Working It Out

I’m just trying to boost my end-of-the-year numbers. Here’s what should be my last project of 2010.  The Burda 10-2010-107 Jacket I’m back to really working on my work clothes. Dresses are nice and all, but I really want to be layered in the winter and have some go-to jackets for when I need a sharper look. I also liberated three or four dresses from my closet this morning so I’m down to brass tacks and uggs.


That belt looks too thick, no?

The No. 107 jacket looked comfy and not too structured. Perfect for winter office wear. This was my first introduction to the new pattern sheets. I thought I was going to tear my hair out. As evidenced by all the wrong markings. HA!

At anyrate, I’ve made a 1.5 inch lengthwise FBA. I forgot to add width though. Boo! I’m hoping it’s cozy enough to accommodate.

I’ve also made a deep swayback adjustment. I don’t add length back to the hem when I make a FBA. Does anyone else?

I wanted it for a work blazer. But, maybe it was always meant to be a coat?

The fabric is wool that was meant to be a pant but I accidently fulled / felted last year when pre-treated. It has light knit interfacing throughout for support (the pattern called for interfacing the entire front). I only had 2 yards of fabric and I needed 2 5/8. Rather than cut it shorter, I cut in a single layer and had to do the facing in a contrasting fabric. And, well, I think it totally looks like a coat. But, it’s not thick and warm like a coat. I don’t have enough fabric to make a self tie belt.

  1. I don’t want to make it shorter. The pockets were sewn in the wrong place once and facing the wrong way twice. So, I ripped and sewed them back in four times. It’s below the hip and I like the look
  2. It may well look different with a belt. But, I wonder if it’s too structured for a belt to work?
  3. I could of course take in more along the darts for shaping. But, I’m not sure if that’s the issue
  4. It’s also definitely not ‘wrapped’ or crossing over enough in the front. I see that now in photos. That should help a bit.

So, I think my failure was in thinking it was a ‘blazer’ vs a coat / jacket. Did I just envision this all wrong? Or is this a case of wrong fabric?

I still have to cut out and sew the lining. And, find a belt. Either way — it’s getting finished.

The color below is a truer representation:


  1. Yes, I always add the same amount to the center back length that I took out in the swayback adjustment. It seems crazy but if you don’t your hem will ride up in the center back. You can always take it off when hemming.You need that extra fabric to make the sway…you go in, it goes in, thus the need for more fabric.
    Mrs Mole

  2. wow, you really are amazing! How do you get so much sewing done so fast? I’m a beginner, and every little thing takes me forever. I can hardly believe you have time for a day job 🙂 I love the blog – keep it coming!

    • Well… Haha. The pants were cut out a year ago and the last dress took me over a month to make. This jacket I worked on every single day this week for two hours. So, I’m not fast. Just had time this week 🙂

  3. What a great collar on that jacket. Could you use a leather belt with it if you don’t have enough fabric for a tie belt? Or an obi belt?

    • Love the obi belt idea. I bet it will look like a blazer with a belt.

      I like your incarnation better than the Burda version. Their version looks like a bathrobe to me.

  4. I think I need to start adding to them after I make a swayback adjustment—I definitely noticed on my latest “sweater” that the back was distinctly shorter. At least for garments that hug the back.

    I think it would look good with a tie-belt made of the same contrasting fabric as the facings. It does seem a bit shapeless without.

    The fabric is sure gorgeous, though!

  5. This jacket is fabulous! I love the contrasting collar.

    I’ve been toying with using this pattern in a doubled sided wool knit (red one side, grey the other) and not adding a facing to the front/collar. So it’s pretty neat to see your version because my fabric would give the same effect!

    Yes I add back to the centre back the same amount I take out for a swayback.

  6. Gorgeous color and I love the contrast.

    As to the blazer/coat question my first thought when I saw the Burda pic was nice coat! But that said I think the fact that your wool was felted is also contributing to the coat look. A regular wool and a bit more shaping might take that away.

    And I agree with the others to make a belt out of the contrasting fabric if you can. IMHO anything else (leather etc) will be too much since you’ve already got two fabrics in the coat.

  7. When it’s in the single digits and you can throw this on with a turtleneck and a pair of pants, you really aren’t going to care if it’s a jacket or a coat. You are going to be grateful that it’s made and on your body keeping you warm! 🙂 And I think it will look great with a RTW belt.

  8. Like a few others have basically said, I think what’s throwing you off is that you have not yet styled it in the same way as the BWOF original. Wrap it around more and add a belt of some kind (I think the obi belt idea would be awesome!) and I think you will affect a dramatic change.

    I have to say though, that the original actually looks like a glorified sweater to me. I would have expected it to be made of a sweater knit, like a……sweater-blazer. Maybe a thought for a future incarnation?

  9. Could you find a leather in a complementary color to make a belt for the jacket/coat/blazer? Not to be an enabler, but Fabric Mart has three different shades of purple lambskin right now.

    Visually, it’s difficult to compare yours to the model because of a few things – the shawl looks wider on yours (but it goes up higher on the neck on the model); the model overlaps at a higher spot, creating a narrower effect; and the shoulders on your dummy slope a lot more than the model, giving yours a more sloppy look in the upper chest.

    Style it on your body and see how it looks – the dummy can’t replicate your bone structure and curves, and that will definitely affect how it presents. And I agree with Carolyn, once it’s made, you’ll appreciate it no matter how you originally intended it to be.

  10. What a great colour. And it looks so soft, is it?

    I agree with the people who said this would look great with a belt. I saw a greyish leather belt the other day that would look gorgeous with this, I think.

    • Your jacket is coming along nicely. Like the color and fabric!
      WRT the fitting i will be of no help. I’m absolutely clueless myself when it comes to fitting issues.
      But i think it will look great with a belt. I would try it that way.

  11. Yes ma’am what gets taken out in the waist gets added back on the hem in the back and same goes for what gets added to front length (due to FBA) gets taken off at the front hem.

    I love the color of your jacket and you are are lightning quick. Hmm I’m thinking that the choice of fabric is making your jacket feel more like a coat. I’m with the folks who sugged a self fabric belt (if you have enough remaining). I agree with Carolyn that you won’t mind it once it is complete and especially when it really gets cold.

    Try the jacket/coat on and throw on any belt just to get a feel for how it will look. You may decide to take it in through out the waist area so you get a more jacket type look/feel.

  12. Even in trying on RTW I find the belted thing pretty tricky. If you belt wool it bunches out stiffly. The pattern does not appear to have a curved waist to take in some of that material before you belt it further. Like the above commenter said, why not grab a belt from your closet and see if the effect pleases you?

  13. Just found your blog today and I’m so excited! I’m 52 and I can read; so according to you I should be able to sew!
    I have taken sewing classes in my younger years but had zero patience so it didn’t work out so well. I’m getting a brother sewing machine for christmas; I’m wondering what would be a good first project? I’m open to suggestions; something simple and with instant gratification.

    Thanks for all your fun entries. I’m enjoying reading them though I don’t sew (yet)

    • MP, I’m not Cidell but why not a pencil skirt, though I have no idea what you shape is. I strongly recommend getting a good reference book and joining as a free member. They have a Beginners forum and I think a sewalong. You might find inspiration there. There are also a number of blogs to explore. I just wasted a solid 3h today blog hoping. Just look at Cidell’s blog roll in the side bar and click through all of them, LOL. Good luck!

    • Congrats on your new machine! There are several great first projects. I like pajama pants, a line skirts and aprons. There’s are also several patterns now marked ‘Learn to Sew’ which will have great directions for a newbie. Good luck. It’s addictive 🙂

  14. It’s coat fabric, not blazer fabric. That doesn’t mean you can’t find a use for is at work though, you should, it looks really good -)..

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