StyleArc Ziggi Jacket (x3)

I’ve had my eye on this pattern for a while now, but hadn’t quite pulled the trigger and bought it. I was consistantly drawn to the seamlines and versatility that comes with them – and the large variety of ways that you can play with colorblocking or mixing fabrics, as well as places to adjust fit for different fabrics without starting from scratch with new pattern pieces. When the multi-size patterns on Amazon were 25% off early/mid-October, I knew it was time to stop stalling. And, by the time I got the fitting worked out, I knew I needed more than one. This is a great, versatile pattern that, once the fit is adjusted, can be used for everything from a classic moto jacket to a short coat, to a casual jacket.

I used size 6 of the Amazon multi-size pattern, which includes sizes 4-16. I raised the armscye and made it smaller, and took a bit out of the princess seam going into the front armscye. I thought my muslin was a bit short, so I lengthened the jacket by about two inches, but when I hemmed the final version(s), I think I removed a lot of that length. I also narrowed the lapels a smidge, adjusted the collar (making it a smidge longer and narrower), and left off the decorative sleeve zippers, as I can’t stand when the zippers/buttons on sleeves clang on my desk, keyboard, etc.

I have to admit, I read the directions when I first got the pattern, and they were pretty basic. Easy to follow if you’d made jackets before, but I’d imagine not detailed enough for a beginner or someone who hasn’t made a jacket and/or zippered pockets before. I think they could have benefited from some small illustrations and found that as I was making the jacket, I referred more to the internet and other tutorials than to the instructions that came with the pattern.

This is the version I made that is most true to the pattern’s original line drawing/cover image. I used a heavy black sueded double knit, lined with a lightweight ITY knit. Even though I used a knit, I did not want to rely on the stretch of the fabric and therefore didn’t make adjustments to the base pattern pieces. For this version, I followed the suggestions in the line drawing and quilted the upper sleeve head and shoulder yoke, and also quilted the lower back piece using straight lines spaced about 3/8″ apart. I was originally planning on doing vertical zippered pockets with the same style metal zipper, but when it came time to do the pockets, I didn’t like the contrast zippers, so instead made regular in-seam pockets.

For this version, I used a multicolor felted wool-look poly blend fabric (no stretch) lined with a bemberg lining. Changes that I made for this version were to cut the upper sleeve as one piece (by overlapping the seam allowances of the pattern pieces as I placed them on the fabric), leave off the upper collar and pockets, and swap out the zipper in the front closure for three small frog/knot closures.

This was the third jacket that I made with this pattern, but was actually the first version that I wanted to make when I bought the pattern, inspired by this White House Black Market jacket that I stumbled upon on Pinterest and fell in love with. I found this great reversible/double-sided cotton/acrylic knit, which I knew would be perfect for a not-so-in-your-face color blocked jacket. Because the fabric was two-sided and I was cutting two mirror images of most pieces, I was able to basically cut all of the pieces and work out the color blocking aspects as I sewed. The biggest changes from the base pattern that I made for this jacket were cutting the upper sleeves as one piece, adding an extra seam in the side back pieces (creating center, middle, and side back pieces like in the front so that I could mimic that color blocking), and adding another seam across the upper back for color blocking purposes. I really liked the lines created by the color blocking, so I left off the pockets so as to not disturb the lines. It is lined with the same lightweight ITY knit as the suede jacket.


Summer Sewing Roundup: Part 2

After all of the tops I shared in my previous post, I knew I needed something to wear with these tops. Now, living in California, most people would think that my mind would jump to shorts and/or skirts for summer. Well, I’ve never claimed to be like everyone else, and the first thing I thought to make was a jacket. Which isn’t as crazy as it sounds because my office does run cool and most people there wear some sort of layering piece through the summer. Some of us like to joke that we can dress for summer for the drive to/from work, but that it isn’t summer in the building. Since all of the tops I’d made recently had shades of blue, I decided to draw on that for my jackets.

WithNeedleAndThread - Lekala 4268

On the jacket front, I’ve had my eye on Lekala 4268, a short-sleeved jacket with front and back princess seams, a darted front, welt pockets, and a shawl collar with angled front corners, since I first discovered Lekala patterns, but I never bought it because of the short sleeves. It finally dawned on me while watching a Peggy Saegers/Silhouette Patterns webcast that all I had to do was take a long sleeve that I liked the fit of and transfer that armscye/armhole onto the other pattern to use the long sleeve. I ended up taking a two-piece sleeve from another Lekala pattern and had to make virtually no adjustments to the armscye, even for fit, which I’ve had to do on a few Lekala jacket muslins.

Even though this jacket looked somewhat complicated, and Lekala is not known for its great directions, the only problems I ran into were the welt pockets, which I had never done before. I read some tutorials online, and ended up just going for it. They aren’t perfect, and I ended up making  them faux pockets, but in such a busy/texture fabric, I think (and/or hope) that I’m the only one who sees the flaws.

For this jacket, I used a textured knit that I got from FabricMart Fabrics and a coincidentally matching button that I took off of an old raincoat back my freshman year of college when I used the rest of the raincoat to make a waterproof bag to put in my bike baskets, and kept knowing it would come in handy at some point. Though I found a matching button easily, I had a hard time getting a buttonhole to look good on this fabric, so I wound up sewing a snap closure in, and putting the button on as a non-functioning decoration.

WithNeedleAndThread - Lekala 4162

Still thinking of summer-style jackets, I also tackled another blazer pattern that had been on my mental to-make list: Lekala 4162, a classic blazer with princess seams, a notched collar, and a single button closure in front. I used another textured knit from FabricMart, this time in a slightly sparkly light blue. I didn’t make any fit adjustments to this pattern, either, but in the future, I may raise the armscye a little, as there is a little too much room even with the shoulder pads. I left off the welt pockets, thinking that the fabric was busy enough on its own, and pockets would just make it look a little less clean. I also chose to serge the seams and leave off the lining. With no lining, this jacket came together fairly easily. Finding the right button may have taken longer than most of the sewing of the jacket. I do love this jacket, and have plans to make it in several other fabrics, both classic blazer type fabrics and a few fun colors/fabrics.

I’m loving textured knits for jackets/blazers and cardigans lately. At some point, I’m thinking that I have to tell myself that I have enough textured, colored jackets, but I don’t think I’ve hit that point quite yet.