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The Wedding Jacket Chronicle Part 5: Jacket Fronts

Soooo much hand sewing. That’s the short and sweet about this installment of the Wedding Jacket Chronicle. Of course I have plenty more to say about the process, but I will admit that I watched a LOT of Murder, She Wrote while working on the jacket fronts, more than I expected, since essentially every single stitch of a whole lot of tailoring work is done by hand (and there are both left and right fronts, so just when you think you’re finishing a task, there’s another side to repeat it on! Kind of like a sock knitter’s dilemma). This picture condenses several steps since much of my sewing in this phase was done at night (ignore the tape on the edge of the lapel at this point!). The dart is cut out of the front hair canvas interfacing and then the interfacing is laid onto the fabric. The dart is catch-stitched …

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The Wedding Jacket Chronicle Part 4: Prepping, Cutting! and Marking

This phase of my Wedding Jacket Chronicle may not be that technically challenging, but it sure was emotionally challenging. I’ve clearly been dragging my feet on actually getting started on the jacket and I think a big part of it had to do with fear of failure. I’m scared of ruining my precious (expensive) fabric. I’m scared my tailoring attempts will fall short. Once I figured out that I was being stopped by fear, I gave myself a talking-to and (finally) dove in. The first step was to pre-shrink the hair canvas and the fabric. I used a spray bottle to mist the hair canvas and held the iron in place until it dried. Like a total doofus, I managed to burn a small bit of it as I got distracted by my cat trying to jump onto my precious wool brocade and left the iron down while I shooed …

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The Wedding Jacket Chronicle Part 3: Fitting Revelation (or Muslin Fitting 2)

I recently spent another afternoon getting Sunnygal Studio‘s help on fitting my jacket muslin and our final product was a revelation. It changed my entire relationship with sleeve caps and my shoulders. The earth moved, the stars aligned, and *BAM* I finally understood how to get a fitted garment well-fitted through my shoulders. I have always struggled to get garments nicely fitted through my shoulders (my fitting challenge is that I have a narrow ribcage but prominent shoulders) – either they dig into my underarm or I can’t lift my arms or I’m drowning in fabric to compensate. I’ve made all sorts of non-standard changes in all sorts of places in the sleeve, sleeve cap, and armscye and all to no avail. And now, I know EXACTLY what to do to EVERY SINGLE fitted garment that I sew with sleeves for the rest of my life. AMEN! The changes that I had …

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The Wedding Jacket Chronicle Part 2: Muslin Fitting 1

Making muslins is always a good idea, but the more complex your pattern is, the more precise the fit required, and the more expensive your material is, the more important it is to make a muslin. Since my wedding jacket will be an enormous investment of time (as I hand tailor it) and money (luscious Britex fabric), and since it’s hard to fit on your own body, I wanted to get some help perfecting the fit of my jacket. I turned to the talented and knowledgeable Beth of Sunnygal Studios for a day in her studio, fitting my jacket muslin. We started by pinning on the main front and back tissue pattern pieces. Interestingly, we found that both the bust apex and waistline were 1″ too low for me (even though I’m 5’10”, although most of my height is below my navel). We pinched out the 1″ at the bust …

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The Wedding Jacket Chronicle Part 1: Pattern and Fabric

Stop what you’re doing and look at this fabric. Off-white wool brocade with delicate gold flowers. Yes, I said wool brocade. Go ahead, stare. But you might want to catch that drool before it hits your lap. Really, you’re not drooling yet? Okay, I’ll chalk it up to the fact that a picture hardly does this beauty justice. Just wait until I get sewing on this project. There. Will. Be. Drool. Since I decided not to sew my own wedding dress (or shall I say the universe and my girlfriends decided for me), I’ve been obsessing about things I could possible sew (and make and do) for my wedding. Concurrently, a part of my brain has been obsessing about finally hand tailoring a jacket for myself. And the two ideas seem to have collided. Because I’ve decided to hand tailor an off-white wool brocade jacket to wear over my wedding dress for …