Thursday, 16 April 2015

Made in China: A Fabric Market Jacket

Introducing (by popular demand, Heather!) my tailor made, designed by Veronica Darling, purple jacket! And it IS made in China!

If you've travelled through Asian countries before, you may have heard that getting clothing made is often part of the experience. Lots of my friends have brought home suits, dresses and replicated items all at a fraction of the price of store bought stuff... and with the perfect fit.

This is my first tailor-made item, and it was a fairly straight forward experience I'm gathering... We went to the South Bund Fabric Market in Shanghai to try out a wool blend stall that our friend recommended. It's also called the South Bund Soft Spinning Material Market and as things change ALL the time in Shanghai, when I last visited, this one is on the NORTH corner, because over the road (and under the road) there is a newer building (with shiny tiled floors) that's also called the Soft Spinning Material Market... so it's either all the same or not the same. But that's Shanghai... you kind of just never know!

I'd been pinning a few winter jackets through November (my new board - We Live in Shanghai!), and my inspiration was this green jacket:

And I showed this to the stall owner, and for me I wanted those waist pleats and the single zipper as the most important pieces... I am always conscious about my height/bust so wanted to try and stream line and not add any extra bulk to the bust, but accentuate the waist... and I think it's a pretty good replication... but while I emphasised the princess seams to him, the tailor wasn't as keen on the raglan style sleeves... he makes mostly Chanel type jackets (like this pattern that you can sew yourself) so he wasn't keen on straying away from that block/sloper (what is that called? Have to check with my Sewing School Teachers)...

... so you can see the shoulder & sleeve isn't the same as the green jacket:

So there is more fabric on the shoulders than I'd prefer, and on that middle princess piece... But otherwise, it's a fine jacket and certainly is warm! I settled on purple because I got paranoid about what colours suit my newer blond honey/creamy hair (I've stopped updating the platinum and trying to grow my hair longer again) and found the 'Jewel Tones' suit honey blondes... so thought I'd jump in and try purple jewel tone first. LOL I have no idea... I'll research this more soon, but realistically, hair colour & skin tones and everything through to personality tend to drive what colour suits you right?

I had one fitting, and it was made in about a week and half. If you're only visiting Shanghai for a short time, I believe you can get clothing made the same day and I guess they just take all your measurements and are a little more liberal with the finishing details.

My fitting was worth it, the shoulders were massive, the waist was way too big, so they took it in under the arms to keep the flair in the skirt, but I actually wish it was a little more fitted... like my inspiration. BUT, it's a warm jacket but a much warmer jacket with a cardigan or jumper underneath... so maybe I will actually wear it more with that extra warmth. If this was for Melbourne's winter, I would prefer it even more fitted... because this fabric would be warm enough... but in Shanghai, considering I spent most of the winter in my Uniqlo light down puffer jacket, it's much much colder.

So it's not my everyday jacket, more of a night out

How wonderful are these tiles in this coffee shop foyer?! It's Seesaw Coffee in Jingan.

Have you had anything tailor-made instead of YOU-made? 

Fun fact: if I took my Husband's name after we married, I would be Mrs Taylor... that's a LOL we've shared sometimes when I'm in the sewing room. Future blog title!


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