Friday, November 27, 2009

A Day of Pattern Morphing

Whew! I didn't think it would take this long to turn a "simple" Simplicity jacket into a pattern for a Coldwater Creek jacket. Granted, I took lots of breaks, but still. I worked on this most of the day today.

Here's the CWC jacket:

And here is Simplicity 4045, the jacket I'm using as a jumping off point:

I'm sure there's a pattern out there somewhere that would need less changes, but I like a challenge and it's been a while since I did something like this. Plus, I already had the Simplicity and there's no way I was going to wait on an online order or venture out into retail-land on Black Friday.

After studying both jackets, I decided I needed to change the Simplicity pattern as follows:

1. Create separate neckband pieces.

2. Add button plackets. The Simplicity jacket meets at Center Front and there is no allowance for buttons and/or placket.

3. Create front princess seams from the bust darts, and, of course, do an FBA. The CWC jacket has armhole princess seams front and back. The Simplicity jacket has a side panel. I decided that was close enough so I'm leaving those seams as-is.

4. Add a Center Back seam.

Below is my pattern morph. The original Simplicity front/side combo piece is on the right. I cut out the tissue, did my FBA, and then traced the results onto a new sheet of tracing paper. The Simplicity pattern is taped back together. I figured if I was way off base, I would want as much as the original as possible to go back to. I then closed the side bust dart on my tracing and created the princess seams.

I decided on a shoulder princess seam for the front instead of an armhole princess seam. I'm going for "essence" of the CWC jacket, not an outright clone. Shoulder princess seams are more flattering on me.

After making those initial changes, I made a quick muslin from an old sheet. The neckband and plackets had not yet been completed for the muslin. I was merely testing fit and landmark placements. So far so good, although I decided I needed to (1) add another inch to the overall length, (2) move the shoulder seam backward 5/8" as this seems to be drafted for forward shoulders, which I don't have, and (3) shorten the sleeve about 3".

Here's a shot of the panel seam. You can see there's no actual sideseam. The panel is seamed toward the back.

With the fit tested, it was time to do the final fit tweaks and create the "missing" elements. I drew the neckband pieces and cut them from jacket body. I made the placket pieces and added seam allowances where they'd be attached. I lengthened/shortened in the places I noted. And thought I was done, until just now when I realized I forgot to cut apart the back piece for the back neckband. Oops. I'll have to do that tomorrow. My pattern brain is fried tonight.

I don't think I'm going to do another muslin, but I will pin all the pattern pieces onto Zillie to be sure my thought process worked for the construction and that I'm not missing anything. I haven't done a ton of jacket linings so I'll curl up in bed tonight with some refresher info to make sure I don't forget anything with that either.

Hopefully before the weekend is over, I'll have a new jacket. Now that I have the new A/C, the temps are supposed to be in the 40s (F) tonight. Figures.


  1. I love the jacket you are copying. I hope it works out. I know how you feel about pattern changes after spending the day fighting with a CJ pattern too.

    Btw, is your pattern brain fried or did you purposely forget the CB seam on the muslin?

  2. What a lovely jacket! It looks like you are well on your way to a pretty faithful copy.

  3. Isn't it fun, knocking off a garment? It's wonderful to be able to sew anything we see in RTW. I'm sure this jacket will be amazing!

  4. Debbie ~ I hate to mention this especially after all of the hard work that you've put into your toile (I like that word so much beter than muslin! *LOL*) but Simplicity 2570 already has the front bands of the CWC jacket. And I know that you could add the center back seams easily to that pattern.

    You might want to consider it if you get tired of playing with this pattern...and I might just copy you, cause this is a cute jacket!

  5. I really like that jacket style too. I think I'll go to their website and order the catalog. I get the Chicos catalog and ooh and ahh over them.

    Can't wait to see the finished product.

  6. Love that CWC jacket! Your morphed patterns always turn out great!

  7. We loves this! Beautiful! Inspired me to hop over to the Simplicity catalogue.

  8. I like a shoulder princess better too. It also helps me with my narrow shoulders and it's easier to sew even with a good sized fba, the curve is just not as pronounced. Are you using that black and white you showed a few posts ago for this jacket?

  9. I want to get better at pattern-morphing. This is a timely post.

  10. I'm impressed! Looks like the jacket is going to be lovely.

  11. This is a mental exercise for sure. You won't have to worry about losing your faculties as you "mature" if you keep doing stuff like this! Love your choices.

  12. I love Cold Water Creek jackets! I own 3 or 4 that I got a few years ago on sale.

    Good luck with your project!


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