Oh my goodness you guys, I made a Jacket! This was full of so many firsts, it had to be documented with my first blog post of 2018. I know, I know, it’s almost the end of February, but I’m one of the best neglectful sewing bloggers out there!
But, this Jacket deserves a post. So, let’s lists the firsts, and then go from there.
First time: testing a pattern, bagging a lining, inserting grommets (that’s a bit of a cheat, because I have put in snaps, buttons and rivets, which are all mainly the same, but still, I’m counting it) using Liberty of London (what?!) and most importantly, sewing a dang Jacket! That’s at least 5 firsts in one garment.
Did I tell you, I sewed a jacket?
The story behind this Jacket is even more meaningful than my handful of firsts. Gabriela drafted this pattern for her friend Emily, in memory of her mom Joy. The story is really touching, and Emily does a much better job telling it than I do, so head over to the Chalk and Notch blog and read her story there. Needless to say, this jacket brings me Joy every time I wear it.
Testing was such a fun experience. I’ve never tested a garment before, and I really enjoyed the process. If you don’t know what “testing” is, it’s just the final fit checks that designers go through before publishing their patterns. I was in the first phase of testing for this pattern, so a few small tweaks have been made to the final version.
There are two views for this Jacket, and I sewed View A, with the slant pockets. I really wanted to make the hooded version, but I did not have enough fabric. I’m not too sad, because I already have fabric for another one on the way! My measurements are 33”, 27” 36”, which puts me mainly in the size 2. The only adjustments I made was to shorten the body by 1.5” and the sleeves by 1”. I also shortened the pockets and set them slightly lower on the bodice. I love the size of the slant pockets. They are perfect for holding my phone and keys, and keeping my hands warm.
There are so many great details in this jacket. It has unique collar lines and easy fitting raglan sleeves.
There are also optional drawstrings at the neck and waistline, which I added. I love being able to tighten up the neck slightly to keep the wind out.
This jacket is a great transitional piece to have in your wardrobe. It’s meant to be a light weight jacket, but I have actually found that it keeps me fairly warm in this wacky weather we’ve been having here. Seriously, VA can’t decide if it’s winter, spring or summer. I used a Linen Rayon Blend from JoAnn’s for the outer shell, and a cotton Lawn for the lining. Not just any cotton lawn though, Liberty of London lawn! I’ve had this big cut of Liberty sitting in my stash for almost 3 years, and I’m so glad I finally found the perfect use for it.
This was not an easy or fast sew, but I think any adventurous sewist could make this jacket. If you remember, I have never sewn a jacket before, and my finished garment looks pretty amazing, if I do say so myself. I felt a bit like I was birthing my 3rd child when bagging the lining. You sew the lining and outer shell together, inside out, then pull it all through a small opening in the sleeve. I used Gabriela’s excellent instructions, plus this method from Grainline to get a nice even seam line to sew up after you are done. Ok, it wasn’t actually as hard as birthing a child, but I was sweating a bit. In all seriousness though, the pattern is expertly written and walks you through all the construction steps. Go on and bring a little Joy in your life, you can do it!
Ok, that’s enough out of me. If you’re still reading, you deserve an award, and here it is! Gabriela of Chalk and Notch has been kind enough to offer a free copy of the Joy Jacket pattern to one of my readers! Click on over to my Instagram and find my most recent post about the Joy Jacket there. Like that photo and make sure you are following me on Instagram. I will chose a random winner on Thursday, February 22 at 9pm EST!