Paying my dues to the pattern blues

Faced with the self-realisation that I am a sewing slattern, brought on by last week’s tussling with a certain Peony we shall not mention, I decided to turn over a new leaf this week and make a bladdy muslin.

It was inevitable really, since I wanted to adapt the pattern anyway. I’m hoping to transform Simplicity 4082…

Simplicity 4082

…into something resembling Trudy’s elegant jacket in Mad Men. Given that I’ve never adapted a pattern before I’m pretty circumspect about the whole thing. But if we don’t try children, how can we ever lean how to f@$! things up as adults, huh?

I started by checking out the back of the pattern to work out which size to cut. According to that I needed to cut out a size 12. But when I looked at the pattern pieces it was obvious even to my untrained eye that these pieces were humungous. Come on Simplicity – at this rate you’d have me in a deflated beach ball. So I chanced my arm and cut out a 6 which looked way better, although even still slightly billowy and boxy.

Simplicity 4082 - before the chop

I wanted to create that nice curved edge that Trudy has on her jacket opening, as well as reduce some of the extra roominess under the arms and around the shoulders. So I got my pencil and my scisssors out – and this is where I’m at for now.

Simplicity 4082 - after the chop

Simplicity 4082 back pleat

I think there’s a lot more still to do if I want to try and copy Trudy’s jacket. Mine is still very roomy, and those shoulders (is that a raglan sleeve?) don’t fit the Trudy brief, nor does the pleat at the back. Or the high neckline. Hmpf! I’m slightly worried about veering too far off-pattern though. What do you think? Should I ‘channel’ Trudy rather than try and copy whole-sale? Does that way madness lie?


14 thoughts on “Paying my dues to the pattern blues

  1. Those are indeed raglan and personally I think the back pleat would look rather scrumptious on the shorter jacket length. Defo “channel” not copy outright imho. That way you’ll have a true original to be proud of.
    Kudos on suspending your slattern ways! I have total faith that this will be fab 🙂

  2. big 4 pattern sizing is so dumb & confusing – they put WAY too much ease in their garments. i should wear a 12 according to my measurements, but i usually cut a 6 or an 8 (sometimes a 4!) based on the amount of ease. most of the patterns from big 4 will have the finished garment measurements printed on the tissue at the bust, waist & hip, so you can get an idea of what will fit best.

    i think you should just channel the trudy jacket, because otherwise you will give yourself a giant headache making all those changes 🙂 if you want something more like the original, vogue 7975 is pretty similar – you’d just have to drop the neckline a tad & draft a collar.

    • It’s mental isn’t it? Noone needs that much ease! Thanks for the tip on finding the finished garment measurements lladybird – will look for that in the future. Ooh why can’t everyone be like Colette Patterns…? 😉 Thanks for Vogue 7975 – very cute. I’ll see how this one goes first.

  3. When i saw your post a while ago on Trudy’s coat i shamelessly thought of copying your idea right away! This kind of coat is perfect for the winters in Beirut (where i live), not too big or warm but with some cover and its just so bloody pretty. Anyway with that in mind i started doing some research on which pattern was best for a bit of tweaking, so if you do give up on the simplicity these are what i have found so far as potential patterns to use: this one has the pleat too, which i like as well. This one has a cute collar, and you’d probably only have to lengthen the sleeves although it does look a bit massive. I like this one in itself- very Trudy and Betty too i think- but also could work with a collar and front reshaping.
    Hope it keeps looking as promising as it does now, and if you want, I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

    • Awh Layla thank you so much – I shall defo keep them in mind. I really like the last one – it has that neatness inherent to Trudy’s jacket. Please definitely do keep me updated!

    • Suzie you are officially amazing – it’s absolutely perfect isn’t it? I’ve left a comment in the hope that I win but i will definitely have a look on ebay for the same pattern as it’s just perfecto! Thank you so so much – i love all my sewing ladies mwah mwah! xxx

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