Sunday, 28 June 2015

Electric Blue Rayon Crepe Quart Jacket

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Quart Jacket in Rag & Bone Rayon/Cotton Crepe from Mood Fabrics

I was really intrigued when I spotted this Rag & Bone Navy/Blue Cotton-Rayon Crepe in the new arrivals section of the Mood Fabrics website! It sounded so unusual being of a medium to heavy weight yet fluid. I'd been after something unique to make myself a biker style jacket after seeing Pauline Alice's amazing short version of her Quart Coat so decided to take the plunge for this month's Mood Sewing Network project and order myself enough of this to investigate. When it arrived it was kind of what I was imagining and kind of not...whatever it was it was beautiful! It's fairly thick and spongy with something of a boucle texture to it at the same time as having a wonderfully soft drape. I love the slub effect of the vivid electric blue flecked through the navy.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Quart Jacket in Rag & Bone Rayon/Cotton Crepe from Mood Fabrics

I cut a size 36 and used just 1.5 yards of the crepe. Despite the fabric being reasonably thick I thought perhaps for this style of jacket it could do with a little more support and structure so I fused all my pattern pieces with a lightweight cotton interfacing. I'm really pleased with this choice as without adding much weight it helped prevent the pattern pieces from stretching out of shape as despite being dense and opaque the weave is fairly loose and prone to fraying. To combat the fraying I overlocked the edges of all the pattern pieces before assembly. In addition to the lightweight interfacing I used a medium weight as a back stay, following the guide on the pattern piece for the shape.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Quart Jacket in Rag & Bone Rayon/Cotton Crepe from Mood Fabrics

One of the great things about this fabric is that the reverse is the opposite colour way, with the electric blue the dominant colour flecked with navy. I really wanted to make use of this and considered using the contrasting side for small elements such as the pocket welts but in the end the fact that I wanted this to be a classic jacket which I could wear with anything won out and I decided to keep it simple. I'm still keeping my eye out for patterns suitable for colour blocking which I could us this for though!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Quart Jacket in Rag & Bone Rayon/Cotton Crepe from Mood Fabrics

I went all out and lined the jacket with silk charmeuse in 'midnight'. I wish I could afford to line everything in charmeuse from now on! It feels so luxurious when I'm wearing it over a sleeveless top. I had to get a little creative with the cutting as I only had one yard...I ended up piecing the under sleeve pattern piece as there just wasn't quite enough space! I cracked out my walking foot for the first time when sewing it up and it was so helpful when trying to keep those seam lines smooth and pucker free. I didn't have much trouble cutting it just using good old shears and pins as the pattern pieces are nice and small and I used a fine sharps needle in my machine to assemble these pieces.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Quart Jacket in Rag & Bone Rayon/Cotton Crepe from Mood Fabrics

I followed Pauline's instructions to adapt the pattern into a short zipped jacket rather than the full length buttoning coat. I drew my cutting line at 10cm below the waistline as recommended and moved the pockets up. I'm fairly short at 5ft 3" and I wouldn't want the jacket any shorter so if you are considering following this tutorial I'd think about leaving a little more length.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Quart Jacket in Rag & Bone Rayon/Cotton Crepe from Mood Fabrics

The pocket welts are an addition I drafted myself following Pauline's tutorial again. They are really simple to add in as the pocket openings are in the princess seams. I did make up the epaulettes and pin them onto the jacket but I decided not to use them in the end as I liked the look of a sleeker shoulder.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Quart Jacket in Rag & Bone Rayon/Cotton Crepe from Mood Fabrics

There were a few elements of the construction of this jacket that had me feeling a little hesitant as they were so new to me. Firstly there was dealing with sleeve heads and shoulder pads. Setting in sleeves is probably my least favourite sewing task at the best of times so thinking about trying to create a beautiful tailored shoulder for this jacket was slightly off putting! I'm going to talk about my process for doing this in more depth later in the week but for now I'll just say I'm totally delighted with the result I managed to achieve and this was largely down to how well this lovely fabric responded to being shaped with heat and steam.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Quart Jacket in Rag & Bone Rayon/Cotton Crepe from Mood Fabrics

Secondly there were the zips. I've had no experience sewing exposed zips so was a little apprehensive about how neatly I could get these to turn out. Thankfully the pattern instructions for the cuff zips are nice and detailed and break it down into simple little steps and I actually think the cuffs are the aspect of this jacket that I am most proud of! I love how the silver zips look against the blue of the fabric. The neat finish was definitely helped by the fact that stitches just sink right into this crepe and disappear. As well as the topstitching around the zips there's quite a bit of hand sewing involved in this project but it was so straightforward as the sponginess of this fabric means any catch-stitching is completely invisible from the right side.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Quart Jacket in Rag & Bone Rayon/Cotton Crepe from Mood Fabrics

The pattern is great and I'm definitely considering making it up as a full length coat this winter. If I do I think I'd go down a size at the waist as looking at the finished measurements there's quite a lot of ease in that area. It's sort of semi-tailored so I think good for a first foray into coat sewing; there's some challenging elements involved and you could certainly add things like bound buttonholes but there's no pad stitching or collar roll lines to deal with. I would recommend having a bit of sewing knowledge under your belt to tackle this one though. The instructions are good and the illustrations small yet clear but it would help to have experienced some of the techniques beforehand (for example how to sew in a sleeve head). I did find myself looking up some extra advice at certain points and making my own additions to the instructions such as under-stitching the lining at the pocket openings and stitching by hand in the ditch between the collar and jacket body to secure the two layers together. Not that this is a problem with the pattern at all; I never think it's the designer's responsibility to explain every single step in immense detail and if you're taking on a coat project it's fair to assume you have a bit of experience and will know the basics.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Quart Jacket in Rag & Bone Rayon/Cotton Crepe from Mood Fabrics

The fabric was so lovely to work with throughout. It's one of those fabrics that's so inspiring it kept me motivated all the way through what was a fairly tricky project. With time consuming projects like this I think it's always worthwhile picking a fabric that you really love so you're not going to get fed up of looking at it half way through and fall out of love with the whole idea! That being said I always enjoy a project like this where there are lots of fiddly little construction elements and pattern pieces to work with! I like seeing it all come together and taking it one little step at a time.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Quart Jacket in Rag & Bone Rayon/Cotton Crepe from Mood Fabrics

53 comments:

  1. Amazing! Your jacket is gorgeous and that blue is stunning on you.

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    1. Thanks Bobbi! I was so delighted with the fabric and how intense the colour is when it arrived

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  2. Beautiful jacket and amazing construction!

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    1. Thank you! I made myself take it in little steps so I could really focus on getting each part just right

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  3. That's a crepe?!?! Wow. This is gorgeous! Great fit, great color, great make!

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    1. It is indeed! It wasn't what I envisioned it to be at all when it arrived but it was even better for the jacket than I had imagined. It's like a normal crepe just multiplied in thickness and sponginess!

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  4. This is quite the most beautiful jacket evs! I love the colour and it is soooo cool! Such neat work missus! x

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    1. Thanks so much Janene! I'm so delighted with it...it's almost a shame we're having such glorious weather and I can't wear it!

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  5. Oh my goodness that jacket is gorgeous !! I wish I could sew so well !

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    1. Thank you! You absolutely can!! Just take it nice and slow and have patience with the unpicker!

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  6. This is so nice! It's classic and modern at the same time and that fabric is gorgeous.

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    1. Thank you! I was hoping to strike that balance and the fabric is perfect for it as it has some feel of a classic Chanel style boucle whilst being a more contemporary colour and look

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  7. What an amazing look. The zips really make this jacket sing. The fabric looks so vibrant, great work.

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    1. Thank you! I can't take credit for the vibrancy though, it's all that lovely blue crepe! I love how the silver zips look against the blue

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  8. Wow, that looks incredible! That colour is gorgeous.

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    1. Thank you! I am beyond delighted with how the fabric looks and behaved as I sewed

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  9. Absolutely stunning! The color is gorgeous on you and you work impeccable!

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    1. Thanks! I wouldn't say impeccable but I'm pretty chuffed with what I achieved with this project!

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  10. Wow! This coat is gorgeous! That blue is just perfect. Your zippers look great. I had not seen this pattern prior to your post and now I want it.

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    1. It's such a great pattern! I think I like it more with zips than buttons so if I make a coat version I'll consider changing the front fastening again. Thank you!

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  11. This is amazing - the style and the colour are perfect. Well done! I think I need to try this pattern out.

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    1. I've been after a jacket in this style for ages so when I saw Pauline's biker version of her coat I knew I had to try it! Thank you! I hope you enjoy the pattern

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  12. That is wicked! I love the colour on you. This jacket is such a versatile pattern. I think I need to get it for myself.

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    1. I never would have seen a coat pattern as versatile before, perhaps because i don't have much experience sewing with them, but making this has really opened my eyes to how you can stamp your own style ideas onto one. Thank you! I love the colour too

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  13. Stunning jacket! You look gorgeous in that color blue!! :-)

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    1. Thank you! I absolutely love this blue, even more in reality than when I saw the fabric online

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  14. Oh my word!! This is gorgeous!!!!!!!! Possibly the loveliest biker style jacket I've ever seen!! You've chosen a brilliant fabric but your finishing is beautiful and shows the care you took. Fabulous!!

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    1. Ah Winnie that's such a lovely comment! I really put a lot of thought and effort into this one so I'm glad it turned out as I imagined and that it shows to you guys. The fabric is so beautiful I wish I had more!

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  15. Oh wow gorgeous!! Loved reading your details on the construction process!

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad you find all the construction details interesting, I'm part way through writing another post on my experiences setting in the sleeve and working with sleeve heads and shoulder pads so I hope you'll find that useful

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  16. Lovely details and it looks so beautifully constructed

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    1. Thanks! I'm pretty pleased with the construction! I'm tempted to tackle a slightly more involved tailoring project in the autumn and try out some pad stitching

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  17. My word, your jacket is beautiful! I love the colour and the fabric texture, your zips in the cuffs are gorgeous! I love the combination of the silver against the blue. Such an elegant jacket with a bit of an edge!

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    1. Thanks so much Vicki Kate. I love the idea of my clothes being 'elegant with an edge'! I love the blue with the silver too, can't believe I even considered any other colour zip now!

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  18. WOOOOOW! Fiona, you have outdone yourself. This is a fabulous make and it suits you so much.... more of that colour is in order - you zing! It must feel amazing on - nothing yummier than silk lining!

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    1. The silk lining does feel incredible, I'm never going to be able to line a jacket in anything else now! Thanks so much for the lovely comment...I'll have to try and find some more vivid blue fabrics!

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  19. Your jacket is absolutely GORGEOUS!! The colour is fantastic and construction, divine. Nicely done on the exposed zips! They really add an edgy detail to it :)

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    1. Thank you so much! I think the zips are the feature I'm most in love with about this! Little details like that just add a little extra to a garment don't you think?

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  20. This is stunning! That pattern would make a gorg leather jacket too

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    1. That thought has crossed my mind! I've never really worked with leather before though and this project was a pretty big challenge in such a well behaved fabric as this...maybe one day though!!

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  21. Really loving this, Fiona! I am so keen to make a jacket and this might be the perfect pattern!

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    1. It is a great pattern, very well drafted and the construction made total sense to even a coat newbie like me! Thank you!

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  22. FIONA!!! This is AMAZING! I love love love love love love love it! LOVE IT!!!

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    1. Aw thanks Sonja! I love love love it too! Really proud of this one

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  23. This jacket is great - amazing pattern. Will definitely be making this one day!

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    1. Hooray! I really hope you do as it's a lovely introduction to coat making and beautifully drafted so should cause very few problems. Thank you!

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  24. Well done! It looks great. You make outerwear seem less scary to a beginner like me.

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    1. It's really not scary if you just take it step by step! Once you've got some basic sewing techniques under your belt I say definitely take the plunge and sew whatever takes your fancy! If you are really inspired to sew something it will be a much more enjoyable process than something you are not that excited about completing

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  25. Amazing coat; that colour! I might just steal your idea ;)

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    1. Thank you! The blue is amazing isn't it?! So vivid! Please do steal away!

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  26. Gorgeous! Looks so good with the dress and the blue is just fab. Really nicely put together!

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    1. Thank you! I think this is definitely one of the projects I'm most proud of!

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  27. Oooh this is really lovely! Nice job!

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I love hearing from readers of my blog so please feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you thought about this post/make! Any hints or tips to improve my sewing are always much appreciated too!