comfy jacket

A few years ago I got some extra metal zippers (jean fly type) in a shipping error. Making jeans is something I think about every now and again, but my few tries have not been encouraging. On my bulletin board is tacked a picture of a tweedy kind of Chanel-type jacket with zippered pockets. A Chanel jacket is in my future, but it is going to take so much work that I want it to be timeless, not trendied-up with zippers and whatnot.

But I wanted to use some of my zippers and thought that the dark blue/brass zips would look good with a beige/blue cotton stripe that I got from Fabric Finders at the Martha Market. That’s what drove the fabric decision.

For the pattern, I had been wanting to make some fitting tweaks to Cutting Line’s By Popular Demand jacket. And that’s what made the pattern decision. It’s nice when the decisions just make themselves.

Here’s the resulting jacket, which will look good with both natural linen and denim, staples in the closet.

The fitting changes: took out a little width by taking a vertical tuck in the pattern, front and back. Removed about 1/2 inch, so that’s 2 inches total. That worked out perfect at the shoulders, but was just a little too much at the hip. That’s OK, it looks just fine when worn open and I never button my jackets. Next time, I’ll slash along the tuck and spread it just a little at the hem edge so that it COULD be worn closed, even though I never will. Also lengthened the sleeve because reducing the shoulder width means the sleeve cap sits higher…and the hem sits higher, too.

Other fit refinements: did a forward shoulder & neck adjustment by slashing front and back yoke horizontally below the neckline. Spread the back 1/2 inch and lapped the front by the same amount. I need to do this on all CLD patterns.

The jacket was underlined with cotton batiste. I’ve used that technique on several cotton jackets now and really like what it does. The lightweight batiste adds just enough oomph to the cotton outer fabric to give it a bit more presence and a quality feel. And the batiste feels just great on the skin, nice when you wear your jacket with sleeveless tops.

The pockets are placed at waist level and were constructed before underlining so that all the pocket bags are hidden. The zippers were just inserted into rectangular windows. Interfacing the window and a little Steam-A-Seam for basting the zipper tapes made sewing the zippers really easy. They are just edgestitched all around.

The back part of the bags, the part that shows when they are opened, was cut from the fashion fabric. I was a good girl and matched the stripes. The other part of the bag was cut from batiste – less bulky than another layer of the fashion fabric.

The lower part of the back was cut on the fold rather than seamed, but the yoke was cut so that it could be mitered. Anything that brings attention up to the shoulders is a good thing.

On the Chanel thing…Ann Rowley has once again gone the extra mile and posted a detailed photo tutorial on the making of Claire Shaeffer’s latest pattern for Vogue. Having the extra photos and advice from Ann has given me the confidence audacity to actually give the whole process a try myself. Since I’m trying to emulate Ann, I’ve started by gathering all my materials rather than just diving in and making do as I go along. So far I have my fashion fabric, a 100% wool from Apple Annie. The fabric isn’t on the site anymore, so I guess it sold out. Maybe I lucked into the last of it? I need to go into town to get lining, after which thread can be ordered. I want silk thread for the quilting, and the bobbin thread should match the lining. Also need silk buttonhole twist. I’m thinking I’ll crochet the trim, and need to buy some yarn for that. I don’t think I want to unravel enough threads from the fabric to crochet with.

Question – the sleeve length seems to require some bracelets or bangles. Do you think someone who doesn’t wear bracelets should make the sleeves full-length?


26 thoughts on “comfy jacket

  1. Always enjoy your innovative ideas. Did you consider putting a zipper down the front?

    Re coordinating trim for your cardigan jacket, suggest you see how different yarns – esp two or three differnt ones of varying types, look with the textured wool. That’s what Chanel does more often than using the fabric yarns these days, esp when it’s crocheted.

    • Yes on the zipper down the front – I wished for it, but didn’t have it, and didn’t want to try to find a match & order and all. So I used those pound-on buttons, in an antique brass finish.

  2. Robyn, I’ve started on my Shaeffer journey as well. Yikes, it is a lot of work. I like 3/4 sleeves, and they are generally considered to be more youthful than long sleeves…but then I wear bracelets and I like my wrists. (Can’t say that about many other parts of my body!) However, I think most Chanel jackets I have seen have regular length sleeves–so the choice is really up to you.

  3. Robyn, Here’s a link to one Chanel jacket being sold on eBay with crochet in four colors to pick up the colors in the multi-fiber content tweed. You can supersize the photos to see the base chain and the picot or popcorn stitch. Looks like the crochet yarn is cotton.

    Here’s another that used a curly, chunky variegated yarn

    • thanks for the links, Terri! The best approach for me is to find a pic of a trim I like to recreate/approximate. Inventing my own is bound to look…wrong…

  4. Robin, your jacket is just heavenly! I love the zipped pockets and the changes you made to the pattern. I also like the idea of underlining in batiste!

  5. The jacket is beautiful! Love the details – they really make it special. I’m going to have to go and read the folder on Stitchers Guild about the Shaeffer jacket especially if Ann has added tips!

  6. What a great way to use zips and really adds a unique touch to your jacket. As for Chanel – I’ve bought the same pattern as you have so I’m working my up to getting started. Personally I like the sleeve length but like Lynn I always wear bracelets, however, on thinking about it further shorter sleeves may look like the jacket is too small – cut them long and then you can always shorten. Good luck

    • Thank you! I think the sleeves are just right for someone like you that wears bracelets. I don’t even own one! IMO, the sleeves only look too short if you don’t accessorize with something else on the wrist.

  7. Love your interpretation of BPD. Thanks for the details on your construction.

    I look forward to seeing what you do with the Coco jacket.

    I made mine with full-length sleeves, but I do like the bracelet length in the picture on your pattern. I think it depends on your silhouette. For example, I have *strong* hips and have to be careful that my sleeves do not end where my jacket or top does.

    I would determine the best overall hem for your silhouette and then alter the sleeve length to provide a different horizontal line. Even if you don’t have strong hips, I personally like to avoid that hard line at the hips.

    And then, of course, there is the opportunity to roll the sleeves up.

    Oh so many possibilities with that classic Coco shaped jacket, right?

    • Thanks for bringing up the hem! Oh, I’ve got the strong hips, all right :-)…you’re right, the sleeves need to end somewhere else than at the same level as the hem. For me, that probably means a shorter jacket with longer sleeves.

  8. I just love the zips on your new jacket, and I will be happily following along as you work on the Chanel/Shaeffer jacket. Your work is always so well done, with unexpected details which charm me.

  9. Such a great job on the stripes! And I love the zip idea 🙂 Regarding the sleeve length, I think that’s so personal…personally that length would drive me bats. I would definitely go longer on a jacket like that (mostly I like 3/4 sleeves, or the ability to push them up…not such a great look on a jacket like that, I think…)

    • Thanks for the input on the sleeve! I’m leaning toward making them just a bit longer. I like 3/4, too, but the sleeve on the envelope looks neither here nor there.

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