Or, more accurately, I need to talk about my shoulders. To myself. Because this. But look, this was my second go at a blazer (the first I never blogged), and this StyleArc pattern is actually pretty simple to put together. Some pictures, change in background courtesy Hawaii and Momma and Poppa Wasted for making that happen. Now, to shoulders- and back-fitting issues. My shoulders, in my head, are broad and muscle-y. So is my back. (I don’t know, in my head I think I look like this?) Buttttt several projects (this one being the worst) and this Threads article tell me I need a narrow back, narrow shoulder adjustment, or erect posture adjustment. Unfortunately for me and this jacket, I hadn’t come to that realization until the outer jacket was constructed and one sleeve was set in. Since it has some bearing on the shoulder issues, let’s talk about the Gabby jacket pattern a minute. The jacket pattern is super simple, and it’s a little boxy. It has an interesting shoulder treatment (a bit thriller-y but whatever), and a ‘reverse revere’ collar. StyleArc says it will look like this. On fitting: This is the first StyleArc pattern I’ve made, so I had no fitting point of reference. Because I am lazy, I didn’t make a muslin to check the fit. My shoulder breadth, waist, and hips are all safely around a size 10, which is what I bought. I could use a full bust adjustment, which I didn’t do (lazy.). Without one, the front pieces don’t really lie flat on my body, which is mostly visible from the side. Bizarrely, my bicep measurement comes in at a size 4 (see above for how I envision my arms), which helps explain why the sleeves feel and look pretty baggy. In order to slim the back down, I ripped up the shoulder seam and added a 1/2″ dart to the back shoulder that extends 7″ down the length of the back piece — the right-most line in the picture below. I then eased in the front piece without removing any length. This isn’t a perfect solution, but it kept the jacket from the trash. That collar: There is no attached collar; the notch is just part of the front and front facing pieces. I think that notch sits a little lower than the line drawing suggests, and if I make this jacket again, I’d slide it up an inch or two. Those shoulders! I hadn’t seen this sleeve treatment, and the sleeve pattern piece looks a little bonkers. Something like this: To construct the sleeve, you join the two blue lines together, and then sew the newly-created black arc of sleeve cap to the pink arc at the top of the sleeve. That gives you the very jutted-out sleeve head. The pattern piece has a point that tells you where to end this sleeve cap dart. But I had so much extra fabric at my back shoulder that I continued the dart all the way to where the shoulder sets into the armscye. In the below photo, the left-most vertical seam line that’s visible is the sleeve cap ‘dart’. The armscye is the middle vertical line. Construction and instructions: StyleArc’s reputation for middling instructions is well-documented, so I had fully briefed myself on basic jacket construction prior to beginning the assembly. The written instructions for assembling the outer jacket are okay. But then the lining instructions say something like, ‘assemble the lining in the same manner as the jacket.’ Which, okay, except what about facings? There are jacket front facings, a hem facing and a back neck facing. At one point it tells you to sew the front facings on to the jacket fronts on their own, but then what about assembling the lining as you did the jacket?
Whatever, I just assembled all jacket innards as a second jacket, and then essentially followed this process. I did follow StyleArc’s directive to top-stitch along the jacket front seam line once the facing is installed, and I regret that decision. The extra line of stitching makes it quite stiff and probably contributes to the front pieces not lying flat. I also followed the instructions and interfaced both the jacket front and front facing using a very light weight fusible, but perhaps that stiffened it a bit as well? Overall, though, I’d prefer to have specifically-drafted lining, facing and shell pattern pieces rather than one piece with a ‘cut here for lining’ line. Last, but not least, fabric. I used a black wool crepe from FabricMart for the jacket body. That site is basically the only place I buy fabric now that I don’t go to New York for work (where I could leave half an hour before my train and run over to Mood). Washington DC is a complete fabric store desert. The lining, also from FabricMart, was listed as a ‘cotton silk charmeuse’. It is awesome. It’s very lightweight and has a smooth side to serve its purpose as lining. But the cotton in the fabric makes it much, much easier to work with than plain old silk charmeuse. Highly recommend that blend and am searching for more similar stuff myself. Anyway: a jacket! I made it! Etc.