This post is part of the first Dress Up Party by Sara Lawson, the sewing blogger from Chicago behind sewsweetness.com. Every weekday from May 4th to May 29th you can find 2 guest bloggers sharing a garment sewing pattern review. Sara asked me to write a review and I went for the Marmalade Jacket by Waffle Patterns. Here you can find my review on Sara’s blog. Have a look…there are a lot of daily giveaways and a contest with many final prices. Don’t miss it!
This jacket is also part of my Wardrobe Architect Challenge 2015. It come out thanks to all the exercises I made over last months (about style, silhouettes, shapes, colours, models, etc.) to understand what I like to wear and to sew in a more conscious way. Thanks to the WAChallenge I also analysed my wardrobe and I found out that I needed a summer/spring jacket. In fact I have an old and worn jacket and the time had come for it to be replaced. I have been looking for a new jacket for a while but I haven’t found anything I like. So I decided to make it myself!
And I’m very excited…I managed to make my first jacket!
Since I started sewing my own dresses up a few months ago, my dream has been to make a jacket. When I saw the Marmalade Jacket I right away thought it was the perfect pattern for my first handmade summer jacket.
It’s a semi fitted short jacket with a stand collar, gathered portions on the front centre, front snap buttons and sleeves with vents (closed). The back is available in two different types, with and without gathered portions on the back centre. I chose the one without the gather back type.
I like it because it’s both casual/sporty and feminine, thanks to the gathering.
The PDF pattern includes the jacket pattern, the lining pattern and illustrated instructions. It’s printable on A4 but you can ask for “Print at copy shop” size. The pattern contains seam allowances, but also shows seamlines and hemlines, so you can choose your favourite pattern outline and sewing way. I went for the seam allowances outline.
Sewing level indicated is “advanced”, but I managed to make it, so it’s doable also for an intermediate/upper beginner level in my opinion. You have only to be very patient and careful in some steps…I’ll let you know which ones later.
My measurements are 89 cm/35 in (bust), 66 cm/26 in (waist), 92,5 cm/36 ½ in (hip), so I needed to mix a 38 (bust) and a 36 (waist) size…I didn’t consider the hip measurement because it’s a short jacket. Finally I went for a 38 and decided to adjust it later. It was my first digital pattern and I found it very nice because the pattern has layers. I could choose my size and just print it.
As a summer jacket I chose an Italian 100% canvas cotton, with a very little Pied de Poule pattern, and a Liberty London’s printed batiste as lining, everything bought on the French/Italian website supercut.it. I think it would be nice also in a slighlty streched heavy cotton (so it’s much easier to move in) and a bias tape finishing in the inside (instead of the lining).
To speed up, I didn’t make a muslin, I directly cut the fabric and basted everything up by hand to check if everything was ok and to make some modifications. Anyway if you have a precious fabric or if you’re not sure about the fit, I highly recommend you make a muslin.
I cut the main fabric and basted the jacket by hand, first. Then, after a lot of tests, I made these final modifications: I reduced 1 cm from waist to hem on both sides; I eliminated a defect on the top of the back, cutting about 1-1,5 cm from the neck to the bottom of the shoulder blades (I’ve always had this defect, probably because of my back structure) and I consequently cut 1 cm off the collar; I reduced the circumference of the sleeve by 1 cm.
Then I cut the lining fabric, applied the same modifications above, basted everything up by hand, inserted the lining in the jacket (without sewing them together) and checked if everything was ok.
After checking my jacket fit right also with the lining, I unbasted and sewed everything up as written on the instructions.
Actually, after I had sewed the sleeves to the bodice, I realised that they were still too loose (I prefer them a little more fitted) and I reduced their circumference by another 0,5 cm. So I recommend you be very sure about the fit before starting to sew it up.
As you know, this is my first jacket and the first time doing anything isn’t exactly always a walk in the park. Anyway I didn’t find it as complicated as I had thought, everything was generally easy to follow. If you take your time, carefully mark and baste everything, sew slowly, everything is going to be simpler. However I’d like to focus on these few details that I found a little tricky:
If you want to hide the snap buttons on the front band (as I did), you have to put them on the front band of the right side before folding and topstitching the edge. After applying the snap buttons, I realised that I couldn’t sew and close the front band by machine because the snap buttons interfered with the presser foot (probably I didn’t have the right presser foot). So I topstitched the right front band opened (in order to have both front bands identical on the right side) and then I folded and sewed it by hand in the wrong side.
If you want them to be visible instead, no problem! It’s easy, you can put them at the end, as written in the instructions.
I went to the haberdasher’s to put the snap buttons on because I don’t have a hand press or any tool to apply them yet. I find these kind of buttons very easy and simple, the most important thing is to be careful in putting them up straight and in the right position, because it’s difficult to remove them. I think that a tool for snap buttons will be my next buy. You can find a nice tutorial on Rachel’s blog House of Pinheiro.
I found a lot of ease on the upper sleeves, so I took advantage of this ease in order to create a marked gathering in the upper part of the sleeve. I like this modification because gathering is the leitmotif of this jacket.
After I sewed the lining in the cuff, I fixed the cuff in two points on the seam allowances (not visible outside) in order to not have it move when I put my arm through the sleeve.
In the end I’m very happy with my new summer jacket! I think that I’ll wear it a lot in spring and summer for sure, because it’s both a casual everyday garment and a fashionable jacket for evening outfits.