Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Summer jacket


Well, I don't know how it is with you, but the thing I always have bother with, and I mean REAL bother with, is finding jackets and coats to fit me. I'm talking decades of bother! I'm tall at 5'9", I have really long arms and quite broad shoulders and basically ready to wear jackets and coats just Do Not Fit. I once took my friend with me to shop for summer jacket. We're still friends and if I want to joke with her I'll threaten that we should repeat the shopping trip. I had to throw out the summer jacket we bought on that one trip. It had done well, lasting 7 years. So I decided I just had to sew one...


After extensive internet searching, I came across Waffle patterns Tosti jacket. It has everything I like in a summer jacket - funnel neck, lots of pocket designs to choose from, set in sleeves, interesting two piece sleeves, shoulder tabs, poppers, zip....and then I saw this version on Handmade by Carolyn. She had sewn it in cotton drill and I loved the green but couldn't find it in local shops. I did however, find this burgundy cotton twill so the plan was sorted! It took a while to gather the supplies together and pre-wash everything though.


There were lots of pages to print off. I think just under 100, including the instructions, separate lining pattern pieces, a whole file for all the pockets available and of course the outer fabric pattern pieces. Then there was the taping together. Then the cutting out. I don't trace if I can possibly avoid it, I'd rather print off more pages. Then came the alterations. I added about 3" to the body length, 2" to sleeve length and did a 2" FBA. Phew! Then came the cutting out which took a while....


The instructions are good and there are illustrations for most of the steps. It certainly is an undertaking, a serious project, to create a new, fully lined jacket or coat even without using any tailoring techniques. I did, of course, make a muslin for this new-to-me pattern but didn't need to make any changes.

For the lining I used black 100% cupro lining from John Lewis (at £12 a metre it was more expensive than the £8 a metre cotton drill of the outer fabric, but totally worth it) I wanted the jacket to be breathable, with the cotton outer layer and cupro lining. I used medium iron on black interfacing for the front zip flaps, pocket flaps and the bellows pockets (but not the concertina sides of the bellows pockets). I also added the same interfacing around the body hem and sleeve hems and reinforced the places I sewed on the pockets and pocket flaps. I used horsehair iron on interfacing on both of the collar pieces and this has worked really well. The collar sits up and doesn't flop about.


I added bellows pockets and spent about a whole morning making them. I interfaced and lined the pocket fronts but the pattern doesn't tell you to do this. When sewing the pockets onto the jacket, I just couldn't sew the concertina bellows edge all the way down to the bottom edge of the pocket. There's about an inch gap on each edge but I just won't put anything small in them! I omitted the interior welt pocket in the jacket lining and just cut two facings instead and right facings. I also made such a botch-up of sewing the metal zip within the opening for the sleeve pocket that I threw it in the bin and didn't bother making another.


I really like my new jacket and enjoy wearing it. There are a few small details I'd perhaps do differently next time but it's totally wearable and in a lovely colour. Realistically I'll probably get a few weeks more wearing it before I feel autumn coming, usually at the very beginning of September. I'd like to make the Tosti as a more trans-seasonal, autumnal jacket, maybe with a thin padded lining for a layer of warmth. Guess what? I think I've convinced myself that I really need a new autumnal jacket! Mind you, autumn sometimes doesn't feel so far away...when taking these pictures the wind gusts blew my tripod over! Time to head indoors....

12 comments:

  1. What a rich color! And it looks beautiful on you!
    I'm always impressed at jacket/coat making. I'm glad you'll have a jacket that fits for years to come

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    1. Thanks! It's a lovely colour and one that isn't very common in fabric shops around here. Jacket making is certainly a time-consuming project, there are just so many steps with the outer fabric shell and lining, you have to be in it for the long haul but it's great when you get a lovely new jacket to wear.

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  2. That's an impressive piece of sewing! I dream of finding the perfect coat for my long arms - I would really love to make one this year

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    1. Thanks Kerry. Yep, I've got long arms too and know the problems with sleeves that are just too short. This is a good pattern and really adaptable too. I'd love to make another one for the autumn but it's just finding the right fabric.

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  3. A labour of love and worth every minute. Truly excellent jacket.
    You could think about making a quilted waistcoat to wear inside and extend the season a little.

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    1. Hey Ruth, thanks for your lovely comments. Do you know, we must be psychic! I was thinking of making an autumn jacket with this pattern, and making a quilted lining. Just need to find the right fabric...

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  4. This is beautiful, I'm loving the colour- looks fab on you.
    What a labour of love preparing the pattern! I've never tried making a jacket though I do often suffer form the "too short arms" issue with shop bought ones. I usually try to do a fix with the lining and hem if possible. This looks so professional.

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    1. Hi Julia and thanks for your lovely comments. It does take a while making a jacket but if you take your time, do a practice version to check the fit, it's very do-able. It actually makes you slow down because you know you'll never start and finish the jacket in the same day. Go for it!

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  5. It's so nicely sewn and love the rich autumn colour! Thanks for sharing the photos. I love to see my patterns turns to really nice jacket!! I'll share the post on FB. Yuki@WafflePatterns

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    1. Hi Yuki and how lovely to read your comments! I've got another Tost on the way, this time made from waterproof orange/red fabric. Hope you like that too!

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  6. What a great jacket. And so nice that you had such a lot of use from your previous one. I also love this colour - it is such a nice cool red and it looks beautiful with your hair. If I had to run out 100 pages and stick them together I am not sure I would feel like making the jacket!

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    1. Yes, the printing and taping together was an epic undertaking but the outer fabric, lining and pocket options are all printed off, and I really appreciated having the separate lining pattern pieces instead of having to adjust the outer fabric pieces. I think the trick with letting my hair go naturally grey is remembering to wear lovely bright, strong colours. I look absolutely awful in beige near my face!

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