Monday, May 27, 2013

At Long Last: The Anise Jacket

Let's see.  When did I start working on this?  November?  That's six months.  Of course, I didn't work on it solidly for six months. There was the time I got sick of it and stopped working, and the time I got distracted by other projects and life, and the time when the project came to a screeching halt because I couldn't find buttons.  But it is done now!  Can I get a Woot Woot?

Project overview: Items I Don't Like.  

The jacket is too large overall. I made a muslin and after making a broad lower back adjustment that caused an upper back adjustment that would have resulted in a full bust adjustment, I just said, "To heck with the muslin, I'll just make it one size bigger."  Now  everything is too big including the sleeves.

The sleeves hang funny.  I'm sure it is something that I did as I was battling setting in the sleeves.  They don't hang straight causing deep wrinkles.  Part of the reason is that they are too big, but that is not the main problem.  I spend my time now in church looking at set-in sleeves in the jackets of the people I'm sitting behind.  They probably think I am kind of creepy.  Anyone who can tell me what I did wrong and  how I can fix it, I would appreciate it.  So would my fellow parishioners   

Project Overview--Items I Like or Love.

Colette Patterns gives great instructions.  The booklet that the pattern came in was over thirty pages.  They also offered an e-booklet that gave detailed tailoring info.  As this was my first jacket with underlining and fusible weft interfacing and bound button holes and welt pockets, well, it was darn helpful.  There was an eight day schedule to follow as well.  Heh, heh, heh,  Eight days.  Pretty funny.  Those jokers over at Colette.   

I loved that I learned bound button holes, welt pockets, interfacing techniques, sleeve caps, basting techniques, and some hand sewing for the finishes.

I love that the lining is purple.  I love my covered buttons.  After a diligent search for the proper buttons, I finally decided just to buy a kit and cover my own.  Do you know how hard it is to find a 1-inch button?  The stores have 7/8 and 1 1/8, but very few 1-inch buttons.  

I love that it is done.  Despite it being too large, I still am going to wear it next fall over bulkier fall clothing!

Even though this took me forever to complete, I am not afraid to try an even harder more structured jacket. I just know that I will need to break up my time with smaller, easier projects.  


My darling daughter took these photos for me.  In the spirit of full disclosure, she had a blast doing a little photo editing, using the mascara tool, and taking out blemishes.  Then she played with finishes and light.  We had a fabulous time playing with the photos.  Did you know there is a tool to "zombify" a photo?  You can do nearly anything to a photo these days. We just couldn't figure out how to button that bottom button!

I do recommend this pattern even if I probably won't make it again. The instructions are clear, and I learned so much.

Here are other blog posts about my jacket.


  1. Well, it turned out lovely! I don't think I've ever completed a project this ambitious, but I love that you did and I get to read about it. I love blogs like yours...I sort of feel like if I follow long enough some of the sewing mojo will trickle down to me. I also love your honesty! I wouldn't have noticed the sleeves.. I guess I'm only hyper critical of my own stuff. I did another knit project, I think I'll show it at the end of the week. I'm still not there yet. I'm practicing before I use my really nice knits in the stash!

  2. I love your jacket! The instructions sounds amazing! It must feel so good tackling all those new techniques! Well done!

  3. Woot Woot! You finished the Anise! Yay! *pom-poms and cheers* =)

    I'm sorry that you don't like it very much, after all that hard work... But like you said, a good learning experience is never wasted! And come fall, it'll be great to have a jacket you can wear over big sweaters and cozy cardigans.

    It's funny, but I've been very hesitant about this pattern. Nice to read such an honest comment on it! I've been hesitant to the overall look and fit of it (of what I've seen online). It seems to have a tendency to look rather big, and I'm sceptic about the style for anyone with curves...

    Anyway, great job and good for you on finishing it!

  4. Your jacket is lovely, and your daughter did a great job with the photos. It is so neat that you conquered all of those new techniques with the jacket construction, and it will look great over a sweater when cool weather returns.

  5. You have a rosy outlook! Learning anything for the sake of learning is a gift. I think you look beautiful. The style and color of the the jacket are lovely on you.

  6. Well I hear what you say but it does look good on you and it looks a lovely wearable jacket.Perhaps with the sleeve heads you did more of a gathering stitch rather than just one row to "Ease" stitch ? I shouldn't worry about it though.If you enjoy the finished project and feel that you have learned something from it then that is all to the good.I have said this before elsewhere but I am not a fan of Colette patterns...I just don't know what the fuss is all about...I seem to be a lone heretical voice crying in the wilderness on this point though!!

  7. Amazing job! I love it. I agree with you about feeling like I have the courage to tackle more tailored jackets. I also thought the same thing about 8 days. Ha! How long did it take you to work on those bound buttonholes? It took me an entire day!

  8. Wow, this was definitely worth the wait! It looks like a well-made, well-tailored jacket. Not to mention, it's one of a kind (that fabric is still making me jealous!). You've got the right idea, since wearing it over winter layers will just make it so obvious that you meant it to be slightly large!
    The sleeves are a mystery to me. I once sewed a jacket with two-piece sleeves, but it was more than 30 years ago, so any useful information I might have picked up is long gone.
    I'd say your jacket is an absolute victory, success, and cause for celebration! Woot woot!

  9. WOOT! WOOT!

    Sleeve heads: Clipping into the bodice's armhole seam allowance will help to ease the sleeve head in more smoothly. I just made a second MOB dress (I'll let my daughter choose which of the two she likes) and one set-in sleeve still has one teensy pucker in it... which I'm glad will be hidden by the "vest" I bought in the Philippines to wear over it. Those sleeves gave me fits!

    Sleeves hang, pucker: Perhaps just that you feel they're too large? And the left sleeve is in set the left armhole? And the right sleeve is in the right? (Hey, I'm not asking you something that I've not done myself before!)

    I'm jealous of your buttonholes. And I've never sewn a Colette. And I love your fabric and you are positively radiant in it! Very, very flattering style on you!



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