Saturday, January 08, 2011

Vogue 1308 - Pattern Alterations

On Tuesday before I went back to work (3 days of unbelievably long hours that left me wrung out by Friday evening!), I made alterations to the pattern and cut out the jacket and pants pieces from the first 5 yard piece of the charcoal/blue pinstripe wool.  Not only will this be my first jacket for the JAM (Jacket a Month sewalong) but these are also the first two pieces of my Pinstripe Follies Collection.

My most pressing concern was to make sure the jacket would close around me.  After flat measuring the pattern pieces, I realized that I needed to add several inches to the abdomen and hip area of the jacket so that is where the concentration of pattern alterations were made.

Jacket Front:
~starting with a size 22 for the jacket body, I cut out the size 18 for the jacket shoulders and armholes
~slashed and spread the front to add 1.5' or a cumulative of 3" to the jacket fronts
~made a narrow shoulder adjustment - reducing the pattern shoulder from 7" to 6" before seam allowances

Jacket Back:
~starting with a size 22 for the jacket body, I cut out the size 18 for the jacket shoulders and armholes
~made a high round back adjustment - so that the back neckline would lie flat
~added 1" to the back piece by starting at the high back and grading from a 1/8" to a full 1" at the abdomen and hip line

~added 1/2" to the bicep area only on both sides of the 2 piece sleeve pattern by grading up gradually from just below the sleeve cap and then tapering into the side seam.

A couple of things:

1.  I may have added too many inches to the jacket abdomen and hipline.  But I will baste the jacket together to get a fit and subtract from it, if necessary.  I would rather have too much space, which I can remove, than too little.

2.  After working with the fabric, I've come to realize that it is a very soft wool.  It will need some bulking up.  So I'm adding a silk organza interlining to the jacket pieces to help stabilize the fabric and to make a firmer more stable jacket. 

3.  I've also changed my lining fabric.  I was going to use a charcoal rayon ambiance lining which is a little thin.  Instead I'm going to use one of the polyester charmeuse prints that I have in the collection...again, I want to add some more heft to the jacket.  The pants will still be lined in the rayon ambiance. 

This weekend I will be working on the infrastructure of the jacket.  Basting the silk organza on, applying interfacing, etc.  This is such an involved project that I know I won't have a finished garment this weekend.  However, next weekend is a three day weekend here in the States, so I'm hoping to have these pieces, as well as, the skirt finished and ready to be worn the following Tuesday.

One more thing ~ today is my blog's 5th Anniversary!  I'm starting my 6th year of blogging and I have to admit that I enjoy it just as much as I did when I first started.  Part of that enjoyment is the fact that so many of you avidly follow my sewing adventures and leave such amazing and wonderful comments.  Thank you so much for allowing me to share my sewing journey with you!

You had a couple of questions:

"I'm wondering what books you would recommend to have in a sewing reference library."
The list of my favorite Top Ten Sewing Books is on the right hand sidebar.  It's always available for your perusal.

Diane asked:
"I've never used elastic like you use before though. Do you have an old post around on how you put it in?"
The process was explained in this post...enjoy!

Lynnelle asked:
"Some time ago, you mentioned a book on flat-pattern measuring that revolutionized your sewing. As I cannot find the post, can you please list the title and author of the book? Thank you."
The book is by Cynthia Guffey and is called, "Precision Measuring & Pattern Alterations"   Here is a link to her website

I have a little more blog reading to do and then I'm off to work on the interior construction of the jacket... always, more later!


  1. Sounds like you are off to a great start for year 6! Happy Blogoversary!

  2. Happy blogoversary! I've been following your blog for almost three years and feel like we are old friends. Not old friends but friends for a long time. I ain't never gettin' old and neither are my clothes! LOL. I'm going to do the jacket a month too. Haven't started yet but after I see what you come up with I'm sure I'll be inspired!

  3. Happy anniversary! And happy weekend of sewing! I hope you didn't get too much snow, but reading your plans, you're not going anywhere anyway. ;-)

  4. Congratulations on your blog's 5th anniversary!! I've been reading it for a few years now and I enjoy your stories ánd projects very, very much. Hope to read a lot more about you and your sewing-adventures.

  5. A very happy anniversary!

  6. Congratulations on five solid years. You are inspiring as a writer and fashionator.

    Also, that Threads Archive might not be in everybody's budget. It's not in mine. But they do have a shorter not-everything volume that I'm hoping to be able to set aside funds for, this spring.

  7. Congratulations and happy anniversary.



  8. Thanks for your five years, and looking forward to more. I always enjoy your explanations, processes and finished products.

  9. Happy blog b day I read you everyday and always enjoy your adventures in sewing! you inspire me to sew! I am jealous that you have friends that sew that you can meet up with I don't know anyone that sews and I would love to have a kansas city area sewing buddy! I enjoy you and your blog every day... Thank you!

  10. Happy blogoversary Carolyn. Remember you's is the first sewing blog I ever found/red! Here's to a great year for you sewing and otherwise!

  11. Congrats on 5 years! Here's to 5 more!!a

  12. Congratulations on 5 great years of blogging!

  13. Happy anniversary, its great that you continue to enjoy blogging and I look forward to another 5 years of wisdom and inspiration!

  14. Happy Blogiversary! You just as fresh as ever ;)

    Thanks for sharing your pattern adjustments. It's nice to see how you get such a good fit. I am sure that will be one cozy jacket!

  15. Congratulations on your blogoversary! I've learned quite a bit from you and I'm so glad that you're not going anywhere.

  16. Thank you for detailing the pattern adjustments that you made. This is an area I struggle with and it is helpful to see how these adjustments are carried out

    Thank You

  17. Happy Blogoversary!
    Love to read your project and progress daily. I am really interested in your jacket and am glad you are showing your alterations and I am trying to do the 12 jackets this year.

  18. Happy anniversary! I always enjoy seeing what you're up to. The online sewing community is so insiping - thanks for blogging.

  19. Dear Carolyn--

    As you know, I seldom comment publicly on blogs--but your anniverary calls for an exception. Your sewing posts are always inspiring, and your 'life posts' are provocative and thoughtful at the same time. I never leave your site without having learned something. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself here!


  20. Happy blogiversary!!!! You are my inspiration for plus-size sewing..I think I would have given up by now if not for you!!!! Can't wait to see what you create this year!!!!

  21. Happy Blogoversary! Your blog is wonderful, I'm always amazed by your work!

  22. Carolyn, I've been enjoying your blog for several months now--you are so inspiring! Thanks so much for your generousity, creativity and spirit. Blog on, baby!


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