This review should be subtitled, "One for him, one for me." This is the one for me.
Sorry for just lifting the review straight from Patternreview, but it's been a very long day (short-handed at the ioffice, crazy busy and I had a long telephone conversation with my aunt just to ice the cake) and I at least wanted to get the jacket up before next year. Since I managed to get it finished in 3 days, as opposed to more than 2 weeks for Mario's jacket.
So here goes:
Pattern Description: Close-fitting, princess seamed, lined jacket, with a front zip and tulip collar. There are pocket and piping variations, but I didn't use them.
Pattern Sizing: BWOF sizes 36-42. I made a straight 38, my usual BWOF size.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, other than my leaving off some of the details and having a slightly busier fabric.
Were the instructions easy to follow? More or less. This was the illustrated sewing course for the issue. That being said, I didn't think the way they did things made all that much sense and I followed the instructions for a similar Sandra Betzina zip front jacket pattern (V7976) that I've made a few times.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? This pattern has been on my radar since the issue came out in August, 2006, but I never had the right fabric at hand. When I purchased this particular fabric back in October, I was pretty sure even before I got it home what it was going to be. I liked the clean lines of the jacket and I wanted another excuse for a zip front jacket.
Note: Another thing I really liked about this pattern was that BWOF very kindly put match lines on the pattern pieces for using the pattern with a plaid fabric. Much appreciated, BWOF. Much. Matching was pretty easy, except at the tops of the seams where they turned into the collar, where it turned into a bit of a wrestling match and I had to concede that good enough was, indeed, good enough.
Fabric Used: I love when the fabrics I use have more meaning for me than just "it's pretty, I wanted it" (though that's a perfectly valid reason for buying fabric, trust me). The jacket was made from a plaid boucle purchased on my recent vacation in Florence, and the lining is moss green silk charmeuse purchased at Metro Textiles during PR Weekend 2006. Custom 22" green separating zipper with ring from Zipper Source. Shoulder pads so minimal they hardly count, but they're there, and I can tell.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Almost none. My alteration consisted of simply narrowing the tops of the center and side panels in the back because my back doesn't appear to be the same shape as the body they drafted for and it made me look like I had a slight hump. Once that was narrowed, everything fit well. My design changes were to eliminate the optional pockets. I liked them, actually, but because of my plaid fabric, they just didn't work. I tried them straight on, matching the plaid, and they went invisible, and I tried cutting them on the bias and they just looked silly. So no pockets it was.
I continued on using Sandra Betzina's instructions for lining the jacket, and I have to say, despite the slipperiness of the charmeuse and the number of new swear words I taught my cat, Lily, this is probably the best bagged lining I've done yet. In other words, there was enough fabric at the bottom, there wasn't too much or too little, it lined up evenly in the facings, the facings were even, and hey, I remembered how to do the sleeves.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I would probably sew this one again. I like simple zip-front jackets because they give me a lot of scope for interesting fabrics. This one would actually make a very nice leather jacket, though I think I would modify the collar to either shorten the tulip-ness or extend it into a more "normal" looking collar. This shape doesn't strike me for leather.
Highly recommend - it's a pattern with relatively few pieces, and after all, it does have illustrated instructions, which are not to be sneezed at from the cryptic people at BWOF.
Conclusion: This is my last project for 2009, and I think it's a winner.