Sunday, November 05, 2023

A Woodland Border Print Simplicity 8687 - Part 1

First, I'd like to say thank you for all of you who still follow my sewing adventures and leave a comment.  I so appreciate you! Just one quick thing ~ I know blogger has made logging in more challenging so if you use "Anonymous" would you mind leaving your name at the end of your comment.  Thanks again!

Now to the actual blog post...

I use to write progress posts all the time for my makes.  Somewhere in the last couple of years I stopped. I'm changing it up again and going back to writing progress posts.  I appreciate being able to scroll through those old posts and see what I did and why.  Since I'm not sewing as much these days, I feel like I need to share why I make decisions as I'm making them in the moment.  My sewing decisions are primarily based upon my experience. The experiences that affect how I'm sewing going forward.

I purchased a bunch of Julia Cost's fabrics a couple of weeks ago after not buying fabric for almost six months.  That's a LONG time in my world!  However, purchasing it really jumpstarted my mojo which has been vacationing.  I want to use all three of the fabric pieces I purchased taking my time to make them sing.  I also know I want to use TNT patterns for these garments.  I want to manipulate the fabric not fiddle around with fit.

Also, I feel like I haven't been walking in my essence for the last year.  I create that's who I am. Ideas come to me, fabric is purchased or chosen from the collection, a pattern picked and I make garments come to life. Various factors have squelched my creativity but I'm reclaiming it with both hands and leaning into it. Because this IS who I really am.


I'm using Simplicity 8687 again. This will be my fourth version although it wasn't a very popular pattern in the sewing community.  PatternReview only has 7 reviews of it.  The hashtag on Instagram has 13 photos under the hashtag...and several of them are of my toppers. I think I saw something in the line drawings that no one else did.  I've also used very distinctive fabrics to make the jacket pattern sing which definitely changes the finished garment's appearance.


I purchased 4 yards of 55" wide lightweight cotton corduroy border print for this project. While I only needed 3 yards to make this topper, I like an extra yard of fabric to match the border print across the seams. I believe this is necessary for a good border print match.  Trying to be stingy with layout on fabric hurts the look you're trying to achieve.


In my sunflower version I bound the hem facing and the hem with bias binding. I'd really like to do the same for this version. I also want to add green buttons for the jacket front.


When I tried on the sunflower version, I can close it but my extra weight gain the last few years makes it a snug fit.  Not an obnoxiously too tight fit but I wanted the slightly looser fit of the originally sewn jacket. To achieve this I decided to cut the lower back pattern piece out with a 2.5" pleat.  This gives me the added space I need by adding a cool design feature.

The back and collar pieces are the only pattern pieces I cut on the fold.  Here are a few photos of the cutting out process. 

Cutting out the jacket fronts using a single layer of fabric

Jacket front pieces laying side by side

A few other things to note:

- Corduroy has a nap.  While I cut the pieces on the wide width I made sure the tops of the pattern pieces all faced one direction.  This was so the nap ran the same way on all of the pieces.

- Always, always, always purchase at least an extra yard or extra panel when working with border prints and panels.  It allows you room to experiment, match borders across all the sides and even recut if there is an error.

I'm well into constructing and making some design and trim options for the jacket.  That will be in the next post. always more later!


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