Jumper or Jacket: you decide

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When I started sewing, after a long hiatus, about five or six years ago, I thought I’d sign up for an intro sewing course, just to see what might have changed in 30 or so years. <Pause for hysterical laughter>. We were all assigned this pattern, and had to sew the thing with no try-ons or adjustments for fit. Every single person in the class found theirs to be too large. Major disappointment all around. I turned mine into a low-high tunic, and took it in up the centre back, along with a few other adjustments.

When I was trying unsuccessfully to find a pattern for a jumper, I finally decided to do something similar. I had this lovely wool fabric, which I’d bought as a roll-end to make a pair of dress pants for work. I quit work before I ever made the pants.

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It’s a lovely wool, it really is. Problem is, I don’t really like checks and plaids. Still, it would be really practical for a jumper, which can be any old sleeveless dress, when you think about it. I whipped up the jumper, and took it out for a turn. Nope, it wasn’t working. I looked like an aging Jack Kerouc groupie or something. All I needed was penny loafers and a black turtleneck.

I was feeling kind of bummed out about it, not really knowing what was wrong. Then I saw a post by West Zen Studio, which featured a large, long plaid shirt she had made with embellishments. I saw that I could take some inspiration from it. So I did.

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Those ripples at the back waist weren’t there before! Hmm, I think it’s maybe just how I’m standing?

I had a lot of extra fabric, because I had made it too big, as it turns out. There was no choice at the front but to slash it right down the middle and make a button band. And I like that. It means, I can wear this as a sleeveless jacket too.

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Was this successful? Possibly mixed. I think I’ll find it wearable.

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transitional jacket

I’d like to have followed up on my success with the pink coat by making another coat, but a lack of sufficient fabric for sleeves prevented me. That’s okay, as a sleeveless jacket will make a good transitional item in this westcoast climate. I did want more practice with coat-making, though, so when I saw some pretty heavy duty fabric at My Social Fabric House, I decided to snap it up, even though there was less than a yard of it.

The pattern is Burda 6989. I was most attracted to the long version, but thought the short version showed potential for some kind of in-home cardigan.

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This was a pretty easy project. The fabric, a smooth felted wool, was really easy to work with. I thought originally that it could be left unhemmed and unbound, as specified in the pattern, but slowly decided that wasn’t going to work. I bound the armholes in the fabric of the jacket, and then found some chiffon to bind the collar edges. I stitched the bottom with a coverstitch.

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I added fairly large patch pockets for a bit of interest (and convenience), and added a button and buttonhole.

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There is one thing I don’t entirely like, and that’s the width of the shoulders. I cut off quite a bit, scaling back from a size 14 to a size 12, and then cutting off the seam allowance too, as the pattern instructed. Still, I find them too wide.

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I’ve thought about cutting off another inch or two. Then I’d have to rip off all the binding and make fresh strips. But I wonder if I would like the shawl collar to extend beyond the shoulders. I’m not sure, so I’m just going to take this puppy out for walks this autumn and let it tell me whether to make changes or not.

Good thing I just made a red scarf. The Canadian election was today and red (liberal) won. So I’ll be taking my walks under a fresh government. The new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, just said things in his winning speech that I’ve never heard a politician say. It’s a new era, I think.