Sunday, January 28, 2018

Plaid Hvar Jacket

I'm a working girl again... cue the Carly Simon, power suits and commuter sneakers!

Just kidding... no commuter sneakers here in Vermont. It's commuter snow boots.
(no, seriously, I wear snow boots on my 15-20 minute walk to the office, then change to real shoes)

In January, I headed back to work in an office after a few years of consulting/working from home. As any right-minded sewist would do, I decided to sew a couple pieces that I could wear as I transition back to that setting!

When I sewed this piece, I wasn't totally sure how formal the office would be, only having visited once for my interview (which also happened to be a heavy snow day), but I knew that Vermont, in general, is pretty casual. I decided to stick with business casual until I spent some time there and figured out exactly what the dress code was. Turns out it's quite casual (jeans and sweaters are not uncommon), but there will be opportunities for more business-like dress on occasion.

I'd had my eye on a pattern that fit into that business casual category perfectly: the Hvar jacket pattern from Itch to Stitch. Kennis at Itch to Stitch has labeled it "effortless chic," which I think is apt, and claims, "you will be fittingly polished at any event," which is exactly my goal.

I love the fitted shape of the Hvar combined with the dramatic waterfall collar. Every version I'd seen made, in such a wide variety of fabrics (from boucle to faux suede to ponte to denim) , just looked really sharp. The unlined jacket hits at the high hip, has bust darts, fisheye darts for shaping the back, long sleeves, and dat collar!!

For this version, which I was treating somewhat like a wearable muslin, I used some inexpensive plaid poly from the suiting section in Joann Fabrics (I think it's this one), which feels more like rayon than poly. Joann can't seem to get the content right, either. In one place their listing says poly/lycra and in another, just poly. In any case, it's a brown and black plaid with a streak of teal that I really liked. The fabric is quite thin with lots of drape. It's easy to sew, although a bit shreddy on the edges.

Fit-wise, I sewed a size 14, which matched my full bust measurement. It looked like I would need to grade up for the hip to a 16 or 18, but I decided since the jacket hit above the hip, I would be ok with a straight 14. The only change I made was a one inch full bicep adjustment on the sleeve after a quick tissue fit around my arm. 

I am absolutely delighted with how well the fit turned out! Bust darts in the right place, not a lot of bunching or pulling on the back, enough room to layer a long sleeved t-shirt underneath the sleeves...

Since this was more of a wearable muslin, I opted not to use a Hong Kong seam finish. Rather I just serged the seam allowances, knowing it would hardly show in a print like the one I chose. If I make the jacket again, I'll definitely bind the seams to get a really professional interior.

The Hvar jacket was fun and easy to construct. The only things I did differently from the instructions was to sew the sleeves in flat, and to do the topstitching on the collar a little bit closer to the edge (more like a quarter inch rather than a half). I love how the hem folds up over the edge of the collar to neaten the finish where they meet.

I am so, so happy with how this turned out! I can't wait to make myself another one in a nicer fabric. Perhaps a drapey wool suiting of some sort?

Update: the green skirt is my Blueprints for Sewing A-frame skirt, and the grey pants are the Style Arc Margaret!