Monday, 1 March 2010

The McQueen Jacket

So my Alexander McQueen experiment is done! I spent all day on it yesterday and while it was not easy by any stretch, it didn't turn out to be all that difficult. The instructions provided with the pattern are a little light-on but as long as you just go with it everything goes together in quite a straightforward way.

I suspect there would be as many versions of this jacket as there are makers - mine doesn't look exactly like the photos, but close enough and I am happy.

Here is the back. You can see that I have sewn down the pleats on the left side and left them open on the right. Unsewn, the pleats made me look really hunch-backed and I am way too uptight to have all that out-of-control-ness going on behind me! I don't even wear linen because I can't control it!!!

Here are the unsewn pleats from the side view.
Here is the front with the bands lifted out of the way. I really like the front bands and pleating. It's a shame the bands hide this nice detail.
Although the bands do look very nice as well. A bit fashion-forward for me though. I'd probably just keep dangling them in my dinner!

Speaking of clothes getting in your food, how about the kimono sleeves? I love them on the model but always knew they'd be a problem on me. I just don't have enough length between my bust and my waist so I need to keep things simple around that part of my torso - dolman sleeves are a complete no-go. And the final back view, all stitched down and with one sleeve. I really do think this is a beautiful jacket and, even though I'm a pretty good pattern drafter (not that I ever do it these days) I would have had no idea where to start with this!
It was never my intention to make this jacket through to proper fabric but I may do with some alterations. I already added 2cm to the side seams as a rough method of grading up from a 40 to 44(ish). If I make this again for real I will make the following changes:
  • Convert to a standard armhole and set-in sleeves.
  • Tuck out some length in the upper back
  • Leave off the collar/bands and come up with another solution.
I know it might be sacrilege to mess with a design like this but I would just keep the details I love and modify the details I don't.
I seem to have got my mojo back, but I have no idea what to make next!
************EDITED TO ADD**************
A note on sizing:
When I said the jacket started as a size 40, I meant a Patrones 40 (ie. tiny) not a Burda 40 (ie. medium)!
You have been warned...


Gail said...

I have the instructions/pattern for the McQueen jacket too. since his untimely death, I've thought about using it for my grey wool piece. I'll watch this space.

melissa said...

This is such a helpful post, thanks! I made the Yamamoto jacket on Showstudio's site years ago and still wear it to death but the main thing that scared me off this one was the mystery sizing. So just to know that it's roughly a size 40 is a HUGE help!

I really hope you do take this into a finished wearable jacket, because I really think it'll look stunning!

lucinda said...

I have this pattern but it's been sitting half cut-out on my floor for months! You've given me the inspiration to get back into it although I almost have no idea where to start.