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I am a mother, a 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 book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge was published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon



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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Violet knit jacket by Stylearc

O.K. there is a back story on this. Several in fact.

First it has to do with policy.

I have sort of a policy to try new profiles and shapes every season that are out of my comfort zone. Of course this produces a lot of should have known better garments, but it also has on occasion, useful occasion, helped me move ahead. Which when the alternative is to move behind is a good thing.

So this is what happened.

I have been noticing a general enlargement of shapes recently, as the fashion pendulum swings back from skin tight, and thought I should try some looser garments. In the past these outlines have not been good for me. I remember once trying on a bunch of Sewing Workshop garments at a booth at a sewing show and having the nice lady in the booth sort of agree that I looked more like a flagpole in a flag than a chic person.

However I have been thinking.

The end of May I am going to be doing some flying. To see my mom in Winnipeg and then on the Sn Francisco. What to wear on the plane and in spring is hard so I got the idea to try to make one of the Violet Knit Jackets from Stylearc, because it had that go over everything feel and was, back to where I started, completely outside my comfort zone.

However I didn't have any knit that was a coordinating colour in a weight I considered jacket weight.

About the same time I was pondering this serious issue I went to a sewing guild meeting where one of the women always seems to be snagging great yardage at Value Village (yes Lorna this is you). I however do not find anything good the odd times I have been there - strictly mauve polyester twill.

But then last week I was at VV trying to find a new heavy dish for Daisy since I dropped the last one. On a whim I cruised by the material rack and there it was, wool double knit written down to "as is" for $3.00 owing to a certain history with moths in someone's basement I am sure.

Well, I thought, why not? I can make a non wearable muslin in case I look like a flagpole with a wool double-knit flag. So I bought it, much to the amazement of the lady standing behind me in the line up.

At home I washed and hung it all out to dry and then marked numerous holes with tape so I could assess the situation. (Be assured I had a whole list of much more important life business to be taking care of when I was doing this instead).

This is what I was working with and this is how I had to lay it all out:

Pretty nutty I know and BTW I did press the fabric before I really cut out, these were practice photos.

Of course I didn't have enough fabric to cut the fronts double, as the pattern suggested, although I did cut out the bottoms double, which might have been too heavy in this wool knit. If you are sewing this pattern up yourself you might feel happier with something lighter like a ponte because the fronts and bottoms are doubled anyway.

To finish the single layer front edges I got out some ancient wooly nylon left over from some self-delusional Christmas project and did a 3 thread overlock with the stitches set a bit closer than normal, about a 2.

Here is what that looked like:

And here is the whole thing on me:

Now over to you.

Because this is so much not what I regularly wear I am wondering what you think. 

I can certainly see the utility of a jacket like this but if you think I look like a knucklehead you should probably tell me. 

Otherwise Air Canada here I come.