Apologies in advance for repeating this post- but through all my laptop debacle & having to use the WordPress app on the iPad I have inadvertently deleted some of my recent posts. I am trying to put it right, but I’m sorry I lost all of the lovely comments you all left me. I need to keep a record of this jacket on my blog though, so here it is again. Hopefully word for word. If you missed it the first time around, hopefully you’ll enjoy it.
So here it is, the most proud moment of my sewing history I think I can say. I am reporting back on my Anise jacket and I am stoked. It’s lined, it has welt pockets and bound buttonholes. It has the cutest Peter Pan collar that sits with such a lovely roll over the neckline. It fits me like a glove, with enough room for a cardigan or sweater. I feel a little je ne sais quoi in it, when I wear my beret and leather gloves. It’s cute, cosy, but most of all, I feel I have done a really good job. You might be like me with the things you make – the first one to point out the flaws when someone offers you a compliment? Well, that is my default position too. However for this jacket there is only one slight 80 degree corner at the inner lining I would hastily show you if you said, “nice jacket”. And for me that is a record. I see just one flaw, & if you see any others, please keep them to yourself & maintain my illusion!!
I have made a couple of more complex semi-tailored items before, with my Vintage Vogue jacket, my Spearmint coat and more recently my Andy coat, so anticipated a lot of groundwork & preparation and quite a lot of nerve-wracking techniques in making this jacket. You have to be patient with a make like this. I would suggest it will not be completed in a day unless you are pretty pro or don’t sleep.
I chose this grey flannel fabric for the outer and polka dot satin for the lining. I also used calico (muslin) for underlining. It took me about four sittings to make this (quite long stints- between 4 and six hours). It was my post Christmas – pre New year make. Something to lavish attention on having sewn like a whirling dervish as I made Christmas presents for friends and family in every spare moment.
The Anise jacket pattern by Colette patterns, has a supplementary instruction booklet you can buy if you need more help, but I have to say that the instructions were extremely clear in the pattern alone. Maybe though I have a few coat makes under my belt and so have those experiences to build on.
It’s funny that there is a whole lot of work that you have to do for a jacket like this before you start constructing the jacket itself, eg attaching the underlining, thread tracing the pattern markings.
If you opt for bound buttonholes you need to make them as one of the first steps, which feels odd since buttonholes and buttons are usually one of the finishing touches for a shirt or skirt. You can make this jacket with regular buttonholes, but I was always going to make bound buttonholes, and can never make bound buttonholes any other way than without followingKaren’s e-book. It is my bound buttonhole bible! And I think they look pretty smart this time.
So having completed the buttons, you then get on to engineering the collar. It’s cut with two pieces- an upper collar and the undercollar. The undercollar is cut on the bias. There is also an extra piece of interfacing, with its own special pattern piece that looks like a stretched sliver of a crescent moon. This is for reinforcing the collar roll, and I am convinced it’s what adds to the collar behaving itself beautifully, with enough loft before, yes, rolling as it folds. When I mentioned this to my Mum, conversation went along these lines,
ME:”There’s even an extra piece of interfacing like a crescent along the collar at the neckline”
MUM (matter of fact) :”Yes, I know”
ME: (In my head) “How come you know all this stuff – there is nothing you don’t seem to already know! I wish I could know as much about sewing as you do!” You see I can remember my Mum going to evening classes in the 70s, when classes like “tailoring” were run up & down the country at local technical colleges, even in Somerset! Sigh. OK back to the story, the Anise story.
I can’t remember if I made the welt pockets before or after the collar. But what a joy they were to make too, but you feel more practised having four bound buttonholes under your belt – welt pockets follow similar principles, with that nerve inducing & very final slashing through the centre of the rectangle you’ve just sewn in the actual front of your jacket, for the pocket linings & welts to get manipulated within.
I’m afraid I have no drama to recount about putting the jacket pieces together to make a 3D garment. The sleeves are cut in two pieces & set in with some gathering stitches at the sleeve head. This fabric by the way sucks up gathers like a sponge, absorbing the tucks into its wonderful dense self. And it is like a blanket. I love it! The jacket lining has special pieces for the front & back, but uses the same sleeve pieces (but with a shorter hem). The centre back is designed for a massive expansion pleat.
Attaching the lining to the jacket- this time I made the decision not to bag the lining. That was quite a biggie for me as it is how I have done it before, & you know me, I try to machine as much as I can. This time, however, I followed the instructions in the pattern – attaching the sleeves to the lining at their hems, then handsewing the lining sleevehead into the lining body. The main hem is handsewn – first the jacket’s hem itself, then the lining’s hem is handstitched but hidden under the lining’s hem fold.
My most fiddly bit is the front facing corners where the lining at hem & facing meet to form a right angle. One side is better than the other, hence one side being 80 degrees & a bit squirched.
So, I promised to share the trials & tribulations with making this jacket, & I have to say they fall mainly into the whoop whoop department. And working with this flannel was a joy – it was easy to press underneath a silk organza cloth, with steam. I had no problems with it at all. And it is very forgiving, handstitching just disappears within its dense fibres.
Sewing this jacket has helped me decide that I need more makes like this in my projects, so that some at least of my future handmade wardrobe is invested with risk & learning (as set out here). I don’t need to always make fast clothes!
A big thank you to my Dad who took the on location photos. Aren’t they so much better than my usual! And I’m wearing my new Miette skirt..