Sunday, November 15, 2009

Off to the Riviera

I finished the J. Stern jeans. Meh. I don't love them, but at least they're done. You can read the review on PR by clicking the thumbnail in the "My Reviews" widget in the sidebar at the right. Because they're done, it means that corner of my sewing room is now clear and my UFO guilt would allow me to move on to a new pattern. Yay!

I traced the Hot Patterns Riviera Boulevard Cardigan Jacket (whew, that's a mouthful!) Saturday morning and then tried on the tracing to assess needed fit alterations. Surprisingly, the verdict was none! That's not to say that I traced one straight size and it fit out of the envelope. Instead, with knits lately I've been "cheating." Instead of doing a regular slash/spread FBA, I've just been blending between sizes as I trace or cut, like this:

I'll start with the size that corresponds to my upper bust measurement. For this drawing, that would be the Gray size inside the black outline. Then I move out at armhole level to the size that corresponds to my full bust. Here, it's the Blue size. And then I gradually morph downward to the size that corresponds to my hips. Here, it's the Purple size. I end up with a pattern that resembles the Gray plus Red outline.

This cheating method works for me because I also usually also have to increase the bicep width in sleeves and the morphing shown above does increase the sleeve size needed. But now, instead of actually slash/spreading the sleeve, I just use a similar morph between the sleeve size that matches the Gray size I started with and I extend the underarm seams to the Blue size, like this:

These "cheaters" are what I did for the Riviera jacket while I was tracing. I also made a square shoulder alteration (a usual for me), again while tracing. The net result is one tracing with little or no slash/spread alterations. For this jacket I did end up slicing up some of the pattern pieces to add 2" of additional length between waist and hem, but that's a fast alteration so it almost doesn't count. ;-)

As I said, I use these cheaters mostly for knits. (And before you ask, No, I don't find that the front bottom hem rides up. Your mileage may vary.) I will also sometimes use these morphs as a starting point for wovens too, because then I'll need a much smaller dart/spread when doing a traditional FBA.

So the photo above is where I am now with the jacket. I expect I'll finish it this afternoon. The fabric is a recycled cotton blend fleece from Lucy's Fabrics. It's ginger-orange with colored flecks on the outside and snuggly navy fleece on the inside. Great fabric!

Even though I know the girls probably don't need a pocket flap (even a faux flap such as this), one of the reasons I like this pattern is because of the unusual look of the double flaps. So, caution to the wind and I'm keeping both flaps. I'll probably stitch down the top flaps so they don't actually flap.

* * * * *

Still without A/C here, but the temps dropped and it's actually quite pleasant with the windows open. At night, it's even chilly. Plus, it's good to air out the house once in a while too. But I'll be calling the repairman tomorrow to set up an install date for sometime this week. I'm also getting used to my widescreen monitor and don't hate it quite as much. Things are looking up!


  1. You're braver than me, all those flaps augmenting the girls! Love the fabric, it will be great on you.

  2. Thanks for the tips. I too have a large bust and biceps. I like this pattern a lot, so if I get it, I'll refer to your post.

  3. The jacket is coming along nicely. I like the fabric.

  4. I love that jacket. In fact, the pattern is laying on my cutting table. I don't think I have knits, but will measure the pattern and see if I can use it for a woven. Sure--why not?

    I often use the same technique that you do for altering my patterns in the hip.

    Maybe your bad luck spell is over!

    Tell Trudy and Jeremy we want more jacket patterns please!

  5. I likeyour cheater method a lot. Would you mind adding it to your fba tutorials? I pass around that list so much, because it's so clear and so complete, it's a shame not to have the quick and dirty method included :-).

    I should say that yes having enough sideways room does prevent the worst of the front riding up syndrome. But I find that I still need to add some length, just because the front doesn't do that awful boing doesn't mean that it's long enough.. And I have a belly as well, so things look much better when my front is long enough. The thing is the length or lack thereof shows mostly from the side. MInd you my cheater method for length is just to add an inch at center front to middle bust, and round back up before the side seam, no big deal either.

    As to the pocket flaps, I'm eagerly awaiting your road test. I can't quite believe they'd be OK, but if you say so I'll try them :-). Thanks..

  6. Excellent! Those FBAs can get tedious. You're essentially putting in a vertical dart, left unsewn. Good idea, thanks for sharing.

  7. Yay. My laziness in teeshirt alterations is now an official Debbie Cook method. :)

  8. It's a wonderful jacket. I like your idea about the sleeve vents. I made the same change that you did on the flaps. I made one that way and it was too narrow besides being too thick. I think I'd add a hem at the bottom too instead of the facing. It would certainly make this a very quick jacket.


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