Great jacket Carolyn! It is nice to see that it has stood up to the test of time. It is classic.

    Would love to hear more about the pleather piping and also directional sewing - I have to admit I am not sure which way to go.

  2. Girl, what a gorgeous jacket! Isn't it great to discover lost treasures in the closet? Really, it's just so nice--truly, your efforts have stood the test of time.

  3. No wonder you're smiling - this is a beautiful jacket! I would love to take a "class" like that some time. I really like the piping on this jacket. And BTW, if you don't fudge the fit by taking it out at the seam allowance, how do you do it?

  4. Very pretty jacket. What a treasure, and the piping is so nice.

  5. Great jacket, the piping really makes the look. You (and the jacket) look beautiful, even after a long day.

    I've had the honor of meeting Collen a few times, she can really fit, teach and sew. Plus, she's a really nice person.

  6. That fabric truly is timeless.

    I am pretty sure *I* don't have anything that I sewed 7 years ago that I would wear to work now! LOL

  7. Great jacket - isn't it nice to travel down memory lane via an well made garment? I love the piping - very chic.

    Oh and BTW, every time you mention that you worked at a button company, I can't help but think of that song, "Hello, my name is Joe, I work in a button factory..."

  8. What a great jacket... and you look fabulous! Amazing to think that this was taken after 14 hours!! How spiffy you must have looked at the beginning of the day.
    I really love the piping and must store this idea in a corner of my mind! What an inspiration you are.

  9. What a great jacket, and a timeless style. The classics are called that for a reason.
    Thanks for sharing.

  10. This is a classic! I love how neat and unwrinkled looks even after 14 hours in it! Very elegant and what a nice touch that pleather piping is

  11. Girl you could have posted that jacket and said, "Look what I just whipped up in one evening!" LOL That jacket is beautifully done!

    This jacket reminds me of what my mom says all the time about class & style verses trends!

  12. Classic and well made! It begs the question, how many pieces of RTW do we own that we could place in those two categories?

  13. What a great jacket! Love the trim and classic lines. It looks so good on you!

  14. Wow! What a flattering jacket, and the detail shot shows how beautifully made it is! You really should make another one.

    Please expand a little on "seam integrity" - I'm not sure what it means.

  15. Beautiful jacket! I love classic, timeless pieces even for my casual lifestyle. Great job on the piping and tailoring. Isn't it wonderful to see how we have grown. You look great even after 14 hours.

  16. Great Jacket and your inspiration is flowing my way, I'm cutting pieces for a jacket and although I started to become overwhelmed with the 13 pcs - I thought about your fabulous garments.

  17. Nice jacket. I like the binding around the edge. Isn't it a wonderful surprise to find something at the back of your wardrobe you still like - and you made it!

  18. Great looking classic jacket. I have made two jackets from this pattern. I still have one that like you I pull into use every so often. I think I will pull it out now! I may need to pull out the pattern again as well since I have perfected the fit on this one.

  19. It's a lovely timeless jacket and you look great in it! I love the binding idea, in fact I'm planning on using it on a future garment soon!


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