Ideations & Imaginings
Pairing Pattern & Fabric
The fun of having a blog, and the pleasure in being a teacher is in sharing some of the ideas I have that I will never have the time to execute. This time of the year I am in the mood for a jacket, coat, vest or sweater. As I've spent the better part of this month of September away from home and studio, I'm putting this blog together in response to questions we've been getting about how to use some of the new specialty jacket and coat fabrics, and to satisfy my own yearnings toward whipping up a new fall jacket or coat.
Last spring I found a hoard of incredible European coating fabrics from one of my favorite suppliers and have been keeping them under wraps until now. These are spectacular fabrics from French and Italian mills that use the newest fabric and fiber technology including machine felting, hand painted effects, double faced cashmere, double sided fabrics, lace combined with wool and tweed, and the new super quality breed of pontes.
In the last pattern release, Vogue came out with a grouping of great coats and jackets...some are quiet 'sleepers'. I was delighted to learn that my coat, Vogue 8934 is the #1 best seller right now. I put together some of our specialty fabrics paired with patterns that are well designed and flattering and that would work with the recommended fabrics along with sewing suggestions.
|I LOVE this new pattern from Sandra Betzina, Vogue 1364. I reccommed that you should always give any Sandra pattern a close look...she has a passion for sewing and teaching and it really shows up in her patterns. They are beautifully designed with their own unique flattering fit, plus the instructions are full of Sandra sewing secrets. This jacket pattern is designed to be unlined, which will work with this hand painted effect wool flannel from Southern California designer Trina Turk...though I would recommend lining the sleeves so the jacket slips on/off easily. The vertical lines in the fabric will work well with the seaming details and soft release tucks. |
|This simple coat is a perfect blank canvas for a double faced fabric. Panthera is a double weave Italian cashmere; black on one side reversing to gray/black and white wild cat print on the other. The fabric is supremely soft and supple. The two layers of fabric are joined with threads which can be separated at the edge, so you can make a completely reversible coat using the same techniques used in the finest Italian double faced garments. It is a little bit time consuming, but not hard to finish the seams. I'd cut 3/4" seams to allow for the turn of the cloth. |
To make a finished seam: carefully separate the layers along the seam allowance, machine stitching only one layer, then go back and turn under the second layer and hand stitch.
To finish the front edges and hem, separate the layers so you have enough room to turn under the edges and hand stitch.
I'd do some practice samples, but this is the kind of hand sewing I do while I watch a TV movie in the evening.
Panthera Double Sided Cashmere
|One of the prettiest trends I'm noticing is the use of lace in unexpected kicked back more casual ways. The new textile technologies are inventing ways to bond or attach lace to wools and other fabrics. At the recent textile show I found more of these beauties. Madrid Lace is unique because the lace is attached by the embroidery and the base fabric, a black and white tweed is cotton, so it is soft and can be used with or without a lining. The trick with a fabric like this is to keep the lines on the garment simple. Vogue 8937 is a perfect blank canvas for a fabric like this....and easy to sew too. The pattern calls for lining to the edge (in my opinion, rarely a good idea), so I'd make facings of the self fabric instead. Once you've done that, the sewing is super simple, and you have a jacket that would retail for many hundreds. |
|The strong graphic design in Mondrian and Penumbra is perfect for the shape/silhouette of coat, Vogue 8934. Double faced (reversible) wools from designer Trina Turk would work in a lined or unlined version. My favorite combination for a lined coat is wool lined with silk, in this case, I'd use either a China silk or silk crepe du chine. |
Mondrian Double Faced Wool
Penumbra Double Faced Wool
|This is a beautifully designed little jacket...love all the seaming details which add shape and will be super flattering, not to mention making fitting easier. I can see it in leather or suede, but also in a ponte, where the style will be like a little sweater. Or, you could channel designer Rick Owens, who often combines knits with leather and suede. Rick Owens is an American designer who lives in Paris, and if you go to Paris, a visit to his shop in the Palais Royale is always interesting. This grouping of top quality pontes (all are the ideal rayon/nylon/lycra blend), is perfect for either the jacket or vest version of this very cool pattern.|
Jack Black Ponte
Alice Walker Purple Ponte
James Brown Ponte
|I don't buy or use many plaids...the cutting and matching process can be time consuming and crazy making, but I had a big smile when I found this one, called Raspberry Shadow, a light weight wool flannel from a Southern California designer. When I DO work with a plaid, I cut each piece in a single layer, starting with the back, lining up the center back with the center of one of the plaid motifs, then I use the first cut out piece of fabric as a pattern to cut the other side. I then pin the back pattern piece onto the fabric and draw in the plaid at the notches on the side seam line as an aid to matching with the front, as I want the plaids to match horizontally and vertically. I like this pattern, Vogue 8837 for a plaid because there are few pattern pieces and the style has a rectangular feeling which works with a plaid. I can see this with black knit sleeves, and would work the pocket on the bias, and would wear it with black jeans or skinny pants.|
Raspberry Shadow Plaid
|This black and white Mariella tweed from Italian designer Mariella Burani is a marvelously supple and lightly textured modern spin on a classic and would make a beautiful stand-out coat. I like it in an arty version as in the Koos unlined swing coat, Vogue 1331 which would be super fun to combine with other fabrics. But it could also go a more tailored classic route as in the simple raglan sleeve style, Vogue 8937. I'd line this version with silk, and if you live in a cold climate, you might want to seek out an insulated lining or even underline the silk lining with a washed cotton flannel. I can also see either coat in our Moonlight Serenade or Stardust Italian wools. |
|Vogue 8430 is my all time best selling Vogue pattern and can be interpreted as a vest as well as a jacket (when I use this pattern as a vest, I add a dart in the armhole, adjusting the size and placement of the dart as I sew). The simple lines are perfect for novelty fabrics, like Jane Austen Plaid and Alhambra wool melton both of which are machine felted. |
Let me know if you enjoyed this post and what you might like to see in the future!