Friday, January 21, 2011

Nuts and Bolts of the EvaDress Jacket

Thank you so much for all your lovely comments on the 1933 dress and jacket.  They so made my day!   And thank you for helping me pick which pictures to submit (I think I am going to go with #1 and a side view one and potentially a back view as well).  You are all so wonderful!

A few of you asked about how the jacket actually goes together.  It is much easier to sew then it looks!  First the jacket pattern comes in one major piece--yes, one piece.  The scarf is the second piece.

So, there is a back seam (just fold the jacket pattern in half and sew the back seam).  After you do that, there are two very small seams for the shoulders.  That leaves the big open space at the top of the arms as you can see below (these are just faced and hemmed on the inside--which I must say hemming on lightweight wool is a *dream*):

To make the sleeves stand out, there is a long dart which you can see in this photo:
 Then the sleeves just close like any other sleeve.  They instruct you to stop sewing about three inches from the bottom and to make a sleeve opening with snaps or buttons.  Luckily, I have very small hands so I have no problem fitting the tight sleeve over my hands (and lightweight wool has a bit of a stretch to it AND I hate doing sleeve openings).

Now, for the jacket front.  That was really easy.  The pattern gives you a jacket front that looks like this:

It's all one piece with the jacket.  The pattern comes with the jacket front facing that you just sew to the right side and then turn to the inside and hem and that finishes the jacket front.  No complicated lapels or anything!

Next up is the scarf.  It's just one long piece of material with a slight curve for the neck.  You line the scarf with the skirt material (unless it's wool) by sewing both pieces together and then turning it inside out and slipstitching the opening closed.  That's the scarf pretty much done!  You just need to then make 3 buttonholes on each side as such:

Now for the buttons.  The buttons get sewn directly onto the jacket. One side as such:

One side of the front goes under the other side.  Then you bring the other side over it and button it to the buttons on front of the jacket (forgot to mention above there are buttonholes on one side of the jacket as well--meaning that one set of buttons is buttoning two things: 1) jacket front and 2) scarf) like this:

Definitely place the buttons while you are wearing the jacket! That helps to get them in the right position.

My mannequin is not the same size as me--she was a present from a colleague, so she's more for draping then fitting (this jacket doesn't fit her very well when it's closed).

Once you've got the jacket closed then you just drape the scarf over it and attach to the buttons on both sides:

The fabric makes those nice folds between the buttons on it's own.  That's because the buttons are placed closer together then the buttonholes there's a bit of pleating that happens when you button the scarf to the front!  The most important thing for this jacket is picking the right fabric--I think lightweight wool is listed as the first fabric choice...but it really is the best and drapes really well but is substantial enough for a jacket.

The last big bit of sewing on the jacket are the gussets.  The gussets are basically a diamond shaped fabric that goes under the underarm to increase the range of motion for the arm.  You basically sew the diamond shaped piece onto the open space left in the underarm area (you don't close the seams completely and that's what gives the open space).  Here are the gussets on my jacket:

There is a step-by-step guide for putting in the gussets on this very pattern in the Threads September 2007 issue (number 132)--which you can buy directly from Taunton Press (it's the vintage patterns issue).  But the great thing is that you don't see the gussets--so even if they aren't perfect, it's fine!

What I love most is it is an excellently drafted pattern...they really knew how to make clothes fit and have fabulous draping in the 1930's!  The pattern was pretty easy to sew with, between the pictures and the words I could figure out what I was supposed to do (which is good because the pattern piece for the jacket is really odd shaped--I am conceptually challenged so I wouldn't have figured it out by just looking at it!)

What do you think?  Do you think you might tackle this pattern?  Or another pattern from the 30's?


  1. I loved seeing the jacket yesterday, but was baffled (until today) about how it all went together. I may have to order that pattern now... Thanks!

  2. That jacket is amazing! It looks like it would be quite a bit more difficult to make than you have described.

  3. Not sure what I'm talking about, I just tried a few 1930s patterns. But I think I had a similar experience. The pattern pieces looked unfamiliar at first but following the instructions it wasn't that hard. The sleeve shapes are quite different and are sometimes attached to the bodice.

  4. Thanks so much Debi for posting these extra photos! It is great to see how it all goes together - such a great design!

  5. Ahhh! So that's how you did that. A very sharp design!

    I haven't used a 30's pattern in some time but I always loved the way they made up (once I got the fit right in the hips).

  6. Im not going to attempt it...but I love reading about it

  7. This is fascinating Debi, thanks for sharing! I have many 1930s dress patterns in my stash, but I'm hoarding them for when I get better at sewing!

  8. So interesting! Thanks for the break down on how it works, that double up of fabric must also add extra warmth! I really like the pattern, but don't think it's the right shaping for big busted ladies like myself... I might topple over!

  9. Such an amazing dress, and it looks beautiful on you. I can't believe that you've only been sewing since 09! That dress looks very complex, and you've done a wonderful job making it. Well done :)

  10. I fell in love with that pattern years ago, snapped it up, tucked it away and completely forget about it. Glad you've reminded me of its existence. It looks fantastic on you and you've done such a great job. I'm reminded of why I liked it so much! Must dig it out and hopefully this time I'll get round to making it...

  11. I Love this! I mostly own 50s patterns and some 40s, but I think 1930s patterns are becoming my favorite!

  12. Hi Debi,

    I don't know if you follow the EvaDress blog but while searching for images of a totally unrelated pattern (colonial dress!), images from the below post came up and didn't know if you had seen them before, but if not you might like to!


I read each and every comment--thank you so much!

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