Drafting the Zippered Jacket Pattern

Thanks to all who helped me choose which jacket to sew next. I started work on the zippered jacket this weekend. I decided to create my own pattern. First, I had to think about the fabric and the fit to determine what to do with the bust darts. The tweed is a loose weave with horizontal stripes of color and sequins, so I wanted a simple design. I like something with waist definition, so I decided on waist darts for shaping. I have a jacket pattern which fits me very well, but it has princess seams, so I needed to do some pattern manipulation.
I began with the BML belted jacket pattern which I used for this jacket. I cropped the pattern at the waist and taped the side front to the front along the upper part of the princess seam. Then I covered the pieces with tracing paper.
I traced the two pieces as one, converting the princess seam to a waist dart. I also redrew the neckline, using my french curve. For this pattern, I omitted the seam allowances. I find it easier to work with patterns when there are no seam allowances. I will add the seam allowances when I cut the fabric.
Here is what the half front looks like.
The jacket will have an asymmetrical front closure, so I will need to start with a full front pattern piece which I will later cut in two to make a left and a right side. Here I have folded the tracing paper along the center front line and traced the rest of the jacket front onto the folded tracing paper. I divided it by extending one of the dart legs up to the shoulder seam. (I later changed this when I determined where I wanted my neck opening.)
Next, I cut the new pattern pieces out, cutting the left and right apart along the dart leg and its extension.
Here are the two pieces. When I wear the jacket, I would like the zipper to appear to anyone who sees it to go from the top left toward the bottom right. I find that diagonal line to be more appealing than one which goes from top right toward bottom left. That means that from the wearer's point of reference, the zipper will be on the right hand side. Therefore, the larger front piece will be the FRONT LEFT. I always find this confusing and even though I may mark a pattern, I never trust it and I will always double check as I cut. I have learned not to bother marking the pieces. (Does anyone else do this? - second guess yourself to death?? I can't tell you how many pattern pieces I have with markings that are crossed out, changed, crossed out yet again, and changed back to the original markings. I drive myself crazy.)
Here is where I decided on the neckline and the collar. I went back and forth in my mind over having a wider neckline as in my drawing, or a smaller one. I opted for the smaller one with more coverage as I am always cold, and it will look nicer when layered. I drew a dotted line to indicate where the edge of the collar will fall. At this point, I noticed the front opening will not intersect the neckline. That needs to be fixed.
Here, I taped the fronts together and redrew the opening. I am not convinced I like it as much as my original idea with the wider neckline. Also, that diagonal line I had in my mind for the zipper is not going to work out. I think I need to let this marinate a little before I cut any fabric... I may redo it and go with my original sketch.

50s Revival and Vintage Patterns

Is anyone else totally digging the full skirt look? Everything I am wearing here is purchased. I have no trouble fitting into RTW in this style, so I am OF COURSE thinking I might need to do very little adjusting of patterns in this style. I have not bought a pattern in a long time. I am wondering if vintage is the way to go here, or should I opt for more modern patterns with vintage inspiration? I am fairly confident with sewing patterns which have little or no instruction. I know there are many of you out there in the bloggosphere who have taken a turn with a vintage pattern or two. What are the differences between vintage and modern patterns?

Which Jacket is Next?

I don't know about anyone else, but I can't watch TV with my husband without also doing something sewing related at the same time. I am either surfing the web to satisfy my voracious hunger for fashion images and sewing blogs or I am flipping through BURDA Style or Threads Magazine or like last night, planning what I want to sew. I bought this beautiful sequined Linton Tweed a while ago and I have been reluctant to sew it. My first idea was a cropped Chanel inspired jacket, but I was only lukewarm on the idea. I made a mock up and that is as far as I got with it. Then I got an idea to make a zippered jacket with a big fold-over collar trimmed with fringe. The other drawing was inspired by a hole in my wardrobe. I need a longer black jacket. I bought a fabulous cut of cashmere and it would be perfect for channel-stitching. Maybe I'll even add little black seed beads at the neckline. I have to make and test patterns, but I think I can use Bernina My Label software to draft something close for starters. Then I will make edits to add the style elements I want. I'll post all the details as I go.

But here is the real dilemma. Which one should I do first???

More Color

So while I am so ready for spring, it is in fact still winter and here in New England the snow banks are piled over my head in most places. That means I need tights if I want to wear a dress. These are actually ski underclothes, but shhhhhh. Don't tell anyone. How do you like my new yellow bag? I got it at The Limited.

Adding Color to my Wardrobe

I normally do not wear this many colors together. My inclination would be to wear a black jacket instead of the blue cardigan, but I am trying to add more color to my wardrobe. I just love the raspberry wool fabric I used for this skirt. The pattern is the Bernina My Label basic skirt. The top is Cache - just got it this weekend. The cardigan is Ann Taylor 2009.
I am so ready for spring. I bought sandals and a yellow bag this weekend as well. I am rethinking my sewing queue. I want to have more color and pattern. Do you think the design lines need to be simpler as the color and pattern get bolder? I am trying to wrap my brain around a more contemporary style.

Bernina My Label Princess Dress - Another Wearable Muslin!

Look at this fantastic fit! I am blown away!! This is a mock up of the Bernina My Label Princess Dress without sleeves. Another wearable muslin. Since I started using this program six months ago, the only garments I have made that I do not wear are the two qualification muslins I made - because I used actual muslin and marked the waistline. I wasn't sure about this one - the princess dress - since it is so fitted. I didn't want to take any chances so I used this rayon print from my stash to test the fit before cutting into the cashmere I want to use. I widened the hem circumference. The pattern is for a pegged dress, but I made it straight so I can redraft the side seams to my liking. I made two changes to the style measurements. I increased the hip to equal my hip at crotch measurement because that is my largest hip measurement. I also increased the waist to hip measurement and made it equal to my waist to crotch measurement. I did not increase the hem circumference with the software. I did that when I cut the pieces by changing the side seams so they were parallel to the grainline from the widest part of the hip (at crotch level) down to the hem. My original plan was to pin a nice slightly pegged side seam and measure it with a French curve. Then I could make a side seam template for future use. But I decided not to bother since I will probably want to customize the side seams on a garment by garment basis. And I think I prefer more of an A line on my body anyhow, so it wouldn't be necessary to make a template. Here is the back. What do you think? More of an A line???