I finally made a jacket and can you tell how pleased I am with it? After much deliberation, (and thank you for all your suggestions), I finally plumped for the Simple Sew ‘Jackie O’ pattern. This wasn’t originally in my list, but I knew I had it somewhere (probably a sure sign that I need yet another clear up in my sewing space), and eventually unearthed it.
I came down to two options thanks to your suggestions, so decided to use my cheaper fabric (above left, a kind of self-check with a hint of sparkle, though hard to see in picture) for the easier pattern as a ‘warm up’ and intend to use my nice, pure wool for the slightly more advanced pattern on the right as a second attempt. And yes, I know they’re both navy blue, but just look at my lovely lining to jazz them up… 😉
The jacket construction was actually a lot easier than I’d imagined which was a relief: really not a lot different to making sweatshirt or t-shirt tops (although maybe helped by the fact I’ve made so many of late). And sooo much easier than making trousers, which is where I’d placed it in terms of difficulty in my mind. But it turns out, wrongly! The pattern (free with Love Sewing magazine some time ago) was aimed at ‘adventurous beginners’ which seems a fair grading. The instructions were fairly minimal, but clear and with helpful line illustrations for further guidance.
I chose to overlock all raw edges before switching to my regular machine because the fabric looked prone to fraying. There were no instructions for the lining, so I just went with instinct, which surprisingly worked well. The facings given for the unlined version made the insertion of the lining a lot neater and because of the simple shape it was pretty straight forward. It did involve a lot of hand sewing, which I’ve got better at, but I’m not fully sure how strong or durable it will be. I’m not usually all that careful with pulling on or off jackets and other layers at school, because of the frequency with which I need to do it due to vastly fluctuating temperatures around the buildings, but I think I’m going to have to be a little more careful with this. Luckily it’s come up a bit big so this should help, maybe a touch too big? Although I do only have one light-weight layer on here…
If I’m being fussy, there are a couple of creases where the lining isn’t quite lying perfectly, resulting in just a little pull at the bottom of the sleeves. But this is minimal and I doubt anyone would notice. And as a first attempt where I had to just make the lining bit up it’s fine. Overall, I’m so pleased with this and I’m looking forward to making the next one already. I would really recommend this pattern for building confidence in sewing jackets for the first time. The minimal design (there were pockets which I chose to omit here) is neat and practical: I think I’ll get a lot of wear out of this.
Pattern: Simple Sew Jackie O Jacket
Size: 12 (possibly a little too big, 10 next time?)
Adjustments: added lining and omitted pockets
Soundtrack: mostly in silence, sometimes it really is golden 🙂