The jacket project

Size: 10
Fabric: 1.5 metres of Dark teal coloured twill poly rayon slub (from Textile Traders), total cost $10.79
Extras: A bit of woven interfacing at $5.59 a metre

It started with a message from a dear friend –“thinking of attempting to sew a tailored jacket as a winter project... Crazy?” followed by "Want to join me in crazy jacket project?".

We chose the newly released Grainline Morris Jacket as it looked stylish and is unlined, and didn’t have a notched collar.

I found this unidentifiable fabric at Textile Traders during their recent 40 per cent off sale. It’s has a slight stretch, a lovely soft texture and a beautiful drape.

I traced a straight size 10, based on my measurements and the fit turned out perfectly.

It took me three evenings after work to complete this jacket – one to cut it out and fuse the interfacing and another two to sew together.

Being a poly-rayon I wasn’t game to have the iron on too hot so it took a while, and a press cloth, to get the interfacing stuck on. I used white interfacing, which probably wasn’t ideal but it is all hidden in the facing and I really wanted to use the soft woven sort. I was introduced to it by one of the staff at TT a few months ago and it’s so much nicer than the stiff papery kind I had been using before, it hold the drape and doesn’t bubble over time.

The fabric didn’t really press well, and of course being part poly I didn’t want to have it too hot, but I got there in the end.

(Textile Traders might not have the best range of fabric but the staff are all lovely, helpful and I often overhear them displaying superhuman levels of patience and tact when trying to help customers who come in with very erm, ambitious sewing project. You have to actually being a sewer to get a job there apparently, and it shows.)

It all came together pretty easily, I just took it slowly and tried to follow the instructions. Essentially you make the jacket, then make the shawl collar and back facing as one big circle and then bring them together, then top stitch the whole way round.

I got stuck on step 15 though, which just made no sense, and it wasn’t really something I could just figure out either. Fortunately I remembered ready on Sew Busy Lizzy that she had run into trouble, and went back and looked at her blog and figured it out.

(am I the only person who constantly tries things on as I go, to reassure myself there is an actual wearable garment forming, then texts the photos to people?)

 I don’t have an overlocker, so just zigzag finished the back and shoulder seams, and hand stitched the collar to the back.

The only thing I would change if doing this again would be to try out my topstitches on a pieces of scrap first, and possible make them a bit longer, to make less of an imprint on a spongy stretch.

I would also try to think of a way of modifying the top stitching pattern on the front points of the jacket, as the arrangement, having you top stitch the front 6mm from the front edge then come in and going along the facing an inch in creates a slightly bubbly effect and stop the point looking completely smooth. I’ve seen this on other versions online as well and I think I’d look for a way of making it less stark.

Not sure if that makes sense, but here’s a picture of the bit I’m talking about.

(Something REALY WEIRD happened to the colour in the camera when I took these shots. I corrected most of them but this last one came out grey.)

Overall though, I LOVE this jacket. It’s as soft and comfortable as a cardigan but looks smart like a jacket. The three-quarter sleeves and cropped length of the blazer work well over t-shirts (I wore it here with a newly-made, yet to be blogged Scout) and I actually got compliments on it from people at work who didn’t know I had made it.

It’s one of the first things I have made that I have felt completely satisfied with and it’s already been worn a lot. I’m not on the lookout for fabric to make another one.



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