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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!