Saturday, 15 October 2011

Captain Jacket

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?

22 comments:

Claire (aka Seemane) said...

Love the new jacket!
Re: the book on linings - might be cheaper to get the e-book version for $13.99 (so under £9.00).

Elisalex said...

Beautiful jacket, and I must say I'm very impressed (and slightly jealous) at how perfect the lining looks. I'm near completion on my first real outerwear garment - a 50s swing jacket made from an old cape deconstructed - and I'm taking my sweet time over the lining, but I'm sure it won't look nearly as profesh as yours!

woolcat said...

um, did you not make a coat from a 70s pattern a while back? or were you only thinking of doing it?

This one is great and it really suits you!

Marie said...

Lovely, lovely, lovely! I'm glad I don't live in Brighton, because if I bumped into you wearing it, I would wrestle it off you...mwahaha!

weriem said...

BRILLIANT!!! I love that style!

KarenL said...

Love the jacket- it is a very flattering length! Haven't ever attempted outwear yet (unless you count a light sweater).

Scruffybadger said...

Zoe it is too lovely ! You are so clever! I adore the styling and I reckon that's just the right amount of braidIng - you know seeing you wear it in the street, it's also got a v desirable army surplus vibe too. Thank you for the props and such kind comments on my blog. I'm with you- certain that the world needs many jackets! Fab lining job too- inspiring that you self drafted xx

mienkintoshfairie said...

Still planning on making a coat (been planning for the past 2 years)...

Christina said...

I'm just finishing a much needed jacket. Just have to do the buttonoles and sew the buttons in place. :) I totally agree with all you said about outerwear sewing. The effort is big, but you will get a lot of use out of it.
Btw: The Captain is really cute! :)

Shelly said...

Love your jacket! The nautical styling is fabulous and the lining looks perfect to me. Thanks for the link to the book, I haven't seen it before but think it would be a great addition to anyone's library.

Tilly said...

Ooh it's lurrrrvely! Glad you made good use of those awesome buttons too. I don't have any firm plans to sew any jackets but yesterday I did a little sketch of a pattern I'd like to draft... a little ambitious, but what's wrong with that?! xx

Roobeedoo said...

Ooh yes - very nice indeed! A month's worth of lunch-hours sounds a bit daunting but it is totally worth it :)
I plan to make a coat from a 1970's Betsey Johnson pattern. The only problems are: I don't have fabric and the pattern is about 3 inches too small all over! Mere details! ;)

Ali said...

This looks great! What is it about these BBW patterns that are just so useful and versatile? And this fits in with your nautical wardrobe :)

I also drafted the lining on my recent jacket and, pain that it was, I still love having a fully lined jacket. I'm learning how to copy RTW and I've got my colleague's J Crew blazer and only the sleeves are lined for easy slipping on and off. Clever but that neatly finished sleeve is such a conundrum (no exposed seams at the armscye). Sounds like I might need that book, too! And I'm trying to get my hands on Sew Your Own, so thanks for the review :)

I'm challenging myself to buy very little this year and I'm always pleased when I can thrift/trade/stash bust my way into a project. It's becoming easier and easier to work with what I have and your posts are always an inspiration in that department.

Ashley said...

Absolutely wonderful, I love this! I'm sure you'll get a ton of wear out of this jacket, it's stunning!

Melizza said...

What a lovely jacket. The lining looks amazing. Your skills are amazing.

Bunnykins said...

What an adorable jacket! Just love it on you!

Sølvi said...

Very cool jacket, I absolutely adore the length, it is just perfect for you! And hurray for using the stash! I am very impressed by the fact that you constructed the lining - very impressive!

I have made this the year of the jacket, as I have finished two jackets, only have the lining left of one coat, and have cut out another. The me-made months have really made me realize that I am in need of some different options when it comes to outerwear, but I hear you on the need to make some quicker projects in between to keep up the motivation! :-)

threadsquare said...

This looks great, and I second the slight army surplus vibe, which I'm a total sucker for! Huzzah for tweaking in a lining! I should really get that book, too... Always have a coat or jacket in mind, but this season I'm going to buckle down and get 'er done.

dixie said...

Ah! I *just* finished making that pattern, too. It's cool to see another version. I love the nautical styling! I made a lining for my jacket, too but I made it more complicated than it should have been. I should have nixed the facings like you did. Your lining looks so good!

And I agree - outerwear is totally worth the time and effort because the garment gets so much use season after season.

Hillary said...

Ohhh I LOVE it!! I've admired this pattern for a while, and your version is just too wonderful in every respect and lives up to the fever pitch of anticipation (*cough* my lateness of making it to the post notwithstanding) and then some!!! Love love love the braid and where you have chosen to apply it. This one is a perfect 10 on all counts. LOVE IT. xo

velosewer said...

Looks like this jacket has stood the test of time. It was an excellent choice.

thewardrobesurgeon said...

I love your jacket. Very creative.

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