I had to add another metre to what I already had, and buy a few buttons and some fabric dye for the lining, so I'm counting this one as a $15 jacket.
My idea was a shawl or tuxedo collar jacket; I thought that a shawl collar would go nicely with the softness of the velvet, and be very feminine in a structured way. I spent a little time browsing the web for inspiration, and settled on this Alexander McQueen blue velvet blazer.
Not that I intended to copy it slavishly, definitely not, but it gave me ideas for a few extra touches I wanted my jacket to have so it could rise above the pattern I picked.
And the pattern? New Look 6013. Cute, I thought, with the single button just holding together the dropped angled fronts. One thing I wasn't crazy about was the shoulder-pleated single piece sleeve: first, it seemed to widen the shoulder area and I already have pretty broad shoulders as it is, and secondly the pleating could turn into a general fail with a thick fabric like velvet. I also don't think a stovepipe sleeve is the greatest idea in a structured, lined jacket. So I substituted a two piece sleeve from McCall's 5395, though any other two piece sleeve you might have on hand would presumably work just as well. I'd used M5395 a few times already in some unlined summer jackets, so I knew it fit my arm just fine. Below, you see the two patterns I put together for this project lying on the dark blue cotton velvet fabric I used. The M5395, btw, is so out of print it doesn't even appear on McCall's web page. Pity! It's a great pattern: the two front darts give an amazing fit to well endowed but small-waisted figures.
|Blue cotton velvet jacket: New Look 6013 body, McCall's 5395 sleeves|
The NL pattern is unlined, but since cotton is so grabby I knew this one would need to be lined. Using the back pattern piece, I made a back neck facing and a back lining with a 1" pleat pattern pieces, and those, combined with the side fronts and side backs, gave me the lining.
Per the A.McQ. inspiration, I notched the pattern up a bit with the following additions: single-welt chest pocket; angled double-welt flap pockets at the hip; and vented sleeves with working buttonholes and buttons. And, of course, a lining, which is absent in the NL pattern.
Speaking of the lining: I had a substantial length of rayon (according to my burn test) lining from who knows where - its origins lost in the sands of time - but still a beautiful beefy twill weave rayon, much nicer than your run of the mill Bemberg (apologies to B....). Only my piece was a nothing to look at light greyish beige: yuck! So I dyed it.
The dyeing exercise was quite the learning experience. I started with a Jacquard acid dye that is completely unsuited for cellulose based fabrics. Of course it didn't take - but I twigged onto that early enough, ie., before pouring the dye solution away, that I could grab a bit of winter-white silk and dye that instead. I then used Dylon dye on the rayon. It took, though not as strongly as I'd hoped, and instead of a deep violet gave me a kind of pinkish periwinkle. Still a nice contrasty match for my midnight blue velvet.
|Left: rayon lining dyed with Dylon Intense Violet. |
Right: silk jacquard dyed with Jacquard Acid dye, Sapphire Blue.
Original fabrics on the bottom, dyed on the top.
Those stage-setting steps put me well on the way to construction. Which I'll cover in my next post. :)