Thursday, September 24, 2009

Softness- the other extreme

The weather is turning so I am in the mood for new clothes but the flannel hasn't come in yet. I've been eyeing a few jacketing lengths so I cut myself something on the other end of the spectrum; a true "spalla camicia" or shirt shoulder, the softest possible jacket in this light, soft dove colour with steel, oatmeal and rose check.


The spalla camicia is one of the typical neapolitan shoulders and generally has very little supporting it; as such, it can often look sloppy. Some even exaggerate the sloppiness, easing in extra folds of fullness which I find a little showy and unnecessary (which, considering my love of pagodas, is saying something). A short, wide sleeve cap is in order.


While some like to support this kind of construction to make it more suitable for suitings, I only make this kind of thing for soft, slouchy sport jackets, and as such I use no haircloth, no chest piece, no shoulder pad, no sleeve head, no wadding of any sort. The front canvas has a soft piece of wool felt to cover any possible scratchiness and to give just a bit of body, but other than that, nothing. Softness and lightness. The whole jacket is cut on the easy side, rather than being fitted, and will look a bit like a soft cardigan.

soft canvas

I opened the shoulder about 5/8" to give a bit of forward pitch, and a slight manipulation of the cloth as well, but nothing like what will go into the pagoda shoulder which we will see soon, I hope. In this case, I have used a zig-zag machine to open the wedge.

I still use a fairly small pad stitch on the lapel to give a nice, full roll.


It will be finished soon so I can get straight to work on the suit when the cloth comes in.

I response to Lynn's questions, yes, I zig-zag right along the cut line to keep the edges of the canvas from curling up. With finer cloth I put a piece of non-woven fusible on top to completely hide it since it can sometimes make visible impressions on the outside.

As for the pattern, this would normally be a special pattern unto itself if I were in the habit of keeping basic patterns for myself, which I don't. I like to experiment and try new things so I never cut off the same pattern twice when cutting my own garments- every time it is new. The basic principles remain for obtaining the desired silhouette but I always try to introduce new things to the mix in terms of drafting and construction. Obviously, at work, I keep a library of collars and pockets and lapels and things, but for my own stuff, it's new every time.

Besides, the lines are so different between a structured, rope-shouldered garment and a soft, spalla camicia, that it's not really worth trying to adapt one pattern to become another.


Lynn said...

Are you zig zagging right on the drawn dart line?
And could I ask if you are using your basic jacket pattern? This is not a different new one? Do you keep a collection of pocket and neckline patterns, or did you make new patterns for this jacket? Thank you.

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