Summer Jacket #2

Couldn’t find a fabric I wanted to use as a 3rd layer for my brown tones and so I ordered a gauze print in tans and yellow.  I was disappointed. Rather than the tans I was seeing, the primary color was a mustard. Not French’s but the muted, muddied yellow of Grey Poupon. Neither color would have worked with all my brown based fabrics and clothes. So I hunted through the stash yet again and found a rayon, rib-knit fabric in cream stripes. I compared it with both fabrics in the stash and garments in the closet.  It worked well color wise but once again I was faced with a 1.5 yard length. That’s plenty for a T-shirt, even with long sleeves, but a jacket needs more.  I returned to the idea of the Bog Coat. Except this time I wanted to be able to accommodate my rounding back if only a little.  The pattern I chose is an oldie from the knitting side of my life:

I knit this many years ago as drafted and wore it as bathrobe for several years. Mine looked much like the picture in the magazine

The beauty of this pattern is that you are basically knitting 2 rectangles which are then cleverly sewn together into a kimono type garment.  The real advantage I see to using this shape now is the ability to add length at the center back. The disadvantage of this pattern is that I really don’t want a kimono sleeve.  I just don’t want a big floppy sleeve for this jacket. But that’s easy enough to fix.  I decided how wide I wanted my cuffs (8″) and then drew angled lines from the back to the cuff.  The finished top shape looks like this:

Like with my previous Bog Coat, I decided to create a pattern for future use. I know that I periodically use this style. A pattern will allow me to repeat exactly or to make changes based on experience rather than guessing.For the ‘skirt’ piece, I started with a rectangle 18″ tall and 26″ wide. Then I sloped from side seam to CB which added 1″ length (total 19″) at CB.

This is a half piece consisting of 1 front joined to half the back; back will be placed on a fold to create the full ‘skirt’ piece.


I reshaped the neckline to a rounded V. It’s my most flattering shape. I love that in a jacket/3rd Layer I can bring the point of the V down so low.

The upper bodice is 20″ wide and 31″ long. My pattern includes the cuff. Granted, most fabrics will not be wide enough. I will either place the pattern piece lengthwise/on grain or fold up the cuff and cut them separately.

Now someone is thinking this is not really a Bog Coat and you are right. The classic Bog Coat is 1 piece with a few slashes to define sleeves and center front.  The classic is very fabric conserving and among the  least wasteful of fabric. I relate this to the Bog because of it’s over all shape and again the clever folding.  I could sew the center back of the skirt to the back of the upper bodice and then sew the side seams and sleeves as is done with the Bog.  However, I stitched the  underarm/sleeve seams first, then joined the upper bodice and skirt with one long seam. Either stitching method is acceptable. Even if it is not, it is my garment and I’m going to sew it the way I want.

Before cutting I made a second evaluation of the fabric, layout and stretch.  I did not want the stripes to run horizontally across my body.  I’m curvy and stripes not only follow the curve but emphasize any curvature. But I was more concerned about my shoulders than my middle. I could just imagine the stripes making me look like a TeePee. Not the look I was going for. So I laid out my pattern on-grain but then it occurred to me that the fabric stretch was going to make this grow. How much?  The rule of thumb I got from experienced knitters is about 1″ per foot of length.  I put two3/8″ tucks in both parts of the bodice removing 3″ length and it wasn’t a bit too much. Remember this is a rib-knit with 100% stretch.

Before hemming and finishing, I slipped on my new cardigan (it’s a knit).  That’s when I discovered I could have removed even more length. I was happy that the hem was fairly level.

I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt because I nearly always need to rotate my pics. I can introduce error in that process. Also, it seems to me that cardigans tend to droop at center front.  I remember from my study of Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitting From The Top, that she recommended picking up a few less stitches along the center front bands to counter-act that natural tendency of knit fabrics. So I agree, that’s not a perfectly level hem but I didn’t take my scissors to it like I did with Bog1.

I turned the cuff up 1 color (about 7/8″) and top stitched.

At this point, I was once again faced with the fact I had planned and designed a plain, dull, uninteresting garment. Sigh, which is what I thought I wanted. However, I couldn’t stand another such blaaaaaaaaaah.   I cut 3.5″ fring along the hem.

Added a band to the front and fringed it 2″.

Somewhere in there, I cut two 18″ long strip and added to the front. Then added wooden beads to the bottom

I think I will wear this cardigan tied

Which is why I needed the beads.  I needed to be able to find the ties quickly. Beads that weight the ties are useful for that.

Fit is not as good as I would like. Front and back look fine, but from the side:

I’m surprised that I need only a 5/8″ RBA for blouse patterns. Any more than that introduces wrinkles and strangely makes the back peek up over the shoulder. So surprised I need 5/8″ on tops, but 1″ was not sufficient. Even in this pic the hem is not perfectly level. Could still be error caused by rotating the pic.  More importantly are the drag lines from bust to side and not clearly visible above, repeated on the back. The empire seam keeps them from repeating all the way down and forming into V’s.  Especially puzzling because I’ve never seen this on my other Bog coats including the one made 4 years ago and still in my closet.  Dressmaking is really challenging. You can do the same thing time and time to different fabrics and one day it doesn’t work.  Nonetheless, this garment is going in my closet.  I need it. It is simple enough to work with all my garments but interesting enough to satisfy my need for embellishment. Like the black (which I wanted to be grey), fabric for a tan/brown 3rd layer is still on my shopping list.  Sooner or later, I will be able to replace my cardigan with something I like even better.