Hey Everybody! How are you doing? As you'll be able to tell from the myriad of photos in this post, I am pleased as punch because......I MADE A JACKET!! I'm so happy with how this turned out, and while it was a big project to take on when I really wasn't feeling fabulous (I sewed this up back in August). I'm so happy that I did.
This is the latest pattern from Closet Case Files: The Kelly Anorak. Personally, I think this is the perfect coat (well for Spring and Fall anyway). It's casual and comfy for every day, but it could also be made to look a little more fancy depending on the fabric you use. I had a RTW jacket very similar to this, but it never fit me properly. Story of my life! It was much too long, and I bought the size that fit me across the bust, so it was much too big in the shoulders and everywhere else. The smaller size fit well in the arms and shoulders, but of course, wouldn't do up across the bust. Ugh! Coat problems! I'm so happy that I sew now.
I should note, that this is my tester version and there have been a few changes to the final version of the pattern. For example, the hoodless, collared version (the one I made) no longer has a drawstring. There were also some fit changes made like length of the sleeves and body, but nothing too, too major. I started with a size 12 based on my measurements (which is my usual Closet Case size), and because I am short, I shortened the body by 2 inches, and I also shortened the sleeves by 1 inch. But that's all the changes I made.
I used a heavy-weight, brushed, cotton twill that I picked up on Goldhawk Rd when we were in London, and it worked out perfectly. It's soft, and snuggly, and pretty warm too. I think I originally bought it with the Thurlow Trousers in mind, but now that I've worked with it, I think it might be a little to heavy for trousers. I have another piece of the exact same fabric in purple, so I might use that for a hooded version of this jacket.
I think this coat fits really nicely, and I am super happy with the shape. I really like the drawstring feature, and it sits right at my natural waist which I think is very flattering. I really need to get my hands on some toggles for the drawstring though. I know I could just tie it, but that's not really me. I'd rather have toggles. I've got my eye on some silver ones, I just need to get off my butt and order them. 😜
So this coat is a pretty straight forward make. I know it looks a bit complicated, and if you've never made a jacket before, you might be wondering if you can tackle this project. I'm here to assure you that you can! If you can set in a sleeve, and sew a straight seam, you're set! I did however, struggle a little bit with those front pockets, because I've never made anything quite like them. Once I finished one though, I was like, "Ohhhhhh...I get it now!". So don't let this pattern intimidate you (or really any pattern for that matter). You just have to take it one step at a time, and then at the end of the steps, you'll have an amazing "me-made" jacket. Woo hoo!
As always, Heather Lou's instructions are great too, and I know she is planning to do some tutorials on her blog for the pockets, and any other complicated bits.
I wasn't quite sure what to do for the snaps as I don't have any experience with large jacket snaps. Shirt snaps, sure, but not jacket or bag snaps. Anyway, I found some silver snaps at my local Fabricland, and they looked right, but of course I didn't buy enough, and I ruined a couple. I had ever set these kind of snaps before so I really should have allowed for a few practice ones. Anyway, I wasn't super happy with them. The feel kind of cheap and don't really do up so well, plus they kind of rattle, which I don't think is a good sign. Anyway instead of buying more from Fabricland, I headed to my favourite snap website: Snap Source. I do not know why I didn't just go there first. Impatient I guess (ie: I'm a poor planner). Anyway I ended up ordering the size 24 metal snaps, and they are soooo much better.
You can't really see a difference unless you get up close, but the bottom snap at the zipper flap, and the two snaps on the collar are the Snap Source ones. I may pry the crappy snaps out and replace them, but I haven't decided if it's worth the effort. They'll probably pop off on their own with time anyway. LOL. Then I can replace them as I go. I guess it's also worth mentioning that I've never installed grommets before either, but they were a breeze. I got this little kit (also from Fabricland) that came with a tool to install them and it worked great.
This jacket is unlined, but I have been playing with the idea of drafting a lining. I have this dream of a hooded version lined in flannel. Wouldn't that be cozy? I'd have to work out how to do it, or maybe I could just underline the pieces. Hmmmmmm....
I used my beloved rainbow, variegated serger thread to finish the seams so that the inside wasn't so boring. LOL. I have been hoarding my last two cones of this thread, and only using it for special projects because I haven't been able to find it anymore. Luckily, when I was back in Calgary a couple of weeks ago, I stopped in at the local shop where I originally bought it, and they were able to special order me some! Yay! So hopefully it will be waiting for me when I get home. I LOVE those little details that you can add to a garment to really make it your own. That rainbow thread on the inside makes me so happy. Really, I'm the only one who sees it, but it just makes my jacket that much more unique and special. I love knowing that no one else will ever have the exact same jacket!
You're also getting to see my latest Deer & Doe Mélilot. It's in heavy rotation. I love it so much too!
Anyway, I think I've blabbed on enough for now! I hope I haven't left out any important details, but if I have, please ask. I love to talk sewing, so ask away!
Have you sewn a coat/jacket before? Do you wish you could?