Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Andean Jacket

My latest and most favourite make - a lined zipper jacket. The outer fabric is one of the fabrics I was given by a friend a couple of years ago, when she decided to quit sewing and destashed. I fell immediately in love with its pattern and was saving it for something special. A few times I was just about to cut into it - for a long skirt or a short poncho, but luckily, abandoned the idea. 

I say luckily, as I think this zipper jacket is the best use for this fabric. The pattern is Sinclair Journey, which I bought recently for another project I am making for Gaby. I was half way through with Gaby's jacket, when I hit a rock and decided to step a bit aside and make another version of the pattern for myself.

As it happened, I had the perfect fabric for the lining and the perfect zipper, even its length was the exact one I needed - it seemed the stars had aligned for this project.

The version of the jacket I used is View B - the one with zippered pockets, but I decided to make mine one-side welt pockets (my first!). The pattern pockets are designed to stay loose, but experience has shown that such pockets are not very practical, so I designed my own pockets to be attached to the zipper opening and the bottom band.

My most favourite part of jacket is the collar. Here again I took the View B half-hood, added 5 cm to its height, straightened the back seam, so that I could make it seamless and then extended the front of the collar, drawing a line at a right angle to the back - thus I added 8 cm width to the front part of the collar. The additional width goes into the folds and makes the collar one of main features of the jacket.

Size: Petite (152-160 cm) 4 S with added 2.5 cm to the sleeve length
Fabric: French Terry / double knit; lining - polyester jersey
Time to make: 5 days

This is my third lined hoodie and the first time I added the lining correctly and easily. I always knew there must be a correct way to assemble the outer part and the lining, and I think I finally found it after watching a video by Dasha Sineva, where she showed her process of sewing a lined jacket. The simple secret is to leave two openings - one big opening at the bottom back and one in one of the sleeves.

I had 2.15 m of this fabric in two pieces of about 1 m each and I have some big scraps left, which I intend to combine with some other knit fabric and make another lined jacket. Husband wants it for himself, as he also fell in love with the striped geometric pattern, but we'll see. I'm not sure the pieces are big enough for a grown man like him.

It's a pity it is already winter here and sunny days like yesterday, when we took these pictures, are a rarity, but come spring I intend to wear this jacket intensely. I was down to the fabric store today, bought the missing notions and tonight I'll back to Gaby's jacket, hopefully it will be no less successful than mine.

A short note on my preliminary work - when I bough the pattern, I determined Gaby's size as 4 S petite, printed the pattern and made a muslin out of an old bed sheet. I know you aren't supposed to make test clothes for knit garments out of weaved fabric, but I thought a muslin would still give me some idea. Well, I was wrong. The muslin felt too small and tight and made me go up a size and up a height. Once I cut Gaby's jacket out of her fleece fabric, I found it too wide, so I had to cut it back to 4 S and I knew that my initial sizing had been right. So, all that work to print two sizes and sew two muslins had been absolutely in vain. Now I know a muslin really works only when you are using a similar fabric, no going around that :(

And one further note: raglans and patterned fabric. It took me probably three days of measuring and thinking, until I cut the fabric. Initially I had drawn the pattern pieces as economically as possible and just when I was about to start cutting, it occurred to me, that the raglan connections would be clearly visible at the front and thus the pattern pieces of the body had to be aligned with the sleeves not at the bottom, but at the sleeve opening. I know that is probably pretty obvious for experienced seamstresses, but it was a revelation to me and it might help somebody (or my future self), when using such patterned fabrics and raglans. As a whole, it did take a lot of planning around the fabric, but i am really happy with the placement of the pattern :)

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