I made this pattern three years ago, but since I’m recommending techniques that I used to make it for a double-faced coating, I thought it would be worthwhile re-issuing it.
Pattern Description: Princess seamed, semi-fitted jacket with mandarin collar and fold up cuffs
Pattern Sizing: 8-22, I made a 12.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? No, but that was intentional.
How were the instructions? I didn’t read them, because I wanted to try some new techniques. I debated about even calling this a Simplicity pattern, since I changed it so much, but the base shell is the pattern, so let’s give them credit where it is due.
Likes/Dislikes? I loved this fabric the minute I saw it. But what to make of it? I figured a reversible jacket, kind of like Phyllis C’s Edgy Jacket would be a good choice. Now that I look at the two jackets, I think I borrowed a lot more from Phyl than I intended (my bad). Thanks for the inspiration Phyllis!
There was not much that I disliked. I liked the lines, and I liked the fact that this was a relatively simple jacket, despite the princess seams. The back has darts rather than princess seams. I removed them (more on why later).
Fabric Used: A really neat yellow and tan double faced cotton-lycra. Here is an image of the other face of the jacket.
Design Changes or Alterations? Tons. I wanted to add pockets, so I cut the pattern pieces (front, side, back) off below the waist. I added 5/8″ seam allowances to the resulting pieces, and during construction I sewed them together, leaving openings for the pockets.
I used a plain patch pocket that I copied from Claire Shaeffer’s book Sew Any Patch Pocket. I attached that on the yellow side using edge stitching. It looks kind of like a welt pocket from the tan side. I eliminated the facings altogether. Since I planned to make this reversible I didn’t need them, and I’m leaving the edges raw so they will ravel when it is washed. I cut the sleeves at the cuff and added a seam there for design consistency.
I overlapped the pattern pieces at the seamlines and did a double row of stitching on either side of the seam, about 1/4″ away from the raw edges. Here you can see the stitching at the shoulder on the princess seam.
On the sleeves, I kept the stitching much closer together to avoid bulk and puckering.
I interfaced one side of the collar and overlapped the seams with the seamline of the jacket neck. I basted each collar piece to its respective side just inside the seamline, then I sewed along the seam. I edgstitched the hem and fronts of the jacket, and in that same stitching line I sewed the two faces of the collar together. I added a second row of stitching and trimmed the hem and front. The plan is to let the jacket edges ravel in the wash.
Oh yeah, I did my usual FBA starting with a size 12. But I got all involved and forgot to add the usual ease in the waistline to bring it out to a 14 (doh!). So it’s a little snug, even though I left out the back darts.
Would you sew it again? Yes I would sew it again. In its “virgin” state, this jacket is very easy to put together. It is unlined, so I would guess it goes together quickly. It was perfect for my experiment because of its simple lines. Some hints when sewing with double faced fabrics: keep the pattern lines to a minimum, don’t use sleeves that require a lot of easing into the armscye, don’t drink too much coffee when sewing, and keep both a bobbin and a spool wound with matching threads for both sides, unless you use a contrast thread.
The jacket as I made it took about 6-7 hours of sewing time. The trickiest piece of work was sewing the sleeves. Because I overlapped the seams, I had to sew the length of the sleeve starting at the armhole. This takes time and patience (hence, no coffee), to keep from catching the fabric in the needle. But I think the results were worth it.
Conclusion I wanted to try something completely different, and this was it! I am happy with how this turned out. When you look at patterns, don’t just be swayed by how the pictures or drawings on the pattern envelope depict it. Use your imagination and see what alternative options you can come up with. That’s the beauty of sewing your own clothes. You don’t have to look like anyone else out there!