The reason for its special place in my heart is I wore the outfit on the second date with my partner back in 1991. I lived some distance from work and used to stay with Cath at least one night a week to avoid the long drive. The forecast when I left home was for good weather so I packed my matching Liberty ensemble for the date. Two days later, on date night, the weather was truly rubbish - cold and wet as English summers do so well. To make matters worse we were going out in my beloved's open-top little sports car (a Caterham Lotus Seven which we still have today). So I went on my date wrapped up in Cath's quilted winter coat complete with hood which I needed to protect me from the rain.
Fast forward twenty odd years and I made it again in a charcoal grey merino wool which I had carefully felted and then American smocked. I wear this jacket a lot and felt a brown version would be a useful addition to my wardrobe.
The finished garment
So here is the fourth version of this jacket. Should I mention that I actually bought the pattern for the waistcoat which I have never made. Unlined and with lapped seams (as the wool won't fray) it makes a wonderful reversible garment.
The fabricThis is a lovely double faced wool from The Fabric Store.
|Left: Side One Right: Side Two|
For the facings (on side one) I used a brown leather with a faux snake skin look also from The Fabric Store.
The sewing patternThis is Vogue 2494 a Donna Karan pattern copyrighted 1990. The jacket is described as loose fitting, lined, waist length jacket has extended shoulders, shoulder pads, shaped front hemline and long sleeves.
The first time I made this jacket was for a work colleague. Anne had a black tie event to go to but didn't want to buy a new dress. So we went fabric shopping at Owen Owen in our lunch hour and found an electric blue polyester taffeta and I made her the V2494 jacket and a matching large removable bow for her dress. Back in the early 1990's Owen Owen in Uxbridge had an excellent sewing department where many of my patterns, fabric and sewing supplies came from. Now even Owen Owen don't exist.
The pattern alterationsGiven this is a pattern from 1990 with those 1980's extended shoulders and 1" shoulder pads the major alterations were around the shoulders and armholes.
For both the front and back jacket pieces I measured down 1" at the armhole edge tapering to nothing at the neck edge. This removes the 1" of height allowed for the shoulder pad.
On this pattern the back neckline is 1/2" below the back of the neck so I raised the back neckline by that 1/2". Then measuring in from centre back I established how wide my shoulders should be and made a mark. At this mark I added 1/2" for my forward shoulder adjustment and drew the shoulder line tapering back to nothing at the neck edge.
Once I had the new shoulder seam marked I used my woven fabric armhole template to draw in the armhole.
For the front jacket piece I measured in from the armhole edge to remove the same amount from the shoulder seam as I did on the back jacket pattern piece.
The other changes I made were:
- lower the bust point by 7/8"
- lengthen the body by 1.25"
The sewingLike all Vogue patterns it uses 5/8" seam allowances but I only sewed 3/8" seam allowances which meant that the circumference at the bust was 42.5" instead of 41.5" which gave me the right amount of ease for this simple little jacket.
The jacket was sewn with lapped seams. The seam allowance was removed from one side of the seam then lapped 3/8" over the other side of the seam.
The hems were turned up 1/2" then the leather band was edge stitched to the garment (covering the hem allowance).
A really simple garment to sew with no fastenings needed.
The outfit of the day
Here it is being worn with my teal velvet burnout Vogue 1250 dress and Mi Piaci Martha ankle boots. It also looks good with my Vogue 8976 Tree top and brown leggings.
Plus here it is with my World trousers, Verge lace top (one of my last purchases from Quinns of Merivale) and once again my favourite Mi Piaci Martha ankle boots.
For anyone not native to Christchurch Quinns was a go-to fashion store that had everything from lingerie to the finest evening gown, which closed in 2016. Quinns always had that special piece needed to fill a wardrobe gap and I miss the wide range of designers they had available.