Friday, January 14, 2011

Vogue 2949 Sandra Betzina Jacket

This jacket pattern became one of my favorite garments. See the previous review at That jacket sewed up in about an hour beginning to end and is wonderful. Now this one that I will be discussing today was the opposite: took forever and is not wonderful. However this change was entirely due to the fabric so if you are only interested in the pattern, stop reading.

The fabric may hold the record for being in my stash the shortest amount of time before being cut, maybe 2 hours. As I unpacked it from the delivery box, I realized it was quite different from what I had envisioned from its on-line photo and description. I didn't like it that much but it was very expensive. I knew if I didn't use it right away it would sit forever in my stash. I could see that the coat pattern I had in mind would not work as the fabric was too thick without much drape. Not good for tucks. So I searched around for other patterns. I had planned a coat but decided this would look more like a bathrobe if it were long. So I switched to jacket mode, even though I would have a large expensive remnant. I also decided to show the back side which shows the quilting better and thought I would show the white finished selvage. Thus the lining fabric I had ordered would not be used. I got out this favorite pattern thinking I had found just the thing. Ha.

The fabric is unique and interesting but the least stable fabric I have ever encountered. It consists of strands of fluffy wool yarn (the white) sandwiched between thin sheer wispy silk (gray on one side and black on the other). This silk shreds as you look at it. The yarn batting is barely held together with cross-wise stitching. So as you cut this it falls apart. I dealt with this by immediately serging all edges. That helped stop the raveling but stretched the edges, even with the serger set on differential feed.

I decided to finish the edges with a dense over-lock stitch using woolly nylon to fluff up and finish the edge. I'm almost happy with that decision. I really regret using this pattern though because as it is unlined the fragile shredding silk on the inside looks bad and won't last well. At the end I decided to turn the lower hem in and top-stitch it as the over-locked edge looked too squirrelly. I may do the same with the sleeve hems.

I decided to use the lower back piece on the jacket so it would be a change from my previous version. Boy did that look ridiculous in this fabric. In this photo you can see the white selvage edge I was mistakenly trying to preserve. Be sure you use a drapey fabric for that folks! My solution was to fold the drape forward and stitch it into a pocket-like shape. I am rather pleased with this idea. 

I still love this pattern but will stick to a boiled wool or other fabric that doesn't need an edging or something very drapey and thin enough to turn back the edges.


Gail said...

I think that the jacket would look great in boiled wool. Still you've created an interesting coat that looks classy with the skirt. I'd love to make a biker jacket out of fabric like this - I like the idea of a rich fabric in a very casual cut.

Kathy said...

Just wanted to let you know that, even though you weren't happy with the fabric, we think the jacket looks great, and we posted a link from the Vogue Patterns facebook page.