Settle in, this is going to be a long post.
I’ve made a jacket and I am so very, very pleased with it. I bought this pattern a few years ago when it was first released and it has just sat in a box ever since. I think I was scared of it. Scared of wasting expensive fabric and, well, scared of failing. So I decided to make it one of my #makenine2017 makes with the view that this would pretty much force me to step out of my comfort zone and make it.
The fabric came from Fabric Godmother after an awful lot of deliberation. I knew I wanted something blue and fairly light weight as I wanted it to be a jacket for spring. I opted for this lovely looking but slightly unusual cotton with a raffia weave. With hindsight I probably should have gone for a drill or a light weight wool. While I like the look of this fabric, it frays pretty much as soon as you look at it and it pulls so easily. I have two young cats with sharp claws who like to get involved with everything, including my sewing. Which means this jacket had pulls and snags in the fabric before it was even sewn up. That aside, it looks lovely and is exactly the weight I wanted. For the lining I went with a vintage silk, also from Fabric Godmother. It wasn’t cheap but I absolutely love it, so it was worth it.
I cut a size 8, my usual size in Colette Patterns, and set about making a toile with the expectation that I would need to do an FBA at the very least. Nope. I didn’t have to change a thing. I had forgotten that Colette tend to fit me straight out of the packet. Happy dance.
There were a lot of firsts for me in this pattern. First bound button holes; first welt pockets; first jacket, first lining of a jacket and the first thing I have made on my new sewing machine (a Brother Innov-is 350SE, which I completely love).
My first bound button holes may well be my last bound button holes. It might just have been my fabric but I really didn’t like them. They were fiddly to do and then, after all the effort, just looked a bit weird. I ended up binning them, re-cutting the front piece of the jacket and doing regular button holes. Still, I had a go and now I can happily
never do them again tick them off my skills list.
Welt pockets are a similar process to bound button holes but, probably because they are a bit bigger and because I got to use some of the dreamy lining fabric, I enjoyed this process a lot more. I love how they look too.
Much of the construction and the lining of the jacket was pretty straight forward and it all came together quickly. I really was not prepared for all of the hand sewing though. I don’t mind hand sewing but it is not my best thing and it takes FOREVER. I watched three films while I was sewing it up though, so that was all fine.
I think it took me about a week to make this jacket, which is a lot longer than I normally take to make anything. I enjoy the instant gratification that comes with a speedily sewn garment, so I am surprised that I didn’t get sick of this. But with this, the gratification kept coming as I worked my way through new skills and witnessed it all coming together.
By the end of it I couldn’t stop grinning. I made a jacket. I came right out of my comfort zone and made a jacket. I don’t know why but I never really thought I could make something like this. I think it is now time I started having a bit more confidence in my ability.