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.

1-suede-knit
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.

1-multicolor
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.

1-grey-colorblock
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.

A New Fall Jacket: the “Moto-blazer”

WithNeedleAndThread-MotoBlazerI’d been wanting (to make) a moto/biker-style jacket for a while, buy hadn’t found a pattern that spoke to me, so the project kept getting bumped further and further down my “to make” list. Included in my list of wishes for my jacket were that it: have an asymmetrical but mostly straight zipper (versus a diagonal zipper), have an actually collar (not just the lapels), have traditional two-piece sleeves with no gussets, zippers, buttons, or extra seams, and that it be fitted rather than boxy, ideally with princess seams.

In other words, I wanted a cross between a classic moto-style jacket and a traditional blazer. Once I came to that epiphany, I decided to set about making my own “frankenpattern” (an oh so technical term for when you combine two or more different patterns to create one new pattern…think Frankenstein). I debated between several different moto jacket patterns before deciding on Simplicity 2056, which had the collar, lapels, and straight-off-center front that I had envisioned. For the blazer portion, I used Lekala 4162, a classic blazer pattern which I’ve made before and know fits well.

I traced the front of the Simplicity pattern onto the front piece of the Lekala pattern, lining up the shoulders and center fronts. When I cut the traced pattern out, I kept the center front part of the moto jacket and blended into the armscye princess seam lines of the blazer. In the photo below, the purple is the Lekala pattern, the teal is the moto jacket, and the red should be ignored (I traced two sizes of the moto jacket and ended up going with the smaller one – this is the larger one).

WithNeedleAndThread-MotoBlazer

In addition, I used the side front, side back, back, and sleeves from the Lekala pattern, and the collar and pocket pieces from the moto jacket pattern. About halfway though the project, I started calling my jacket a “moto-blazer,” and I think that name is going to stay with it.
Based on the pattern envelope images, I thought that the moto jacket collar may be too big for me, so I basted it on before sewing it for real. And it did turn out too big; I would up narrowing it by increasing the seam allowance along the back seamline, taking 1.5” from the corner, tapering to .75” at center back, then back out to 1.5” at the other corner. I probably could have made it smaller still, but decided to embrace the slightly oversized collar to give the jacket even more of a different look from the other jackets in my closet.

WithNeedleAndThread-MotoBlazerSince I had changed the fit of the moto jacket and was changing the pocket style of the blazer pattern, I added the pockets after I’d sewn most of the jacket, but before attaching the lining. This allowed me to determine the ideal length and placement of the pockets as they would fall when I was actually wearing the jacket. I think my pockets ended up being a bit smaller than a traditional pocket, but they work on me. And I don’t really intend to use the pockets for much, so going smaller with the pockets wasn’t an issue. This was the first time I’ve put zippered pockets in a jacket, and I initially found the idea of cutting a whole in my jacket slightly terrifying. Of course, in reality, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d built it up to be in my head and I’m glad I went ahead and put in the pockets/zippers.

After the jacket shell was mostly finished (and pockets mentioned above inserted), I decided that I really didn’t like the look of the partially exposed zipper that I was originally intending to use (the left zipper piece had no seam to be sewn into…which I hadn’t fully taken into consideration when combining my patterns as the Simplicity pattern originally called for buttons rather than a zipper on the view I used). Luckily, I had enough wiggle room (or extra ease that could be un-eased) that I was able to taper the top edge of the zipper tape, and fold the jacket fabric over the edge of the zipper tape to create a faux-seam. If/when I make this pattern again, I’d probably draft a real seam into the pattern here as I like this look much better than the exposed zipper look.

The fabric is a wool blend coating that I got from Fabric.com a few years ago. Though it’s hard to see in my pictures, it is a blend of cream/tan, olive, purple, and mustard yellow threads. I lined the jacket with purple Bemberg lining.

Zipper issues aside, I am happy with the way my new “moto-blazer” turned out and am now anxiously waiting for the weather to cool down enough so that I can wear my new jacket.