Finally!! I have finished my Cordova jacket!! This project stalled numerous times. First it was too hot to contemplate sewing a jacket. Then I got side tracked by the Tessuti Gridlock competition followed by the Colette Laurel competition. Once back on track, I discovered that Mr H threw out the instructions, along with my camera cord, so after going through all the bins I had wait for the lovely Rachel and Tasia to send through a copy of the instructions. I also got stumped by the fit and then the fabric's inability to hold a press. It took me over a month to decide to topstitch all the seams. Finally, I was so annoyed with the instructions, or lack of, that I didn't even want to look at the damn thing. But I soldiered on and here we are. I was finally kicked into action by the fact my beloved Simplicity 2250 jacket has seen better days and I really needed a new work jacket.
My inner "brief" for this project was a fitted jacket in a black fabric with texture that I could wear to work as an office jacket. Not an outer jacket but one to wear all day over dresses. Lisa made a dress with this fabric at the end of last year and Trish (from Melbourne Tessuti) suggested it for this jacket. Trish also came to the party with the fabulous mushroom print silk for the lining! I love the combo of the textured black fabric and fun silk print.
I had a few issues with the fit. As usual the pattern was too wide across my back. I removed 2cm from the centre back by using a 2.5cm centre back seam instead of a 1.5cm seam. I noted on my numerous google searches that the fit is quite boxy and didn't look very flattering if it was too large. So I went down a size from my measurements and tapered the side seams in an extra 1cm at the armholes grading out to the standard seam allowance at the point the side seam joins the peplum. I also slimmed the sleeves considerably using my French curve. I could possibly have done with a sway back adjustment but life's too short!
There was one big issue with the pattern that numerous other reviews have noticed. The centre back at the hem did not extend the extra 4cm to allow the peplum facing to attach. After re-checking numerous times and attempting to put the peplum in the wrong way around (hoping that would solve the problem), I emailed people who had also made it and even emailed Sewaholic. Their helpful advice was to ensure I'd followed the pattern. Thanks for that advice! Everything was as per the pattern. It just didn't fit as instructed. I fixed this issue by cutting an extra section of facing for the centre back to bridge the gap. Then simply turning the whole facing up and hand stitching in place before hemming the lining.
Now the instructions for this jacket are brief, a little too brief. My personal opinion is that a tailored jacket's instructions should not fit on one single side of paper. If you were new to sewing you would probably struggle with the lack of detailed instructions. I've been sewing for years and I struggled with them. I ended up not using them and doing my own thing as attempting to use them was annoying me too much.
I took heaps of detail shots for those, who like me, like to study photos of other people's projects.
I really recommend using a sturdy fabric for this pattern. It provides a more structured look and holds up to all those panels.
Pattern: Sewaholic Cordova, view B, size 16
Fabric: When Night Rings a polyamide/polyester blend from Tessuti
Lining: Silk mushroom print from Tessuti
Alterations: Removed 1cm from centre back seam and 1cm from armhole grading back to standard seam allowance at peplum, slimmed sleeves by up to 2cm, inserted fleece sleeve heads
All the issues aside, I can't wait to wear this jacket properly. It's a little bit different than a normal blazer type jacket with it's OTT sleeves and exposed zip. I think me and this Cordova jacket are going to get along just fine, from now on...