Monday, January 10, 2011

Second time lucky (no really, this time)

Burda 06 -2010- 114


The buttons and lining - the buttons are vintage and the lining is viscose from the Zambesi fabric sale ($2 a metre, read it and weep).

Well this is my second attempt at this post, the first I took down because of technical difficulties, so it really is second time lucky on all fronts!

After wearing my "test garment" (thank you Gail) for a day I was able to adjust the fit. The shoulders formed creases where my shoulder was narrower than the pattern, and so I just creased them out! The front kept sliding off, so I increased the FBA on the side part with the hope the deeper cut would make it stay put. It doesn't. Hmm. More to learn.

I then wanted to make another test garment, to see if these changes were enough, and then I remembered the story of Borana. My brother was really into horse racing as a teenager and one year he predicted a rank outsider, called Borana, would win the trotting cup. He talked of nothing else the week before, but at the last minute, when he saw the odds were 76-1 he lost faith and put his money on the favourite. Coming into the last lap Borana was last, but put on a brave sprint to win the cup. It still stands as one of the highest payouts to win on the trotting cup and my brother was guttered.

Although I remember feeling upset for him at the time I think the biggest killer was losing faith in his own judgement in the face of a strong consensus believing differently.

The moral of the story for me is that sometimes you have to trust what you believe and take a chance, and so I took a deep breath and cut into the silk dupioni.

Because it was silk I had a go at underlining the fabric instead of interfacing. I used cotton batiste, cut out all the outside shell pieces, put them together with the silk, rolled them over a magazine along the grain line for turn of cloth and pinned out the excess. I then handbasted all the pieces together, after removing the hems to avoid a double layer at the bottom.

It was long and it was tedious. Was it any better than interfacing? No idea, but it took twice the time.

I am making this jacket as part of an ensemble to wear to a family wedding. The really nice thing about this wedding is that it is not the first marriage of either party. Whatever the reasons people marry again, either through death or divorce, you can be sure that between the first and subsequent marriages there has been a lot of heartache. For this reason I find these kinds of weddings even more sweet that first time affairs, because it speaks of resilience and hope and life going on.

I was so pleased to be able to use this silk. I bought it in a closing down sale, because I loved the colour but silk dupioni has to be made very carefully because it's another fabric that can be very aging if the pattern is too conservative or expected. I thought this pattern was edgy enough to take the dentures out of the fabric and reveal its pearly lustre.

So now it's on to the other parts of this wedding outfit ensemble - the white flares and navy tank. I have the white fabric ready and its a rich buttery off white. It will be soon made into a flared jeans. Women who wear white jeans have a certain rep in this country but I'm sure no-one will be thinking anything untoward when it is paired with silk dowageroni.

I have styled this with a navy tee and some jeans so you can get the idea of where I'm heading with this. You may have doubts about this concept and frankly so do I. There's just one word that keeps me going, "Borana".


  1. The Borana story has a great moral.
    Your jacket is stylin' indeed.

    Thanks for the tip about the NZ cookbook author! Roast leg of beef for a week--I couldn't do that either.

  2. I'm faintly embarrassed as I chance down at the white jeans I'm wearing right now. Jacket looks great and love the plans for styling it.

  3. I love the story and I think this jacket will took fantastic with white pants. I have a couple of buttons like these except in black. They are very fine and I never know what to do with them. The only reason I don't wear white very often is because I would spill my tea/coffee/red wine/spaghetti sauce all over it.

  4. The jacket looks fantastic. I can see this with white/off-white pants. The first version you posted, I didn't recognize the pattern, but this time, without going back to my Burda magazine, I remember this jacket. It is one of my favorites from that issue.

  5. Oh that is just fabulous!! I think it will look really lovely with white pants.
    Do I need a jacket like that? Nope. Am I extremely tempted anyways? Yep! lol

  6. You did a great job and I love the styling, I just think it would look even better if the sleeves of your t-shirt were not visible.

  7. White jeans have the same rep here in the UK. But I think it's not that white jeans themselves that people sneer at, but the way they are accessorized and styled.

    Your hard work and faith paid off, your jacket is very pretty! Have fun at the wedding.

  8. Well I think the t shirt poking out prevents any chance of dowageroni.
    (Love the new word thanks!)
    My terribly conservative dress taste has not yet revealed to me that silk duponi is aging, but now that I think about it, you are completely correct. You will look smart and up to date at the wedding, and the handbasting has to be better than interfacing - why else am I doing this to a velvet coat? I am quite sure it is not a sign of crazy sewing behaviour.

  9. Love the comment aout silk duponi and age - get it but still love the fabric and so happy you have found a great way to use it without looking like a dowager!

    Love the jacket - worth the effort and enjoyed the white jeans discussion (- somewhere in line with bling or maybe not!)

  10. love it!
    that's a gorgeous shade of blue, and the shape is so elegant. :)

  11. I am fully looking forward to seeing this outfit in the flesh very soon. Im sure it will be great.

  12. I love this jacket - color, lining, style, everything. Bravo!!