My #sewingdare: The Waver Jacket

A few weeks ago, Gillian over at Crafting A Rainbow, issued a little challenge to the sewing blogging community: a sewing dare. Just like Truth or Dare at a girlie sleepover, but without the truth and probably less humiliating than some of the things my adolescent friends came up with. Anyway, Gillian specifies that the sewing dare should be something challenging and out of your comfort zone, but still fun. I asked Gillian to give me a dare, and after a bit of thinking, she decided that a good dare for me would be to sew outerwear of some sort. She's good! This was the perfect challenge for me as I have wanted to take a stab at sewing (and lining) a jacket, but have been too chicken to do it. This was just the push that I needed. After a lot of humming and hawing, I finally settled on one of Papercut Patterns' latest releases: the Waver JacketIMG_6841To be completely honest, I wasn't overly enthused with the sample of this pattern on Papercut's website. It looks very lab coatish, but I decided to look past the sample and use the line drawings to visualize a nice spring/fall jacket. Because I was looking for a lighter jacket, I decided to go with the short, drawstring version of the Waver (although I may end up giving the other version a go in a more wintery fabric - it looks quite cute too).

IMG_6828I had some really nice cotton twill in my stash that I bought locally, and I thought it would work perfectly for this pattern. I've never worked with twill before and it's actually really nice to work with - a lot like denim. This stuff is the perfect weight for a jacket, and I can't really describe it, but it has this kind of natural smell to it. It's not a bad smell, just a distinctive smell, kind of like raw denim.  It reminds me of my Dad for some reason. I think maybe he had twill coveralls for working in the garage or a twill jacket or something, because every time I smell this fabric I feel really nostalgic for my Dad. I always find it so interesting that a smell can bring back a really clear memory, or even just a familiar feeling. But anyway, I digress, back to the jacket.

IMG_6830The pdf pattern went together really quickly, and easily ( I really should by stock in Scotch Tape). The only other Papercut pattern I've used is the Rigel Bomber, and I had the hardcopy for that. I am pleased to say that the pdf, was just as nice to work with as their beautifully packaged paper patterns. And there's nothing like the instant gratification of a downloadable pattern. The instructions are very clear and have nice diagrams too.

IMG_6844I chose my size based on Papercut's sizing chart (the medium), but once I had the shell made and tried on, I realized that it was HUGE! Like a massive tent - I'm not kidding!  I quickly asked my Instabuddies (I am such an instagram junkie and I love the little community of friends I've got going on there - so great for sewing questions and support), and most people that answered my call mentioned that Papercut Patterns tend to fit on the larger side. D'oh! Maybe I should have asked that question before I started. I ended up increasing the side seam and sleeve seam allowances by a whole inch! That seemed to work so I did the same thing with the lining pieces. Next time I make this coat (and I am sure there will be a next time) I will probably size down to a small or even (GASP!) an extra-small. I'll take the time to measure the pattern pieces and decide from there.

IMG_6834I think that the trickiest part of making this jacket was "bagging" the lining. The instructions that came with the pattern are really good, but I really wanted to machine sew the lining to the jacket at the sleeves too. The pattern instructs you to hand sew that part, but I hate hand sewing, so I hit up Google to see if there was another way. And of course there was. I used Jen's tutorial, and it worked out really nicely, although I was sweating while I was doing it. I still had to do a little bit of hand sewing to stitch up the opening you need to leave to turn the jacket through, but that was pretty minimal.

IMG_6836I used a Liberty lawn I had in my stash for the lining and it feels amazing, plus I think it goes really well with the blue outer fabric. As you can see, I don't have toggles for the inner drawstring yet. I just haven't been able to find any that I like, but I will. For now, I just cinched the drawstring and tied it in a knot. Not overly professional and it doesn't work quite as well as the proper toggles will, but for now no one really sees it, so I'm okay with that.

IMG_6848The construction of this jacket was straightforward and quite speedy. I think that aside from figuring out the lining bit, it didn't take me much longer than making an Archer. Gotta love those raglan sleeves - so much quicker than set in sleeves. Anyway, while the size isn't perfect I am really happy with the finished product and I am looking forward to wearing it a lot. I made a couple of minor sewing mistakes with this jacket (my seam ripper really is my most used sewing tool) as this was my first run through, but I expect things will go smoother next time around.

I wasn't completely sure this jacket was going to suit me right up until I finished it. I tried it on for John before I put the buttons on, and we were both like, "eh, it's okay...". But once I cinched up the waist and added the buttons we both changed our tunes. It's amazing how such a small thing can totally change the look of the jacket.

This jacket makes me really happy and has rekindled my love for Papercut. I now really want to make another (more attractive and properly fitting) Rigel bomber, as well as try out some of their other patterns too. Plus, this jacket reminds me that I am part of such a great community of sewing bloggers, and Instagram sewers, and I love that! You guys are so great!!

Anyway, thank you Gillian so much for the dare, it was a lot of fun, and I learned a lot too!

Have you participated in this daring challenge, if not would you like to? Gillian set the end date as May 31st (I'm squeezing in just under the wire) but I highly doubt that is set in stone. So if you'd like a dare, just ask. Thanks for reading along, I hope you are enjoying your weekend!


Or as I like to call it #rigeldisappointmentjanuary. I'm a little sore about this project, so sore in fact, that I wasn't even going to blog about it. I thought about pretending that it never even happened. People would forget that I decided to partake in #rigelbomberjanuary, and I could just delete my instagram photos, right? Well, at the last minute (on the last day of the month I might add), I decided not to forget about it. It's good to share the fails too right? First off, let me just say that there is nothing wrong with Papercut's pattern. It was fun to sew up, albeit a little stressful because of the welt pockets. (I had sweaty palms because I have never attempted welt pockets before.)  The jacket itself turned out fine, although the ribbing was a little less structured than I would have preferred, but that's just down to a lack of available ribbing out there. It's's not for me. The colours are not working for me, and I sorta don't think the shape is right for me (but that could be a sizing issue too - I made the medium, but I think I could have gotten away with a small or at least a small in the shoulders). Anyway, I really want to like it, and I have really, really tried to like it, but I just don't.

I think the biggest problem with this jacket is my fabric choice, oh and the ribbing too. When Sonja of Ginger Makes announced Rigel Bomber January, and posted some inspiration photos, I fell hard for Craft Sanctuary's quilted bomber. It's made out of a delicious Liberty lawn and quilted and lined. I immediately checked the stash for Liberty prints and the hubs and I settled on this one that we got at Shaukat. To be completely honest, I have no idea why I even bought it because I don't even really like it. I think John chose it because he loves the colours. So there was the first mistake.

The second mistake is that I had to order the ribbing online, so it was really difficult to find a good colour match. In my mind I was looking for a dark maroon/burgundy, but I wound up with this brick red from By the time it got to me, I was tired of waiting, and wanted to get the show on the road, so I just went with it (I won't be doing that again - settling I mean).


Ya, so that happened.

I guess it wasn't a total waste because I did learn how to make single welt pockets - I used this tutorial. I have never sewn them before, and I was super nervous about doing them, but they turned out really well. Another sewing fear conquered. Yay! Silver linings people, silver linings.


I think part of the heartbreak over this make is all the time and effort I invested into it. I mean, I took the time to quilt it all. It wasn't difficult, I just cut out the pieces, marked some lines and then quilted them with some leftover quilt batting I had, but it was time consuming.



I also lined this bad boy with a delicious rayon challis from I used Elizabeth's method which was pretty easy. It feels really nice when you put it on. It's snuggly and warm, and silky against the skin. It's a little stiff due to the quilting, but I think with some wear and a wash or two it will probably soften up really nicely. See what I mean, I really want to like it and I'm really heartbroken that I don't. I kept having that yucky feeling of disappointment and regret in my tummy every time I looked over at it. I even popped it on several times throughout the last week or so to see if I changed my mind.

I just think the colours do not work for me. It might be my insane blue hair, but it might also be the shape/style of the jacket too. It looks so lovely, on so many people. I mean have you seen this one, or this one. Or my favourite this one (I swear Katie and I are sewing twins - we both seem to sew up the same things around the same time not even knowing we are doing so - she has great taste and great style so check out her blog if you haven't already.)


I didn't really take a lot of good photos of it (my bad), so these are all off my iPhone, but you can see the lining peeking out a bit there.

When I finished it, I put it to Instagram and as I expected got mixed reviews. Some people liked it, some people were quiet about it ('nuff said), and lots of others reassured me that it was fine but also that it was okay not to like it. Thank you guys for that.

Anyway, to make a long story even longer, I had finally had enough of looking at it, and I was about to stick it in the back of my closet and pretend it never happened, when my Mom and Stepmom came over for coffee this afternoon. I wasn't sure if either of them would like it, but sure enough my Stepmom tried it on, it fit, and we decided it looked much better on her.  SOLD! (or rather GIVEN! but you know what I'm saying). This made me ecstatic! I am so happy for this make to have a home, and so happy that it is with my favourite Stepmom! I think she's going to get some good wear out of it because it looks really great on her.


I sort of sprung the photo shoot on her (poor lady - she really must love me because she agreed to it), but doesn't she look great!

So that wraps it up! (Enough whining and wallowing already!) I really liked this "sew-together" concept. It was fun to sew something with a bunch of other people, watch other people's progress and see what we all did with the same pattern. It also gave me the push I needed to get this done. I have had this pattern for months and it probably would have just sat in my stash if it wasn't for this. Even though mine didn't turn out exactly as I imagine, I would still recommend it. And if you didn't quilt it, it's a really quick sew for a jacket. Now onto different things - I'm planning for the Crazy Dog Lady Sewing Challenge (and there's always more Archers, Gingers and Lindens to sew). Woo hoo!

Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever made something that you just didn't like? How did you get over it or what did you end up doing with your project?