Here’s more about that outfit I wore to Frocktails, the Portland, Oregon, event that brings together sewists to show off their skills and exchange Instagram handles. In this photo I’m with Andrea (@duchessofcloth), in pink, and Peggy Mead from @sewhouse7, a Portland indie pattern company. (Photos courtesy of Clutch and Josephine’s Dry Goods.)
Retro Palmer/Pletsch Raw Silk Jacket
I talked about the rayon print flared pants in the last blog. The jacket I wore with it is made from a vintage Palmer/Pletsch pattern McCall’s 3589. The fabric is raw silk. I had apple green and a caramel color. I decided to make both in the same pattern. You’ll get to see the caramel-color jacket an upcoming blog.
You could use our vest/jacket pattern M7695 if you have it. (It just got discontinued.) It is very similar in shape and style. In fact, I shortened the the vintage jacket 4”, which is close to this pattern.
I will share with you a few things I learned making this jacket. I sewed with a size 12 and added a little width at the hips. I have a gap in the back armhole so I added a back shoulder dart. Then, since I am narrow in the shoulders, I trimmed the front shoulder to match the back.
This technique is used when the back armhole gaps whether you have prominent shoulder blades and/or a slightly round back. In The Palmer/Pletsch Complete Guide to Fitting you will find this on pages 141 and 142. I didn’t add to the outer edge of the back armhole because I have narrow shoulders.
I fused interfacing to both upper and under collar and to the front facing.
I made test samples to see which interfacing(s) I’d use. I always sew a seam, press it open and trim and grade. The seamed sample I selected for the front facing interfacing will be used to test buttonholes. I tested PerfectFuse Medium and Light and chose PerfectFuse Light, which clings well to textured surfaces.
When I sewed my buttonhole test samples, I also cut them open. They did not look good in this loosely woven fabric when cut open. Palmer/Pletsch traveling educators in the 1980s started a practice of leaving the buttonholes uncut if the garment would always be worn unbuttoned. That’s what I decided for this jacket—to wear it open, with buttonholes uncut.
I decided to add patch pockets so I fused interfacing to the pocket facings. I stitched the pockets in place with edge- and topstitching.
One of our Certified Sewing Instructors, Ivonne Gutiérrez, from Puerto Rico, invented an adhesive seam guide that I just applied to my machine. It is fabulous! The color-coded lines are easy to see and the corner turn feature helps you stitch at the same width on both sides of a corner.
The guide comes with instructions in both Spanish and English. You can order directly from Yvonne or from the Palmer/Pletsch website. You may think this would be low-cost because it is paper, but remember that inventing a new product often requires hundreds of hours in testing to fill a need, writing instructions, and having it printed, cut and packaged. After using this stitching guide, I’d pay twice the price. Love it! Thank you, Ivonne!
An Alternate Bottom Look
M7415 Cropped No Side-Seam Pant in rayon batik print with elastic waist
I wanted another, “more conservative” bottom to wear with the green jacket. I decided to use a subtle batik rayon print and the narrower view C pant McCall’s 7415. There is only one pattern piece for a no-side-seam pant. The guidesheet for this pattern also includes fitting tips.
I cut the size that was closest to my hip measurement plus 1” for ease. If the fabric were knit, I might take that pattern piece that is the front and back all in one and fold out a tuck down the middle of the tissue to make it 2” smaller than my hip. If it were still too large, I’d take more out and recut one side to reduce width.
My waist is larger than the pattern size. For a no-side-seam pant, the only way to get more waist width is to straighten the center front and back seams and leave out the side seam darts. Works for me! I also added an elastic casing to the top of the faced waistline pant. I know I usually need more front thigh width so I added to the front inseam for “insurance.”
Alteration in tissue to accommodate a wider waist.
Also see page 141 in Knits for Real People for more on sewing and fitting a side seam pant.