I'm calling it my 'bookclub jacket' because the only social thing I'm doing at the moment is meeting a group of fabulous ladies for bookclub, which is really just drinking wine in a garden. More accurately this is my Deer and Doe Nenuphar jacket, made in Eglantine et Zoe Stone Dark Lagune viscose fabric.
The jacket has a more relaxed style than I expected. I went for version A, which has straight sleeves, rather than the ruffled sleeves of version B. However, the jacket has a gathered back which adds volume. From the front it looks quite like a pyjama jacket, which is quite cool but not my usual style.
The fabric was a dream to sew but it does fray. I had to use French seams to enclose the edges because I still haven't threaded my overlocker (I really must thread my overlocker).
Steps and tips:
1) Sewing the pockets - these are interfaced at the top to add structure. You really need a corner and edge turner for the V-shaped notches at the top as they have to be crisp. I think these would look better in a heavier weight fabric than the one I used as the effect is quite baggy. A nice crisp linen or denim would work better.
2) Gathering the back - add two lines of gathering stitches between the notches and gently pull the threads to create gathers. Make sure the gathers aren't too large or you will end up with pleats. If I was making this again I think I would lengthen the top back piece to not have the gathered panel as I prefer a straighter style.
3) Setting in the sleeves - a top tip I learnt from the Avid Seamstress is to add gathering stitches in the seam allowance at the top of the sleeves. This makes easing them in more straightforward. If you're not familiar with ease: basically, the sleeve is larger than the armhole it is set into, to allow for movement. This means you have to fit a larger shape into a smaller one, which usually requires a lot of pins and some swearing. If you add gathers to the top it is much easier and they are invisible on the final garment.
4) Cutting out the collar - when you interface the collar, make sure you block interface. That means adding interfacing to the piece of fabric and then cutting out the collar shape. Your interfacing and collar piece will be exactly the same size. If you cut them separately they will never match.
5) Sewing the collar - make sure you press this as precisely as you can and use a corner and edge turner to make sure your V shape is crisp. You will be grateful for it later.
6) Topstitching the collar - topstitch on the right side of the garment, not the inside, so you get neat topstitching along the outer edge of the collar. If you've pressed the collar well you should end up with all of the edges inside enclosed by your topstitching. In the past I've made the mistake of topstitching inside, to make sure I catch all of the collar and then found it looks wonky on the outside.
7) Add a contrast lining - this wasn't in the pattern, but I decided to make a contrast lining for the cuffs using Atelier Brunette Shade Ochre fabric as the yellow was nearly the same. To draft the cuff, trace the bottom of the sleeve pattern piece onto tracing paper (or baking paper). Mark the depth you want along the sides and then join the two dots with a curve that mirrors the bottom curve.
Either 1) sew this right sides together, press to the inside and then turn up or 2) sew wrong sides together with the contrast cuff inside the sleeve, then turn outwards and hem. It depends if you want this to always be visible, or only when you turn the sleeves up.
Would I sew this again? Maybe with a straight - not gathered - back. The fit is a little too slouchy for me, but this jacket is nice for a relaxed book club / wine drinking session and the contrast cuffs really jazz it up.