Today I finally had time to finish my first version of the Chateau Jacket from the Sewing Workshop. Ever since they started posting preview pictures on Instagram, I have been anxious to make one. And now I am certain I'll make it again. It is a simple wrap over-coat with elbow-length sleeves.
The line drawing does not make it look terribly interesting.
Fabric: This yummy fabric came from Gail K in Atlanta, a place where I find lots of interesting fabrics. It is 80% wool and 20% angora, quite spongie and does not ravel much at all. It was delightful to sew, both hand and machine stitching. The Chateau is designed for non-raveling fabrics with directions for lapped seams and raw edges. So while winter white is not the best color for me, I just could not resist.
|happy on the inside, really|
I changed some aspects of construction. The pattern calls for either patch pockets or slit pockets with a separate lining piece. I wanted to try out the slit pockets with this non-raveling fabric but decided against using the pocket lining. This would have created 3 layers of my fabric near my high hip fluff (ahem). I felt the pockets might flop around making it even less flattering. So I used the pocket pieces, but not the pocket facing pieces. This required that the top-stitched pockets show, but I kind-of like that.
|Finished inside of jacket|
|Finished outside of jacket|
I also adjusted the method for creating lapped seams. The pattern is designed for standard 5/8 inch seams so the first step is to cut off the seam allowance on one side of each seam. Then the cut piece is lapped over the uncut piece, aligning the raw edge at 5/8 inch. The trick is aligning the raw edge. The directions suggest the use of tape to hold the lap in place until it is top-stitched. I found that by machine-basting right at the seam line, I could lap it accurately. The basting was easy to remove after top-stitching.
Lastly I added some top-stitching. The pattern does not call for any finish to the raw edge of the front collar, or on the lower hem or the sleeve hem. I wanted a little insurance and stability, so I top-stitched 1/4 inch from each raw edge. I was especially concerned about the bias edges on the front collar. Plus I like the extra detail.
|back facing from the right side, before should seams are sewn|
|I really like the back neckline!|
I have seen some notes about this being over-sized. It is. But there is no place where fit is relevant, in my opinion. I am 5'5" and happy with the proportions as designed. The fabric is very stable and so stands away from my body. This did not surprise me. I do want to try it again in a drapey fabric, perhaps using standard seam construction. I'm glad they included standard seam allowances. It might be interesting to lengthen the body or the sleeves in another version.
|lots of room for extra layers!|
I am quite enamored of this shape and the overall simplicity of it. And the winter white is lovely. My only concern is that it may spend more time at the dry cleaners than on my body. I must stay away from tomato sauce and red wine!