Let me just say, I love this pattern! Seriously! Love it! There are a few different options to switch it up, the instructions are clear and concise, and the finished product is amazing. I never thought sewing a jacket could be possible for me at my sewing level. I’m so glad I didn’t listen to those voices in the back of my head telling me I couldn’t make it happen. Cause guess what? I did, and I’m so ready to sew up even more now!
This was taken mere minutes after I finished. I really don’t know who was more excited with the finished product – me or her. I was initially concerned as to whether or not she’d approve. When I showed her the fabrics, she thought the turquoise was cool but was pretty hesitant on the yellow flowered fabric – which I thought she’d be. I went ahead and sewed it up anyway, and it’s a good thing I did. She LOVES the finished product!
So, get this craziness. I decided to make this jacket as an accessory for February’s challenge over at Project Run and Play. Because I was making more than one item, I figured I should set a budget and stick to it. I set out to make the jacket for $10 or less. That’s right! $10 or LESS! I headed to my local Goodwill store and started hunting. The turquoise circle print was actually a bed sheet that cost $1.99 and that yellow, flowery lining was from two large pillowcases at $0.99 each. We’ll get to the story on the waistband and cuffs in a minute, but it came to $3.47 for the ribbing, and the zipper was on sale. All-in-all I spent, after tax, $9.06 on the ENTIRE JACKET. I’d say that came in just right according to budget. I gave everything a good wash as soon as I got home (I prewash all my fabrics – repurposed or not), and got right to work.
I chose to use the color blocking option paired with the gathered sleeve so I could bring more of that gorgeous flower print to the front of the jacket. I can’t get enough of these sleeves! They are oh so awesome! Typically, you see sleeves gathered at the shoulder, and I adore the side gather of the sleeves on this jacket. It gives it that extra little flare for the perfect touch of girly without going over board. Miss P is not a fan of the over gathering, ruffly, extra girly types of pieces. The delicate touch of gathering was just the right amount for a girl like her.
Welt pockets. Ah, welt pockets. These were my very first. Well, my very first pockets of any kind for that matter. There are large joys to be had for accomplishing such feats. I love when I do something new for the first time. It feels sooo good! And these welt pockets were no exception. I was uber excited when I finished! I lined them with the flower print as well. But truth be told, I did have to pull out a few stitches on the first pocket. I ended up pressing it too far over the opening and stitched the dadgum thing shut. Que seam ripper aka my best friend or biggest nemesis, depending on the day. Good news is: I learned from my mistake and didn’t repeat it on the second pocket.
When I was in Goodwill and found the outer and lining fabric, I was originally searching for a brown sweater to use as the ribbing for the waistband and cuffs. I just didn’t end up finding anything to convince me it was the one. All of the sweaters were over $4, and I just couldn’t see spending that much for such a small portion of the fabric. It, like all the things “not working out as I planned”, ended up working out even better in the long run…as they always do. When I’d finally sewn to the point that I needed to add the waistband and cuffs, I had to find something. But it also had to be perfect for the jacket. I’d thought about making another trip to Goodwill, but ended up having to stop at Walmart first. While I was in the store, discussing my conundrum of finding the perfect fabric with my husband, he asked why I didn’t just buy a shirt there if I was going to cut it up anyway. This is why we work so well together. He takes my blinders off when I’ve wandered too far into the forest to see they’ve come down over my eyes. I immediately ran over to the woman’s section in search of a brown tank top I could use for the ribbing. No such luck. Just springy, solid colors. Blegh. I decided to check out the girl’s section and ended up finding no boring brown. Thank goodness! Instead, I found a striped, multi-colored tank in fun, bright colors. I went with it, and I am so glad I did! Seeing the finished product, I know now that brown would’ve just dulled it down. Instead, it became a vibrant, fun jacket perfect for any girl. Heck, I’d wear it. I’m so happy with the waistband and cuffs.
I totally forgot to use interfacing in the collar – which is optional in the pattern – but I had intended to do it for that added stiffness. Even without the interfacing, I’m still super satisfied with the collar. It stands up really well, and because both fabrics are cottons, a little starch and an iron will perk it right back if ever needed. It was also another first for me. I’ve never sewn anything with a collar before, and it was another of those highlights for me when I finished with it.However, when I sew one up for Mitchel Monkey, I’ll be sure to add the interfacing so I can see the difference it makes.
And let me just give you a little giggle and a way to feel better about your own sewing blunders. When it came time to attach the lining to the jacket, the directions clearly state to make sure that your zipper is facing the inside when you’re pinning them together. I read this. More than once. Let me be clear it had nothing to do with the directions. I think it had something to do with being exhausted, having been sick for three weeks straight, still not fully recovered, and trying to finish in time for the deadline. So, I read the directions and proceeded to pin everything and sew everything together with the zipper NOT facing the inside. When I went to turn it right side out, I realized what I’d done. So close, yet so far away to the finish line. Que that seam ripper again. This time, totally not my best friend. Guess what? I sure won’t be making that mistake again. Ha. Ha.
I am so beyond proud of the end result, and even more so because I ended up with a finished product that my daughter loves. Even though it’s below freezing temps here right now, she begged to take her jacket to school so she could wear it in the classroom. If only it were that kind of reaction with all the clothes we make our kids, right?! At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what I sew, what new techniques I learn or how great I think it looks. It matters what my kids think. So for me, this jacket was a total and utter WIN.
I can’t recommend the Imagine Jacket pattern enough. It really is a great sew and a fabulous finished product! While you’re there, you can check out other awesome patterns by Shwin and Shwin, and sew up even more great items – like this Apple Loungewear Top I made into a raglan to go along with my PR&P entry.