For some reason I decided a little while ago that I actually like Pet en l’Air jackets. I never cared much for them before, but I suppose that little green and orange cutie from the Kyoto Costume Institute caught my eye and changed my mind.
Like a fool I set to draping, and discovered that despite the pattern pieces being very simple, the whole pleaty-pulling in-drapey-foldy thing made my brain hurt and it took me literally hours to get the pattern working, even with the aid of Janet Arnold.
Once I was happy with the drape, I traced the pattern onto paper, made my adjustments, and cut out a toile. I was pleased to find it actually fit (wasn’t at all expecting that), although there are some tweaks I need to make, as you see:
*NOTE – I just happen to be wearing a tshirt the same exact color of my toile fabric, under my stays. Don’t mind it! It is not actually a short-sleeved, high-necked pet en l’air, I promise!
|Front – don’t mind those wrinkles, it’ll have boning in the final.
|The back. The pleats need some work, and the shoulders
I think part of the problem with the back pleats is that I did not press them accurately – I did it after the fact and I can see that there will be much basting and pressing before lacing in the side pieces. Inside there are two lacing strips that pull the bodice taught through the back. This happens under the back pleats, and it creates an excess of fabric sortof squeezed out where it’s been laced together. Pressing and strategically tacking will help with this, or so I hope.
I have some excess going on at the top, right at the top of the pleats. I think some of this will be taken care of by pulling in the fabric underneath the pleats and tacking it in place, and the rest of that tailoring accomplished by taking in the shoulder straps.
|That excess at the top bugs me, but I do like the look of that side seam and the pleats.
Otherwise I’m quite happy with it so far. It actually fits, mostly! I’m going to make the fit adjustments and also shorten the back – it drapes lower than I expected. The bodice closes by way of false front (comperes), fastening with buttons. Yay! I love front-closing, easy to fasten, easy to wear items.
|This is the fabric it’ll be made up in – a medium-weight woven cream ground with golden starry-stripeys. I’ll pair it with a cream colored taffeta, and dress it up with gold bows and buttons. I’m thinking gold shoes too 🙂
Sleeves…later. They’re my great downfall and I always leave them for last, and I’m determined to get them absolutely right this time. As for trims, something simple, probably boxy-pleaty down the front edges, and the cuffs.
If you have any help for me, please don’t be shy!!