Sunday, April 27, 2008

Too Many Learning Experiences

Here's the jacket as of now. The only thing left to do is buttonholes & buttons and to attach the lining at the armholes. The fabric you see underneath is the lining and will also be a dress. The camera/light isn't cooperating so the colors are off. But then nothing seemed to be cooperating with this jacket so I'm not surprised.

Here's the back view.

And this is the lining. The colors are more accurate in this photo but the browns do match in real life.

This is what the jacket looked like last night. At first glance you might not notice what is actually a glaring mistake. Look at the belt bands at the waist. They are not level. By a lot! I didn't notice this until I saw this photo. At that point, I was hoping the jacket was just sitting lopsided on Zillie. It wasn't. Arghhh. I had measured carefully and even used white thread to mark each location. But obviously I messed up somewhere.

This revelation came upon the heels of fighting for over two hours with the place where the lining joins the facing. I was sewing this spot all by machine (as per Jackets for Real People) so the join would be neat. It's actually a pretty good method but since this is my first lined jacket, I had to experiment and learn as I went. But I wasn't learning fast enough for my own satisfaction. LOL! It would've been faster to sew by hand but I'm stubborn (and severely opposed to my own handsewing!).

(The extra seam you see is the princess seam from the front. Next time I'll redraw the facing to space that out more. I think it looks weird and it made it harder to get the lining/facing seams aligned correctly.)

So, back to the waistbands. As you can see, they are sewn into the princess seams and stitched down to the jacket body. The princess seam allowances were also trimmed and edgestitched. And the lining was attached at that point, although not yet at the armholes, thankfully, which saved me even more frustration. I had to rip out the band and one section of an edgestitched princess seam before I could reposition the band. And then I had to fidget with the lining underneath while sewing so I didn't catch it while re-stitching the band back on. Stupid mistake. Repeat after me: Measure twice, sew once. Measure twice, sew once. ;-)

My last frustration yesterday was that the lining kept falling out at the back of the jacket so it could be seen, even though I had anchored it at all the seams. I tried handsewing (yes!) it down but an inch of that told me it wasn't going to be invisible. This fabric does not hide stitches even a little bit. At which point, I threw my hands in the air and ended up anchoring the jacket hem from the inside with a fusible.

Thankfully Belinda was near her computer as I was cursing this jacket and lent me a shoulder to whimper on, gave me a great pep talk and good advice. Of course, if she were actually here instead of virtually so, she would've shown me step-by-step and I wouldn't have made any mistakes. LOL! But with all these "learning experiences" I created for myself, I'm actually feeling a lot more confident for my next lined jacket. In 10 years. ;-)

Now for buttons. This is what I bought. The pickin's at Joann's are slim and this is what I thought were the best of the bunch. The buttons on the left have a slight bronze metallic sheen to them. The buttons on the right are "coconut" and are more speckled. I'm leaning toward the buttons on the left. Opinions?

We're off to the dog park. After that, I'm hoping to start working on a dress pattern, leaving the jacket buttons for tomorrow when I don't hate the jacket so much. ;-)


  1. Sorry the jacket is frustrating you, but it's looking good. I agree, use the buttons on the left.

  2. Sorry about the jacket frustation but so happy Belinda was close by! I really like the fabric for the sheath dress, it will be a nice business outfit.

  3. Well, I think it looks lovely, even with the glaring mistakes and the fit the lining causes. I made a lined jacket a couple years ago and had issues with the back lining hem as well. I think I ended up doing the same thing. I don't wear that jacket anymore but I haven't tossed it because I love the fabric. I figure someday, I'll alter it so it isn't so boxy on me.

  4. The buttons on the left are better. Your lining/dress fabric is lovely with the jacket! On me, the belt misalignment wouldn't even show because I have one hip higher than the other - doubtless the result of toting around babies for decades! Overall, I like this very much!

  5. I think it looks fabu! I am leaning toward the buttons on the right, but without seeing them on the fabric, I could be wrong. Can't wait to see a finished outfit - when you don't hate it so much. Have fun at the dog park, we just took ours for a long walk and tired everyone out! g

  6. The matching lining and dress combination is something I really love! It's classic Chanel (Coco not KL).

  7. I also really like the lining with this jacket. A dress will look wonderful too. Both buttons would appear to work well but I too would pick the buttons on the left :)

  8. Your jacket looks fab! In a week from now you won't even remember what went wrong or the frustration. I love the lining/ dress fabric with the jacket. Great combo! You'll be the only person within a 20mile radius whose jacket lining matches her dress. :)

  9. Oh well, all future jackets will be a breeze by comparison. And this one is looking good. I love your choice of dress/lining fabric.

    As to buttons - the ones on the left....but the others are good too :)

  10. You are just tired of fooling with it and have too many things going on in your head at one time right now. It is really turning out beautifully. You will look very nice in your set. mssewcrazy

  11. This is your first lined jacket? Wow. That makes me feel a little better about my own abilities, since I just assumed you were awesome at all things sewing. I vote for the ones on the right. More contemporary, like the jacket. Is that the McCall's Nanette Lepore knockoff? I made that one. I love it, but I can't move my arms in it.

  12. Nobody but you will ever notice. It looks great and I love the lining and dress matching. Nice look. Buttons on the left are a little more sophisticated.
    I know you don't love Jo Anns for buttons, well honestly there is nothing fabulous there. There are some good places on line. Have you tried any? in Asheville is one you may not have found.

  13. First - my choice for buttons the ones on the left. They look more classical and suited to the jacket front.

    Second - linings can be tricky even when you've inserted them several times...I hold my breathe when I am getting to the final part too so don't feel as if it was something unusual.

    third - I love that the lining and dress will match!

    You are going to look very put together for interviews. But I have a question...are you going to make a few other pieces - skirt, pants another top so that you can mix and match all of the pieces for interviews?

    Yeah, I know I have added another piece to the challenge but believe me when they call you back for 2nd interviews you will be glad that you have another different outfit!

  14. Great looking jacket & dress combo so far! I'm so shocked that this is your first lined jacket! Can't wait to see the final.

  15. I did my first lined jacket under supervision in college and it was a lot to learn, so going for it on your own showed courage and determination. And look how great it turned out!

    The matching dress thing is so great. I'd have put a small pocket on the inside of the jacket, just to make sure I'd have the chance to flash the lining! Class! As in First!!

  16. Debbie, I love your outfit. The dress, lining and jacket makes a sharp outfit for an office. I used to wear lots of suits and jacket dresses when I was in the working world of government. Some days we just have to walk away from a project to get the proper prospective. I think you did well on your first lined jacket. Will continue to follow your progress. Good luck!


Thank you for each and every comment. I appreciate them all, but I have to be honest and let you know that I'm usually bad about answering questions. I hope you understand that there just isn't enough time in the day to do everything I want to do.

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