I’m happy with the way this shirt jacket turned out - even though Marfy is pretty much an Outward Bound sewing experience, the patterns are expertly cut and they fit together beautifully. When I do tailored shirts like this, I turn into the Template Queen. Years ago I learned the hard way that the only way I can really replicate the crisp look of RTW shirt details is to use templates. I just can’t rely soley on my eyes and hands for neat and tidy details.
There are a few design details on this shirt that really stand out: the topstitched bellows pockets with flaps, and the epaulettes. The beauty of a template is that each detail will look exactly the same - sure you do need to make them, but a piece of thin cardboard or a manila folder works fine and cutting them out takes just a few minutes of extra time. Here are the templates I made for this project:
The cardboard for these came from the back of a legal pad The big payoff with a template is nice crisp pressed edge for details such as patch pockets. The only other tools you need are a piece of silk organza to use as a press cloth and some spray adhesive to hold the template to the wrong side of the fabric (spray the template, not the fabric.) The template/fabric sandwich is placed right side down on a big piece of silk organza. Grab the silk organaza and use it to pull the fabric over the edge of the template as you press down the edge with a hot iron and lots of steam. Let the pressed piece cool completely and remove the template.
An Interesting Challenge
I must admit to being perplexed when I first saw the collar pieces. The fact that there were two of them made sense – there is an upper and lower collar, and they are different sizes as you can see – but the stand incorporated into the collar really had me stratching my head. The fashion illustration really looks like there is a separate collar stand, and in the end I decided that must be the case and seprated the two pieces (the photos below show them before they were cut apart.)
Another thing I do with a collar stand is to mark the stitching line all along the curve of the stand at center front – it’s just impossible to rely solely on my seam guide and still get a perfectly curved edge. If I mark the seam line there’s no guesswork.
This is a 46 and when I orderd the pattern I used a Burda WOF size table to help me decide, and I erred on the small side. Still, after I did a muslin it was clear I had to narrow the shoulders a full 1/2 inch on each side – I do have narrow shoulders but over all the shoulder and back width seems large to me: 16 1/2 inches across the shoulders. I also shortend the waist a solid 2 inches and the sleeves 3/4 of an inch. The back was let out 2 inches below the hips and no adjustments had to be made for the front hip area. The patch pockets were moved down a bit so they don’t hit me right at the waist. The fabric is a Rayon Poly Stretch twill from Gorgeous Fabrics.
So – on to another Marfy! My Fall/Winter 2007-08 catalog just arrived, and inspiration abounds.