Dolmans are not usually my thing so I can’t say why I picked up this pattern. It has sat in my pattern files a year or so and has withstood at least two clear outs. I am very attracted to the design but I had serious doubts about how well it would flatter me. I cut a practice muslin in fifty cent terrible terry and did not expect much during the fitting. I looked in the mirror and nearly fell over. This jacket pattern is unexpectedly flattering, kind of compelling even. I so didn’t believe my eyes that I promptly cut a wearable muslin about of a poly remnant just to make sure.
- Dolmans are easy sleeves to construct.
- The size of the collar means you can place a shoulder pad in unobtrusively if you need.
- The material called for is poly double knit so you can relax about seam edges if you want.
- The pockets and buttonholes are good intros to actual bound buttonholes. The ones in this pattern aren’t true bound buttonholes but the simpler construction and using fabric that requires no fussiness on the edges gives beginners a chance to get a feel for this kind of technique.
- Flatters many figure types.
- It would be a great intro for the beginning sewer who wants to make a jacket but has been scared off by complex techniques. There is no lining, no set in sleeves, no princess seams and if you get the correct fabric, no seam edges.
- As jackets go, it is a quick sew.
- I have cut three now, one practice muslin, one wearable muslin, and one in the desired fashion fabric. On the last two I have taken swathes off of the collar width. The collar has been graded too big in proportion to the plus size waist, a common problem I have with both RTW and sewing patterns. If your fabric is drapey the extra fabric might look neat, but if you want the rather tailored smooth collar on the pattern envelope photo you are going to have to make a practice muslin and custom cut the collar down. Heads Up! – Once you cut back the collar cut you will have to alter or redraft a collar facing.
- It is a shawl collar, the one fussy point for new sewers. On this kind of collar you can do right sides together or wrong sides together. I put the wrong sides together, which is traditional, so the seam edges would be under the collar and hidden in the back. But if you have something creative planned for the seam edges, or you have a different type of facing planned, you could reverse and put right sides together which is how you do most of your construction anyway.
Some Assembly Required:
I didn’t read the pattern instructions on this one and I think most average sewers will be able to cut and run with it. The shawl collar is the only part you might want to consult on the pattern.
Once change I did make – the fur collar is obviously heftier than the fabric and I cut it on the fly a bit since the collar actually has no traditional facing, just a small one that acts more as a binding. I made two pleats at the center back collar so too much of the cream bottom collar wouldn’t bunch up under the fur.
Double knit poly the kind your grandma wore in the 1970’s. I got this as a remnant at a thrift store for about $1.50. I also found two bags of fake fur remnants at the same time which cost me about $10.00 for the both bags. It appears that a sewer from the 70’s or 80’s had donated a bunch of stuff which I was thrilled to get so cheaply.
In the past I think I would have kept saving that fur for something “special”. Then it occurred to me that I would never have another chance to practice on fake fur so cheaply. This was the “special” thing. If I cut something incorrectly at least I hadn’t ruined a $30.00/yard piece. (This was a bit of a brainstorm for me as I realized that in the past I have been so frugal that I actually wasn’t doing the frugal thing at all by hoarding cheaply purchased goods that I could be using!)
When I started the wearable muslin I thought it would be of poly only. But none of my edging ideas were working out and I then thought of the fur. Both the poly and the fake fur which are vintage themselves give this pattern a 1950’s classic edge. I even have a vintage buckle I am going to use at the point where the fur seams show in front. I did not set out to make a vintage item but things just came together and I’m very pleased because I have never done anything like this before.
Shoulder pads. Unless you have naturally broad shoulders I think shoulder pads would accentuate this jacket and the collar should cover any see-through from the outside that the insertion might create. That is if you keep the collar large. If you cut your collar curve way back your shoulder pad may show, but if you have the right fabric you could play around mimicking the pocket topstitching by letting the shoulder pad stitching show right through. Or you could just say, “The hell with it. I wear shoulder pads.”
Will I Sew it Again:
I am already. I have another cut, this time with the longer hemline in gray fleece. The pattern calls for ponte but I think a lightweight fleece will be nice and it too does not need fancy seam edges. I am hoping the fleece will be my throw it on and run out the door to the bus coat. And I don’t know where I shall wear the cream fur as it was a surprise addition to my wardrobe.
Advice to Others:
That collar – it is a casual jacket and if the collar folds a bit that can be part of the look. But if you are a stickler about a smooth lay on the shoulder, get out some dirt cheap material and custom cut a collar to your preference.
Overall Style Grade: A, with the right material you could go retro funky, vintage, or use a contemporary material and it will look very current. It is also one of those few patterns offered by the Big Four which has a current look, but of which I don’t see a gazillion out on the street.
Results Grade: A, The ease of construction allows the sewer to achieve a good result and in less time than is normally devoted to a jacket.
Next Post: Saturday, August 28, 2010:Fussing with Fur:Two Things I Did in Constructing a Fur Collar