Monday, July 14, 2008

A couture sweatshirt looms on my horizon.

I am inspired by Anthropologie's "Subterfuge Jacket" featured above, which is really more of a couture sweatshirt than a jacket. The jacket is described on the website demurely as a disguised cozy sweatshirt promenading as a ladies-who-lunch blazer. The design is complete with 3/4 lantern sleeves and a thoughtfully detailed curved hem. I love it, it is so comfy, yet still embodies some structure and style. It is like a dream come true (honestly, I always envision myself going to the grocery store in well tailored trouser jeans, a structured sweatshirt jacket like this, and kitten heels rather than in athletic shorts and a t-shirt as I usually do. This could fulfill my dreams!).

I am hopeful that this Very Easy Vogue pattern can serve as a starting point. It has the sweeping low neckline and the single button closure. I will need to construct bell "lanterns" sleeves with gathers on my own though. I gave this Vogue blazer some serious thought, because I like the darting and the low neckline with collar. Wouldn't giant fabric covered buttons look so great buttoned up along that asymmetrical placket? Perhaps I could join the more uptight pointed collars to create a more rounded sweeping collar like this one, to keep the vibe casual? I also like this Vogue blazer pattern, and think it would be a striking contrast in casual sweatshirt material with a fun cotton trim with color and pattern.

For now, I am on the hunt for material. Any ideas where I can find thick sweatshirt style material, but in a high quality with natural fiber content? I want something that will hold it's structure, and it's color, as it is washed and worn. It does not need to stretch much, if at all, so I suppose what I am looking for is a very thick and heavy cotton woven.

I am also on the hunt for decorative bias tape to finish the inner seams, either for sale somewhere premade, or a means of making my own. One of the best parts about Anthropologie is the attention to finishing detail, and this sweatshirt is finished with the cutest striped bias tape. I want to do that to mine recreation. I understand there are tools out there to help in the process, and I plan to explore them.

Wish me luck, this looks like a project with minimal fitting issues, maximum personalization option, and something that can be worn frequently in the everyday wardrobe (as opposed to a few of the vintage dresses I want to make, but have nowhere to wear them to!).


Anonymous said...

Wow. I am not familiar with the Anthropologie brand, but that's more because I hate shopping more than dusting bookshelves...but I like the idea of the couture sweatshirt.

I haven't seen any natural cotton sweatshirt material at any of my local (Ft. Worth) fabric stores, but if I do, I will let you know.

For a while, my little Hancock's Fabrics carried a line of striped bias tape. I used it on baby bibs and such. Standard poly-cotton blend, if I recall correctly.

And like you, I dream of stepping out of the house dressed better than t-shirt and shorts, but it's Texas, it's hotter than the hubs of Hades, and dang, it takes time to look good. *grin*

Also, I like the first Vogue pattern you mentioned the best for altering towards your couture sweatshirt goals. The 2nd one is a little too -- I guess "tailored" and "darty" and severe -- to lend itself to sweatshirt material. But that's just my opinion.

Kate said...

It is good to have the sympathy of a fellow Texan! In this heat, it is nearly impossible to look put together. I don't know how other ladies do it, but my hair always frizzes and needs to be pulled back. My makeup runs so I wipe it off, and it is just so darn hot I can't bear anything but a loose cotton skirt and a tank top.

I will have to look at Hancock's for fun and funky bias tape. I mostly frequent the JoAnne's Fabric down here, but it sounds like I need to venture out more.

Thank you for you nice comments!

Karen said...

I have this jacket and have been trying to figure out how to make it. It fits so perfectly and I can see it in many types of fabrics. The sleeves stump me and I am not experienced in working without a pattern. I would love to share experiences with you as we try to re-create this piece.