Month: October 2016

A denim jacket and a shirt dress

After a long blog hiatus, I’m back!

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My interest in making a denim jacket/dress started with wardrobe planning for an upcoming trip. I saw this Steven Alan dress/jacket (is it a dress? Is it a jacket?!) and was smitten.

I quickly set about making my own version. After scouring the internet for a shirt dress pattern with a two-piece sleeve I settled on the Mara pattern from Style Arc. As well as the ideal sleeve situation I really liked the relaxed lines of this pattern. For once – gasp – I made a toile! From there I made the following changes:

  • Straightened the side seams and CB seam (ultimately cutting the back on the fold)
  • Adjusted the CF to remove the hidden button placket
  • Replaced the pleated pockets with oversized patch pockets
  • Omitted the side seam pockets
  • Added a back yoke
  • Slashed and spread the front and back pieces for slightly more swing
  • Shortened and straightened the sleeve pieces
  • Made allowances for vents at the hem (side seams)
  • Added extra depth to the collar pieces and allowed for turn-of-the-cloth on the under collar (learned this the hard way)
  • Added a welt pocket on the back (used the Tamarack instructions).

Basically, I tried to copy the inspiration garment as faithfully as I could. Here are some pics of my sneaky back welt pocket in action:

I used some very yummy Cone Mills stretch denim that I received in a Ginger Jeans kit a couple of years ago. I have since learned that I have quite the aversion to making jeans, at least for now, so a jacket it has become! I am so grateful for the stretch in this denim. It makes what could otherwise be a somewhat restrictive garment very comfortable. I am a bit fussy when it comes to shoulder range of motion and I have no trouble here.

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I used navy blue topstitching thread throughout and chose horn buttons. These are particularly good as they came in a small and a large size: large down the front and on the cuffs, with small ones at the CF neck and back collar. All of the seams are flat felled.

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And now, a quick mention about the dress on underneath. I made this at the end of last summer. This time I was inspired by this dress from NZ designer Juliette Hogan:

For my version I started with the Grainline Archer pattern, cropping it somewhere around the waist and adding a gathered skirt with inseam pockets. I also cut the sleeves to elbow length and added a hidden button placket, which I think gives a really nice polished look.

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All in all I’m really pleased with both of these items. I take extra pleasure in being able to make something just like a garment I covet in the shops. Sewing is so fun!

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Are you excited to sew for the new season? Do you ever try to replicate something you’ve seen in the shops or online? I’d love to hear about it!