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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Stylerc's Besharl jacket

I am guilty of many things.

Eating all the chocolate chips in the cupboard before I make the cookies and then surprising myself because the bag is empty.

That's one.

Going in a business trip with a computer case that actually contained a small sewing machine, rather than my laptop which I had left at the office. A prop for escaping after dinner events - because I had "work" to do.

Another one I did a lot when I worked for politicians.

Leaving clothes to be mended untouched for years even when I really, really loved the person who was waiting for that zipper to be replaced.

I am doing that one right now but would rather not think about it.

But most of all I am guilty of delusions of sewing grandeur.

Case in point is some raw silk I got some time ago to make a jacket. 

My intention was to underline it for stability and line it for practicality and do bound buttonholes because that was what would work best.

The problem is that increasingly, structured clothes, although a worthy use of a good sewer's time. make little sense for my increasingly unstructured life.

So I decided to do something unusual for me and be realistic about what this fabric should become. I decided to go with the silk's characteristics - drapey and mobile - rather than tactically trying to counteract it.

I decided to save time.

I decided to sew easy.

Which led me to consider this pattern, part of my current quest for a multi-purpose over everything type jacket pattern (if you have any leads for this campaign please let me know):

This is Stylearc's Besharl jacket and apparently can be made in wovens and knits. 

Of course my fabric was woven so I widened the arm bands about an inch, in case I needed the ease in a non stretchy fabric. I also straightened out the shoulder slope a bit because my own shoulders are very square but apart from that made it as is.

During construction I also sewed tape along the front edges where the bands attach, just along the seam lines. I wanted to balance the baggy look I know this jacket will acquire pretty soon because that's what this fabric wants to do. I thought taping would help the front hold the line.

I also interfaced the sleeve bands and the hem with fusible knit interfacing but did not interface the band, which is doubled, because I could tell it would have to gather around the neck a bit and I wanted to let that happen.

Here are the shots.

Of course I have to say I am aware that my photography is never optimum.

We try but our photographic department fits these pictures in around other jobs. Today that included bashing a hole in the tile in the bathroom wall as part of a get the hot water tap to stop dripping job.

I have to tell you when you pull a man out of the bathroom when he has a hammer to a wall, your first pictures look like this:

Moving on here are better shots taken after a marital consult, with various attempts at lighting:

Of course this fabric is going to droop pretty quickly, and I am going to snag it even sooner, but I have to say I am really pleased with this pattern and with the jacket overall.

One post first wearing change I made though was to go back in and sew a chain to the top of the hem allowance to help keep the whole thing from riding up and to help it hang. This technique really works and is something I often do in unlined and knit jackets if they are longer.

You can thank Coco Chanel for this little trick:

So that's one interesting project done this week, several more on the production line as we speak, or at least I write.

In the near future however I am definitely going to come back to this pattern, next time as specified in a knit.

There is real potential here.


Jan Q said...

Love your jacket

Catherine p said...

Love the jacket on you!

Laceflower said...

I made a similar jacket from Sewing Workshop in boiled wool all raw edge. Love yours, love mine.

Catherine Daze said...

I love that; effortless 80s glamour! I want your sunnies too...

Judith Newman said...

When you said "silk" I assumed something like a dupioni. I couldn't image how that would work with that pattern. The silk you used is obviously a raw woven and reasonably soft and drapey and it does work. Like the chain tip!

Scenic Route said...

Great make! I have soooo many jacket patterns--a stunning one on an email from Vogue this morning was singing to me. ...as if! You're so right about sewing for the life we live in the time we have. I have a pile of silks from our years in Asia and you have inspired me to just go for it. Great tip about the chain in the hem.

Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

Cute jacket and I love the chain tip. Will have to remember that.

Kristy Chan said...

You are so funny! I need to have a marital consult with my husband over blog photos too - it's just not that hard to do yet my kids can take a better photo!

LinB said...

Plaza pants and jacket, by The Sewing Workshop. With a bit of planning and flat-felled seams, you can use reversible fabric on the jacket. I made one out of raw silk ten years ago and use it all year long -- perfect weight and fiber for hot weather when you need a tiny bit of comfort, deliciously light layer for warmth in winter.

Anonymous said...

Where did you get the chain? I have trouble getting chains that are fine enough at the hardware store.

Anonymous said...

Lovely on tall slender you, I wonder how it would do on short dumpy ladies? May have to try it out.