Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Last Thing On The List

Way back a couple dozen posts ago, I started writing about things that inspired me or were important in my sewing journey:  Mrs. W, a white coat, and some other things.  The last thing on the list was the Jean Jacket Remake.

I bought a rather expensive jean jacket about seven years ago from Coldwater Creek.  It was expensive even though I bought it on sale, because it was made of a soft tencel fabric, I guess you could say it was denim in color only.  However, like most jean-style jackets it felt like it was too short on me.  I am long-waisted, and I normally add 2 inches to the length of tops and dresses.

This jacket was a major disappointment when I got it home.  I loved the fabric, and everyone in the world had a jean jacket -- except me.

I studied it for a while, hung it in the closet and pouted.  The catalogs were showing such cute combinations of jean jackets and floral skirts and dresses...  oh pooh!

I saw a Mary Mulari episode of Nancy's Notions where Mary extended the bottom of a sweat shirt cardigan with a fabric rectangle.  Hey, if she can do it on a sweatshirt, why can't I do it to this jacket?  It's just hanging there getting no use anyway, right?

I cut some batik rayon fabric into rectangles and finished the short ends.  Then I got out the scissors and cut the bottom band off the expensive tencel jean jacket.  I took out my serger.  The bottom of my jacket was longer than the width of the batik fabric, so I made two strips and overlapped them at the center back.  This would be more comfortable anyway, as it will allow for my wider hips.

You can just see above the date in this photo where the panel I added on this side angles toward the side seam.  I top stitched the seam allowance toward the batik panel.

OK, this was a totally gorgeous piece of batik, but with the fabric at the bottom it sort of looked like a patch, and not in a good way.  The secret to doing this type of makeover, according to Pauline Richards, is to put that same fabric somewhere else on the garment and make it look like it's supposed to be there.

I had a pretty good sized piece of batik left over, so I experimented with putting a piece on the pockets, on the cuffs, and finally settled on covering the collar.  That was a pretty simple operation.  I traced the collar onto tissue paper, creating a pattern.  I added seam allowance, cut it out, and hand stitched it to the jacket.

The fabric was very soft, and I didn't add any interfacing because the collar was as stiff as I wanted it to be.  The fabric easily conformed to the collar shape.  After 7 years it still looks very nice.

Here's the finished project:

I cut the cuffs off, finished the sleeve ends with the serger and folded them up twice for a casual look.  I wear this all the time with black slacks and a white tee shirt for casual Friday at the office.  With the black pants it's dressier than jeans and more appropriate for my downtown office.  I have also worn it over a solid navy tank and skirt, or my white summer Capri pants.

So I saved it from going into the Goodwill bin after one wearing, and have justified the money spent to purchase it by making it versatile, comfortable and more my style.

What are you remaking or restyling?

Keep on sewing!