Summer Jacket #1

I’ve started my summer sewing. I’m not sewing a 6PAC.  Much as I love the system, I realized I needed not a full  6-Piece capsule wardrobe, but some individual pieces to complete a coordinated wardrobe.  Also I will want 3 coordinated wardrobes, one in brown, one in black one blue .Instead of the dark colors I’ve worn all winter and most of fall and spring, my colors will migrate into lighter blues, tans and greys. I made a complete list of what I need at the end of my Closet Review and now I”m sewing.

I know I’m good for basic tops and bottoms. It’s my 3rd layer pieces that are sorely missing. I searched my stash for fabrics for 3rd layers.  I want very light weight.  I will die if I have to wear a heavy jacket.  I need gauze or voile anything light almost transparent.I also want light colors. I wear darker colors 3 seasons of the year mostly to disguise the dirt and stains winter offers up. Now, I want no I crave lighter colors. Unfortunately, my stash didn’t offer up very much. Just as I have accent 3rd layers in the closet, I seem to have accent 3rd layer fabrics. I  finally retrieve a wool gauze in black.  Frankly I was hoping for a grey but a black will work for now and I will keep looking for a suitable grey fabric.

I bought this gauze at a garage sale. It says it is 2 yards of wool gauze.  It didn’t smell like wool when I steamed it. Also it is not 2 yards. At best 1-7/8 yard.  Except it’s not even that. Both ends are cut at odd angles.  It was squirmy.  I finally sprayed heavily and on both sides with Terrial Magic. I allowed it to dry and sprayed a 2nd time.  I didn’t really want to dunk this wool in liquid starch and then need to wash the finished garment. I mean who knows what size the final garment would be after that event? Nor did I want to apply the Terrial Magic with a paint brush. Can you imaging painting nearly 2 yards of fabric with a sponge paint brush?    I was relieved when the 2nd spraying did not make my wool gauze stiff but did control the slithering and bunching.  I was able to lay it out on-grain. At which point I discovered that none of the patterns I had in mind would work. There was less than 1.5 yards to work with. Plus of course some big odd shaped pieces on either end.

What kind of coat/3rd layer can you make with less than 1.5 yards of fabric? I opted to use the Bog Coat. It is amazingly fabric conserving. For my stature I need  38″  fabric plus a little for cuffs and edge finish.  Let me point that out again 38 inches and some scraps!

Usually I measure and chalk the fabric from a diagram I made a number of years ago.

I double-check the measures and chalking before cutting.  This works really well except that as I age I’ve run into a couple of issues. (1) The back of the neck binds and rubs. (2) I really need an RBA (3) The sleeve length varies. Sleeve length is the result of how wide the fabric is plus how deep the sleeve is cut. Even knowing that, I can start with 60″ fabric and finish with a 3/4″ sleeve.  I’m hoping by having a pattern I can  avoid the pit falls.

Worn with grey jeans and knit sleeveless top.

The Bog Coat is very adaptable.  Balenciaga was famous for this drafting  which elevated this simple garment into the couture arena. I’m not doing much this time because I’m testing my pattern and I want the simple garment. I want a supporting player in my wardrobe. One that I can wear with jeans on errands or into a restaurant with nicer clothes on date night. So, I made my pattern, cut my fabric and stitched it together.  I cut 4″ strips to finish the sleeve edges (folded in half results in a 2″ cuff). I cut a long 2″ strip and finished the raw edge with french binding. I love how a french binding perfectly encloses all the raw edges so easily. I wanted that edge to be  sort of a fat, heavy roll.  I wanted it to weigh down the gauze and hopefully avoid some velcro butt.

I got what I wanted — a very plain 3rd layer that goes with every grey-to-black + accent outfit I can put together from my closet. But I’m  not entirely happy.

  • Usually I place a nice thick raglan pad in the shoulders. Which completely offsets the seamless nature of the Bog Coat and elevates it to a classier garment as it  conceals my asymmetrical shoulders. Shoulder pads were not an option because they would have been visible-a sight I think is gauche.
  • My sleeves are just slightly shorter than I would prefer.  My fabric was only 54″ wide. My cuff 2″ wide. Not quite the 59″ of my wing span.
  • I was unable to adapt for my rounded back. I simply didn’t know what to do. In the end I trimmed 2″ from the front curved across the side leaving the back the original chalked length

Which barely helped:

The back still appears to rise at CB and if this black was more revealing you would see drag lines and folds of cloth coming off the cross back. Interestingly enough, the V’s are not forming.

Also, deep in my heart, I’d still like to make this a little more special. Although my black 3rd layer is finished and ready for wear, I may yet take it back downstairs.  I’m thinking nail heads  hot glued into place.

Summer  Wardrobe Sewing List Update:

  1. Casual Pants/Jeans
    1. Black ranging to greys
    2. Brown ranging to beiges
    3. Blue ranging to light clear blues.
  2. Dressy blouses:
    1. Black ranging to greys
    2. Brown ranging to beiges
    3. Blue ranging to light clear blue
  3. Third Layers
    1. Black Wool Gauze DONE
    2. Brown ranging to beiges
    3. Blue ranging to light clear blue

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