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I’m not sure when patterns become vintage but this classic style must be close.  I first made it for my daughter about 18 or 20 years ago.  I think she liked it but I have to admit that at the time I didn’t love it.  The style was/is great, but I wasn’t totally happy with my execution.  Anyway, this is a chance to make some of that right.

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The only alterations I made were to shorten the length by about 3 inches before cutting the fabric.  It was still long enough to be almost ankle length on my 5’3″ self, so I cut another 3″ off when I hemmed it and still had room for a 2 1/2″ hem.  I made the pocket flaps about an inch longer than the pattern, eliminated the back belt and made the buttons on the sleeves operational by adding buttonholes. a note on the pocket flaps – I used a lightweight sew in interfacing and should have used a heavier iron on interfacing which would have prevented the pocket welts from imprinting quite so much and would have made them a bit stiffer.  Since the pattern just had sew on buttons and no working sleeve vent I added 1.5 inch extensions (should have been 2 inch) to the lower back sleeve seams to create the vent.

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My interfacing plan is as follows:

Hair canvas on the entire front, and the upper back/shoulder area.

Underlined the entire back with lightweight poly cotton.

Interfaced the sleeve hems with weft insertion iron on interfacing.

All facings and the sleeve caps were interfaced with iron on knit interfacing.

Lightweight woven tape was used on the lapel roll line and the front edge to keep it from stretching in use.

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In order to eliminate bulk when interfacing with a heavy sew-in interfacing like hair canvas,  I cut the seam allowance off the interfacing and add an extension of something very lightweight (in this case silk organza) to catch in the seam. That eliminates a lot of bulk from the seam.  An easy way to maintain the exact shape of the interfacing, is to cut out the interfacing to the actual pattern, then lay a 1 inch strip of organza at the edge and stitch it 3/4 of an inch from the edge.  Then when you trim the interfacing off close to the stitching line you won’t have canvas in the seam allowance and the interfacing piece still has exactly the same shape that you started with.

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I’m happy with the collar.  I pad stitched the lapels and the collar, but completely forgot to take pictures.  I decided not to top stitch for now, but I might still do it later.  One of the problems is that I like to use silk topstitching thread, which is difficult to source.  I suspect I will have to resort to ordering online.

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This green outer fabric is a lofty 100% wool coating material and the lining is a lightweight, opaque 100% silk twill.  I bought both at Britex during a recent trip through San Francisco.  The buttons are hand cast pewter from Button Button on Homer St. here in Vancouver, and the flat piping on the facing/lining seam is from a necktie….ties are one thing that should never be thrown away.

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A silk necktie will give up at least 2 yards of 1 3/4 inch bias binding…the fabric is always beautiful and best part is that it is already cut on the bias!flat-piping-020-resized

This was a very challenging project. The fabric is heavy, it releases buckets of lint, the seams are long, pressing is arduous, there is lots of hand sewing AND the success of the entire project comes down to the buttonholes, which are always the last thing and which in this case, I’m not 100% happy with…but I’m pretty happy with everything else.