My Winter Module: The Topper

I have my final piece in my winter module to share with you! My plan was to share this last week but…let’s just say, things went array. I finally got it finished on Friday and it was such a mess! I was so upset with it I had to hang it up out of sight until I felt brave enough to approach it with fresh eyes. Sometimes that’s how it goes when you make something yourself!

The piece I’m talking about is my topper, the Frida jacket from Fibre Mood. This is a bomber style jacket and I loved the inspiration photo made out of teddy bear fabric so much that I went on a hunt to find some for myself.

I ended up with this pale pink faux teddy bear fur from Minerva and while I love how it looks and feels, it was a royal pain in the ass to work with! Fuzz everywhere, it’s bulky and kind of hard to manipulate for details that were in this jacket, and I’m a little concerned that my finishes on the raw edges won’t stop this fabric from fuzzing and fraying.

I sewed up the size small and I lengthened the sleeves (lesson learned from my past makes!) and may have made them a little too long. I used some rib knit that was left over from a project I hope you will be seeing soon and I love how all the colors from my module are represented here!

I thought this would be a great little spring jacket and I don’t have anything like it in my closet. Whether I’m going out to run errands, taking a walk, or going to pick up the kids at school, I think this will be cute to throw on when it’s not cold enough for my big coat but still too cool for no coat at all.

I just don’t know if this is the coat I was hoping for. I hate how bulky the pockets are, I don’t love the shape on me, and I’m unhappy with the ribbing around the hem band. So, is this a complete fail? I’m not sure! I’ll give it a few tries but if I find myself bummed out every time I wear it, I may be giving it away or cutting it up for parts!

2 thoughts on “My Winter Module: The Topper”

  1. It’s a real pain when things don’t turn out as you had imagined but understanding WHAT went wrong is helpful even if you don’t want to look at the jacket again (which I understand). So here’s some thoughts based on things that didn’t go right for me and which I successfully fixed. First, forget about unpicking this: too tedious. Instead, cut off the ribbing at the sleeves as close to the seam as you can. Then choose a heavier ribbing fabric with LOTS of stretch (e.g. 70%) and excellent recovery. (The existing fabric is too thin and doesn’t have enough recovery to serve as a cuff on this jacket.) Measure around your wrist what is a comfortable circumference that you can still put your fist through (7/12-8/12″?). (Measure your other sweaters, jackets, etc. to see what circumference works on what fabric.) Add double whatever your seam allowance (3/8″? 1/2″?) to this measurement to get the width (circumference) of your cuff. (I like to add 1/2″ seam allowances and then trim to what I want.) Make a test cuff out of the new ribbed fabric to which you’ve added about 3″ to the depth of the cuff. (When folded in half this will add 1 1/2″ to each side, then minus the seam allowance (1/2″ x 2=1″) which leaves you with a 1/2″ slightly deeper cuff to compensate for the seam that you cut off. (Add more if you want a deeper cuff. It will look good and you’ll never miss the original cuffs.) Compare the circumference of the end of the fleece sleeve with your new cuff. If it is more than an inch difference, you might have to baste the fleece and pull it a little into gathers when you attach the cuff. The cuff should be slightly smaller than the fleece sleeve.

    To fix the bottom band, you can do the same; cut off the ribbing as close to the seam as possible. Make a new band out of the thicker ribbed fabric that has 70% stretch and excellent recovery that is deeper to compensate for the seam that you cut off. (Remember to double your measurement since the cuff is folded and add double your seam allowance where you attach it to the fleece.) The thicker waistband will look great with this jacket. (I suggest a solid color so you don’t have the added challenge of matching stripes; white, gray, navy, etc.)

    Next, with test pieces both of the fleece and the new ribbing, practice attaching the ribbing to a scrap length of the fleece to see how it lies. In my experience, the tricky part here is that each knit has a different amount of stretch and it is necessary to pull the shorter amount (in this case the band) a bit to bring in the bottom of the jacket. The band should not be the exact length of the jacket edge or it won’t slightly tighten. However, if you tighten it too much, it will look wonky. I suggest experimenting.

    Take a 12″ scrap of jacket fleece and attach a length of new ribbing that is 10% shorter. How does that look? Adjust longer or shorter to give you the right look. HAND BASTE the fleece and ribbing together with double thread of a contrasting color using slightly smaller stitches than you would normally for basting because the stitches really have to hold the stretch fabric. Remember to use a ball point needle to slide the needle in the knit fabric. I have found that hand basting is VERY EASY to remove on knit fabric and it is great for testing fit, etc. I routinely hand baste in contrasting thread when I am not sure of the fit, especially on knits where it is too tedious to remove stitches that have sunk into the fabric.

    Finally, before you tackle redoing the welt pocket, I suggest that you look at several Youtube videos on how to do
    welt pockets and to make several tests, first in simple cotton and then when you are sure that that works well, you can
    do another test with a scrap of the fleece BEFORE you go back to the jacket. I saw a Youtube video (forgot who) who advised TESTING everything on another piece of fabric before you tackle the desired garment. It was great advice and I have followed it ever since, especially on things I haven’t done before or for fabric in a new application.

    If the pocket bags are too thick, then cut off the insides and replace with flannel (for something fuzzy) or slippery lining fabric (not too thin, however). You will never see it so it doesn’t matter what is inside. OR, cut off the pocket bags completely and slip stitch the welt pockets closed. It is more important than they lie flat than they are functional.
    OR, change only one pocket bag to thinner material and slip stitch the other (less dominant side) closed. 🙂

    I have learned that when something is not right, I cannot fix it when I am in a frustrated frame of mind. I put it aside and do something else which I know will work . I return only when calm and can approach it as a puzzle to be figured out, rather than as a demon that is thwarting me.

    A bomber jacket can work with you. However, I would pair a blousy top (bomber jacket) with a slimmer bottom (straight leg pants) and wide leg pants with a slimmer jacket. Voluminous fabric top and bottom doesn’t show off your figure. 🙂

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