Minimalist Jacket

Something that has been missing in my wardrobe for a while is a light-ish weight casual jacket. Not a blazer (though I would like another one of those too), just a jacket that I can throw on to go out at the weekend during the weird, in between temperatures we get before Winter sets in properly. I was lucky enough to fish a remnant of wool/cashmere blend out of the remnant basket at The Fabric Store a few weeks ago, and it was the perfect weight for what I wanted. It was only 1m long and 1.5m wide, but I figured that would be enough for something simple! I was debating a number of patterns, but then I remembered the simple zippered jacket in The Beginners Guide to Dressmaking by Wendy Ward. I’ve had the book for a while, but this is the first time I’ve used it. 

(A brief note: I’ve fiddled with the light/colour gradient in these pictures slightly so that the black on black details on the jacket stand out a bit. Unfortunately, this has made my jumper look almost the same colour as my skin tone…don’t be alarmed if it looks like I’m not wearing anything under the jacket, I promise I’m fully dressed!)

The pattern is super simple, but it was pretty much exactly what I wanted. A very simple, minimalist silhouette, no collar to interfere with scarves or shirt collars, and quick to sew. So quick, in fact, that it came together in a day, even with all the hand sewing I ended up doing! 

All of the edges are faced with bias tape, and the side seams and centre back seam are also bound. This helps to make it a very quick sew, but to be honest I think if I made it again I’d make facings! The bias tape is less grey in reality than it appears in these photos, but its still definitely noticible. A couple of the samples in the book use contrast bias tape, and I think it does look better when its made a feature rather than trying to get it to blend in! Self bias tape would be the other option, but the wool was too thick to contemplate that…
I hand sewed all of the bias tape, as topstitching is super obvious with the slight nap that this fabric has. I really like the clean finish, especially around the neckline. The fabric loves steam, so I had fun blasting all of the seams flat and molding all of the curves! It also loves cat fur, I’m beginning to come to terms with the fact that everything I make from now on will be at least 20% cat fur…
The other thing I would change if I was going to make it again would be to cut the left front panel into two, and hide the zipper tape in the seam. Again, having it exposed is a fast solution, but I think it’d be pretty easy to incorporate it into a seam. 
It is slightly too broad across the shoulders when I’m wearing something lightweight under it, but with one of my chunkier hand knit jumpers under it the fit is spot on! I shortened it by about 2 inches, because I couldn’t find a zip the right length, but I think this length is better on my short torso anyway. 
I like it open or zipped up all the way best, I think, but I’ll probably wear it partially zipped the most! Monsieur said it looked like a motorcycle jacket and “those aren’t fashionable for girls are they?”, but I think I’ve managed to prove him wrong, given that every other lady in Wellington seems to be wearing Biker jackets at the moment… I think the lack of collar moves it away from beign too like a motorcycle jacket though.

Theres not really very much to say about this one, it was so simple and easy to make! I’m really happy with how it turned out in the end, even though there are a few modifications I’d make next time. It would be a really good ‘first jacket’ project, as promised by the book! Now I’m looking forward to making the sheath dress from the same book…

14 thoughts on “Minimalist Jacket

  1. Well done to get it cut out of a metre – it’s so rewarding to have just scraps left. It looks really streamlined and it will go with anything. I’m bookmarking the pattern, thanks!

  2. I think it looks fantastic and I totally think motorcycle jackets are on trend. Also I hardly ever wear black because it seems to attract pug fur. We have all accepted that living in a house with pugs means having hair on us all the time. šŸ˜‰

  3. Wow, only 1 metre , well done you. I was in The Fabric Store (Melb) last week searching high and low for wooly sweater knits, nadda. I like the exposed zipper detail, but it sounds like you’re itching to tweak, ain’t that what it’s all about?!!

    1. I have a bit of a thing about exposed zipper tapes, to be honest! It totally makes sense for this pattern and the demographic it’s aimed at, but I do think I’ll tweak it if I make it again šŸ™‚ sweater knits are surprisingly hard to find…

    1. Thanks Teri! Winter has arrived very suddenly in Wellington this year, and now its almost too cold to wear it! Just as well its big enough to fit my jumpers under šŸ™‚

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