January 19, 2017

In Progress: Vogue 8333 - Fitting

This is one of those patterns that I've wanted to make for a long time. The design, in my opinion, is so classic - has some interesting lines and a beautiful shape. The lapel and collar size seem well suited to the lines of the jacket - something I watch for a lot. This is also one of those Claire Shaeffer patterns and I've wanted to try one of these couture patterns for a long time. There is no time like the present, so I jumped in.
I made a muslin and was rather surprised at how well the muslin fit. With all of the design lines and such I was expecting a fitting nightmare, but I was pleasantly surprised that for the most part, the muslin fit rather well.
I cut a size 14 and graded to a 16 in my upper back between the shoulders/under arms - my cheater full back adjustment these days that seems to work really well. If you are wondering, my neck to shoulder point is a 14. I grade to a 16 from the shoulder point to the underarm and then I grade back down to a 14 from underarm to waist. This is in the back only as I have a forward shoulder and don't need this same adjustment in the front. I don't mess with the sleeve, unless I find that it needs a little work in the muslin. What with sleeve cap ease, I find that the sleeve is rather forgiving when put into a slightly altered armscye. After trying on the muslin with shoulder pads, I found that the sleeve was still strained when I moved my arms. However, I had plenty of room in the upper back. I found that the armholes were cut rather deep for my frame and the sleeve was trying to lock my arms in a down position as there was too much sleeve cap ease.
I raised the armhole by 1 1/4 inches - yet still retained the same armscye shape so that my sleeve wouldn't require too much altering - and then took about 1 inch out of the sleeve cap (it was practically gathered into the armscye). To be sure I was on the right path, I made contrasting measurements against my favorite fitting jacket. I also adjusted for my forward shoulder by bringing the shoulder point forward by 5/8 inch and rotating the sleeve within the armscye to eliminate the drag lines down the back of my arm.

I love the pleats in the jacket fronts here and didn't realize that those actually hide a pocket. After reading some pattern reviews on this jacket, I read that the pocket is silly, being to shallow and ill shaped to really be useful, so I chucked the pocket, but kept the pleats for the final jacket. Basically the equivalent of keeping the pocket "sealed" instead of open.

I picked out this gorgeous rosey camel colored wool twill suiting from the stash to make this jacket up in. I'm banking on a neutral, go with everything kind of piece here as I could really use a jacket that just went with everything but still looked professional at work. We shall see. I've already cut out the jacket and have made a good dent in the sewing. I'll keep y'all updated on the progress.

Ever been interested in sewing one of these Claire Shaeffer designs? Have you sewn one of them? What has been your experience?
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23 comments

  1. I've sewn two Claire Shaeffer jackets. You learn a lot if you follow the instructions. But you already know a lot, so maybe they won't be such a revelation for you.

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    1. Oh man, I'm definitely learning a lot from this pattern! Chucked full of instruction for things that I've not really done before. So much hand stitching! Just attached the collar to my final jacket last night and wow, that was an intensive process. I really like having the contrast of having done it this way with other ways that I've tailored a jacket. Very interesting!

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  2. Thanks for posting! I'm terrible at analyzing muslins and love to see photos of how the pros assess fit. :)

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    1. Thank you Kristin! I'm definitely not a pro, but I have fit a number of things to my own personal shape and feel that I have a good grasp on that. It is always helpful to see what people's trial garments look like and what they are doing to get the fit better and more comfortable. Hope these posts help!

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  3. I have many of the same fitting alterations needed as you, with a wide back and rolled shoulders from many years of swimming. Are you a swimmer? Please keep blogging your project, I'd love to see/learn more. Your descriptions have given me confidence to finally start working on the chanel jacket fabric that has been hiding under my bed for 3 years!

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    1. I'm not a swimmer, but I am asked that a lot which is funny. Honestly, I have no idea why I have these particular fitting adjustments except to say genetics. I have an aunt whose back looks identical to mine and I thought, yeah, that must be where I get this from.

      Yes, definitely jump into that Chanel jacket fabric - what fun! I have some too that I'm wanting to make a cardigan jacket from. A worth goal for this year.

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  4. I have 2 Claire Shaeffer jacket patterns and after attending a jacket making class, decided to start this one because I'd the pocket detail. Then I cpped out and am doing a McCall's blazer instead! I don't yet have the skills or the confidence in fitting. It's on the cards though! Long forward to seeing your posts.

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    1. Oh I do hope you take another look at this pattern in future. I was happily surprised by the fit - not that everyone would be as we all have different fitting problems. It is a lovely pattern. So classic.

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  5. I made one of the other CS jacket patterns (7908). It's very 1940s in style with fronts that morph into pockets. I did at least 3 muslins (maybe 4) and certainly knew the sewing construction order by the time I was ready to start the real thing. I followed the couture directions and really had a blast with all the detail, basting, marking, and hand sewing. Loved it. The final result? A bit of a disaster. I had failed to check PatternReview at the beginning, *and* I had failed to note the hem allowance on my muslins. There was a mistake in the pattern which left out the hem allowance entirely. After I hemmed my jacket I found it was too short and the proportions were now all off. Lesson learned: check everything first! —Paloverde

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    1. I think I know precisely the pattern you are talking of and this makes me sad! Oh how sad! Sometimes you really just have to find out the hard way. Womp womp.

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  6. Thanks for your great review so far. I made this jacket a few years ago and also loved the fit of the muslin. I went on and sewed in a pink wool crepe and was very proud of it...until I saw that there was far too much ease in the sleeve just as you show in your pictures (I had apparently missed that in the muslin). I have never worn it and eventually threw it out. Now reading your review I might give it another try and really try to get the sleeves right. It is is such a beautiful silhouette that I think it could stay in my closet for a long time if I just do it right. Will be checking in to see your progress!
    www.iblameparis.com

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    1. Oh do give it another try. Sad to know that your previous make wasn't worn as it sounds lovely in a pink wool crepe - one of my favorite fabrics!

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  7. I've made this jacket using the couture method and learnt a lot. The only thing is that where the pleats meet the hem facing you have do many layers that it is lumpy and I don't think it can be avoided. My wool wasn't the thickest either! Look forward to seeing yours.

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    1. I've also read that the pockets are so small as not to be usable. I own the pattern and have considered sewing the pockets closed or even eliminating them.

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  8. I love this design – so classic, as you say – with that lovely pleating detail. Looking forward to seeing the next stage.

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  9. The Craftsy class on tailoring structure by Alison Smith discusses this pattern in the comment sidebar in passing. She made a version largely using fusible, I believe. It's in the background of the workroom during the shots. It's gorgeous, better than the version on the pattern envelope. She said to watch out for the pockets, though.

    I wish there were a class dedicated to making Vogue 8333.

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  10. I have the very same pattern iver here. 3 years ago, I attempted to make it, but I had to do soo much alterations ( full bust, sway back, armscye, ...) that I ended up not making it. I realized that it was a bit too much for me at that time. But eventually - when I feel more confident in adjusting patterns - I will get back to this one. But first, Inthink I'm going to make other jackets to get the hang of how they work and how Incan adjust them. First, there are a view vintage ones that look simpler and I really want to try those!

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  11. Oh I do love this pattern. The pleated pockets at the front are just so divine! I still shake my head in amazement at how non-intuitive getting movement in an armscye is - make it smaller to get more movement, huh?!? haha!
    I've made this pattern following the couture instructions - it's a lovely journey and the result is reminiscent of the structure of an english riding jacket. For both myself and a few others I've seen make this pattern in my sewing group, we all needed a slightly higher sleeve cap. Comparing this sleeve to others I've used, it's a wee bit lower. Obvioulsy different bodies and all, but I thought it might be worth mentioning ;)
    I'm looking forward to seeing this made up!

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  12. Sleeves always seem to be a problem! Hahaha
    I am looking forward to seeing the finished jacket!
    Its gonna look amazing

    Xo
    https://www.alchimistihandmade.com

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  13. Hi - i have just bought this pattern and am a little mystified as to which interfacings I need to buy. There are 4 listed on the pattern instructions, but are they all necessary? Also what is the difference between the lining and underlining? Sorry to be asking novice questions, but I have done no dressmaking for some time (used to do a lot years ago) and am probably biting off more than I can chew as a rediscovery project :)

    E

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    1. Hi E!

      There are two different versions of the jacket, but they don't actually have variations in the style. These versions have to do with the construction. View A is constructed in the couture method and for that you would need the hair canvas and the silk organza. View B is constructed in the ready-to-wear method and for that version you use fusibles. I see that it's calling for nylon fusible tricot, but depending on what kind of fabric you use, I usually go with a weft insertion. Anyway, this probably sounds like greek! So here's my take on interfacings because that can be a giant world in and of itself these days.

      Old world methods use canvasses. These particular interfacings are kind of like fabric. They are usually made from goat hair/wool or goat hair/cotton/wool, etc. The key here is that they are made of natural fibers and with the hair and wool mix, you'll get an interfacing that molds and can be shaped like wool has the capacity to do. These are sew-in interfacings that you have to apply by using particular methods like tailor basting and pad stitching. The silk organza is used to underline - it's basted to the fashion fabric and then sewn like one layer. This provides some structure, but a soft structure. Personally, I think you could try using the poly organza that you can get at Joann (if you live in the US). I think silk organza is fabulous, but for this particular application, I think you go with the poly version and receive a similar effect. You can find hair canvas or hymo here:

      http://www.bblackandsons.com/sewing-supplies-hymo-c-68_80_92.html?zenid=cn2kd55p4bn2mofe5esjgltns4

      The ready-to-wear (RTW) version uses the fusibles. These are good too because you can learn about speed tailoring which is just applying the interfacings to the fabric with an iron and by that alone, the process goes faster. I think each process has their virtues, but fusibles make a really soft jacket, not just to wear, but in the way it feels against the skin. But you'll want to get good fusibles - not the kind at Joann.

      I LOVE the fusible interfacings from here: https://www.fashionsewingsupply.com/

      The weft insertion and Pro Sheer Elegance are my favorites.

      I would also recommend some online classes. There is a great class on interfacing jackets on Craftsy called Structure and Shape with Alison Smith.

      https://www.craftsy.com/sewing/classes/essential-guide-to-tailoring-structure-shape/40549

      The other class that is hands down amazing that features old world techniques (the canvasses) is Kenneth King's class called Smart Tailoring which you can get here:
      http://www.tauntonworkshops.com/course/smart-tailoring

      Hopefully this can give you a starting point!

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  14. Fitting & muslins are a problem for me. A constructionist & sewist I am; however no author's fitting makes sense to me. What problem do I have?!

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  15. Hi Wanda,

    Have you tried an online class? There is one by Kenneth King called Smart Fitting that is fantastic. It's located here:

    http://www.tauntonworkshops.com/course/smart-fitting-one-upper-torso-and-fitting-jackets

    There's also a great Craftsy class by Lynda Maynard that is so well done. She uses different models in the same dress and does her magic. Highly recommend:

    https://www.craftsy.com/sewing/classes/sew-the-perfect-fit/35591

    There are also in person classes with Palmer/Pletsch the authors of Fit for Real People. I've heard that the workshops are fabulous and you receive great fitting instruction, hands on and everyone comes away learning something new.

    https://www.palmerpletsch.com/sewing-workshops/

    I hate to say, but it's true. Fitting is the hardest thing about sewing apparel and probably the number one reason why many give up sewing their own clothes. It's something that we all deal with and you have to learn by doing or at least I have. So much easier said that done. I hate it! Hopefully some of these ideas help you out. Sometimes it's easier to see it being done that read about it.

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