I had two pieces of fabric I wanted to use this Fall. One was 3 yards of 36″ wide cloque from the now closed Textile Studio and the other was 3 yards of rayon ribbing, both in a mauve-y pink. These are difficult fabrics to work with and dictated the style, the sewing and each detail of what ever I would end up making.
The cloque would add width and visual weight to the silhouette so it couldn’t be a dress for me without making me shorter and wider than I already am.
Showing the Wrong Side of the Knitted Cloque
It took me a long while to puzzle through how the fabric should be used, years really but I was determined this time because I craved working in this color.
But how should I use it????
It is a fairly formal fabric but my lifestyle does not call for formal anything. I needed a pattern with simple lines and I needed a pattern that would put all that visual weight on my upper half.
I looked for a simple jacket
This vintage Le Cadran de la Mode pattern is on loan to me from Georgene’s extensive pattern collection:
Size 44 Men's Jacket "American Style" Blouson
Sheet Inserted into the Pattern Envelope
The envelope contained all pieces except the collar. It was drafted for a woven jacketing and had 2 piece sleeves.
Back of The Envelope
The boxy shape seemed to be what I needed for this fabric and the pattern’s gathered and tabbed sides gave me the idea to use the ribbing for the lower edge and sleeves. I had to test each design detail and machine stitch as I worked through the design of the jacket.
The collar pattern piece (#6) is missing but is not a problem because fabrics I used for this jacket are nylon and rayon knits. A knit ribbing collar can easily create it’s own stand and can fall nicely with little shaping from the cutting. I measured the length of the neckline, folded the intended collar in two and cut the needed length with a little wider flare for the collar tips.
In making up the collar from the rayon ribbing I found the tips needed to be rounded so I carefully created the rounded ends. Otherwise the ribbing creates an unattractive “stump” at the pointed ends.
Jacket on Form
As you can see I didn’t use all the cool pointed tabs and double welted pockets for my design. My fabrics were the color I wanted to work with but they were not easy to sew.
The fabric choice governed the design right down to whether to use snaps or make buttonholes. The snaps won out.
I did spend some time basting everything before using a narrow .5 zigzag stitch set at 3 mm in length to join everything together. I also had to decrease the pressure of the presser foot by half to keep from dragging the bubbled surface of the outer fabric into lumps and bumps.
The inside is lined with pink powerdry from Malden Mills (now Polartek, LLC). I used the silky side toward the body for easy on and off of the jacket.
Pink Power Dry Lining with Smooth Side Toward the Body
I created a back facing to join to the front facing the pattern provided. Both facings are interfaced with fusible Pro-Sheer from Fashion Sewing Supply and I found that pressing the fabric definitely changed it.
Fusible Interfacing Applied
Not Interfaced nor Pressed
The pattern pieces had notches and circle and no seam allowances built in and interestingly enough I found that on the long, obviously meant to be straight edges the pattern pieces curved inward. I am speculating when I say that the curve may have been caused by the drag on the pattern paper when the long straight cuts were made. The straight front edges had them too, so I corrected in the layout as I worked.
The Back Has No Seam So It Was Meant to be Placed on a Fold
The layout of the sleeves was done so that the straight of the grain ran parallel to the upper sleeve edges. This is shown on the back of the envelope but the markings are not on the pattern pieces.
Layout of the Sleeves
Even though I folded out 1.5″ I also cut off another 1.5″ for the cuffs.
Just Enough Drape to the Sleeves
The power dry is cut the exact same size as the knitted cloque but the weight of the cloque caused it to stretch more than the power dry, creating the blouson effect.
I did not alter the shoulders or armscye and used 1.25″ deep menswear shoulder pads to keep the “High School Sports Jacket” look to the piece
Back Showing Wide Shoulders
I also did not want the ribbing to ride up across the back so I did not stretch it across the bottom
I did pay homage to the original design by retaining the pointed tab at the front hem
Front Showing the Tab
The skirt shown here is black power dry with an elastic waist and the leggings are made using the method described here. The leggings are made of stretch Chantilly lace from GorgeousFabrics.com turned inside out to tone down the silver threads in the fabric.