I finished my Anise sometime before christmas and wore it to Vegas where I very sorely needed it. It's been chilly in LA these days which is actually nice after years of summer all the time. I'm happy it coincided with my finishing my coat I would have been SOL without it. It's really hard to find a nice anything when your size 22.
This is the first real garment I've sewn in years. I've made the odd knit top or scrub set but nothing that really required fitting or skill. Why? I was burn out. Crispy. I had been teaching knitting at a local yarn store 3x a week so knitting slowly replaced sewing for me. Then I took up spinning and weaving. But really the factor that was holding me back was the idea that I was "fat" and fat people don't look good in anything but knits and tents.
I'm hoping to prove this wrong one garment at a time. Admittedly I'm photographing them on a size 13 dress form because thats what I have. They look great on too but I haven't gotten the nerve to take live shots yet.
Ok lets get down to the garment itself this is the Anise by Collette Patterns. The pattern only goes up to size 18 which is a 46" chest. I'm a 50"so I graded up 2 sizes and then made a full bust adjustment, narrow shoulder adjustment, added a little to the back so the side seam wouldn't get pulled back and tapered the sleeves. Oh and I cut the under collar in 2 pieces on the bias and drafted my own lining and adjusted the facing to allow for the bagged hem. I tried this method this time instead of the one Kathleen from FI taught me.
It's not bad, Maybe not as sleek but I think if you were finding your pieces weren't lining up right then the workaround method would get you out of that hole without having to hand stitch anything. I guess I should just do side by side samples and let you make the decision. They do look differently since the workaround I used has the lining flush with the hem where it meets the facing.
I did both the bound buttons and the welt pockets according to the pattern instructions and I regret doing so. It eats up a lot of time and is very fussy. The one tip I did like was when creating the facing windows it suggested using fusible interfacing instead of silk organza which creates a nice finish. I fused the entire front and back using a fusible weft interfacing (which by the way you CAN get a Joann's lest the sewing snobs convince you otherwise) I used bias cut hair canvas on the sleeve hems and the jacket hem. I fused a chest shield as well.
Now about those darn sleeves. I knew they were trouble before I cut them out but I was trying to make it easier on myself since I had already made so many changes. They were too straight and too wide for a tailored jacket. Too much sleeve ease. So I taper the sides after the fact. And the sleeve ease? Well lets say I reverted to an old dirty habit from my home ec days. I just pinned the sleeve so it fitted in the armscye and then trimmed the rest off the top. I spent 2 days of the week it took me to make this jacket fighting with the sleeves.
Do I recommend this pattern? Well since I graded it up and changed so many things I really shouldn't get to have a say. For a newbie sewer I think it's good the illustrations are excellent and their are supplementary instructions on their blog. Just look at a few other peoples finished garments first. I'm notice a lot of them have issues with the shoulder/sleeve area.
The BIGGEST disappointment was my fabric choice. I compromised for color and I shouldn't have. It shows every little press mark and is spongy and stretchy. But the color is perfect.