See you next spring, jacket

One of my big, big sewing focuses right now is sewing myself some outerwear. It’s a challenge, and a very timely one. My winter arsenal consist of a 5-year old puffy down coat and a woefully drafty, short, thrifted Banana Republic thing. My light-weight jacket situation is a little better and includes Minoru, Mini-ru and a thrifted jeans jacket that’s debilitatingly tight across the back. Even though I need winter coats more, starting with a fall jacket seemed prudent and still-useful.

crabandbee.com | Burda collarless jacket

I downloaded this Burda pattern in May with the best of intentions to start my jacket early, and promptly buried myself in fluffy summer sewing. It didn’t help that the instructions looked like they’d been crammed through an online translator without proofing (how does Burda manage to get all of those weird a’s with carats sprinkled throughout their instructions?). When the weather got chillier in early September, my sense of urgency overcame my mild fear/irritation, and I started my muslin.

What my pattern lacked for in instructions was made up for by (what I then thought was) a perfect fit. The fact that the pattern, chosen for my bust/waist/hip measurements, fit my broad shoulders and upper back should serve as a warning for all you normal- and narrow-shouldered folks!

crabandbee.com | Burda collarless jacket

My only fit adjustment was to correct for my swayback. (Now, of course, I see some wrinkles that may have been worth investigating!)

Other deviations from the pattern were as follows:

  • Different, simpler cuffs – the floppy zippered cuffs looked like a nightmare to me
  • Adding a full lining, with an action pleat
  • Underlining the front and back shell pieces
  • Catch-stitching the shell seam allowances
  • Completely ignoring the instructions

My muslin was a black mystery woven with some drape, and my final fabric was a hemp and recycled cotton canvas. Some issues I hadn’t spotted in my muslin showed up in the garment, namely some weirdness through the bust.

crabandbee.com | Burda collarless jacket

crabandbee.com | Burda collarless jacket

This is me explaining the importance of documenting my side-wrinkles to my photographer/sister. It looks just like a dart, doesn’t it? I love dartless flat-front styles, but they often leave me yearning for easier fitting solutions.

crabandbee.com | Burda collarless jacket

My favorite element by far is the contrasting bias binding I added to cover the zipper and finish the neckline. Sanae, a connoisseur of tasteful linens, gave me a gorgeous striped specimen that I made bias strips from.

crabandbee.com | Burda collarless jacket

The jacket doesn’t call for a  lining, but I wanted to get some practice in, and not have to finish my shell seams in a pretty way. I used the very last scraps of a thrifted rayon, first seen here.

crabandbee.com | Burda collarless jacket

I could have spent more time on the fit, in retrospect, but this jacket will be worn next spring. And I feel more prepared to dig into my coat project. I’ve started the muslin process and have been sharing a few in-process photos/soliciting fit advice on Instagram.

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 6.45.11 PM

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 6.44.00 PM

So far, the takeaway has been that my upper back is at least two full sizes larger than my bust. Oh, fitting! Outerwear, onwards!

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82 thoughts on “See you next spring, jacket

  1. This is so cute! I love its clean lines- the linen is perfect in this shape! The bust issue you’re describing is nonexistent, dude. This looks great!

    What pattern are you using for your coat?

    1. Thanks, Sonja! The jacket pattern struck me as very clean but also unique – I was smitten. I’m trying out the Named Yona pattern – hoping to sort out the fit soon!

  2. This is SO cute! I love a simple gray jacket, and that bias stripe!!! I love it – and I’m so impressed that you finished something you won’t actually wear for awhile – I have never been able to do that – lol 😉

  3. I really like the understated nature of the exterior of your jacket. Neutrals are such a good choice for outerwear. I also admire the way the bias/zip area is so neat, even more so that you achieved this without much (any) reference to instructions! I struggle with Burda and sometimes Ottobre instructions, not only are they cryptic but in my case a good diagram speaks a thousand words. I usually end up doing my own thing, too.

    1. Thanks, Philippa! I agree that neutrals are a good choice, especially since I don’t have a lot of outerwear. Aside from the lining, I’m guessing I did follow their directions without knowing it! Burda is such a mixed bag – tons of designs, good drafting as far as I can tell, inexpensive, with baffling instructions and mysterious pattern extras!

  4. It’s so beautifully simple. The finishing is just lovely. I do like the way it fits you and I love how the seam of the back yoke is continued in the sleeve. I’m almost finished an out of season jacket. I’ve a week off and sewing myself stupid, but am forcing myself to finish a 70’s bomber WIP hanging over my head before I can be fancy free with summer sewing!

    1. Funny you mention that sleeve and yoke seam! I’m actually not sure they’re supposed to match because the pattern provides no line drawing or photo of the back! I just assumed.

      I’ll bet you’ll feel great once you finish that bomber! Enjoy your week off 🙂

    1. Gah! Wish I’d thought of that. Although there is something magical about a kitten that can’t quite be replicated by hoisting up a 15-year-old protesting gentleman cat…

  5. I love all the changes and additions you made to the pattern – it looks great! And I agree, the fit is brilliant. Having broad shoulders myself I’m making note of this pattern….

    1. Thanks so much, Ingrid! In other broad-shouldered sewing news, I just heard from Melanie of Poppykettle that Marfy patterns run wide in the shoulders, too. I have yet to try one myself but I was really excited!

  6. Ah so now I get to see the WIP completed! Looks gorgeously chic, and comfy. Thanks Burda for looking after the broad shouldered among us! Bring on the winter coat sewing 😉

    1. Finally!! Since I wasn’t wearing it, photographing this jacket kept slipping on my list of sewing priorities.

      I wonder if all Burda patterns run broad through the shoulders! It’d certainly make me more likely to look at their patterns first. And yes, please do wish me luck on my coat – I need momentum!

  7. This looks lovely and fresh, I love the contrast binding and the fabric you’ve chosen. Great job on the jacket. I think Burda do some really nice outerwear patterns and the fit is good.

  8. Just gorgeous, I love the simple main fabric with the fun bias and lining. Fit looks good to me! I really need to get my winter coat done but I’m fretting over starting the welt pockets.

    1. I’m sure your welts will go in nicely! I’m still a little nervous about them too, so I like to save tasks like that for when I’m feeling my sharpest.

  9. Wow, it looks amazing! Your attention to detail really make this jacket above and beyond. And despite what you see as fitting flaws, I think it still has a better fit than a lot of what I see people on the street wearing!

    1. Yes, for sure – I’ve definitely been one of those people on the street in ill-fitting clothing, because nothing that fits my shoulders fits the rest of me! It’s exciting to have a project fit reasonably well and also identify more interesting details. I’ve said it before, but I’m so intrigued by your tissue fitting skills!

  10. I love this jacket!! I think the fit looks perfect and the style is so clean and minimal and chic! The bias binding is a really lovely touch. This is reminding me that I really need to fill the gap in my outerwear wardrobe with some nice, transitional, casual jackets.

  11. That’s lovely. The bias binding adds a nice touch, and the lining is super fun.

    If you ever find an answer for the side wrinkles on dartless front styles (that doesn’t involve a breast reduction), let us know!

    1. Hahahaha, glad you’re ruling out that sort of fit adjustment! Maybe the answer is drapier fabric if you’re going to go dartless. I just noticed that things changed dramatically between my drapier muslin and my stiff, underlined shell fabric. Or maybe the opposite route would work – a fabric with so much body that it stands out instead of collapsing towards the body. And maybe a dark color just for good measure? At this point in my sewing education, I can only suggest the smoke-and-mirrors approaches 😉

  12. Ooohhh! I really REALLY love this. It’s the kind of silhouette that works for approximately 2 weeks in Montreal per year so hopefully you have a longer spring/fall than I do here. The neckline is like a frame for that beautiful fave and YES to the binding!

    1. Our springs and summers are slow to get started, so it should see some more wear then. Our fall this year was woefully short!

      The neckline was what initially sold me, too. Scoop neck on a jacket, yes please!

  13. I love the contrast binding and lining. This is a great looking jacket. Your construction looks fantastic.I love sewing outerwear. It sees tons of use in the course of my daily activities. I really need a fall/early winter coat. I bought some wool to sew a Robson, but then it turned too cold to wear it, so I pushed it to the side.

  14. This is perfect… I love everything about it … the silhouette, the fabric the zipper closure with the bias binding – the lining is gorgeous! I would steal this right off your back. Beautiful work!

  15. Utterly suberb! Love the simplicity. It’s a beautiful piece, made even more so by the little details. Please please please do a tutorial or creating a lining as lovely as that for a jacket. I’ve been wanting to make another (lined) bomber jacket but don’t have the foggiest where to start!

    1. Thanks, Sophie! For the lining, I did a simpler version of Jen’s excellent tutorial for adding a lining to a blazer: http://grainlinestudio.com/2012/07/06/pattern-tutorial-adding-lining-to-an-unlined-blazer/

      I think the most important thing is to create a front lining piece by subtracting the facing shape from the jacket front pattern piece (and making sure the seam allowance works out properly); otherwise you could probably just duplicate the back and sleeve pieces. (Jen’s tutorial shows some pattern-making changes you can make to increase mobility through the back and sleeve.) I didn’t change the sleeve shape, but I did add an action pleat (really just extra width through the back, pleated). My jacket essentially had hem bands, so I treated the shell and lining openings as one piece when I attached them. I hope that helps, and can’t wait to see your bomber!

  16. love this so much. you are so great at picking the right fabric that is modern but still with that natural flavor to it. especially paired with such a modern cut. well done.

  17. Another gorgeous make! I’m with the others who’ve said how great you are at picking out the perfect fabric for your pieces. That bias strip is such a great addition, and I adore the surprise lining.

  18. That bias strip! It is such a gorgeous touch to this rad make! Epic win for light weight jacket, milady!

  19. I love this jacket!! The fabric, the simple shape, the lovely details… especially the striped bias binding. Genius touch! Good luck on the coat, hope you get the fit worked out!

  20. It looks so sleek and perfect! I love the simple lines. I see what you mean about the dart but I really don’t think it needs it. It’s a boxy shape and in conforming to your body, it’ll do its own thing and that’s just fine.

  21. “completely ignore instructions”. It worked out for you though! I’m glad I’m not the only one. In fact I got nearly to the end of a suit-vest for Mr. Pants yesterday before I realized I hadn’t put in the welt pockets. Ooooops.

    1. Haha, oh dear! Glad you realized before finishing the vest completely. I usually only ignore instructions if it’s a pattern I’ve already made quite a bit, but these were indecipherable. I didn’t really have a choice!

  22. You are so good at details, that striped contrast and zipper are really fantastic while still being subdued. You’re an inspiration!

  23. Super pretty! Love the contras bias binding, it adds interest but the overall look is still simple/classy! Looks like a perfect piece that goes with everything! I hope the muslining for you coat is still going well!

    1. After publishing this post, I had an epiphany and increased the back shoulders by a ton instead of adding ease though the back raglan seams. Most of the back and sleeve wrinkles disappeared! Now I just need to translate all of my fit adjustments to the ALL pattern pieces and then I’ll finally get to work with my fabric!

      1. Yeah, I saw your Instagram post later! It looks like it fits perfectly now! Funny how one issue influences the fit all around so you don’t know where to start! Glad you can start the fun part with your fashion fabric now!
        (Also: I started watching Sons of Anarchy and Tara/Maggie Siff really reminds me of you!)

      2. Seriously! I’m learning that I should always start with the shoulders.

        It’s funny, I googled her after reading your comment and I remember her from Mad Men (and wouldn’t have thought we looked anything alike). But I can see it more with her hair down and in modern clothing – thanks!

  24. I also need to make a transitional jacket. And a wool winter coat for that matter. All I have are summer jackets and a winter puffer. I love the striped bias on your jacket. think the fit looks pretty good considering there is no dart shaping in the front. Your sewing is impeccable!

    1. Thanks, Grace! I think I was mostly surprised when that front wrinkle showed up when it wasn’t visible in the muslin. Do you think you’ll add a coat and/or jacket project to your list?

  25. I love this jacket! Made it myself a couple of years ago and added a lining as well! Finding the trim was a bit tricky for me, I love what you did with bias tape!

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