Otherwise known as "Why on earth would I think testing a jacket in an Australian summer is a good idea?"
The answer... It was just too gorgeous to resist.
I mean here's the pics I saw of the original version, via The Eli Monster. Who could say "No" to the opportunity to sew up one of these?
The asymmetric front, funnel collar, cropped length and over-large buttons are irresistible.
The first hurdle was fabric. Funnily enough it can be difficult to find woollen suiting in an Australian fabric store in December. Fortunately I didn't even have to try. For the first version (wearable muslin prior to some pattern revisions), I managed to find a rather large, long ladies' jacket at a local op shop. The fabric content was polyester, but the weight was right, so it was soon in pieces. Paired with some satin I found on the same visit we ended up with this gorgeous creation.
Before I headed off to find some more material for the final version, I was doing a little cleaning up around the fabric cupboard and found a remnant of pink woollen suiting. I don't know why I picked it up out of the remnant bin 6 months earlier, and I had a vague recollection of its existence. But I was pretty sure it wouldn't be big enough. There was only half a metre, but it was a wide cut, and I had just enough for a size 5. No doubt the cropped style helped there.
Paired with some cream and navy spotted satin from my Mother-in-law's stash, and more of the big black buttons (courtesy of a local op shop) I came up with this oh so trendy creation.
So how does one photograph a winter jacket I summer? Aside from waiting till evening, when the heat of the day has passed and the model is less likely to suffer from heatstroke, we headed off to a nearby shopping centre, where they have a 'snow globe' set up. To be honest, it was hotter in the snow globe than the shopping centre. But my model had fun playing in the 'snow', and isn't she just too cute.
Miss four-and-a-half looks pretty stylish, and ready for some fashionable fun. She likes the jacket, but has commented that the collar is itchy. Come winter we'll pair it with a turtle neck. And when she's outgrown this one, I'll probably try a fabric without the woollen itch (as much as I love wool, if I'm honest, I do find many varieties itchy).
The jacket is fully lined. With a bagged lining on the bodice and sleeves. There's facing around the collar and along one side of the front. The asymmetric front means a bit of thinking as you're cutting your fabric - making sure the closures are on the side you want, and the lining is reversed. The technique for bagging the lining is pretty clever and gives a great finish without too much fuss. The sleeves are a bit like magic, but work beautifully. This was (just about *) the first lined jacket I've sewn, and came together so quickly.
All up I loved sewing up this jacket. I learned a few new techniques, and now have a couple of super trendy jackets ready for winter.
The pattern is available via The Eli Monster, and is on sale for $7 until Monday 4th January (after which it's back to the normal price of $9).
*my first attempt was based on a non-lined pattern where I invented quite a few of techniques to get around the previous issues I'd created. But for the record, it was wearable, and lasted through two toddlers.