Peplums & Plaid

During my sophomore year of college, I lived in a tradational dorm that utilized community bathrooms. (I promise this has to do with the jacket!) And, in the same sort of tradition, said bathroom stalls were decorated, inside and out. While we had a range of wall coverings, from a ‘hottie potty’ to an encouraging quote stall, in the middle stall, I distinctly remember a photo torn from a fashion magazine, featuring a woman wearing a lovely green suit, featuring a pepulm-like flounce as a part of the jacket. I’m a huge fan of the peplum in general – who wouldn’t like a garment that accentuates your waist while hiding your hips?!

 I shelved the idea for a few years, mostly because I hadn’t found any plaid that said ‘peplum jacket!’ But, one night when I was supposed to be fabric shopping for a client, I found a small amount of this lovely plaid wool and immediately thought of the jacket on the bathroom stall. I tried to leave it behind, as I really didn’t need more fabric and have a number of projects in line, but it won me over and I headed back to store to pick it up. 

While I’m fairly confident in my drafting skills, that confidence does not extend to jackets. I’ve never drafted one, so I didn’t want to wreck the precious little wool I had in an attempt to make my own. Fortunately Vogue produced a great pattern, V1132, and after traveling to a different store to find it in my size, I created my peplum jacket.  The plaid is a very subtle, which is what initially appealed to me in the fabric store. A heathered brownish gray is woven with red, blue, mustard and emerald green, with different colors set off by what you wear with it.  While any lining would have worked, the maroon color makes the jacket feel a bit more fall/winter-y then something like a mustard or green lining. 

If I ever make this jacket again, I would make it another inch longer at the waist. I did lengthen it 1″, but from previous experience, usually Vogue patterns require 2″ more in the waist length to fit my torso. I was so short on fabric (I got the end of the bolt!) that I could only squeeze in a one inch extension. My fabric quantity issues were compounded by my desire to match my plaids (thanks Mom, for impressing that lesson on me!) and the fact that at the end of the bolt, fabric tends to get skewed off the grain. Wool has a bit of stretch in it, so it was permanently skewed near the selvedge. This pattern was rated an ‘easy’ Vogue pattern, but with matching the plaid, it was more like an intermediate pattern. I chose to match the waist line, however in retrospect, I think I should have matched the stripe across my shoulders, as the curves in the garment make the mis-matched plaid there a bit more obvious than at the waist.  Finally, because I’ve made a jacket before, I chose to put in shoulder pads, which the pattern didn’t call for, but it makes such a nice sharp shoulder line when you do add them. You can’t see it in these photos, but this jacket has a basic lapel, it was just too cold outside to go without the syncopated brioche scarf I knitted up a little bit ago. If you click on any of the photos, you can see the plaid pattern a bit more clearly.

And yes, that is real snow floating down – my sister and I hopped outside to snap some pictures in the middle of some flurries that resulted in 4+ inches that afternoon!


3 thoughts on “Peplums & Plaid

  1. Before I even read this I must comment on how visually beautiful both the jacket and the photography.Too excited about this to read before commenting. I will be back to comment in full…!

  2. I think it’s beautiful. It has a real Victorial feel to it, you can almost see this jacket being worn with a bustle skirt. And your photos are fabulous!

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