Merchant & Mills Workbook – the Haremere Jacket

Some things are just not meant to be…

I’ve spent several days working on the Haremere jacket. Gosh, what a mess. And I give up. Got other things to do.

I really like the concept: an oversized boyfriend jacket, or a coat with added length. Big patch pockets. A shawl collar and 2 buttons. But I’ve had issues with the drafting and with fitting a couple critical points.

My biggest challenge was with the shoulders. The shoulder seam is a long curve, up and away from the neckline, then back down to the dropped armscye.

 

The arrow in the pic below is pointing to my natural shoulder – that’s some drop. My dressform Emile has slightly sloped shoulders, while mine are straight across. It kind of fits on Emile.

However, when I tried it on, with the sides open, I could see I had a problem. The shoulder seam bubbled up, and when it came back down to earth, it actually cupped the top of my arms. So I basted all the side seams and put it on again to verify. Wow, too much curve in the shoulder seam, and the armscye is tiny. I could hardly raise my arms. There’s just no give – maybe this is meant to be worn with one’s arms down. Down, I say, no hands in the air!

Aargh. I fiddled with the shoulder seam last night and again this morning. Flattened it out and adjusted for my sloping right shoulder. My seam ripper got a workout, but the result was better across my shoulders. But to be able to raise my arms, I had to trim the armscye a bunch – about 2 inches at the shoulder seam, cured down the front and back.

I’m surprised my fabric, which is a lightweight denim, did not just fall apart at the shoulder/back neckline pivot point after being re-sewn about a million times. I went ahead and added the back lining, which is sewn into the neckline and shoulder seams. The neckline ends up with 7 layers in the seam. Just not pretty, and at this point I really didn’t like this jacket at all.

And the loft was not pretty either! Here’s how it looked before I chucked the jacket, the pattern, and all vestiges of the same (except my Workbook) into the bin.

I don’t want to be a naysayer – I’ve seen several really attractive versions of this jacket. Everyone is shaped differently. It just doesn’t suit me.

Things I do like about the pattern:

The front facing, with it’s curved bottom and finished edge, is very pretty.

The Workbook uses a bound finish on the facing, but I used a Hong Kong finish, to reduce bulk. And I think it’s prettier.

 

Stitching in the ditch, Hong Kong finish

The pockets are also nicely drafted. They have a full lining, which hides all the trimming and clipping that’s necessary to achieve a clean and symmetric curved line at the bottom.

End of the Haremere tale.

I’m off to cut out a Jalie cocoon sweater. I did a muslin last week, and I’ve decided to go for it in a navy knit crepe. Turner Classic Movies is showing Walter Matthau films this morning. Perfect.

Bye for now – Coco

13 thoughts on “Merchant & Mills Workbook – the Haremere Jacket

  1. Oh gosh, it's so frustrating to end up with a wadder after putting all that work into a pattern! Your binding is lovely, and such a great fabric choice!

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  2. Oh my goodness! I should take a lesson from you…that is sometimes you really do have to give up. This story sounds like my experience with a black linen jacket I made for my trip to Paris. I did finish it but I should have chucked it. BooHoo. Don't you hate wasting precious sewing time! I agree the binding was very pretty.

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  3. Oh my goodness! I should take a lesson from you…that is sometimes you really do have to give up. This story sounds like my experience with a black linen jacket I made for my trip to Paris. I did finish it but I should have chucked it. BooHoo. Don't you hate wasting precious sewing time! I agree the binding was very pretty.

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  4. Well into every sewing salon a little wadder must fall. I too find it is usually the sleeve /shoulder funky fit the waddermaker for me too. Keep those nicely drafted pockets though…..

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  5. Sorry about your wadder! I have issues with any sort of dropped shoulder and always bring them up to the edge of the shoulder bone. (I've had enough waders in the past!) To me this looks like a deliberate style of dropped shoulder that works on people with a certain degree of slope rather than the straighter/slightly wider shoulder.

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  6. What a great overview of sleeves! thks so much. I think I've signed up for the Cutting Class site 🙂 And thank you as well for the implied encouragement. Coco

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  7. I just did some research on dropped shoulders for a jacket I've just finished. The Cutting Class site has some great info. Based on what they say, the issue is definitely with your pattern. The more the shoulder drops the bigger the armhole has to get and the wider the bodice. Yours doesn't pass the armhole test. A couple of pics from the Cutting Class page are up on my blog if you are interested. They show this concept really well.

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