I am now working through a great book I bought called Alabama Studio Sewing and Design: A Guide to Hand-Sewing an Alabama Chanin Wardrobe. The pattern I tried was the bolero.
I am very happy with this pattern. If you remember the corset I made that matches this bolero, I used two men’s size t-shirts. I had enough extra to make this matching bolero. I wasn’t sure how useful the bolero would be, but since we have had few chilly days, I have used it quite a bit, much the way I would use a scarf.
There were a few things I struggled with. First, the sleeves have quite a bit of ease. Chanin recommends putting them together flat, I did it in the round. I will try it flat next time.
Also, the binding. She recommends sewing through all layers at once. I found this difficult and it made my stitches uneven. Instead I bound it much like I would bind a quilt. I sewed the binding to the wrong side, then brought it around the edge and sewed the right side. This gave me much better stitch quality on the outside and a firmer bind.
I would also suggest to think about the binding at the garment cutting stage so you have longer pieces. I did quite a bit of piecing for the binding and it made it a little less nice.
Just like the corset, the fit is very flattering. It is especially nice with the matching corset. I had fun using the different colored fabrics for different parts to create a subtle color blocking. I definitely will make it again.