Well, I am hard at work at my Colette Patterns Anise Jacket. It is, by far, the most challenging thing I have ever attempted to make for myself.
In fact, I am having massive “freak outs” at nearly every step but I am forcing myself to press onwards and just complete tasks without being too much of a perfectionist, as I think for this project its the only way I will get it finished/not be like a startled rabbit frozen in fear as the headlights approach.
I am finding that the instructions are excellent, the pattern beautifully drafted and the Companion booklet with all the extra steps and illustrations worth every penny. The Colette website has a number of sewalong posts that have also been so helpful. Another reason why I love indi patterns so much – you just don’t get that kind of support from any of the Big4 pattern companies. I also tweeted a couple of questions about fabric selection and was completely thrilled to get an almost immediate helpful response!!!
So here are a couple of progress shots with my notes to date:
1) Fabric Selection. I went with a wool melton from fabric.com in a lovely teal (much nicer than the photo’s below). Colette Patterns told me that melton was great to work with for the jacket, provided it wasn’t too thick. Well. I think mine is a bit on the thick side. Its very heavy coat weight and its been quite difficult to work with. I ended up ditching the muslin underlining as it just made the coat so incredibly bulky. Lesson learnt: a medium weight fabric is best, not heavyweight.
2) Muslin and Sizing. I cut a size 2 in the shoulder and underarms and graded out to a 4 in the hips. I also did a small narrow shoulder adjustment and was very happy with the fit of my muslin. However, I did have to take quite small seam allowances (3/8″ or 1 cm) down the side seams and the sleeve seams as I think the thickness of the fabric resulted in a size down from turn of cloth. Another lesson learnt on fabric weight.
3) Bound buttonholes. These were a nightmare due to the extreme heaviness of the fabric. I butchered by first front attempting to make them the “traditional’ way before cutting a second front and using this fantastic tutorial from Lena at the Sewing Space.
|Lots and lots of basting buttonholes in progress|
I still didn’t do a great job – I ended up sewing late at night, with the flu, which I really don’t recommend for precision sewing. I should have gone to bed but I just pushed myself to get it done. Well, they are done. They are acceptable but a little too wide and not perfectly even. Acceptable though for my FIRST EVER BOUND BUTTONHOLES!!! Did I say EVER!! The next time I make them they will be perfect but for this coat and the fact that the more uneven ones will be covered by a button I decided to push aside my normal quest for perfection and say to self “good enough, done, next step”. Otherwise I think I will be so intimidated by this process that I will never finish (vision of startled rabbit popping into head again).
|Sleeves basted in. This photo is more like the actual colour, taken in daylight.|
|Just before sleeves set in. Taken at night so fabric looks really weird.|
4) Welt pockets. I am much happier with the welt pockets. I did have to refer to the Colette tutorial on Welt Pockets for clarity and was seriously freaked out about making them but I just followed the instructions, and they turned out great. Beautiful in fact. Sewing whilst not massively exhausted and sick was also helpful.
So as of tonight I have done the diagonal basting and sewn up the side seams. I have sewn the sleeves and just need to set them in and its looking great.
It is looking a little short though so I think I will do a hem facing so I don’t lose too much of the length as I didn’t realise the pattern needs a 2″ hem.
|Wince, those buttonholes. Tempted to try and tidy them up a bit, but I’ll take good advice and refrain.