I purchased some navy softshell fabric earlier in the year, with the view of making the Kelly coat. Since then, Tilly and the Buttons released the Eden jacket pattern, which looked like it would be more forgiving on the sizing. The sleeves on the Kelly look quite fitting, whereas the Eden has a much more boxy shape.
Decision made, I set about cutting out my pieces, and also decided to use the same topstitching thread I had picked out for my denim Fashionista jacket.
Sewing softshell is pretty easy, as long as you have a ‘sharps’ needle – a regular needle won’t have the right strength or sharpness to pierce the fabric cleanly.
So far I have the pockets and pocket flaps attached – eventually these should have poppers, if I can find some in the shop!
It’s taken a while, plus some unpicking when I accidentally stitched the sleeve to the neckline… (yeah, don’t ask how I managed that!) but my denim Fashionista* is looking less like a pile of pieces, and a lot more like a jacket now!
The lining was where I came unstuck when I shelved this project last month, but I decided I ought to just get on and try it again. I didn’t unpick the seam where it caught up, but to be honest I don’t think you’d know now it’s all sewn together!
I hadn’t expected to find branded lining fabric, but when I came across this Jaeger lining, I knew it would work really well for a jacket lining. It does make the jacket a lot more structured – the jacket looks like it’s still being worn when it’s on a hanger!
The sleeves need a little hand stitching just to catch the lining into the side of the placket, but other than that they were sewn exactly as the pattern suggested. Eventually the cuffs will have buttonholes and denim buttons, but I want to test using my Prym pliers to attach the buttons as I think that might work a lot better than hammering them.
I decided to stay with just one line of topstitching but deviated from the pattern to top stitch the sleeve seam as well. I thought that would help to strengthen the seam after I had to unpick it.
Although the jacket looks mostly finished, as you can see by this photo, I still have the waistband to attach, and the buttons to add. As with my Showerproof Fashionista, I chose to sew the facing as you would normally expect, rather than adding it like bias binding as the pattern suggests. That was I was able to use my ‘take it easy’ ribbon piece on the back as a label.
I found some buttons which fitted well with the blue, and was planning on using some smaller ones on the cuffs. Unfortunately the bulk of fabric on the cuff meant that my sewing machine thought the one-step buttonhole was meant to be a lot smaller than I was aiming for. Rather than trying to unpick one line of stitches, I cheated and added a popper to the cuff instead. It’s not quite what I was aiming for, but it’s better than risking making a mess with the buttonhole!
I’d already decided I wanted to have a label on the back, and assuming the neckline would be sewn as a regular facing, I added the label and some bias binding around the edge as I didn’t fancy sewing a narrow hem on the curved edge. Then I read down to the next line and realised that the neckline works more like binding than a facing. I really didn’t want to scrap my neckline piece, so I skipped the proper instructions and just attached it as if it was a facing, then topstitched around the bias bound edge to hold it in place.
This has made the neckline slightly lower, but that’s not a problem for me. I’ll have to remember that when I get to that point on my denim Fashionista though, as that bit will come after I’ve added in the lining.
I obviously wasn’t going to try ironing the softshell, so the waistband isn’t quite as crisp as you would expect. But overall, the jacket has a great look, the buttons and buttonholes all line up, the pockets work, and the jacket fits!
Now where’s that rain so I can test out how waterproof this softshell is!
I fully admit I’m already starting more projects than I’m finishing this year, but having spotted this softshell fabric in my local fabric shop for £8 a metre, I couldn’t resist getting enough to make a showerproof Fashionista* jacket for the spring!
At the moment, my Denim Fashionista is semi-shelved while I figure out where I went wrong with the lining – I’d already sewn the denim sleeve to the neckline by mistake (don’t ask how I achieved that!), and in sewing the first part of the lining together, I had more pleats and tucks than I should’ve done. So that’ll need unpicking and some careful pinning to try and resew that.
But rather than plough on through a project that wasn’t going all that well, I decided I needed to feel I could successfully make something. Softshell fabric has a waterproof outer, with a fleece backing – perfect for spring, and also perfect because it doesn’t need a lining!
Now I know this jacket won’t be 100% waterproof, because at the moment I’m not planning on using any tape or anything to seal the seam lines. That means that water could seep through the stitch holes along the topstitching. But really, I think for my first attempt at sewing a proper showerproof jacket, I’m happy with it being 95% showerproof rather than aiming for 100%.
I didn’t want to try colour matching the pockets, so I picked out some ‘natural’ patterned cotton for the pocket bags – if I get them sewn in correctly, they won’t be visible from the outside so it won’t matter that they don’t match!
The back is all sewn and topstitched – I’m beginning to wonder if I should have made an attempt to fussy-cut the foxes, but I think this was the most realistic use of the fabric. If I’d fussy cut or tried matching the fox heads across each piece, I think I would have wasted a lot of the fabric.
The neatest front yoke I’ve stitched so far – yes there is a slight catch where the yoke joins the front panel top stitching, but it’s much better than my denim jacket’s front yoke! I did have a bird’s nest of bobbin thread on the pocket topstitching (I hadn’t realised I was sewing that with the pocket flap upside-down), but I’m hoping I can unpick that without too much hassle.
So far so good, although I’m not looking forward to adding in the sleeves – that’s where my denim Fashionista started to go wrong!
It hadn’t ever dawned on me to try making a showerproof jacket to wear on the allotment, but each time I’m working there, it’s almost guaranteed the weather will be either blazing hot sunshine, or showers. I had considered buying a showerproof coat, but after looking at the prices, they all seemed way too expensive for something which would most likely end up covered in mud after the first time I wore it, and no doubt would get snagged on the raspberry thorns!
I didn’t want to attempt a sleeved jacket, as non-stretch fabric potentially wouldn’t allow me the range of movement I would need to be gardening. However, I’d had my eye on the Aspen Fleece Vest* from 5 out of 4* for a while, and after asking if it would work in a non-stretch fabric, decided that I would try making my own showerproof gilet.
I was advised I could go up a size to allow for the lack of stretch, but after making this one, I think I’d be tempted to actually go back down a size for my next one, as this seems roomy enough.
I used ripstop for the outer, so in theory if it gets snagged on the thorns then the hole won’t spread. The lining (which isn’t part of the pattern itself, but was just made to the same size as the outer, then stitched together at the armholes, neckline and base hem) is a plain microfleece.
I used the fleece for both sides of the collar, so it makes it more comfortable to wear.
The stitching isn’t perfect (the lining seems a bit big compared to the outer on the side seams), and I know I messed up trying to sew the armhole seams…. I really need to learn the burrito method! But the jacket is perfectly usable – it’s really comfy, and all I need to do now is go out in the rain to test out how waterproof it is!
Ok, I will admit that I did the very first part of my WinterWear Designs Fashionista* last year, but because I filed it away over Christmas and New Year, I’m counting this as my first UFO for 2019.
The Fashionista* has a shaped front yoke which looks really good, but did prove a little challenging to sew accurately. I know there’s a slight catch in the front section below the yoke, but there’s a matching one on the other side so I’m calling it a design feature rather than a mistake 😉
The back still needs pressing from where the middle panel was stored folded, but it’s looking like the variegated topstitching thread was worth buying. I chose to only do one line of topstitching instead of two, but I’m using a triple straight stretch stitch so it shows up more than a regular stitch.
That’s the front and back panels complete, so I’ll be working on the shoulder seams next, before diving into the sleeves. Denim jackets normally are unlined, but I spotted this ex-designer fabric on the Minerva Crafts website and thought it could make an interesting addition to my Fashionista. Once I’ve got the sleeves attached, I’ll then work on the lining, before adding the front plackets, cuffs and waist band…. or at least that’s the plan – it might well end up unlined if I can’t figure out how to add a lining!
Well, the showerproof jacket is not 100% “finished” as I haven’t added a hood to it, but it’s 90% finished and wearable, so I’m counting that as no longer being a UFO! I ‘hacked‘ the Blank Slate Patterns Shoreline Boatneck to make a button-up shirt, and had the idea of making a showerproof jacket to wear on the allotment.
Sewing with ripstop gave some unexpected challenges though, as it slips around even more than fake fur when you’re trying to sew. I couldn’t pin unless it was within the seam allowance, as the pin holes were challenging and sometimes impossible to get rid of afterwards, so it took a lot of slow sewing and careful pinning to achieve.
The front closes with velcro, so it’s possible to do it up (and undo it) with gardening gloves on.
Eventually there will be a hood that will attach with velcro on the neckline. I decided to make the hood detachable for ease of sewing…. mainly because I was uncertain how to add the hood onto a jacket that had a facing. But it should also make the jacket more user-friendly when it comes to washing it.
So far I haven’t hemmed the sleeves or the base, partly because I wasn’t too sure how long I wanted the sleeves to be, but mainly because I don’t think ripstop will run, so there isn’t really much need to hem them.
The ripstop should be showerproof (although I know if I get caught in a deluge, I’ll still get wet), and hopefully any mud or soil should just be able to be sponged off.
I will admit I made this jacket a while ago, but never got around to taking photos of it!
New Look 6035 came free with an issue of Sew Home & Style and although the rest of the items look good, I had to try making the jacket first. Rather than risking using a fancy fabric for a first attempt at this pattern, I used a duvet cover from Primark for my fabric – it’s polycotton, nicely patterned, and can result in a wearable item if I get the sizing right.
To make the seam finishes a little neater on the inside, I bound them with some polka dot bias binding. It looks a lot nicer than just zigzagging the edges, and should hopefully be more sturdy when washed.
Overall, it’s a good fit – I made view B, which is a perfect sleeve length for me. I didn’t add any pockets, mainly because I wanted to concentrate on the shape and size of the jacket itself, but if I made another one, I definitely would add the pockets in. It is unlined, so the jacket is quite thin (mainly due to the thinness of the duvet cover), but if it was made in a denim-weight fabric, it would be an ideal Spring / Autumn jacket.
I do want to try making a heavier-weight jacket, so I think I would probably give this one another go at some point – the shoulders are a perfect size (usually across the back, a jacket can be too snug for me), although the sleeves were a little wide at the end.
A couple of months ago, I knitted a jacket for a friend’s baby boy, K; but he grew out of it much faster than I’d allowed for! K’s Mum asked if I could make a larger jacket that would work for the winter. Trouble is, the pattern I used only goes up to 3-6 months, and she was looking for 9-12 months….
I had a rummage through Ravelry, and came across the Simple Hooded Cardigan by Lion Brand Yarn. It looked pretty similar to the Wee Speedy knit I’d made originally, and with chunky yarn I had a feeling that it wouldn’t be a nightmare to knit.
The main body is knitted in stocking stitch, with a garter stitch edge to the base and front edges. The sleeves were an experience to try picking up the stitches for – I’m sure I didn’t get them quite as balanced as they were meant to be, but hopefully the sleeves are nice and comfortable.
The buttonhole was pretty easy, just being a yarn over – I was able to use a couple of buttons from my Mum’s button stash, which catch the light really nicely, but also compliment the blue in the yarn.
I purposefully chose a variegated yarn, as I wanted to have some additional interest in there (and the original one was knitted with one strand of white and one strand of blue, so I was looking for something similar). This was Marriner Mermaid Chunky in blue random – only £1.50 a ball and fully washable, which is essential!
Hopefully we’ll get some nice chilly weather in autumn and winter, so K can wear his new jacket a lot of times before he grows out of this one too! 😉
I was browsing through some blogs the other week when I came across Melly Sews and their fantastic free blazer pattern. With the words “free” and “jacket”, it wasn’t something I was going to pass up on, so I printed the pattern and started cutting & sticking the paper together.
It’s only a one-size pattern, which unfortunately for me is too tight across the back and the arms. However, undeterred by that, I set about adding an extra inch on the back panel and side seams.
The pattern calls for patch pockets, but there’s something about patch pockets that never look right to me – maybe it’s my poor quality top stitching, but they never seem to fit the look of a smart jacket. So I followed the instructions for welt pockets instead:
They aren’t perfect, they’re pretty shallow, but they’re usable and that’s what counts!
I needed to make a lining, and I didn’t want to use the same fabric to line it with, so I bought some plain blue polycotton to balance out the patterned polycotton on the outside,
I think this jacket looks quite similar to the CC one I spotted earlier in the year, with the back vent and notched collar. Ok, my top collar is actually round the wrong way – the lining fabric should be on the inside not the outside, but that adds some individuality to the jacket I think,
And the best part of this jacket? The only hems are on the sleeve cuffs – the lining is sewn to the main fabric around the base then turned round the right way, so there’s no massive hem at the base to sew up! 😀