Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Moto Madness!!

One day, while minding my own business, I find this issue of Burda Magazine at my local bookstore.  Because it was a book about sewing, I naturally had to take it off the shelf to peruse its contents.  And there it was!

The most mahvelous jacket I had seen in quite a while!  To make it even more fantabulous, the pattern was included in the magazine!! Heavens to Betsy! How quickly can I make my way to the checkout counter to make this mag my very own!  This happened in the late summer.  I had designs on having this made for my birthday (November).  As I read every word about this wonderfully fabulous creature, they suggested Ponte Knit, Nappa Lamb Stretch Leather for the sleeves and trim and a 20 inch two-way separating zipper.  Sounds easy enough and I like the look.  Well, once would have thought they said, the rarest cashmere, silk and a zipper made from diamonds!  That's because I looked for weeks for the right weight Ponte.  I'm sure I went to Hancock's and JoAnns every weekend for two months.  They would have Ponte, but not the correct weight.  I looked at the store for EVER for a "two way separating 20 or 22 inch zipper. No luck.  And the leather!! OMG, Stretch Nappa Leather aint cheap.  I tried several times to go with the imitation, but I didn't like how any of it looked.  SO, finally, I found the Ponte, (just happened to be in Hancock's one day and they had it! GLORY!!, then I gave in and ordered the leather from New York Fashion Center Fabrics (I spent a lot of time with that piece in my shopping cart!) and after someone complimented my birthday coat and responded about my dire need for buttons, did I find the right zipper.

Here is what you should know about me; I'm cheap!  Cheap is what started me sewing when I was 10 years old.  My mother had no interest in buying me a lot of clothes.  But I loved clothes and wanted more and more.  Since I had no money, sewing made sense.  Back then, of course, I could get a lot more fabric for my money.  But, my baseline has continued to be, can this be made for less than buying it?  Of course, that has changed with time.  I do understand and appreciate quality, so I don't live in the bargain section of the fabric store (although I visit often). But I still want and need to find a deal whenever possible. However this jacket was so outstanding to me, that I decided I had to be a big girl and go for it.

So, with all my stuff finally in my possession, I decided to go in.  I almost never make a muslin for me when sewing, but I needed this to be right, so I decided I needed a practice dummy first.  And so, I made this Friday evening.

And the love I felt when I zipped this puppy up was greater than my Oliva Pope Coat a couple weeks ago.  I knew even from the muslin that this thing was going to be something fantabulous!  I really didn't want to go to bed, but it was after midnight and I had something to do Saturday morning.  So, I stopped and went to sleepy land to dream of my new hot accessory!

 When I could get back to the work, I felt the jacket was just a bit snug.  SO, I decided that a half inch adjustment would/should be sufficient.  I decided that I would just recut the front and back side front sections to included the additional space.  Now, I'm ready to rock and roll.  Now here comes the typical, "this only happens to me" moments.  First, sewing the muslin was much easier than sewing the fashion fabric.  But I muddled through.  
 The skirt is also out of the same Ponte knit.  This is one I made several months ago and was SO thrilled when I realized the jacket fabric was the same as my skirt that I love as well!  This was further confirmation that this would be a great wardrobe builder.

The other issue with my DD and her photo taking, she doesn't understand that the photo isn't really about me.  The point is to capture the garment.  So, none of these are as close as I would like them to be.  The trim on the jacket was particularly important to me.  One of the things that drew me to this jacket was the leather sleeves and trim.  This is a Burda pattern and their recommendation was for Nappa stretch leather.  Well, again, my city isn't the fashion mecca it likes to think it is. I did find this fabric at NY Fashion Center Fabrics (NYfashioncenterfabrics.com). After cutting the ponte, I laid out the pattern for the sleeves.  It was a two part sleeve.  No amount of placement and movement would get me four pieces out of that one skin!  Sheer Panic set in! This was supposed to be one of my birthday creations but I ran out of time before my birthday.  However, I didn't want to buy another skin (90.00!) because as I said above, I'm also still cheap.  To me, that was going to make this jacket as costly as a RTW item.  And I couldn't live with myself if that happened.  But, as any sewists knows, sometimes you have make it work moments.  I decided that this would work if I only had a one piece sleeve.  So I rooted around my pattern stash and found one that I thought would work. After averting that disaster, I then needed to get the trim on the jacket. Well, just let me say, this was definitely some work.  The trim has to be on both sides all the way around. I even purchased the accompanying Burda video (waste of time and money) to see how they affixed the trim.  The woman in the video used bias tape on the underside.  The problem with that is depending on how you wear the jacket both sides can show.  I didn't think that contrast was a good look.  When I say I was praying and piecing 3/4 pieces that I cut with my rotary cutter like a factory worker on a deadline! But, the sewing angels were looking down on me and smelled my desperation! I managed to eek out all the trim for both sides!

Not factory level perfection but I'm happy!

And since Teri asked, here is what it looks like unzipped.  I think it can totally be rocked up or down. As I said, I'm actually wearing it today and it has been a complete showstopper.  Every person in my office loved the jacket.  Those who didn't know I sewed now think I'm some sort of savant. LOL.  If they only saw all the "oops" undone projects in the big bag in my closet, they wouldn't entertain that thought at all.  But, it's all a labor of love!


  1. You ROCKED this pattern. I have been eyeing it every since my Burda Style arrived in my mailbox. How does it look unzipped?

    I'm glad you got the leather. It makes it!

    1. Terri, I agree. The right leather made ALL the difference on this jacket. I added a photo with the jacket unzipped. It can definitely be worn open or closed. Thanks for the compliment!

  2. This jacket is fierce! I love the nappa leather that used, it makes the jacket look even the more expensive. Great work!

    1. Candice, thanks so much. It really makes the difference. I almost used the bias tape on the inside because the video from Burda used it. So glad I decided to torture myself even more and use the leather scraps! LOL

  3. Looks Great! Some times you have to bite the Dollar Bullet!! LOL!! I feel your pain, but when it is worth it, like your jacket, it's ooh sooo good!!

  4. That is a great pattern and is on my to sew list a some stage. You totally rocked it, good work with the leather. The jacket looks fabulous on you.

  5. Oh this is totally gorgeous!! You did an absolutely fabulous job and your jacket looks really high end. I'm going to keep a look out for this magazine, thanks for showing your beautiful version of this pattern :)