Month: October 2016

A denim jacket and a shirt dress

After a long blog hiatus, I’m back!


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.


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.


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.



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!


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!