Design It: Sew an Evening Cover Up

My Inspiration

Last winter I made a blue satin and lace dress to wear over the festive period. I was so proud of the outcome as considering I had never sewn with satin, sewn princess seams or used boning. It fit well and looked really good. At my work Christmas party I got loads of compliments and it was satisfying telling people I made it myself. However, there was an issue, I had no form of cover up to go with it. As a result, I had to put on my bright red woollen jacket to combat the bitter English weather whilst walking to the venue. Needless to say the colours clashed horrendously and it ruined the look!!! When I was inside the venue, I checked my coat into the coat room so if there was a draft I just had to get over it. Therefore, with the turn of the New Year I was determined to find a jacket that I could wear the dress with.

My initial thought was to find a crop jacket or shawl. It didn’t necessarily have to be blue in colour but had to have some blue in the material to tie it into the dress. I also knew I didn’t want anything too tailored as I didn’t think it would complement the full circle skirt.

Firstly, I looked at purchasing something off of the peg, but unfortunately I couldn’t find anything that I liked. This meant I had to look at making it myself. I started by having a browse round my local fabric stores, but I couldn’t find anything that took my fancy. However, when I went on holiday to Spain I came cross the perfect fabric ( See It: Fabric Finds Whilst Shopping in Spain ). It was a white organza with embroidered white daisies which had a blue centre. The blue matched that from the dress perfectly, so I had to buy it.

Floral fabric
Floral fabric to be used in my evening jacket

My Design Process

As the material was sheer I needed to find another fabric to layer underneath. I thought a satin lining would be ideal as it would work well with the satin already used in the dress. However, I wasn’t sure what colour to use. I was torn between using blue or white. The white matched the floral fabric but the blue matched the dress. Although, I was concerned that if I used a blue lining the whole outfit would be too blue when wearing the jacket and dress together.

When I went to buy my lining I made sure I took a swatch of the floral fabric with me. I thought that it looked nice when I layered it over the white satin but when I looked at the pairing I envisioned a summer skirt. The combination with the blue looked smarter and I found that the organza diluted the colour so that it wasn’t as vibrant and wouldn’t be too over the top when paired with the dress.

Floral organza
Floral organza placed over white satin
floral organza
Floral organza placed over blue satin

The final thing I needed to decide upon was the pattern. For this I flicked through the Vogue, Simplicity, Butterick and McCall pattern catalogues. The only one that really stood out was Butterick 5529. I really liked view B or C. Both B are loose fitting jackets with no closures. B finishes above the waist, has pleated detailing and dolman sleeves. C has kimono sleeve and a centre back seam.

Butterick 5229 - pattern envelope front
Butterick 5229 – pattern envelope front
Butterick 5529 - Different views
Butterick 5529 – Different views

Ultimately, I decided upon option C. This was because I had concerns about the pleating and gathering required for option B, as I was layering 2 fabrics I thought it may not hang well.

The Final Design

Here is my final design. To see how I made it please visit Pattern Review of Butterick 5529

Sew an evening cover uo
Floral Jacket Technical Sketch
sew an evening jacket
Lace dress worn with jacket. Adobe Illustrator sketch.