Yesterday I sat down to redraft the back so it would be asymmetric. I rapidly ran into design problems. The original (symmetrical) back pattern piece was exactly 21″ wide, the full width of my fabric. Making it asymmetric would, of course, widen the wider piece, making it too big for the fabric. I didn’t want to piece the panel, because my fabric panels are unique and semi-random, which would make the join obvious.
I could have reduced the width of the back panel, but that would have run me into other problems. The coat is a swing coat, and because of the asymmetry in front, the front is cut nearly straight, i.e. most of the swing is coming from the back. Taking out width from the back would have converted the coat from a swing coat into a straight cut, which I really didn’t want.
What to do? I thought about it, and finally decided that the best option would be to chop some off the side of each front and back panel and create a narrow side panel, which would fall under the arm and therefore not be especially visible. This would allow me to have both swing and asymmetry, and would actually allow me to have more swing in the coat than before, since I could widen the front panel slightly and add additional ease in the side panel. As an added bonus, it would reduce the size of the front bust dart, making it small enough that I could probably shrink and/or ease out the bust dart, rather than sewing a dart, which would disrupt the pattern.
So here, after several hours of pattern surgery, is the new pattern:
(There are two copies of the sleeve pattern because it prints better that way. Thankfully, the sleeves ARE symmetrical!)
By way of contrast, here’s the old pattern:
As you can see, there was quite a bit of work involved. But it’s done, and later this morning I’ll print out the pattern pieces. Tonight, I’ll cut out the pattern and the muslins. Actually sewing it up may have to wait, as the sewing machine is in the shop for repairs, and won’t be back until sometime later in the week.
I’m very pleased with myself right now – both for coming up with the idea, and for being able to execute it confidently and without undue difficulty. Definitely making progress on learning to draft my own sewing patterns!
I have now gathered all of my exotic chocolate ingredients, plus I bought a bunch of exotic-flavored chocolate bars at Chocolate Covered up in San Francisco. I plan to nibble my way through each flavor combination, and steal the better ideas for use in chocolate-making. I do not, however, intend to eat all of each chocolate bar: that would send me into a diabetic coma while making me gain ten pounds! Instead I will have a small taste from each bar and feed the rest to my coworkers. Lucky coworkers!