The Refashioners inspire me every year but this is the first time I have actively decided to join in. It can't be that difficult I thought. Just take a suit jacket, add a few well placed darts, perhaps remove the sleeves or alter the collar and suddenly the jacket will be transformed. Not quite. It appears that I have difficulty seeing a completed item, imaging what it will become and then working out how to get there. Taking the jacket completely apart and eeking a pattern out of it in a game of Tetris seemed less hassle and I ended up doing that twice. Today I'm sharing the more complicated make but check back at the weekend for the other (or Instagram tomorrow).
This item started life as mens size 40R jacket from Next which I picked up for £5.99 in one of the local charity shops. The colour caught my eye - I have nothing against the traditional suit colours but I'm not well know for wearing black, brown, navy or pin stripes. I immediately thought of a waistcoat/jumper to wear over a white shirt during the cold months but it had to have an interesting twist. I turned to Simplicity 2442 - the neckline of which I adore.
I won't go into too much construction detail as you can ready about that in my previous posts (here and here) To make the most of the fabric, and for style, I moved the zip to the side and used the original centre back seam of the jacket. The sleeves and front of the bodice also came from the body of the jacket. To give a nod to its origin I included the breast pocket in the front of the left sleeve. The middle band and lower bands came from the sleeves. The bodice is fully lined from the original lining and has a patchwork effect as embracing the navy sleeves and grey body lining. The grey lining is a little delicate and I'm not sure how long it will last. The label says it is 100% polyester and I tend to find ready to wear linings don't last as long as you would hope.
Overall I'm really pleased with how this top has come out and its construction. The insides are nice and tidy - have you spotted the matching bias binding to finish the sleeves neatly? I had some doubts about how the shaped neckline would work with a collared shirt but I think it works rather well. I can see this working with smarter trousers for a more formal look. The outer fabric is a poly viscose mix and has a much more structured look and feel the poly viscose mix that I imagined but I think that adds to the charm of the style.
I do have one issue with it though, and it is a big one. It seems that I messed up on the drafting of the bottom band and it is very tight - like unable to eat when wearing tight. I cut the bottom band on the cross grain which seemed to have a little more stretch but forgot to shape out the side seams enough to accommodate my curves. You can see how tight it is pulling in the back photo. The fit of the rest of the top is snug but not suffocating like the bottom band. I'm not sure there is a quick fix to this but I would like to find a way to fix it as I would love to wear my new creation as originally intended. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. It would be a shame to let this make just hang about unloved.