02 May 2010

When fabric choice goes wrong

OK..so maybe I'm exaggerating a little bit, but I'll tell you right now that silk dupion was NOT the best choice for this jacket (Butterick 5469 view C - the white one in the picture). So how in the world did this happen? To keep a long story short, I knew better but I made a hasty decision because I was determined to make an evening jacket to wear out on the town in London with my husband. I chose this pattern because it was simple and I didn't have much time or fabric (I used the leftover scraps from my ball gown)..originally I planned on making view D but after laying out the pieces realized that it wasn't going to work, so I opted for C. I had this nagging feeling (what about the sleeves??!) but after whipping a toile (in cotton, may I note) blissfully told myself everything would be alright. Again my subconscious tried to speak up when I had the thought of just tapering the sleeve to look like the one in view D, but in my blind haste thought it would take too long and couldn't be bothered to make another toile.

After sewing for 2 days straight and many frustrating sewing moments, I finally realized it was a loosing battle and I wasn't going to finish it in time. I needed to start packing, and had enough sense to know I was rushing and that the jacket was going to end up looking like crap if I kept on.

Fast forward to now, and I finally finished my jacket after my 2 week holiday..with some revisions. When I picked it up again, all that was running through my head was "what was I thinking?!"

Here was the front seam (I'm really embarassed to show this):
The fabric was pulling like crazy and it had taken FOREVER to get the pieces to fit without any tucks, but I unpicked the two front pieces and sewed them back at a lower tension..and you know what? They went in like a dream. Unfortunately I couldn't press out all of the wrinkles because they were set in from the last time I pressed it. I also re-set the sleeves to get the fullness back in the shoulder that I had lost when doing it the first time.

The cuffs were the biggest headache, and this is the reason why I say not to use dupion for this style or any like it - no matter how much I fiddled, I couldn't get the fullness to sit nicely into the cuff without any tucks. Although I'm not keen on it, I decided adding inverted box pleats to the underside was the best solution to make it fit and still look nice.

One change that I did make that I am happy with was making a bound button hole instead of one with my machine - I think they look much more professional, and since this is meant to be an evening jacket I wanted it to look nice and neat.

All in all, although I am not 100% happy with it it is still a nice looking jacket and I plan to wear it out to dinner sometime. I don't think I will make this again, but I haven't decided about view D yet - I have another style in mind that I will probably try first.

So my dear readers, if I can give you any advice about choosing fabric, it's this: trust your gut feelings, and don't make hasty decisions..give yourself plenty of time to think things through and make adjustments, and most importantly..don't rush yourself! Don't be afraid to put it down and come back to it later, whether it's a few hours or a few days..your work will not only look better, but you will feel better about it too!

No comments:

Post a Comment