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Jul 24, 2016

Drafting My First Notched Collar

You probably know what a notched collar is, but if you don't, the illustration above should make it clear.

For our final project in my patternmaking class at FIT (which ends Tuesday), we have to make a jacket with a notched collar that we draft ourselves.  We learned how to draft one in last Wednesday's class.

I've sewn notched collars before but never drafted one.  There are a lot of pieces involved: facings, undercollar, top collar, etc.  Our final jacket has to have either a dolman sleeve or a "creative" gusset.  I had originally opted for the dolman sleeve, which seemed more straightforward, but I changed my mind and have gone with the creative gusset.  A jacket with a creative gusset has no side seam, but rather a side panel beneath the armhole that borrows a little width from the front and the back.  (It's like a traditional armhole gusset only it's wider and incorporates style lines.)  Mine is designed using my tent foundation, the same sloper I used for my dropped shoulder project from earlier in the month (the one with the blue ruffles).

A number of you asked why we had to choose between the dolman and the gusset and it's simply part of our syllabus: these are a few of the styles we have to learn and we learn by incorporating them into our projects.  Since this is also the final project, in addition to the jacket we also must make pants.  As I  mentioned in an earlier post, we make these garments out of cotton muslin and solid black cotton or cotton blend, and we only make the right side of the garment.

My final project is turning out very different from what I'd sketched last week.  My gusset design curves deeply into my jacket back and front.  I opted to do the body of the jacket in muslin and not to color block the gusset, which felt too predictable; I think the seams are more elegant done in all one color.  I decided that the drama of the jacket would be the notched collar itself.  Here's what I designed:

I liked this slightly abstract scallop (or leaf) shape (incorporating lapel and collar) but wasn't sure I could sew it with good results, so I experimented sewing round shapes right-sides together and turning them right-side out.  I interfaced my black cotton sateen (repurposed from Cathy's little black dress of so many years ago.) with black tricot interfacing.  I sewed these samples on my Bernina 930.

I worked at school on Thursday and Friday in the classroom, which is so much better than working in my living room -- I don't have to get down on my hands and knees!  I drafted my pattern pieces, tracing using my original draft with yellow carbon paper and adding seam allowances.  Every pattern piece must be labeled, notched, include grain lines, etc.

I finished my jacket today.  My lapel and collar really pop.  

Below, you can see the semi-circular shape of my gusset.  Can you see that the jacket has no side seam?

I'll finish my pants tomorrow.  They're going to be Bermuda length shorts with a very full inverted pleat in front and a wide black sateen waistband suggestive of a cummerbund.  The shorts have a side slant pocket.  Rather than draft the pocket from scratch, I used the pocket pattern pieces from one of the skirts I made in tailoring class.  Hey, it's just a pocket.

This is the sort of look I'm envisioning only with a wider, shaped waistband.

And that's it.  I have a lot of things to finish before Tuesday, but tomorrow's class is devoted to just working on our projects, thankfully.  I'll post again when it's all behind me.  Can't wait to see what other people come up with.

Have a great day, everybody!

Jul 21, 2016

Michael Models My Swiss Dot Creation!

Friends, today's the day!

You can see Michael model the new summer outfit I made him here.

Jul 19, 2016

What I'm Sewing Now + Sketching My Final Patternmaking Project!

I've been sewing up a storm, readers.

Jul 15, 2016

Patternmaking Class Project #2: Shawl-Collar Jacket

Friends, this week I drafted my own pattern for a double-breasted, shawl-collared, raglan-sleeved, princess-seamed ladies jacket.

Say that ten times fast!

Jul 12, 2016

Vintage 70's Men's Pullover Shirt in Patchwork!

This weekend I decided to use some patchwork fabric I've had in my stash for a few years now, which I purchased at Metro Textiles (the end of a bolt) for a song.

Jul 9, 2016

First Patternmaking Class Project: Hit or Miss?

Readers, my first formal flat patternmaking class project was to create a (structured) drop shoulder hip-length top.

Jul 5, 2016

A Second Summer FIT Class: Flat Patternmaking II

Last week I decided to take another summer class at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).

Jul 2, 2016

A SECOND tractor shirt? YES!

Friends, I know it was odd enough that I would sew even one tractor print shirt, why would I make a second one?

Jun 30, 2016

Sewing On the Wrong Side: My Reverse-Print Tractor Shirt!

Readers, did you know this was even a thing?

Apparently Aloha shirts -- also known as Hawaiian shirts -- are often made with the printed side (what we sewers call the right side) on the inside.  More muted in appearance, they are often worn for business wear.  (You can read more about reverse-print Aloha shirts here).

Jun 28, 2016

New Summer Separates: Geometric Print Shirt + Linen Shorts!

Isn't that the coolest print shirting you've ever seen?

Readers, you can see me modeling my new summer outfit right this very minute by simply clicking here!

Jun 24, 2016

Jun 17, 2016

Beginning of the End: Draping Class Week 4 (of 5)

Readers, it's hard to believe it but I have only one more week (and a day) of draping class!

Jun 13, 2016

Draping Class -- What I Learned in Week 3

Three weeks down, two weeks (and a day) to go!

Jun 9, 2016

Wouldn't You Have Bought This Fabric Too?

Readers, I was fabric shopping earlier in the week with an old friend -- more about her in a bit -- when I saw this sign at Fabrics For Less on 39th St. (now combined with Chic Fabrics).  Behind it was a cute vintage tractor-print -- quilting cotton really -- for just $1.99 a yard.  It took a few days for me to make up my mind, but I was back there this morning and grabbed, alas, the last four yards.

Jun 6, 2016


Wait! Wasn't it August just, like, a month ago?

Seems that way, but my calendar tells me that it's already time to announce our Sixth Annual MPB Day, scheduled for Saturday, August 13th, 2016!
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