I've been watching one of my favorite RTW jackets decline over the last couple years. It's a red ponte made by Motto and purchased from QVC back when its Motto line was extensive and edgy - I love it. But the red has faded with washings, and the buttonholes are stretched out. Sadness. So I decided to take measurements and pics before it leaves me - and to work on a copycat pattern.
I started by looking for a jacket or blouse to use as the foundation for the bodice. Something with a similar neckline, wide-set and low. Enter Kwik Sew 3334, which came out in 2005 and has a lot of helpful reviews on Pattern Review (thank you, fellow sewists!).
I made only a few adjustments to the pattern, all on the tissue before cutting fabric. I'm so brave...but I was using 2 yards of Maggy London ponte de roma that I snagged at $1.99/yard from FabricMart earlier this year. And the pattern can always be replaced. Changes:
- Removed the dart from the sleeve (I just don't care for the fit of a darted sleeve in a casual jacket).
- Straightened the side seams from armscye to the bottom of the bodice.
- And cut the bodice 5" below the armscye.
At first, I thought I'd use the notched collar, but after giving it some thought, I decided to go with the shawl collar. Honestly, I thought the notch points might not turn and sit well, given the weight of the ponte.
As it turned out, I love the shawl collar - it's beautiful.
Drafting the skirt part was easy - two fronts and a back, cut as rectangles, with an allowance for a generous facing on the fronts and a deep hem. Rather than use the pleats on the skirt, as on the original, I gathered the fabric under the princess seams and the back darts.
I also decided to use elbow length sleeves, mostly to balance all that black fabric. With the full-length sleeve, the jacket was dressy and kind of funerary.
I already knew that the buttonholes in ponte might be a continuing issue, so I did some tests to confirm. Below, the original and my results. Aack!
Button snaps were a great solution, and an excuse to use my gigantic snap tool again :-) I also like the balance of the snapsets on each side - they definitely raise the casualness factor of the jacket. I didn't plan any of this beforehand, it just worked out well.
Final measurements - the bodice/skirt seam is 3 1/4" below the armscye, and the skirt is finished 18" below that seam.
I like it! and have already worn it out and about a couple times. It's super easy to throw on over pants and a tee. I'm planning to do it again in a fun color, orange or marigold, with a gathered and cuffed sleeve.
Parting shots from the garden:
I have a new plant, one that simply appeared in a couple places over the last couple months. I thought it was a sansevieria and was happy to have it. I love it when a plant volunteers in the garden, brought by birds, the wind, or who knows...
But a few days ago I noticed one of them had bloomed, and the flower did not look like a sansevieria at all. After an hour of research online, guess what - it's a terrestrial orchid! Check out these tiny little monkey-face flowers. They're pollinated by ants and rain.
|Oeceoclades maculata, aka Monk Orchid, Aftrican Spotted Orchid|
It has a fascinating history, with origins in west Africa and emergence in Brazil and the Caribbean in the 1800's. Apparently it began showing up in south Florida in the mid-1970's, possibly as an escapee from Fairchild Gardens in Miami-Dade.
So now I dare anyone to walk on one of them! Or worse, pull it up as a weed.
Bye for now! Coco