Holiday season is upon us! But really, most of what I've made for Fall is pretty weather-appropriate still. So rather than craft a whole new wardrobe, my friend Kelly and I thought it'd be a fun departure from super-versatile capsule norms to mix in a few holiday pieces. Dressier items that can vamp up our everyday stuff to take us through our company-party needs, all the way through our new year soirees. After all, our socially-acceptable opportunities to wear fur, pleather and sequins are rather limited each year (unless you're my daughter...), we've got to plan now to make the most of them!
The first project I want to share for you is a PLEATHER creation! And though it's not a new one, it IS a much loved one from February:
I was desperate to recreate this pin basically the moment I saw it:
And some girlfriends of mine pointed me in the direction of the Swoon scarf-neck cardi. At first, I was a skeptic. It had much too much fabric on the "scarf" piece to be an exact match. But it was free, so I downloaded it anyway, and opened the file to find...... This WOULD work. In fact, I'd be perfect! ... as long as I could adapt it to work for wovens. Here's how I did just that, in 4 easy steps. Please read the entire tutorial before cutting into your fabric!
1. Pick the right size.
The cardi is designed for knits, which means when Alicia, the talented designer behind the pattern, drafted these pieces, she worked in no, or negative ease. That is - the width of the pattern pieces match the wearer's widths exactly, OR they're narrower. Either way, they need fabric stretch to be worn comfortably. To sew the same pattern in woven patterns, you'll need to choose a size that adds 1-2 inches of ease. (Learn more >> "What is ease?")
So pick your pattern size by measuring a WOVEN jacket that fits you well, across the shoulders from armscye to armscye. The "L" marking in this graphic:
Add 1/2 inch to account for 1/4 seam allowances on either side. Pick the pattern size that matches that measurement.
BUT!!!!!!!!! And it's a big one! Pick the size WIDTH per the method suggested above, but choose your LENGTH based on how your measurements compare to the pattern's size charts. "Ease" in this pattern is ONLY a factor across the body, not down it.
2. Add Structure with Fish-Eye Darts
The width of your fisheye dart should be approximately your (back bodice measurement - back waist measurement) divided by two. Round down. This is meant to add structure, but still leave room for layers underneath. Baste this in until it lays well, and mark your findings on the pattern piece for future reference.
3. Draft your Lapel
Using the guide above, draft the shape of your lapel at apx a 90 degree angle across the bust point. Be generous here - you can always cut it down narrower if you think it's too wide.
4. Add a collar "lip"
5. Repeat this process with your lining, and complete your sleeves.
Sew, lining and exterior right-sides-together along the outside of your jacket. Leave an opening to turn, then tuck your sleeves wrong-sides-together and hem. You can add a belt, attached at the side seams, or add belt loops to feed a separate belt through. What you'll get is:
Or omit the sleeves and binding the armscye for the vest you saw last week. (Click image for more photos)
And special thanks to Alicia for drafting this beautiful pattern, offering it free, and letting me borrow the line drawings for this feature! I hope you'll give this woven hack a whirl, and share it with me when you do! XOXO, Becca