Well, first off let me say that I know this won’t be my last jacket…but I would like to aim for something less formal. I started sewing again over fifteen years ago in order to make jackets for my job as a university professor. Even though I live in Southern California, ground zero in the casual clothing movement, I liked to wear jackets when I lectured to students. Who knows what they thought, sitting there in pajama bottoms and cut offs, but it gave me a sense of authority.
Now I’ve been retired almost four years, but I keep making similar jackets. They might look great in a lecture hall or a conference room, but they don’t really fit my life of reading, blogging, and walking to the library.
After consulting many blogs and wardrobe planning books, I have learned that I am what is called a “table top dresser.” On the bottom, I wear an endless stream of dark colored pants, now mainly navy blue. On the top, I wear either dark or patterned tops and some kind of jacket, except when it is very hot. It’s the “some kind of jacket” that has me stuck.
This particular creation, made of bouclé (a fabric made of twisted yarns of different sizes) took a very long time to sew. I didn’t want the hassle of a Chanel-style jacket, with its patch pockets and trim. Instead I thought I would whip up an easy one from a tried and true pattern that used bouclé but didn’t scream “lady who lunches.” The fabric had other ideas. Because it disintegrated on cutting, I had to leave very wide seam allowances and mark the stitching line with hand basting. Now I have a dressy jacket that weighs about ten pounds. Maybe I can wear it to the theater come winter.
Although I have begun to make cardigans, somehow they have not yet replaced jackets in my sewing pantheon. They don’t have the same heft, the same substantial pockets, the same challenge as a jacket. But I will say this for cardigans—they always get worn.