|Pattern Description: (from pattern) "Inspired by Balenciaga's bull fighter's bolero, this jacket has a collar that morphs into the front making it appear that the jacket is a folded circle. But in reality, it has set-in sleeves, back shoulder darts and is not reversible to wear but is best done with reversible fabrics since both sides will show. If hemmed, the hems must turn direction at one point but the edges may also be serged or bound continuously without turning directions. There are thyree-quarter sleeves, no closure, and only four pattern pieces."|
Despite the questionable syntax in the above paragraph, it is an excellent description of this pattern!
Pattern Sizing: 8-18. I had tried on a couple of different sizes, so I just dove right in w/o making a muslin - I cut a size 14, extending the length to the size 18, and ended up making a couple of other relatively minor sizing/fit adjustments.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes very much so, except for my addition of buttons on the front.
Vintage Cut plastic buttons
Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions are fairly minimal - as Sandra Ericson (director of Center for Pattern Design) makes clear, her patterns are meant to be "educational patterns", and the maker is expected to have a good understanding of basic sewing skills, seam finishes, and garment construction knowledge.
That said, this pattern has 4 pieces (that's 2-3 more pieces than many of her patterns!), and she does list her recommended construction steps, along with some suggestions for creative options and edge finishes.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the bias drape, which makes the fit on this cape/jacket fairly forgiving. The fabric options are really endless - I used a stable knit, but a drapey wool crepe would be lovely, a sheer would work very nicely, silk, even a heavy cotton - LOTS of possibilities!
I really enjoyed the challenge of trying to figure out how it all matched up; if you want or need detailed step-by-step instructions this might not be a good pattern (or company!) to go with. I found draping on my dress form an indispensable help in figuring out which sides to put together for seams (really, it's not that obvious!) and how it all went together.
Because of the unusual way the pattern pieces fit, trying to do major alterations could be a challenge - the bias drape helps a lot with fitting, but a muslin is still encouraged.
Fabric Used: An odd double knit ponte sort of thing. It has almost a rubbery, neoprene feel to it, but is still very pleasant feeling on the body.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: A smaller size might have fit better on my narrow, sloping shoulders, but then the front wouldn't close as well, so I made a medium size (14), but then ended up cutting in the shoulder slope by nearly 2" at the deepest cut.
The weight of my fabric caused the cape to pull down a bit in the back after wearing it for awhile, so I added a simple button closure in the front.
I also lengthened it, both in the cutting, and by leaving the edges raw - my fabric leaves a beautiful, clean, cut edge, so that was an easy choice
Front View, semi-casual look
Side view, dressier look
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? It's a distinctive pattern, so I'm not sure I'll do it again, but I might. I most definitely recommend it highly!
Conclusion: For more details and pictures, please visit
my blog post