Hello Sewists!

It’s been a long time since my last blog post! If you don’t follow me on Instagram it’s been over a year since we last met! Hello again old friend, how are you doing?

Well, this new jacket has got me back on the blog! I’ve added a lining and used a combination of bagging-out and inter-lining to get the result I want. I’m so pleased with how it’s come out and I can’t wait to share it with you.

The inspiration…

I’ve been wanting to make a new Chore-Jacket for some time now. What’s slowed me down is not having the right pattern. My existing one doesn’t fit me very well around the shoulders and the thought of all the time it would take to adjust the pattern put a giant road-block in the way. Not enough to stop me sewing, just enough to stop me sewing a new Chore-Jacket!

Instead of re-drafting my old pattern, I had decided on buying a new one… and, just before that happened I had an epiphany! It was a particularly cold day and I was looking for another layer to go over my jumper, under my coat – and I landed on a green needlecord version of the Fibremood Harold shirt. It’s more of a ‘shacket’ than a shirt, as it has bound plackets and cuffs, a separate collar stand but also a curved front hem and a full facing. It’s not made to be tucked in.

My original ‘Harold’ shirt

I can’t believe that it never occurred to me before to use this pattern for my Chore Jacket. The sizing and fit was great, with a few tweaks it would be perfect.

Foraging for fabric…!

Almost everything for this sew came from my stash. I had bought the denim some time ago and had nibbled into it here and there so there was a bit of Tetris cutting out the main pieces. I only had a scrap really of the mock-shearling, just enough for two front linings one collar and a pocket welt. As I plan on wearing sweaters under this, I wanted the sleeves to have a slippy lining so it’s easy to get on and off. I chose this lovely purple silk from my (deep) stash for a bit of hidden luxury. I searched high and low but couldn’t find anything suitable for the back lining… but then my local haberdashers saved the day when I spotted a quilted cotton gingham which is perfect (I’ve a little bit left and it’s so nice I’m looking forward to seeing where I end up using it).

Next I had to adapt the pattern…

I drafted a lining by using the front and back pieces, subtracting enough to compensate for the facings, then adding seam allowance. I’ve written a full post about this HERE if you want a more in-depth version.

As I’m doing away with the cuffs and plackets from the original pattern (to just have a plain turned hem) there’s a bit more work to do there. One way forward for this would be to merge the sleeve & cuff pattern pieces and trace a new sleeve piece incorporating the extra length needed to compensate for the cuff and a turned back facing… but I decided to do it as I went along, cutting the outer fabric and lining the same size, trying not to waste fabric, but making sure I had enough length in the sleeves to play with. More on that in a bit…

Notes on construction…

With this jacket, I have ‘bagged’ the body: the outer and lining are joined by the collar at the neckline and also sewn (right sides together) at the hem before turning through. This has given me a nice clean finish at the top and bottom of the jacket.

I’ve chosen to ‘under-line’ or is it ‘inter-line’ the sleeves and sides (meaning I am using both outer and lining fabric as one piece, the seams are overlocked on the inside and topstitched down. This can make for a bulky seam, but it is giving this casual jacket a bit more structure at the shoulder – without having to add pads or sleeve heads.

Shoulder seams adding structure

This means that the seams are visible on the inside at the sides, and inside the sleeves. This may not be to everybody’s taste, but seemed like the perfect solution for me and this jacket. I love to see my rainbow thread on the overlocked-insides of my makes, but if I wanted to change the look it would be easy enough to retro-fit some bias binding (… maybe in neon…?!)

Inside, showing visible seam finishes and fluffy welt pocket!

But I’m racing ahead of myself…

So what about those sleeves…?

At this stage, the main body and lining are together, collar done and the sleeves are sewn in at the shoulders. I’ve only got the cuffs to finish up, and then the sleeve and side seams (which are also stitched all together and overlocked).

The benefit of this is now I can try it on and mark the sleeve length to the exact position I want. Then, back at the ironing board, I press both edges to the desired length and cut the folded-back section (the cuff facing) to 4cm. This will give me a 3cm facing and a 1cm seam.

Facing trimmed to 4cm

Next I lay the lining over the top and fold it at the raw edge of the outer fabric. Pressing it to mark the crease.

Lining fabric folded at edge of outer

Open out the lining and add 2cm to the crease line, mark and cut.

Mark and cut

Fold the outer fabric up to reveal the right side.

Outer fabric flipped up

Fold the lining fabric under so the right side matches the outer fabric.

Lining fabric flipped in

Pin in place (now is a good time to turn it back through just to check it’s not twisted!)

Raw edges pinned ready to sew

Stitch the seam, turn it round to the right side and give it a press.

Finished lining

Apart from the front closure (which I’ve yet to decide on) I just need to finish the sleeve and side seams. I’ve threaded the overlocker ends back into the seams to keep the edges neat. As I said earlier, I may add some bias binding, maybe just to the ends, but at a later date… I’m good with it for now.

Inside the sleeve

Finishing up…

I still haven’t chosen my buttons, so the jacket isn’t finished yet. But that’s not stopped me from wearing it already! I’m going to use jeans-style buttons for the pockets, but I’m afraid of attempting buttonholes at the front as there is so much bulk from the mock-shearling lining. Instead I’m looking for press studs, but I want them to match the buttons as closely as possible… I have faith the right thing will present itself in good time!

Needless to say I’m thrilled with how it’s turned out (so far!) – it’s warm without being bulky – interesting enough to not look plain, and plain enough to go with everything!

Now I have the base I’m really excited to keep working on this pattern. I have future plans to adapt it to a one piece collar, adding safari pockets and maybe a belted waist. How about a velvet one, corduroy or … silk…!?! The possibilities are endless!

I’ve really enjoyed blogging again, so hopefully it won’t be so long until my next one. Thanks for reading and…

Happy Sewing!

Andrew x

Notes to self:

  • Shop your stash! There’s plenty there!
  • Don’t shy away from re-drafting & adapting – the first step is clearing off the big table!!!
  • Make proper pattern pieces for all the adaptations (and mark them clearly)
  • Don’t forget to blog – you enjoy it!