Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Tailored Suit: The Finished Jacket (Without Buttons)

I don't even know what to say except: Thank you sewing goddess for seeing me through the (almost) end of this project. I owe you one. Or a zillion.

 Here we are at the end of a painful journey, all finished save the sewing on of the self-fabric buttons (which are still in transit from America):

Sorry to show this with pins, but it's the best I can do at the moment... Remember, my frame is narrower than the dress form's, so it fits me somewhat differently.
The rest of these shots are woefully overexposed, but you will be able to see the lines for it that much better...
I have to say, I am particularly proud of the sleeves and their rotation. And I owe everyone a debt for them. Thank you so much.
I do think the back is very pretty - those sleeve darts are sweet and I love the flare of the peplum.
Now for the lining:
I don't suppose I've ever seen a more gorgeous lining. How bizarre is it that this captures the colourway of the jacket??
Here you can see the tucks I took on either side o the centre back pleat (to either side of that stripe going down the centre of the jacket lining). They worked remarkably well, all things considered. But I'm pretty sure they're a sign that the (admittedly incorrect) lining pattern pieces were not updated, as was suggested they would be, despite a number of comments on Craftsy that the lining doesn't work.

I'm not going to lie. This project has been woefully lacking in enjoyment, which is really not my scene. I have no intention of ever making the jacket again, regardless of whether I enjoy and wear it, having come through the other side of a miserable process.

However, I have learned a TREMENDOUS amount thanks to all of you, and to my wonderful fitting friend, S. (Don't worry, I'm going to help her next! And we're taking Sarah Veblen's Patternreview.com course on fitting darts on a bodice.) I can't tell you what a game-changer finding a fitting friend has been.

In the end, the lining does make the jacket fit more tightly in the armscye than I would like. There's absolutely something suboptimal happening, but it's still quite wearable - it may actually stretch over time and become less constricting in the underarms. Whatever. I've learned, I have a lovely looking almost-finished product, and I intend to bring my new awareness to a Claire Schaeffer suit jacket on the next go around.

Next up is the pencil skirt to go with this jacket. It's not a suit yet, peeps. I can only hope that you get a happy post or two describing that process, for all our sakes.

So, whatcha think? (Note: The only response I can handle right now is in the realm of, "I love it!!". :-) Really, I would like to know your thoughts. Please just be gentle if you have some constructive criticism...)

76 comments:

  1. I love it!!!!! (And I'm not just saying that because you told us to!) I am beyond impressed at how hard you've worked on this project, and it's been really amazing to come along for the ride (from the safe distance of my armchair). Thanks for blogging all about it - and congrats on being close to the finish line!

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    1. Thank you!! Thanks for reading. I'm a bit worried my trauma is tiring :-)

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  2. It looks like my navy Armani! That good enough for ya? :)

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    1. Ohhh, that is entirely good enough! Thank you!

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  3. It looks gorgeous! I'm in love with your lining fabric and those bound buttonholes! Well done for sticking to it!
    BTW its not just the small sizes that weren't drafted right either - I found they labeled some of the cutting lines with the wrong sizes in the plus size jacket and there was some funkyness with lengths and widths not matching up as well....I've only made the muslin up and still am not sure if I can be bothered fighting with it....But then yours looks so great I might have a go!

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    1. Suzy, I'm so sorry to hear this. But thank you for your lovely comment. Let me know what you end up doing...

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  4. Wow! What a process, but the result is gorgeous. The shape is fantastic, and I am absolutely in love with that lining. Job well done!

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  5. Wow the jacket looks amazing! Well worth the effort you put into it. I can't believe this is your first jacket. The seams and arms are perfect and it looks nicely cut. I don't blame you for not wanting to make up this pattern again but I'm pleased to hear you will be making the Claire Schaeffer jacket and the experience hasn't put you off making a jacket! Well done!

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    1. Thanks so much! - but keep in mind it's not my first tailoring effort. I think the gain here is in the arduous fitting process I undertook. That has really paid off! I'm strangely looking forward to the Schaeffer jacket. I know it's tried and true.

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  6. WOW!! I only found your blog last night and ended up reading every one of your posts about this jacket. After all your woes you have ended up with something that is amazing.

    I signed up for this course a while back and I really must get around to watching it.

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    1. So nice to see you here. I hope this helps you when and if you decide to make your own Starlet jacket. The course instruction is very good.

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  7. Mate, it's beautiful. !!! You rock!!

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  8. Gorgeous! Beautiful! Stunning! I love it!

    Looking forward to seeing it on you. I'm sure it will look even better. Which buttons did you decide on and did you follow my advice to spend more money and get a belt made as well?

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    1. Oh, I hope it looks even better on me! I didn't get the belt because I didn't have enough fabric in the end - and because I'm a bit worried that it would be overly-busy given the thickness of the fabric (even the buttons were hard to make given the spongy quality of the wool). Next time I'll do a belt!

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  9. Gorgeous! You've done a great job and should be proud of it and of sticking with it despite everything, as I would've quit. I love the lining, so beautiful. I hope you enjoy wearing it :-)

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    1. I think I will enjoy wearing it! I'm so grateful this is over though.

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  10. How can we say anything but "love it?" It's fabulous! I'm SO happy this worked out for you, event though it cost you a lot of work and frustration. As you said, you learned a lot from it. And you have one hell of a garment to show for it!

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    1. Thank you! I really have learned an insane amount. Here's hoping the skirt is as pleasing in the final outcome.

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  11. It is absolutely beautiful! And I can't wait to see it with the buttons- you have done a fabulous job. You will have a gorgeous suit in the end!

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    1. Thank you! I can't wait to get the buttons. I am seriously hoping they come today.

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  12. Looks like all your hard work paid off. YEAH - way to go.

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    1. Thank you! It did pay off. Here's hoping this hasn't shortened my life-expectancy :-)

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  13. It really is gorgeous. Love that flare at the hips! And the lining is totally swoon-worthy.

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    1. Thanks! I think the lining is the most gorgeous fabric evah!

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  14. what can I say - I'm in AWE & it turned out GORGEOUS !!!

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  15. So. Freaking. Awesome. Hooray! :-) So are you going to just jump right in with the skirt portion, or are you planning to take a small break with either a super simple project or no project at all?

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    1. Oh, you know me. I'm going to jump right in with the skirt. And figure out how to line it (though it doesn't come with a lining pattern), even though it has a vent. Oh, and I think I'm going to have to attach the lining directly to the waistband somehow to reduce bulk. That's the next thing on my list :-)

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  16. It's truly beautiful--and it's truly crummy that the pattern created needless problems for you. Here's to your determination and success! Elle

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  17. Oh my goodness, that is freaking GORGEOUS. Especially with that vibrant lining! I understand what you mean about the process making you want to never do that again. I felt the same way the first time I made pants. Fortunately, I got over it. Hopefully you'll be able to use what you learned on a different jacket without traumatizing yourself!

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    1. Isn't the lining insanely fabulous?? I will get over this. It will just take a week.

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  18. It looks great! I'm looking forward to seeing it with the buttons on you. the lining is particularly stunning, good choice!

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    1. Oh, I cannot wait for those buttons!!

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  19. Wow! WHAT A PROJECT! FANTASTIC JOB! I can tell from your picture and then comparing it to the final the fit is spot on - I can't wait to see your final shots. But, true - I love it - and late this summer I can see I am going to have to attempt this!

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    1. Thank you so much! Hopefully all the kinks will be ironed out by then. Or at least you can take comfort in the rough spots, knowing you are not alone :-)

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  20. This is gorgeous, Kristin! I can't believe you kept at it, but it was definitely worth it. I'm sure you'll wear this all the time.

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    1. Thank you Uta! I intend to wear it all the time. (well, once those buttons arrive.)

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  21. Oh my gosh! It's GORGEOUS! I'm so impressed you stuck with this...I'dve thrown it in a corner and sulked a lot. It's well worth your perseverance and looks stunning. Can't wait to see it on you with the buttons.

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    1. I really wanted to throw it in a corner. And burn it. I'm quite surprised I didn't do it in the end.

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  22. That lining is stunning. As is the jacket. Well worth all the effort you put into it. You have a beautiful jacket to show for it.

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    1. :-) xo Thanks so much to you for all of your fantastic advice.

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  24. It looks amazing - and I bet it will look even better on you!

    And thank you for your honest comments on how this whole process has been for you.

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    1. Thank you so much! I think, if you haven't got an honest perspective it's almost impossible to keep going through the crappy stuff.

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  25. The shaping is really beautiful!

    All the fitting and shaping work will pay off so many times over that you won't mind (eventually ;)) the issues with the particular pattern. Once I had some extra time for a few months and practiced drafting - I think I made 4 or 5 garments. All but one were wadders in the end and I was sad about the wasted time. I couldn't really see the value of it until about a year later, when I noticed that my rate of success per garment-making effort was a lot higher than it had been before. It really catapulted me into being a much better seamstress. As I always tell my kids - problems are how you learn!

    Can't wait to see it on you.

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    1. Thank you so much! You are very right about the strides one makes in skill expansion with a difficult project. I have to keep that in mind.

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  26. Absolutely lovely. Your decision to line it with the printed silk fabric and your solution to use the two pleats to take up the extra fabric were spot on. Kudos from my Mom and I-- you've done a wonderful job of fitting and sewing this jacket; it looks amazing.

    But, after this project, you cannot refer to yourself an intermediate sewer anymore. This project has catapulted you into the major leagues and you absolutely need a machine that matches your talents.

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    1. Thank you so much!! I was wondering what you would think of the extra pleating to take up the extra space.

      I don't know that I feel major league but I do think a new machine is in order. A player needs her tools. :-) I've started the research in a serious way and am considering a variety of machines (which I'll go to try out at a couple of sewing machine shops) - One is a Pfaff, one's a Husqvarna and a couple of them are Berninas.

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  27. holy wow. it's gorgeous, and that lining gives it superpowers.

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    1. It does give it superpowers!!! I feel I can levitate as I wear this jacket!

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  28. i think it's amazing that you finished it. having forced myself through something similar last year, i can tell you that the pride doesn't go away, everything from now on will feel more doable, and you may even surprise yourself by being more inclined to tailor in the future--even though you don't feel that way now. enjoy your jacket and your success, since it's beyond well-earned!

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    1. Thank you so much. I love the idea that the pride doesn't dissipate. I would like to continue to bask in it for as long as possible :-)

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  29. Wow, it looks fantastic. I have not done the lining on my jacket. I hit some snags with the buttonhole facings not looking very good and it has knocked the steam out of me. I was working on them when I was tired. Not a good situation. I'm going to be well-rested when I tackle the lining. It sounds like I may have some problems. Thanks for sharing your work with us.

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    1. Those buttonholes on the facing were one of the most time-sucking and challenging elements of the jacket. Gretchen makes that part look so easy but it's tough! (I guess that's why she has a book.) :-)

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  30. The jacket is looking BEAUTIFUL. Everything just looks so crisp & perfect & lovely - and ohhh the lining was definitely the best choice you could have made, it's incredible! I can't wait to see it with the buttons & on you.

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    1. Thank you! It's like the lining was meant for the jacket.

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  31. SOTOTALLYFREAKIN'FANTASTIC!!!!!!!! Where do I begin with the praise!?!? That sleeve looks awesome! You really put the hammer down and plowed thru this project. My fingers are crossed that the skirt will be more enjoyable and that, by the time it's done, you'll be ready to wear the suit with glee! (Which is what you should feel after all that work!)

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    1. Oh, I'm really hoping for a fun time with the skirt. I'm already doing a lot of thinking and coming up with all kinds of new life philosophies based on how one approaches a TNT but in a new way. I'm kind of a freak.

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  32. Oh my! What a gorgeous work! I LOVE the way it looks....so high end. I love the peplum, too!

    Too bad it was such a struggle for you, but it turned out so wonderfully well!!!!!

    It was hard reading the struggles....I sooo wanted this to be easier for you.

    P.S. LOVE the lining!

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  33. Martin and I are shouting BRAVO!!!

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    1. And I know that both of you are well aware of the oft chaos that is the middle of a sewing project :-) Thank you!

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  34. Gorgeous!! I'm so glad that this long project ended up with such a beautiful jacket!! I'm so glad you were able to stick with it-- you'll be proud as a peacock the first time you receive a compliment and you get to shout, "I made this, b*tch!" (or maybe you'll be more gracious that I would be if I made a freakin' AWESOME JACKET)!

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    1. Oh, I'm so glad I ended up with a jacket at the end of this too. It was touch and go :-) And I will def shout "I made this, bitches" (I'll make it plural!)

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  35. Oh my.... Just... WOW. That looks amazing, I love the curves the colour, the lining... Wow. I can totally appreciate needing a little space from the process to appreciate the final product, but as you say, you can't help but take what you have learned to every other project going forward. Fan-freaking-tastic.

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    1. That space is critical, I've come to realize, in helping me to put all the pieces together and take the learning forward.

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  36. I think everyone else already said it but WOW, super job, can't wait to see it on :)

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  37. Late to the game (too much reading on the iPhone lately), this is AWESOME. You have had such a crazy journey---I only hope that the jacket is sufficiently fabulous *on* to make up for the trip. (And if not, I'm sure the next one will be!) It sure looks great now---can't wait to see it on you.

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    1. I'm happy to hear your opinions any day! I'm still waiting for those buttons but I REALLY want them to get here already. I gotta try this thing on!

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  38. I'm late to seeing this, but wow, that lining is ridiculously gorgeous. It really is a beautifully cut jacket and I can't wait to see how it looks on you! Those sleeves look pretty darn perfect. I'm so sorry this was such a nerve-wracking experience. I always like to say about sewing that it's so hard to see the forest through the trees, especially on big projects like this.

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    1. Thank you Amy! It's very hard to keep it together in those bad moments. I mean, that totally underestimates the momentary despair :-)

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