For this month in the Sew my style challenge we had the option of sewing the Rumana coat or the Estelle Ponte Jacket. Since I am in the North East and I hate winter and being cold, I have jackets that cover winter temperatures starting in the negatives. The Rumana coat is gorgeous, but I didn’t think I had the need for it so I went with the Estelle Ponte Jacket by Stylearc. I can almost wear it all year round and I have not used ponte yet in my sewing.
Stylearc’s patterns are not tiled with multiple sizes so you have to select one size based on their measurement chart. In purchasing the pdf version of the pattern they give you the size above and below the size you purchased. Based on my shoulder measurement, I thought the size 10 would be best for me. Once seeing the pattern, I printed the size 8. I probably could have used the size 6.
Not knowing a whole lot about ponte I did a little research on the material. It is available in different weights and I wanted it on the heavier side. I was not impressed with Joann Fabrics selection, everything was rather light weight. So I purchased the ponte fabric in wine from Fabric Wholesale Direct. I have never purchased from them before and I have mixed feelings about them. There is not a ton of selection and a lot of what they show is sold out. They did ship super fast and I had my order in days. I have a few commissions that I am working on and also ordered what they labeled as charmeuse for a dress. It was pretty disappointing. A better name for it should be a costume satin in an acetate. So you can’t be certain what you are going to get. Also my cut of Ponte was off by 4 inches. If I had not needed to shorten the sleeves, this would have caused the pattern pieces to not fit. I have not checked my other fabric yet for accuracy. But I am happy with the weight of the ponte and believe their description to be accurate for it.
Ok back to the pattern! Like I said, I did have to shorten the sleeves. There are no indicators on where to shorten the patterns pieces. So I decided to shorten the sleeves in the forearm area because I need the most fullness around my bicep. I folded the pattern up across the forearm and the I folded in the sides to create a straight line from the wrist to arm pit.
I physically tried on the paper pattern piece on my arm to make sure I got it right. I should have shortened the body of the jacket as well but I could not visualize how the collar sat or how the cowl came together in paper form. The points of the cowl hit me below the knee and the back is well below my butt. I could have easily taken off at least two inches. The inches could just come off the bottom but I didn’t want to cut it with scissors and lose my nice clean edge on the bottom and a little oversized is ok with me. I am thinking how wonderful this jacket would be in a movie theater or airplane.
The pattern directions are definitely lacking and I would not advise this pattern line for newbie sewists. The directions were a large diagram with many steps mixed on it. There were some numbered steps below it. In the end, I ditched their directions and decided to put it together as I saw fit. I debated on whether to do the flat felled seam or use the overlocker. In the end I decided to do the flat felled seam for some practice, but I didn’t do them 100% correct to eliminate some bulk. To review quickly what a flat felled seam is, you sew your seam with the wrong side together so your seam allowance is on the right side. You then trim down one seam allowance. You fold the remaining seam allowance in half,tucking in the raw edge, fold it over the trimmed seam allowance, and stitch down. In an effort to reduce some bulk, I kinda flat felled the seam. Yes, I said kinda. First, I kept the seam allowance to the wrong side.
(excuse my ugly ironing board cover please) I still trimmed one of the seam allowance down
and folded over the remaining seam allowance over the other.
I did not fold the raw edge under. (That is the center back seam of the collar) The Ponte should not fray, so why add unnecessary bulk. On the outside you see the original seam and the stitching keeping the seam allowance down. I did this for the back seam,at the shoulders, and around the neck.
I put the sleeves in flat instead of in the round.
At this point I tried on the jacket to check pocket placement. I ended up moving the pockets up about two inches. After attaching the pocket bag pieces to the front and back I sewed the arms together, down the sides, around the pocket bags and to the bottom of the jacket. In turning everything right side out, I am not sure how I like the pockets in the end.
I considered top stitching around the pocket openings, but with a good pressing they improved enough that I could ignore them. It also bothers me that the edges are unfinished on this garment. It doesn’t need finished because the material is stable but it seems unfinished in my opinion. Perhaps with a lighter Ponte the front could have a facing or lining finishing the seams. I suppose they could also be bound as well.
My finished Estelle!
I did like working with ponte and have added some patterned ponte to my fabric wishlist. I recently saw a skirt pattern that works well with ponte that I am debating over. ( Will I wear skirts more???) I am also considering making this jacket again but short and without pockets.
Anybody else finish their Estelle differently?