Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sweater Coats for Spring, Independent Pattern Companies

You can purchase Vogue, McCalls, Simplicity, Burda, Butterick etc. at all sewing stores, some craft/hobby stores, and online.  The pattern catalogs are updated with new designs for each season, and the patterns are very affordable when on sale.  The positives are availability and attractive designs.  The negatives are instructions that can be outdated or not reflect superior industry construction techniques that can be adapted for efficient home use (Vogue Designer patterns, a subset within their catalog, are an exception), and a size chart best suited to slim figures. 

Independent pattern companies tend to be women owned small businesses.  The owners/designers are experts at pattern drafting and garment construction, and their patterns feature practical fit, creative ideas, and modern construction instructions.  The companies are usually started to satisfy a design or sewing need that is unmet by the large companies.  A beginner sewer may find they have good luck with these patterns.

Recently I entered the Independent Pattern Company Alliance (IPCA) 2013 Ticket to Paradise competition.  I chose the Journey Jacket Two pattern from Saf-T-Pocket Patterns because I love long coats.  Saf-T-Pocket  is a line of attractive, practical travel garments and accessories in an extensive size range.  The designs feature numerous hidden pockets closed with zippers, velcro or snaps.  The construction instructions are clear and modern.  A beginner can attempt many of the designs, while experienced sewers will have fun personalizing the designs.  I like to wear the garments even when I am not traveling which is most of the year.

 I selected this pattern for my entry:
I love long coats so I worked with View 3 (long brown sketch).  The pattern called for a woven fabric but I used warm fleece for my entry.  I'll post photos once the competition concludes in March, and let's hope my coat does well as winning is more fun than losing!  Anyway, I made a second coat with the pattern recently.  I chose a lightweight fuchsia metallic sweater knit, purchased from gorgeousfabrics.com a few months ago. 
 I plan to wear the sweater coat with spring dresses and light colored trousers.  I love the deep neckline and long lapels, as well as the kimono sleeves that actually have a small armhole concealed beneath.  Fun!         

stretch polyester charmeuse lining
 A few of you have noticed that in January I promised to start a Marfy jacket tutorial, and nothing has been posted yet.  Several readers have expressed interest in the jacket and plan to sew along with me which makes the project even more pleasant for me.  I am only a few days away from posting the first installment so please don't think I forgot about the project and convinced you to purchase the pattern for nothing!

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