Alrightly peops!!! Time to fill you in on the creation I hinted at during my recent outerwear pattern inventory. As I discussed during that post, I view any time spent sewing outerwear as time well spent. For example, since completing my 'final' skirt, I've worn it approx. three times. Since rediscovering my yellow jacket about a year ago, I'd estimate I've worn it eighty times. The jacket probably took twice the length of time to make as that skirt, but in that case, the jacket is still seventy four wears up!
Of course, the more outerwear I have, the fewer times each jacket or coat will see action, but the less they see action, the longer each garment will last (are you following my logic there?!). Plus I felt a void in my wardrobe for a lined jacket (warmer than the yellow jacket) that would look good with trousers/jeans (unlike my leopard coat which looks far better when worn with skirts). My vision was for a boxy style with nautical stylings so I reached for Built by Wendy/Simplicity 4109 (pictured above). I used this pattern for my yellow jacket, and although I felt I made a size too large, I was generally really happy with the fit and proportions. Also, this pattern has no bust darts or waist shaping, so I thought it would give me the boxy, slightly androgynous silhouette I was after.
This pattern has two body length options and two sleeve style options. I went for the shorter body length and used the straight sleeve but altered those to a 'bracelet length' (i.e, slightly longer than 3/4 length) which I hoped would keep the final jacket on the right side of cute and feminine than if I'd kept them full length. The biggest challenge was making a lined jacket from a pattern designed to be unlined. I altered the back neck facing, drafted sleeve hem facings and drafted a full lining pattern. I didn't really know what I was doing to be honest, just applied logic and took my time (this whole project took about a month's worth of lunch hour-sewing sessions) but aside from totally fluffing the insertion of the lining at the hem, the lining looks really good and seems to have the correct amount of ease.
You'll be pleased to know that this whole project came from the depths of my stash, nothing was bought specifically for this project to come to life. The navy wool AND navy poly/sateen lining fabric had been lurking for about four/five years. I think I received them when the mum of an old flatmate of mine decided she didn't want to do sewing any more (whatever, mistaken lady! but thanks). The braid came for the Selvedge magazine stall at the MADE 10 fair last year. Scruffy Badger's lovely sailor jacket reminded me that I had this braid squirrelled away and inspired me to use it in a similar vein, thanks talented lady! The plastic anchor buttons were purchased during the Brighton meetup and fabric swap I organised back in June.
I only had enough of the stripey braid to apply two rows to the sleeves and one row along the top of the patch pockets. If I'd had a bit more, I might have added some to the collar but think it's fine as it is. During construction, after I applied the braid to the sleeves but before I'd finished it all up and added the buttons, I tried it on and it looked suspiciously like something an airline pilot might wear! Which is why I've called it the Captain jacket, as 'Captain' could refer to a pilot AND or the captain of a ship! Oh, how I laugh! (Please note: sarcasm present in that last sentence.)
Today was a bright but chilly Autumnal day. The jacket performed really well when we went for a wander around sunny Brighton. Definately warmer than my yellow jacket, and far less attention seeking! But I doubt my A/W '11 forays in to outerwear end here. I think having a few jacket/coat options to reach for will cheer me up when it's chilly, cold and/or gloomy outside. The success of the Captain jacket is motivating me to make another jacket or coat this year, but the time it's taken puts me off from doing it before attacking a few simpler and quicker projects in the meantime. I'm thinking of getting a second-hand copy of this book to fill in the evident glaring gaps in my knowledge of linings before I attempt any more as well. Are you making any jackets or coats at the moment or do you have any planned for this season?