Introducing….. Anise!

Anise is done!

I have to admit, this project was a challenge for me.  I had to add in a bust dart to a pattern that didn’t originally have one in order to accomodate an FBA.   I’ve never sewn a lined jacket before, and had never even attempted welt pockets or bound buttonholes.  The pattern was rated for intermediate, which intimidated me as I’m very much a beginner.  But I loved this pattern and was determined to push myself, and I think I did fairly well.

Welt pocket detail

I made more than a few mistakes with this project.  For starters, I chose a fabric that is heavier than recommended, which  added to my frustration level during construction.  My machine really had a difficult time with the fabric when contructing the finer details like the buttonholes and pockets.  But in the end, I really like the end result in the heavier wool.  I think it adds to the vintage feel of the coat, particularly when coupled with the faux Persian Lamb collar.

Collar detail

My type A personality really took hold with this project.  I am not a huge fan of hand sewing, and this pattern required a lot of it.  I got frustrated and sloppy with the lining hem, and had to unpick and redo the whole thing.  I had to remove and reattach three buttons to get them perfect aligned.  I had to unpick and reattach one of the sleeves to get it lined up with the other, and I still don’t think they’re perfect.  I spent so much time working on this jacket, and I found that as I neared the end of construction I was looking on my work with such a critical eye that all I could see were its flaws.  I had to walk away from the jacket for a few days, so that I could come back and look on it with fresh eyes to really appreciate what I’d accomplished.  This is something I really need to work on – I absolutely do not want my OCD perfectionism to interfere with my ability to enjoy sewing.  I think I’ll take the next week or so to whip up a few quick, easy projects to help me regain my sewing mojo.

Despite my frustrations, I really do love both the pattern and the jacket, and would definitely recommend it to others.  This was my first experience with Colette patterns, and I was very impressed with both the pattern and the instructions.  They were very clear and well written, and I really appreciate the step by step illustrations.  Having access to Sarai, the sew-alongs, and helpful tips in the Colette forums is also a HUGE bonus.  I am definitely a fan, and plan on picking up several more of the Colette patterns in the near future.

I think the jacket is a perfect compliment to my mini-tophat, don’t you?

(I really need a new camera – this one does not capture colors well at all!)

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Colette Trunk Show and the Anise Jacket

Colette just released two new patterns, the Anise jacket and the Juniper pants. To celebrate they held a series of trunk shows along the west coast. I was lucky enough to attend a Colette trunk show on Saturday, where Sarai graciously signed my copy of The Colette Sewing Handbook , I had an opportunity to meet other local sewing enthusiasts, and I picked up a few patterns and some really gorgeous fabric. It was wonderful to see everyone there in their darling Colette creations! I haven’t sewn up any of the Colette patterns aside from the Sorbetto. Seeing so many of the designs in person was very inspiring, and I can’t wait to make some up for myself!

Speaking of Colette designs – I’m really in love with the Anise jacket! What a cute, classic little number! I knew I’d be picking this pattern up at the trunk show, so I stopped by one of my favorite local fabric stores, Stonemountain & Daughter, beforehand to see if I might be able to find the right fabric. Lucky me, I found a really gorgeous soft wool in a dark burgundy shade in the clearance section for 50% off. Perfect! I can’t wait to get started on this. I’m excited to try some new techniques, such as the welt pockets. While I was going through my stash last night trying to find an appropriate lining, I ran across a beautiful piece of very soft black leather that I’d forgotten about. I don’t have much of it, but there’s definitely enough to use for the welt pockets and some bound buttonholes on the jacket. I’d really like to use the leather for these details, but I’m not sure I’ll be brave enough – especially since this will be my first time trying these techniques at all!

I’m a little nervous about fitting the jacket, as I know I’ll need to do an FBA and the pattern does not have bust darts. I was hoping to avoid adding darts in since I really like the lines of the pattern as-is, but I don’t think that’s going to be an option. I’ve ordered some tracing paper and am going to make a couple muslins, one based on high bust and one based on bust, to see which gives me the correct fit. I’m planning on participating in the Anise Sew-Along on the Colette forums, which started this week. I’ll post my progress here. Stay tuned!

Anise Jacket Sewalong