Summer’s End

I have a little navy blue linen jacket that I wear in the summer, I made it somewhere in 2013 – I think.  I’ve tried looking for it on the blog, but I can’t find it, so I couldn’t have blogged it!  Anyway, it wasn’t the first time I’d used that particular pattern, and certainly wasn’t the last!  The pattern in question is 116/7 from April 2009!  (edit -*- I’ve found a picture of the blue jacket in this post, and an unlined version with Hong Kong seam finishes here!) I’d always loved the shape, the fit was good and three quarter sleeves for summer are perfect.  It’s a jacket that lives on the back of a chair in the dining room, in easy reach for dashing out if the weather is a bit inclement.  I really wanted a jacket that would do the same for the winter, but couldn’t choose a pattern.

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Jacket 116 Burdastyle April 2009

The problem with winter jackets is that they tend to either be smart blazer types, or loose, floppy, outdoor utility types.  I needed a casual jacket that I could wear with dresses, skirts, jeans and trousers.  Something in a colour that would fit seamlessly with my winter colours and not feel too smart.  And it needed to be warm – obviously!  While in Plymouth on the way to Cornwall in September I bought a piece of textured black cotton with the required weight and that became what I wanted to work around, but I still wasn’t having any luck with the style of jacket.

Two weeks ago, I was trying to work out what I could make with some small, left over pieces of various fabrics when I uncovered a piece of smoked paprika coloured corduroy.  This I’d bought last year at the sewing show at Ally Pally in October, and made a pair of Kana’s Standard trousers. (That link, apart from showing you the lovely colour of my trousers, also has a boiled wool version of the above jacket!) There was leftover because I’d bought 3m of that gorgeous colour.  I realised there was enough for a cropped jacket and offered it to the girls for a denim jacket style jacket.  They politely refused…. That’s when I had one of those lightbulb moments!  I would make my own cropped jacket!  But not too cropped – and with long sleeves.  And I knew exactly where to start.

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Burdastyle jacket 116 04/2009, lengthened!

I dug that jacket pattern out of the files and grabbed the pattern paper.  The jacket body was lengthened 5cm, I basically just traced the hem and curved front details and stuck the paper down 5cm from the original hemline.  I moved the patch pockets down by the same 5cm, it actually makes them much easier to access!  The sleeves have a “built-in” cuff, which I never really used, so I worked out that I needed 10cm more in the sleeve length and proceeded to lengthen by extending the seamlines on the sleeve patterns.  I checked the final width and was happy with where it came to, I want to be able to wear jumpers under this jacket, so I want room!  I didn’t toile but I did pin the paper together and do a quick paper fitting!  I have to add here that the pattern in the magazine is unlined, I made my own lining pieces, and so far have only made one version (out of 6) that isn’t lined!

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Scraffito lining

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With everything sorted I got cracking with cutting out, making the upper collar 3-4mm bigger on the outer edges, I’d already enlarged the front by the same amount.  This helps with “turn of cloth”, making sure the under collar stays under!  I also cut the under collar on the bias, with a centre back seam.  The jacket was definitely going to be lined, so I decided to interface properly with canvas chest pieces and a back stay.  I also interfaced the hems to get a nice sharp line and prevent “soft” hems.  I chose a black and white scraffito print viscose lining from the stash that I’d bought originally from Fabworks for the other half’s non-existent coat.  It’s non-existent because he still hasn’t chosen a lining.

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Topstitching and patch pockets with flaps helps to make the jacket feel more casual.

Anyway, the putting together went well, and I decided to add all the pockets and flaps this time, to emphasise the casualness of the jacket.  I put a few pictures on Instagram in my story highlights of the construction process, it’s by no means all of it, just a peek.  I had a headscratching moment for the buttons, trying to decide between vintage bronze dome buttons from the local antiques shop, or cool timber buttons a friend sent from a trip to Canada a few years back.  In the end I liked the change of size with the bronze buttons, and that they lend a sort of military look to the jacket.

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I really love this new jacket!  It has taken the place of the navy linen jacket for the cooler weather and has been worn on numerous occasions already!  The rich colour goes perfectly with my blues and greys and inevetable black for the winter with ease.  It’s going to be a top star in my winter wardrobe!

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Rust as Standard

 

At the very end of summer, in fact, it was the end of September, I made a pair of linen pants from the first Kana’s Standard book.  I graded the pattern up two sizes and just went for it.  I really loved the finished pants, but of course, as they were made so late in the season I hardly got to wear them.  I thought it would be cool to make a pair for the winter, but thought of a nice wool suiting or a crepe.  One of the pieces of fabric I bought in October at the Stitching Show was 3m of rusty coloured corduroy.  A match made in heaven?

Inintially that cord was lined up for a jacket, and if there was any left over, I was going to make a skirt or trousers.  However – the pattern I want has yet to be drafted & I decided I wanted more trousers first.  So I grabbed the Kana’s Standard pattern and set to work.  When grading up two sizes, I also added 2cm to the leg length.  I made no other changes.

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Now – in the linen, which is soft and lightweight and drapey, the width of the trouser leg is fab, but I do wonder if with the stiffer cord, that I might be able to shave a couple of centimetres off the side seams, just so they’re not quite so wide.  But I’ve been thinking that since I made them and I’m still wearing them as made!  So it can’t be that much of an issue, right?  The front pockets are the perfect size, deep enough to fit your hand in properly – and there’s a pocket in the back!  Now the pattern officially only has one, but I’m greedy, so I have two back pockets in this pair.

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I love the cord, the colour is so rich!  It’s also soft and warm and nice to stroke.  Not that I advocate stroking your trousers in public too much.  Or inviting other people to stroke the same trousers – with you still in them.  I like wearing them with my Lark tees, really dark colours on top work well, as do my paler greys.  I like the look with the white trainers too, and my silver silver shoes work brilliantly, but aren’t too good in walking too far in.  They have a nasty habit of munching the back of my heels.

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Two back pockets, because you can never have too many pockets

 

I wore these on Boxing Day for a little walk up and down the high street of Chipping Campden.  The daughters decided they needed fresh air and a bit of exercise, so we did the tourist thing wandering about and grabbing tea and cake in one of the numerous tea rooms.  So, my second pair of Kana’s Standard trousers, and most definitely not the last.  There have been a lot of corduroy versions of these trousers on Instagram this winter, in all the colours!

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Now, despite the fact that the book is completely in Japanese, the instructions are fairly easy to follow.  In this book you have to add seam allowances once you’ve traced the pattern, and the tracing is dead easy after using Burda patterns!  The diagrams in the instruction section of the book show clearly where to add what.  The diagrams also show the order of work really simply.  So you don’t need to know Japanese!  For some stuff that’s good to know, it’s a good idea to check out this site for some translations.

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The trousers in the first Kana’s Standard book

I’ve used that page to make notes in the book so I know what fabric they’ve used, the sizes and amounts of fabric to buy.   There is a list of Japanese names of fabrics and their English translations here.   This page is also good to read.   But don’t let the fact that there’s no English version put you off.  The patterns are easy and quick and so nice to wear!  And yes, they have elastic in the back waist.  Secret pjs for the win!  Especially the day after Christmas feasting…