Thursday, February 2, 2012

Simplicity 4032, Russian Princess Inspired

Shams of Communing With Fabric provided all the inspiration for this project: fabric, trim, general shape. Shamelessly copying her choice of a shoulder princess cut, I decided Simplicity 4032 would make a good starting point for my rip off.

The wonderful fabric, a treasure from FabricMart Fabrics, is a poly fleece with a sculptured design. Per Shams, I decided to use the fabric's selvedge as a matching trim. This stroke of genius, which I would never have thought of, really elevates this garment.

Pattern Description: 
Unlined jackets with front shoulder princess seams and neckline and trim options. View E shows a vest; other views have long sleeves, which feature a well-placed elbow dart.

Pattern Sizing:
8-16. How I wish this went down to a 6. I took out oodles of width across the chest!

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
My jacket is more of a sweater coat, as I lengthened View B by 11". Also, the printed fleece I used gives a different appearance than the solids shown on the pattern envelope.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
As I recall, the instructions were fine.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I think the drafting of this pattern is superb. I was surprised by how much I liked the shaping, the sleeve cap, the elbow dart and the nicely curved collar. The pattern also seems extremely versatile. The fabric notes say that regular wovens can be used, and other reviewers here have shown some great versions in wovens. I want to try a woven version soon!.

Fabric Used:
Fabulous sculpted fleece from FabricMart Fabrics. I had been admiring this fabric, but then I saw what Shams at Communing With Fabric had done with it, I had to copy her ideas.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Hmmm, quite a lot. Some of which I can quantify, others of which I can't. First of all I tried to grade this down to about a size six by reducing the princess seams about 1/2" from the shoulder through the bust point. Nice try, but not nearly enough. I think I also narrowed the shoulders at the armhole. I did a swayback tuck of about 1" at the center back (tapered to nothing at the side seams) and added the 1" back at the hem. Lengthened the pattern 11" to make it a sweater coat length. Used a shiny satin for the undercollar and front facing, interfaced with Sew Exciting ProWeft Fusible. 

Per Shams, I cut off and used the fabric selvedge as trim for the collar and cuffs. This design change, which I would never have thought of on my own, makes the garment and has gotten so many compliments.

So, I loved the coat when it was done, but it was truly enormous in the upper body. I pinned out the excess and literally took 1" off each side of the princess seams through the waist. I had to add a shoulder dart to match that decrease on the back. After taking it in and reattaching the facings, the shoulders sit on my shoulders and the fit is comfortable and flattering. Oh, I think I also took in the center back neck seam somewhat, too.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Planning to sew it again for sure. I have been working on finalizing my alterations in the pattern tissue, but I don't want to chop off too much. Looking forward to using a woven wool next time, probably with the flounce in view D.

Well, gosh, I love this sweater coat so much, and I wear it at least three times a week. It is warm, it is comfortable and it has all of "my" wardrobe colors for the fall and winter. I absolutely love it and it is one of my top projects...ever!

My advice: shamelessly copy Shams. She will not lead you wrong!


  1. I'm so glad to have found your blog, Ripple! Though, you didn't make it easy, since I didn't know about it until comment #8 on this pattern review. And even then I had to google to find it. ;)

    Anwyay, this jacket is gorgeous on you!

    1. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but I guess I was pretty stealthy about it! Thank you for the reminder to be just slightly more "promotional" in my communications.

      Every time I wear this coat, I get so many compliments, and I always want to give you credit. I'm sure you know the phenomenon: "Oh, it's not really my great idea, it's this great blogger I admire. Let me tell you all about her..." And then you notice that their eyes have glazed over and realize that actually, it would be better to thank the blogger than to bore unsuspecting strangers!