|Pattern Description: Jacket and vest with big collars and drawstrings at top, waist, and bottom. (I made the jacket, but I added the drawstring waist from the vest design because I do not want to wear the jacket with a belt.)|
Pattern Sizing: Extra Small through Extra Large; I made a Medium.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, but I added the drawstring at the waist and, a somewhat major modification - another drawstring at the shoulder line, to make the jacket wearable.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Very much so.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the look of the drawstrings and slouchy collar; I also love the pockets, which are gathered with an elastic casing at the top (see photo above) The dislike? In reality, I found the final product un-wearable. Someone noted in their review of this pattern that it is "fiddly" to wear. So true. The problem is there are no set shoulders in it; it is one big rectangle from the collar down. As a result, it tends to slide off the shoulders and end up bunched around the waist - like a giant peplum (!). It almost went into the scrap bin, until I figured out how to fix it. Please read on to learn how I did that.
Fabric Used: A water-proof poly that I purchased years ago from Fabric.com. The fabric is very slippery, which likely added to the issue I had with getting the jacket to stay on my shoulders (more on that issue below). The fabric is a gray crinkle pattern with embroidered purple threads spaced along the crinkles. Very pretty, I think.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I added the drawstring at the waist, like is shown for the vest version, because I do not want to wear the jacket with a belt. The major change I made was to add another drawstring at the shoulder/neckline to fix the tendency of the collar to slide off of my shoulders. The additional drawstring allows me to draw in the jacket top to form a neckline that keeps the jacket on my shoulders, and sets the collar to sit over my shoulders as a true collar. Before I made this change, the jacket was truly un-wearable - there was no way the slippery fabric would stay on otherwise. Here's how I added the shoulder/neckline drawstring:
I measured my shoulder length from the base of my neck at each shoulder to the top of each of my shoulders: (this length for me was 5.5 inches). I then measured this same distance along the "shoulder seam" of the finished jacket, from the top of the sleeve cap/shoulder seam toward the collar; I marked this length on the inside of the jacket, along the shoulder seam. I then measured down from the top edge of the finished jacket (collar) to this mark. For me, this measurement was 7.5 inches. I then drew a chalk line around the entire top inside of the jacket at 7.5 inches from the top edge of the finished jacket (collar). This line marked where I put the additional drawstring casing. I cut another casing, sewed it in along this line on the inside, installed a drawstring, and voila, the jacket is wearable! You can see how the collar and jacket top lays on the picture. Note, I also added a large snap at the front edges of the jacket, just below the new drawstring, to keep the jacket front closed if I want. The end result is a jacket I can actually wear and I like the way it looks.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? This jacket is so distinctive, I would not make another one. However, I may tackle it in a vest, using a soft fleece perhaps. I would likely still add the casing at the shoulders to ensure it is wearable. I do recommend this pattern, but I strongly recommend the additional casing to help it stay on your shoulders!
Conclusion: Although I had a few hours of frustrated "noodling" to get this pattern to work for me, I am glad I stuck with it. I love the fabric and didn't want to toss it due to a wearing problem that I knew could be fixed somehow. I love the end result!