Saturday, May 18, 2013

Pattern Review Simplicity 2256

Simplicity 2256 has been in my stash for a very long time. It is one of a handful of more ambitious sewing projects I've been hoping to have the courage to tackle this year. Helping to quell the fear factor was the bright purple twill and silky plaid polyester I found at the second hand store on two different occasions for maybe $10 total. This was supposed to be a trial run for the expensive houndstooth fabric I got in Italy a couple of years ago, but now that I have one, I'm not sure I want another in this style (camel blazer view). I have a 70's pattern that I also want to sew up that might suit the houndstooth better.

As you can see from the pictures, I finished this a while ago (like April). I've been absolutely slammed at work and haven't had time to blog. Any free time I have is taken up with things I like doing better than continuing to sit at a computer. It's too warm now to wear this purple jacket in every day life, but it's just as well as I need time to make or buy some things to wear under it.

As I continue to address my fitting issues (instead of ignoring them by making loose fitting knit tops), I'm finding that my back half is larger than my front half. This realization is convincing me that I really need to bust out the fitting pattern I bought a year ago or figure out how to draft my own sloper... or I can continue to make knit tops (which is what I really want to do).

Here is my review (also found on 

Pattern Description:
Project Runway Collection misses' jacket in two lengths with neckline and sleeve variations. I made the view that is made up in the camel colour on the envelope.

Pattern Sizing:
Sizes 4-12. I started with a 12 at the bust grading to a 14 at the waist and hips, but ended up taking in the waist and below quite a bit. I can't say how much as I just pinned to fit on my muslin.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, although, as usual, I abandoned them half way through as I added a lining using the tutorial found on grainlinestudio.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Like other reviewers, I found the pockets small, though I tried to make them larger, there really wasn't much room to do so. It was a relatively easy jacket to put together. I didn't use traditional tailoring methods, instead following the instructions and using fusible interfacting. I did add a sleeve head using some thick fleece from another project that really helped with the sleeve head not collapsing.

Fabric Used:Bright purple cotton twill and a silky polyester that I found at a second hand store on two different occasions.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
1. 9/16" broad back adjustment. This was done with a pivot method. After my first muslin, I added another 1/2" just at where my lats are by cutting out just that section of the pattern and sliding it out 1/2" (like a slide rule). A large broad upper back adjustment leaves some bagginess when I'm not reaching forward but I really need all of that extra room for range of motion in every day life.

2. Small bust adjustment. In muslin #1, I pinched out the excess along the bust apex grading out to nothing at the shoulder seam above and making the bust dart smaller below. In my flat pattern it ended up basically being the opposite of the alteration I made in the back (hinge at shoulder and swing in the side until the width at the bust is smaller).

3. I took it in on the side seams at the waist and below. According to measurements, I am a 12 at the bust and a 14 at the waist and hips. Because of the extra volume in the lower half of the jacket, I could have just cut the 12 all the way through and had enough room. It was tricky to keep all of the seams in the right place on the top and bottom half of the jacket so they matched up. I thought I might have to take in a dart somewhere along the neckline because of this alteration, but decided against it once I attached the collar.

4. I added a lining. I used this tutorial from grainline studio and then I used what little knowledge I have from past projects and some common sense to sew it in.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Now that the adjustments have been made it would be a simple thing to make another one. I would recommend this pattern.

I'm really happy with how this turned out. Now I need to make some tops to wear under it that go with this bright colour.

The back: I'm standing up quit straight here with shoulders pulled back. It's exaggerating the amount of extra width I needed to add for range of motion.


I nearly botched one of these these button holes. Close up of lapel:

I melted a hole in the lining just as I had finished attaching it so I made a label: 

I added piping to the back yolk to finish it off. Here is the lining back: 

 And the lining front: 

And more close ups: 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

In the mail

Lady winners of my pyramid give aways, the packages are in the mail! 
It's going to take a while—like 6 to 8 weeks!! You will probably forget all about them and then...BAM! Hit by a sewing surprise in the mail. You will feel like you won the lottery.

Aside: I was telling the woman working at Canada Post what I was sending and why, and she asked for my blog address and told me a bit about her own sewing life! I walked all the way home with a  smile on my face–it's good to have a reminder that there are a lot of us out there and some are closer than you think!

I have so many posts to get caught up with and a zillion projects in the cue, but right now it's wing-wednesday time.

To quote Trena and Renee's podcast: Keep on stitchin!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

And the Winners Are:

fanceparijs is the winner of pyramid A and Kadri is the winner of pyramid B!
Please contact me with your mailing addresses and I will send your goodies in the mail as soon as possible! Email me at /

Congrats ladies!