Sunday, February 15, 2015

Winter Wardrobe - The Anise Jacket

So today I'm going to tell you about a project that I'm pretty proud of. I know that a lot of the garments that I sew are rather basic, quick and easy knit dresses and tops that are usually finished within a few hours. That's fine, because that's pretty much what I wear most days. However, it's also neither very challenging nor very exciting. (Hmm, not quite true. I'm always excited about wearing something new, or trying a new pattern.) Anyway - I made a Colette Anise jacket!
I  started making it sometime in mid-November. Cutting it out was a bit of a challenge, since I only had 1.5 meters of this burgundy herringbone wool blend, a remnant purchased at stoffe.de. But I'd been dreaming about a red herringbone coat or jacket for years now, so it had to be this! A game of very careful pattern tetris later, and I had actually squeezed out all of the pieces for this jacket, even managing to make long sleeves. Yay, me! ;) 
It took me until Christmas to finish the jacket, and I think it's the garment I have put the second most care and work into, second only to my Starlet Suit Jacket (and only because I didn't make a muslin this time). There are welt pockets and bound button holes and shoulder pads and quite a bit of handstitching. 
And a cute label. Not to mention it's underlined with fleece (repurposed from an old blanket) for warmth. And of course it has a very pretty polka-dotted lining (that I bought in Italy, near the Lago di Garda). I even bought Karen's ebook on How to Make Bound Button Holes - but in the end I used the tutorial that accompanies the Colette Patterns instructions. It's a bit less involved than Karen's method but I think the results are very satisfying.
The construction didn't go quite without hiccoughs. For one, with all those curves and the collar and sleeves, I kínda missed having a pressing aid, like a tailor's ham or a seam roll. Um yes, I've been sewing for almost five years without ever bothering to buy one. Did I mention that I sew mostly knits? I mostly don't even bother to press the seams when sewing with them. ;) But I can now totally see how they would come in useful when sewing something like a wool jacket.
The other hiccough was the insertion of the sleeve lining. I must have read the instructions wrong, since I attached the sleeve lining to the bodice lining first, then attached the lining to the facing and then wondered how to get the it attached at the cuffs. In reality, the instructions have you attach the sleeve lining to the sleeve cuff first, and then hand sew the sleeve lining to the bodice lining, for a better fit. In the end, I wasn't in the mood to undo my stitching, so I attached the lining to the cuffs by hand. I hear there is a strange technique called "bagging a lining", which may possibly be an easier way. At least there is way less hand sewing involved, and I may try that next time.
My final thoughts about this Anise jacket: it's pretty, but I have the feeling that it doesn't go with everything. Possibly because it's a tad short for my taste. It's works rather nicely with dresses, and also with skirts, but as you can see in the picture at the beginning of this post: the bottom part of my top shows. Thus it's not quite ideal for the cold days of winter, but it's fine for intermediate days and for colder spring and autumn days. I made bound button holes for the first time and love how nicely they turned out! And I think this won't be the last jacket I made. It may not even be the last Anise. :)

18 comments:

  1. I think it looks wonderful! Hopefully you will get to wear it more.

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  2. Very very cute! I love your fabric choice!

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  3. it is beautiful!!!! you did such good work on this one and i think you look very put together in it. well done!

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  4. I think that's a great length on you, but I can see what you mean about the shirts...you probably have to tuck them in. But that's an awesome look with a short skirt!! Beautiful work! :)

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  5. Oh Alessa it's beautiful ! Well done in such a sewing adventure. You're right to be proud of yourself. It's fab. Having just made this recently myself I know exactly what you mean by the sleeve lining stage- and I did the same thing but unpicked my sleeve to follow the instructions , so we clearly took the same thought process ! I wear mine a lot and yes it is short and my tops can peep through, but I like that as I wear mine with sharp trousers too, and it makes me feel a little urchin like! i think you look great in your anise outfits, and can maybe find more options to wear it with :-) it's worth it!!

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  6. It's so pretty I could steal it from you! :) Beautiful piece of work. I really like your farbic choice.

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  7. It's so cute! Classic cut but fun and lively fabric, which is perfect for you! :)

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  8. Nice job! I love that fabric too. I've been dreaming off and on about making a coat/jacket for a while, but haven't taken the plunge yet ... seeing well-made ones pop up in my blog feed is always encouraging though! :)

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  9. oh my, it is wonderful. I am really impressed you have taken on a challenge and won! How brave, I still stick to projects that in theory are simple. Gosh the fabric too is lovely. well done. xxx

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  10. Definitely a project to be proud of! Congratulations Alessa, this is a beautiful coat. I've been wanting to make a coat for years and haven't taken the plunge because I'm scared of the time commitment and the more expensive supplies needed. This is so inspiring though.

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  11. So lovely! I really like the shae and style of the Anise jacket. The colour is great. I am impressed with your bound buttonholes and welt oockets. Just fab, Alessa, xx

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  12. Wow, your jacket looks absolutely fabulous on you! So beautifully made. Well done, you have every right to be very proud of your workmanship.

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  13. It looks cozy, and the bound buttonholes turned out great! I love that you recycled a blanket for the extra warmth factor, too. If it makes you feel better, I don't have a tailor's ham, either! I have a pattern for one, but I'm still trying to figure out what to make it out of/stuff it with, particularly with my wool issues.

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  14. Well done Alessa! Bound buttonholes are not easy! I love the fabric. Bagging the lining is totally worth it. It's what I've used. Looks like a big mess but in the end it's ok. I don't remember if you made Minoru but that could be a nice jacket too.
    Are the left-hand buttonholes also bound?

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  15. Thanks Becky! I guess a tailor's ham isn't really essential, but it can be helpful. :) I know one side is traditionally made with wool fabric, but I think it would be ok to make it entirely out of (quilting) cotton. As long as it keeps its shape and leaves the sawdust inside...? I've been more wondering about where to get sawdust and if I want to mess around with that.

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  16. I mostly had the courage because I got the wool remnant so cheap! It was only 7,50€ for 1.5 meters, so really if I had messed up, the most I'd have lost was the time I put into it. :) Maybe you can also find some nice-but-inexpensive remnant or second hand fabric for your first try?

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  17. This looks amazing! I love your fabric choice and cute label. I've been wanting to make the Anise jacket, but haven't gotten around to it yet - maybe I'll get one done by next winter :) Thanks for the inspiration!

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  18. Very nice! Those buttonholes!!! It looks fantastic. I have an unfinished coat languishing in my sewing room... Not nearly as nice as this one, though!

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