Monday, September 9, 2013

Wardrobe "Basics": My Marci Tilton Jacket

The Daughter's Collection for Fall 2013 is all about basic wardrobe necessities: pants, tops, blouses and jackets. With these four elements, you can create an entire wardrobe for the season.

Stonemountain & Daughter Farbics got this wonderful boiled wool in for the Fall/Winter season in 12 colors. Boiled wool is a special type of fabric primarily used in berets, scarves, vests, cardigans, coats and jackets. It is created by a mechanical process using water and agitation, shrinking knitted or woven wool or wool-blend fabrics, compressing and interlocking the fibers into a tighter felt-like mass.

I knew I wanted to have something made out of the rich brown for the Daughter's Collection Fall 2013 so chose a Marci Tilton Jacket pattern 8430 by Vogue. The beauty of working with this unique fabric and this pattern is that there is no real finishing to the jacket - it is basically an unlined, unhemmed simple jacket.  The pattern only had three pieces: the front (cut 2), the back, and the sleeves (cut 2).  That's it. You can use the boiled wool in the 100% quality or the wool blended with rayon quality. The one I chose is the 100% Wool. We *happen* have a great class here at Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics featuring making your own boiled wool and jacket!

Laurel did some research on the jacket to see how other dressmakers handled the construction and fitting.  It is a very boxy, roomy jacket, so a few women did some back shaping. And since I too have a relatively small frame, we decided to step down a size as opposed to the one which my measurements might dictate.

She also added an inch or two at the "collar" just so it would have a little more drape. The beauty of working with this fabric is that we can just cut that collar shape any way we if I don't like the way it hangs when we're done, I can "snip-snip" it at any time. The same goes with the finished length of the jacket.  She added 3/4" to the bottom just in case I wanted a little more length.

Laurel confessed to me when we picked out the boiled wool that she had sewn on this type of fabric only once before...and it was years ago! She was quietly skeptical about sewing with such a thick fabric. When she shopped for her back-up machine a few weeks ago, she took scraps of some of my fabrics - knits, silks and the boiled wool (What a great idea, if you're contemplating a new machine!). She handed the sales woman the zip lock bag and said "I need a machine that will sew on all these!!"

Testing stitches on a variety of fabrics is a great way to get familiar with a sewing machine

There is very little to fear about sewing boiled wool. It is exceptionally forgiving - no puckers, no skipped stitches...just pin it together and sew. It took Laurel 30 minutes to sew my Marci Tilton jacket together. Amazing! Of course we still had to adjust the fit (it really is boxy!) and decide if we wanted to embellish it, if at all, i.e. with contrasting thread, binding, etc.

When we did the first fitting, sure enough, it was a little full in the back - time to take it in a smidge, Laurel!

I love the way the back is a little longer than the front.  

We all tried on this jacket during the fitting - despite it's "boxy" style, it looks great on all figure types

Ruth strikes a pose in the jacket that now everyone loves!

Laurel: "I gotta have one of these jackets!"

Even Laurel's Mini-Me Colette back in Sacramento looked stunning in the finished jacket.

The boiled wool fabric and construction of this "BASIC" jacket lends itself to a little top stitching detail. Again, it's an easy task - time consuming, but oh so worth it!!

The current collection of Boiled Wool and
Boiled Wool with Rayon at Stonemountain & Daughter Fabric this week!

Can you imagine how cool this jacket is going to look with jeans? Or that pencil skirt? Unlimited potential - that's why I call it a wardrobe "basic" and  I love it!!!

Creatively Yours,

Come make your own felted wool in
our upcoming class!
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  1. I have had this pattern sitting in my collection for some time. So happy to hear the details of its construction. Now, I'll try it too!

  2. Excellent! I will have it up in the store on my mannequin in early October! Let me know how your jacket turns out. best, Suzan

  3. I love the jacket, It looks great! I have never worked with boiled wool but after seeing this jacket perhaps I should take the plunge.

    1. OH I hope you do! Stop by Stonemountain if you can or we can send you to see what you come up with, too!