Hey Everybody!! I seem to be moving right along in the blog posts. What is this, the third post in less than a week? Wowsers! I must be procrastinating something else in my life. LOL Just kidding! Or am I? Ha ha ha! When I get the urge to blog and I have the photos, I gotta go with it. Anyway, I'm back with a truly amazing new pattern from Alina Sewing + Design Co: the Hampton Jean Jacket.
I don't know if you guys are like me, but I am addicted to Instagram Stories. I watch them all the time, and when I saw a little flash of a jean jacket on a dress form in one of Alina's stories a while back, I got really excited. I've been a part of her pattern tester group before, so I was crossing my fingers and hoping that she would invite me to test it. I LOVE a good jean jacket and as you probably know by now, I love sewing denim! Anyway, when a message came through a little over a month ago asking me to test this beauty, I jumped on board! And as you can see, I'm pretty happy about it. Ha ha!
Just a quick heads up, this is a pretty picture heavy post for only one new garment, but I'm just so pleased with how it turned out and I have been waiting to show it off for what seems like forever! (Really it's only been about 2 or 3 weeks, but still.) Also, I feel a bit like an 80's Jordache model because of all the denim, but I'm cool with it.
Okay, first of all. Let's talk about the pattern. Alina describes it as:
"A nod to the classic jean jacket, the Hampton Jean Jacket pattern is a timeless addition to your handmade wardrobe. This flattering pattern is cut to be close-fitting, yet roomy enough to wear over a couple of light layers or a thin sweater. With welt pockets, in-panel top pockets, two-piece sleeves, and all of the panels you know a jean jacket to have, this pattern is everything you want in this classic piece."
And I couldn't agree more, this is a super classic and timeless piece that I think everybody can use in their wardrobe. One of my favourite ways to wear a jean jacket, is over a dress. Of course it's much too cold for me to style it that way right now, but I am doing it with a old RTW jacket, here and here. See what I mean? Great with dresses for a more casual look. I also love it over a striped tee or a button down, and it's going look great with my Chi-town Chinos too. I was actually a little surprised at how well it worked over this Toaster Sweater. Hooray for layering! I'm really excited that it's now officially spring and starting to warm up so I can wear this bad boy a ton!
As usual, with Alina's patterns, the pdf went together really well, and the instructions are top-notch. Alina has great diagrams and descriptions, and while this pattern might look a little intimidating, I assure you, it is fun to sew and incredibly rewarding! If you've sewn a button down shirt, or really any garment with a collar, set -in sleeves and button holes, you can handle this. Plus there is also going to be a sewalong coming in the next few days with all kinds of helpful hints and tricks, so not to worry, Alina has got you covered!
And as always, you can email or message me on Instagram if you need help - I'm always happy to talk sewing and help out where I can. I also know that Alina is truly a wealth of information, and she loves helping out too, so don't hesitate to email her. I love being a part of her tester group because she is super hands on, and quick to answer questions and offer fitting advice. I always wind up with a great fitting, professional looking garment, when I make up her patterns, and the people in her group are always fantastic too! But anyway, enough gushing, back to the jacket.
Before I get into my fitting details, I need to mention that this is my tester version of the Hampton Jean Jacket, and there have been a few minor changes to the pattern, so my big advice to you? Make a muslin. I don't like making muslins myself, but I think on a project like this, you really need too. I would have been so sad to put all this work into my jean jacket, topstitching and distressing, and then not have it fit. And you would be too. ;) So I have made a size 12, and
So anyway, I have made a size 12. I shortened the body by 2.5", and the sleeves by 3.5". I also did a narrow shoulder adjustment of about 2cm, which I should have taken into account when shortening the sleeves, but I didn't, so my sleeves ended up a little short, but I'm okay with that. I also sanded the crap out of this jacket as I was making it. I used a really heavy 80 grit sandpaper, that I found in our garage, and went to town. I sanded all the seams as I sewed, before I topstitched each one, being careful not to sand any previous topstitching. I did a combination of flat felled seams and faux flat felled seams, as Alina suggests in the instructions. There are a couple of areas where flat felled seams would have just been too bulky. Once the jacket was completed, I washed and dried it (in the dryer) twice, and it softened up really nicely.
The denim I used is a 10 oz, non-stretch Cone Mills denim from Threadbare Fabrics. It's the same denim I used for my lastest pair of Morgans, and it's lovely. There are also really great kits for this jacket available from Threadbare Fabrics now too. They feature some really nice hardware in a few dirfferent colours, and some gorgeous White Oak milled Cone denim. It's from Greensboro, North Carolina - made in the USA - how cool is that? Pretty rare for denim nowadays. I was too impatient to wait for my kit, but I have it now and and it's gorgeous!
I should also mention that I made a bit of mistake and didn't topstitch around my welt pockets. By the time I realized it, it was too late and I would have had to do a ton of unpicking to add it without sewing my pockets shut. I'm kind of bummed because I think it really makes the pockets pop, but oh well, these things happen.
The night before I was about to finish my jacket, I was lying in bed thinking about sewing, as I always do when I can't sleep, and I started worrying about the buttonholes. If you've ever sewn a pair of jeans, the buttonhole is probably your nemesis, unless you hand sew. But I am pleased to say that my buttonholes turned out really well. My machine had no problem with them. I think because the button band is so flat and not very bulky, it just wasn't an issue. Phew!
So there it is! I'm super proud of this jacket and how it turned out. It took some time, it wasn't an instant gratification project, but I'm so thrilled with it. (Can you tell?) I know I'll be wearing it a ton! So now that I have this and a couple of other jackets under my belt (see here and here), maybe I can get over my fear of sewing coats. Ha ha!
I hope you guys are all doing well and having lots of fun sewing, no matter what it is!