I don’t think I was expecting this project to be as… intense as it has been. I am wandering off my beaten sewing path, and I am feeling a little lost without experience to guide me, or an expert to hold my hand. Could you tell me…. Is this “muslin” coming together right?
- my seam ripping to let out the hips
- my complete inability to keep right sides and wrong sides straight
- my poorly “set-in” sleeves
- my laziness in not fixing it when I got it wrong
- and that I made the jacket way longer than I want it. I’ll figure out a flattering length after I fix the hips.
(I can’t believe I’m posting pictures like this on the internet.)
My main concern with how this is looking so far is the baggy-ness around the arm pits. Can you see it in these pictures?
I’m not sure how to go about fixing it, but here are some thoughts on it:
1. The pattern calls for shoulder pads. I normally avoid shoulder pads, but lifting up the shoulder may eliminate some of the armpit droop.
2. This pattern is designed with a 5 1/2 inch wearing ease, apparently a pattern industry standard. If I was making a full-out tailored suit coat for business use, I think it would be fine. I am hoping for a more casual tailored look though. Something more like this.
J Crew Schoolboy Blazer in Herringbone.
and they dropped the price AGAIN! Maybe I should just buy there’s….
It seems a far cry from what I have here, but maybe it’s just the difference between the model’s body and my own. Because really, no matter how tailored this jacket is, I will not look like her. So, I’m not sure if my frustration from how this muslin looks on me is really a frustration with how my own body looks. Learning more about pattern fitting has taught me a lot about body acceptance, but I am still a long ways away from a good place.
A 5 1/2 inch ease does seem like a lot though. Could I drop down the size without making the coat too constricting? Maybe something closer to a 4 inch wearing ease like in this more tailored pattern?
So, what next?
- Find some shoulder pads and see how that looks.
- I’m getting frustrated with this project, maybe I should just sew it up and let it be an imperfect fit. It would probably be better than what I would buy at the store anyways, because I would let it out in the hips.
- Or I could sew it up in a size smaller and see if I like it better.
I like the length, actually. I want a long. And I think the armpits are coming along fine. You’re doing well…
It’s good to know everyone has a learning curve on something! 🙂
Kristina @nerdysewist says
As you know, I have no tailoring advice (sorry!), but I would encourage you to NOT GIVE UP! Take a break from the project, maybe, but I think tinkering with the fit is worth the wait, particularly given the hard work you’ve put into it!
I agree with Kristina. Don’t settle for ‘okay’ – you’ve worked too hard just to put the muslin together! Maybe focus on some PJs for awhile 🙂
It looks good to me too 🙂 The arms don’t look weird, though I would suggest shoulder pads even if you don’t think they’re “you”. They’ll look right when the jacket is done, or you’ll need to alter the fit to do without them or it will hang different than it was supposed to (I read about this problem somewhere… can’t remember where though). I do think a more cropped look (like the blue jacket) would be more flattering (so says the book “The Pocket Stylist”… check it out! The personal stylist that wrote it states that you never want garments ending at your widest parts, since it causes a horizontal line which draws the eye there! Helpful for skirt lengths too. I love that book). I think it’s just that the WIP is nothing like your vision of the finished product, and it’s an involved one! You can do it. Even if you do go with the “imperfect fit but done” route, it’ll be a great educational experience and you’ll be better prepared for your next sewing adventure. You are amazing, and the fact that you are even attempting this proves your sewing prowess. Sew, Jodi, sew!
I think you can get really small, subtle shoulder pads, too, to avoid that 80s, I-must-walk-through-a-doorway-sideways look. They might be just enough to take care of the bagginess under the arms.
You may want to consider raising the armholes. There’s a great threads article about it here (http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/4483/to-get-the-right-armhole-fit-the-bodice/page/all)
If you want to add a little bit of structure to the shoulder without going to shoulder pads, you could add a sleeve head (http://www.blogforbettersewing.com/2010/07/yay-for-sleeve-heads.html)
Good luck! I can’t wait to see the finished product!
I have no brilliant sewing advice, but it looks great so far. Mostly I wanted to say that I LOVE THE HAIRCUT! What a great do! Seriously, you’re beautiful. And, as always, I am in awe. Looking forward to seeing you complete this one and amaze me yet again.
I’ve been learning a lot about jacket fitting lately as I’m also trying to tailor my own jacket. First things first, you either need to fit with the required shoulder pads or take up the shoulder seam to account for not having shoulder pads (and then drop the armsyce accordingly). You’ll notice most of the bagging under the arms disappear immediately. From there focus on length and width. Make sure the waist hits you where you want it and has the amount of ease you want. My guess is that you can get by with 3-4″. Look at the finished size estimates marked on the pattern (look for the bulls eye on the tissue near the bust line) to determine whether you’ve cut the size with the right amount of ease for you. If you need more visual guidance, I found this online video helpful.
It looks to me like the blue blazer you like from JCrew is made more like a shirt, with a narrower shoulder length…maybe if you pull the sleeves closer to your body by shortening the shoulder length and taking a bit more of the ease out of the blazer at the sides, it will eliminate some of the droopiness under your arm. Like everyone else says, don’t settle for okay…keep plugging away!
Keep in mind what you might wear under the blazer. If it is only going to be cotton t’s or silk camis, go a little smaller. Definitely try some shoulder pads. They don’t need to look like a linebacker, but they do add form and structure.
Carol Anne Bonjour says
Also remember the material the final jacket is made of won’t hang like muslin. If the final fabric has more weight the drape and look will be different. Tough call. Some tailoring has to be done on the final product. Also that 5 1/2 inch ease across the arms and shoulders may be more important for a mom who does a lot of lifting (toddlers) compared to an office worker who doesn’t. Try measuring across shoulders to see the difference between normal posture and when you are in a “HULK” position to guesstimate the amount of ease you may need.
It’s looking great! You should be proud of your fitting accomplishments. Because I had to know for myself, I pulled out my tailoring book. Here’s what it says…
“When shoulder pads are used, the shoulder seam is raised and extended both front and back to accommodate the pad. The total amount added is equal to the thickness of the pad–half in front, half in back. For a 1/2-inch pad, for instance, raise the shoulder seam 1/4-inch in front and a 1/4-inch in back. Extend the shoulder seam at the armhole 1/2-inch. Draw a new armhole curve from shoulder to notch. Any fitting faults that extend to the arhole become more obvious when the sleeves are set in. Fit the body of a tailored garment very carefully before setting the sleeves into the armholes.”
Hope this helps!