I got the itch to sew last night, and the project I went to was my spencer jacket, which has been lying in an unshaped vest-like heap for a couple months now. I didn’t get a whole lot further than where I was before–I merely added the waist band and hemmed the front. I still need to pattern the sleeves and the collar and sew them to the bodice, then complete all the finishing for those seams, which won’t be as easy as what I’ve done so far with French seams and enclosures, then add the buttons and buttonholes.
But I can see a little better how it will sit on my torso and that the fit is ecstatically perfect–pat on the back for that one, Lily! Here’s a picture of the back, where you can really see the diamond-shape of the back bodice:
The part that made this piece of construction tricky was the need for dart-equivalents. I ended up using the pleat-to-twill-tape approach for both the under-breast reduction on the waistband and the side-breast reduction on the armhole. I liked the soft effect created by the pleats, though they were not quite as small as I had hoped to make them. This fabric is very slippery and crunchy, and I got tired of fighting with it. On the right below you can see the twill tape on that section of the armhole (approximately 4 inches reduced to 2) and the very top of it protruding above the waistband (approximately 6 inches reduced to 3). On the left, obviously, is the top. You can see where it actually creates a three-dimensional effect in the fabric…and I hope this shows you why the darts were just not going to work!
Also at the right end of the waistband you can see the first buttonhole worked in embroidery thread and opened with a thread-ripper. This is the first time I’ve made buttonholes that way instead of by opening a hole or a slit in the fabric and binding it close with saddle stitches. I decided to try it this way as I knew the holes would be visible and wanted them to look as neat as possible.
I am really excited to see what this jacket looks like finished! I don’t know when I’ll be up for tackling sleeve patterning and in-setting, though…sleeves are always a PITA, and I think this fabric will be especially obnoxious to work with in that regard.