Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Vogue 8932: Fleeced

Way back in early January I decided I needed a fleece jacket - Patagonia-style - with nice fleece (real PolarTec).  So I found myself perusing, and went a little crazy ordering fleece.  I don't usually get excited about sewing fleece, but it was January, after all.  The quality of the fleece from Mill Yardage is superb - so nice that I actually do get excited about fleece.  
One of the many fleeces I now own.
"This would be a great project for Pattern Review's Activewear contest!" So I bought McCall's 5252 "6 Great Looks, 1 Easy Pattern."  Honestly, I'm not sure there's one great look in the bunch.

McCalls 5252
I had hopes I could turn one of the jackets into something that would work for me.
Then I ordered several matching zippers in fuschia. And waited, and waited, and waited.  Finally, by the end of January, the zippers arrived.  Too late for Pattern Review.  Dang, I wish I could find zippers locally!
Fucshia zippers

In the meantime, I realized I don't want (or need) another baggy fleece jacket that I would only wear around the house.  Would Vogue 8932 work with fleece?  The pattern recommends stretch leather, ponte or boiled wool. Okay, how about a nice sweater striae fleece?  

Vogue 8932
"How are you going to put a zipper into that?" My husband asks.  Vogue 8932
Well, it worked and it didn't.  First of all, let me say that I love this pattern and I will be making it again.  Just not with fleece.  Or maybe a mix of fleece and something else.  Yes, I am a sucker for Vogue patterns.  

I made version A -- regular seams, with button closure.
The interesting design lines of this jacket were begging to be shown off, so I played them up with extra stitching, a la Vogue 1378.  I initially thought about making versions B, which is stitched with the seams facing the public side, but the fleece was just too thick.  

Vogue 8932, back detail
Back detail, Vogue 8932
To highlight the interesting seaming, I top-stitched 1/4" on each side of most seam lines.  It is fun looking AND it's a good way to force the seam allowance flat.  The side seams and shoulder seams were overlocked on my Bernina 930.
Vogue 8932, front detail
Front Detail, Vogue 8932

Fearing a stitched buttonhole in fleece would quickly stretch out of shape, I made bound buttonholes with evergreen Ultra Suede.  The "graphite" fleece has a bit of green in it, and they look great together. 

Bound buttonhole close-up
Triangular Bound Buttonhole.  The buttons are grey-green and the buttonhole is green.
The rounded front called for a fun shape, so I went with triangle buttonholes. They were surprisingly quick and easy with a homemade template. I will be using that method again. 

Vogue 8932, back
Vogue 8932, back view.  The back is shorter than the front.
So far, I love it.  Then I got to the facings.  The fleece was just too thick to use self fabric facings.  I should have used something thinner (let's say, oh I don't know, maybe the Ultra Suede that I have yards and yards of), but I just liked the idea of fleece on the inside.  I considered no facings, but the back needed the extra weight of a facing, and the lovely neckline would probably sag without a facing. Unfortunately, the manner in which the right front overlaps the left front results in four layers of fleece across my bust, giving the impression of a uniboob.

For the sleeves, I omitted the facings and used a bias strip of Ultra Suede to bind the edge.  

Vogue 8932, side
The shoulders concerned me some, since the sleeve cap is eased and the fleece is bulky and generally un-easable.  This fleece had plenty of stretch, so it worked.  Although the cap looks a little flat in the photo, I don't notice it at all when I wear it.  I probably should have left a little more seam allowance to help give it structure.

I made very few alterations to the pattern: cut a 14 through the shoulders and bust, expanding out 1/2" at the waist and about 3/4" at the hip. Since the back hem sits above the widest part of my hips, it was easy to fit.  I wanted to add pockets, but I just couldn't decide on a good place to put them. 

All in all, I really like this jacket.  It's a great style, and it's very comfortable. It's versatile, looking great with jeans or dressed up.  Although I didn't take any photos, I have worn it many times, once to the symphony.  Can you imagine?  Fleece at the symphony?  Only in Arkansas, I guess.