I had a sudden surge of Wedding Outfit related productivity since my last post. First of all, let me remind you what the wedding outfit consists of:
made the skirt already but the two tops I am taking out of my plan. I am definitely not taking my overlocker to Ireland when I move in a fortnight as I won't have room. It will have to follow when I move all the rest of my belongings in August/September. Therefore, I will not be sewing any knits for the next few weeks. (Yes, I know you can sew knits on a regular machine but I much prefer to overlock, and I can live without those tops.)
On the left though is The Wedding Outfit. So far I've made the skirt and the knit top. The top was really easy -- it's just a hack of my favourite Ottobre pattern, adding in a lace back panel. I like how it turned out a lot, although as usual my neck binding is not quite perfect.
The outstanding item was the jacket, and I have to be honest, I've been terrified of it from the outset. This fear turned out to be totally groundless, and actually I am kind of annoyed with myself, because I stopped sewing for a few weeks because I was feeling so intimidated by the jacket. What a waste of time!
My main worry has been fitting, and also setting in the sleeves. Fitting-wise, I've made up a muslin over the last couple of days and it was... actually pretty easy. For one, I have actually done the armhole princess seam adjustment before, when I tried to make an empire waist tunic. I just slapped the boob portion of that pattern on top of the side front pattern piece and adjusted it to the same size. I had to play about a little bit with the width of the pattern pieces at waist and hip to get a decent fit, and it's still not quite perfect, but that's pretty trivial and I can live with where I'm at. I also made a couple of other minor adjustments, mainly rounded back, full upper arm and a bit of a shoulder adjustment.
Is the fit perfect? No, not at all, and I'm sure I'll find ways to improve the fit of jackets and princess seams as I make more and refine my fitting. However, it is definitely good enough for a first jacket attempt. Less positively, I'm still really struggling to set in a sleeve without getting that annoying puff of fabric at the sleeve head. I need to do a search and see if there are any recommendations for how to deal with that.
However, my big epiphany is this: the fit of the muslin, however imperfect, is already better than BOTH of the RTW tailored items (one jacket, one coat) I have bought in the last six months. The armhole of the muslin is sort of frustrating me because it's a bit wrinkled at the back and not quite the right shape at the bottom, but it's already better than the armhole of the formal jacket I bought from Long Tall Sally, which is so low that any time I move my arm the whole jacket pulls completely out of shape. The fit of the waist/hip versus the bust is not perfect on my muslin, but it's already better than the waist/hip fit of the Pepperberry trench coat I bought, which fits through the bust and waist but flares out ridiculously at the hip. I have the perfect fabric. I have a pattern I like. The finished product isn't going to be perfect, but I am more and more certain that it's going to be better than anything I could buy, no matter how imperfect it is. Plus, I'm planning to make the inside really pretty in a way that no shop is going to. I made some gorgeous cotton print bias binding to bind my seams for a start.
More construction details about the jacket over the next couple of weeks. I have to say though, so far making the muslin has been an enormous boost to my confidence. Let's hope that stays true as I start cutting out the "real" fabric!