I've started the autumn collection. Like many of you, for the past few weeks living in the northern hemisphere I've been looking forward to handling something other than cotton or linen but a bit beefier and substantial - like wool. This check was ordered and delivered way before the summer from Fabric Mart with the sole intention of becoming a hacking jacket. I'm glad to be working on it now.
I don't have a plan or grand scheme for autumn - I really admire those who have a SWAP - problem is I change my mind so often that any plan I start with never gets completed so now I don't spend my time making one in the first place.
The fabric is olive green and taupe, irregular check (plaid) with a vertical muted orange stripe and a horizontal muted fushia. The challenge is to get the orange and the fushia stripes to join up at the seams, collar, sleeves and lapels. The only way I've discovered to do this right is to do it slowly slowly slowly. And I use DH's checked jackets as my reference for how it's supposed to look.
The pattern had already been chosen - it's Jean Hardy Hunt coat. It has 8 panels - this is NOT a good pattern to be using for checks. However, I've made this before in a plain brown and like the style. I didn't make a muslin because of this, but did tack all the pieces together, once cut, just to check the fit. I can always make minor adjustments later.
This is one half of the back. I laid the 'cut' piece (flipped over) onto a single layer of fabric positioning it so the checks and lines matched up exactly; then chalked around it - creating the other half of the back.
What you see here is actually one cut piece lying on top of the fabric and the chalk lines for cutting out the next.
This took a long time to cut out as you can imagine - one piece at a time and each piece matched with the previous. But it's worth it and I'm in no hurry. On the right - the side front seam and below the centre back already sewn with the (almost) perfect matching of the horizontal stripes.
The jacket has princess seams - not good with a check, I'll show you later what I mean, but you can see what happens to the vertical lines on the back - the princess seams at the front are will be like this only more so. It also has bound pockets with flaps, two side back vents and of course will be fully lined and tailored.
I underlined the whole jacket with a stable cotton with slight stretch that came 'free' in a Fabric Mart bundle and never found a use for until now. I'm at the endless pad stitching part - lapels, breast shield and shoulders - so I won't bore you of pictures of pad-stitching.
Oh OK, since you insist, just one.
I love pad stitching (weirdo), it's like magic how these little stitches shape fabric seemingly all on their own. Hand sewing is a nice way to slow down and take your time.
I can't help thinking that cotton = quick, wool = slow.
I haven't cut out the sleeves or collar yet - I have to have the jacket constructed so that I can match the checks for these pieces.
This is what I'll look like when it's finished.