J for Jacket…

An old favorite…

Being snowbound with a feverish three-year old wee for a weekend is not really all bad.  The snow came down, the fever came back and disappeared and came back and disappeared.  A jacket was sewn.

Ruffled Jacket, Simple Modern Sewing
Ruffled Jacket, Simple Modern Sewing

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Yep, I made a jacket.  A  simple jacket,  lightweight and unlined.  A jacket with spring (and summer, and fall…) in mind.  To wear over dresses, dresses I hope to make.  I crafted it from a thrifted off-white tablecloth (which cost $2) and some green cotton fabric for the inner facings I had on hand.  I topstitched the sleeve and body hems as well as the channel up the fronts and around the neck for the ruffle in a deep green, to add a little more interest.

The pattern is from the book “Simple Modern Sewing” by Shufu To Seikatsu Sha.  It’s a book of Japanese patterns, translated to English.  I have heard about these patterns before;  frankly I figured if I could not sew well with a traditional American pattern, what chance would I have with one from halfway around the world?  I could not have been more wrong!

The style of this pattern was truly simple to follow.  It reminded me a lot of my high school drafting classes, the careful deliberate measuring of seam allowances and hemlines from the patterns.  The copying of the patterns was a bit intense.  They are very much tangled in a maze, with patterns for three different garments on the same page, all overlapping.  They are drawn all in black without variation in the lines (all solid and the same weight). The book suggested highlighting in one color all the lines for your size for a particular garment.  This would not be possible for me as my copy is a library copy and I doubt they would be pleased if I marked it up!  The schematics show how to lay out your patterns on a piece of folded fabric, all measurements for the pattern pieces, and how much of a seam allowance or hem you will need to mark around the pieces prior to cutting.

The sewing directions are pithy and simple. There were seven or eight numbered steps for the jacket. Between the schematic, illustrations for assembly and these instructions, you could arrive at just what you needed to do to complete the jacket.

I think I might need to add this one to my bookshelf. With space at a premium at the Estate, I try out any book first through the library. This also saves a ton of money. So you can see, adding it to my bookshelf means I truly dig it!

A few caveats. Before sewing the jacket, I looked around the web to see any other completed jackets, how the fit was, and to find other reviews. There are very few completed project pictures of this jacket. I also read some reviews which brought up sizing issues. Seems this book was originally written for more petite Japanese women. I made the size large after reading how the garments did not fit anyone in America right just to be safe. I am definitely not petite! I’m glad I sized up a bit, the fit seems just right or a little large,  better than too small and unwearable. I think if I make another garment from this book I will upsize to the large again.

I ended up with something I think I will wear outside of the Estate; this is saying a lot! Something of my own hands and time; something not like what everyone else is wearing and exactly the colors I preferred. This gives me encouragement to keep trying, keep learning, keep growing. Isn’t that why we are all here anyway? Not bad for $2!


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