We are now in the perfect stages of Autumn – crisp, cool nights mixed with sunny days reaching the mid to high 20’s (that’s degrees C).
So I am looking to make light jackets for the commute to work.
Ponte knit in a printed plaid, bought originally for work pants. Since the pattern is just printed onto a white background and distorts as the fabric stretches, I didn’t think trousers will be a good idea so this was an ideal test fabric for the jacket.
Cake Carmine Jacket. This pattern was developed from the circular shrug knitted jackets. It is very simple to cut out – the collar/peplum is all one piece, with the back and sleeves one piece. It is a bit of a fabric hog due to the necessity of lining the pieces up with the direction of the stretch.
The instructions are designed for the confident sewist – they do not hold your hand with in progress diagrams, but all information is contained either through the pattern markings or the instructions.
Cut as per the pattern, only increasing the width of the sleeves to cover my biceps.
- First time sewing with stretch fabric (albeit a very stable ponte knit).
- I used my generic Chinese Knit Foot to progress the top and bottom fabrics at the same pace. This worked pretty well until I started top stitching the collar piece and the needle thread kept snapping.
- I switched to the Janome brand Walking Foot and finished up no issues.
- Throughout the sew, I was supervised closely by both Bruno and Cirie, who approved of both my approach and the warmth provided by the iron. Bruno was particularly happy with the fabric choice…
I left the pieces overnight, ready to attach the collar/peplum to the back. This was what I was confronted with this morning (warning, the following image may distress some viewers).
I rounded up the usual suspects…
This is a wadder! And the sad thing is that Bruno’s contribution is not the biggest issue of the project.
Luckily, before he made his mark, I had already decided to treat this as a wearable muslin – something that would be OK to wear around the house but not necessarily use in a professional environment.
And in addition to the obvious issues – I’m not really happy with my seam finishing. After the precision work of the light weight woven cottons, where you can have completely enclosed seams, using a simple knit overlock stitch looks really clumsy.
And there was clearly no attempt at pattern matching.
If I make the jacket again, things I would change:
- Fabric choice. Use a 4 way stretch fabric to address the sleeve fitting issues. Or, contrarily, use a stretch woven and line the back piece to enclose all seams? Also avoid obvious strips or tartans that should be matched.
- Look at the shape of the sleeves and adjust to suit my arm and shoulder shape
- Take out at least 1.5″ from the width of the centre neck
- Remove the additional fabric along waist/underarm join that was added as a result of increasing the sleeve width – this created a lot of unnecessary fabric
- Look at removing the need for the gusset – can this be cut in one piece with the back, so the only seam can be treated as a horizontal bust dart.
- Look at the sleeve edges – must be a better way of joining a cuff using knitted fabric.
- Pay more attention to the pattern markings, and stretch the collar to fit along the neckline edge, not the waist edge. I’m pretty sure my stretching along the waistline has created the jaunty, but unwanted, upwards angle of the peplum.
Cake Sewing on Etsy – note that it is still possible to buy Cake patterns for pdf download, but due to the founder’s personal circumstances, no support is available. I believe the Facebook page has a 40% discount coupon.