I really wanted to make the duster. I started out making the duster. I got to the point where the collar and front facings were on and it looked like a jacket. Thank goodness I had enough fabric leftover to cut out the sleeves...to make the jacket.
First a picture of the finished jacket~
The Pattern - Simplicity 8303 ~
Next a supply list ~
5 yards of a printed denim purchased recently from Chic Fabrics
1 yard of paisley printed cotton purchased from Mood Fabrics
5 yards of blue/white/black piping from Daytona Trimmings
A couple of yards of me made bias tape
1 elastic for the button loop
2 - 2" silver D rings from Pacific Trimmings
1" silver shank button from the collection
I made no pattern alterations. I cut a straight size 24 knowing that the jacket is supposed to be loose fitting. The only sewing change I made was to take wider seams at the front and back princess seams to narrow the shoulders. I will fix this on the pattern pieces so it will just work for the next version.
Cost to Make ~
The coat cost $54 to make. Not inexpensive but not exorbitant...and well worth the time and effort to make it. The fabric was $35 for the denim and cotton stretch paisley. The notions cost $19 with the piping taking up most of the expense.
Design Decisions ~
I really didn't want to change much design wise on this pattern. At first I played with adding some epaulets to the shoulder seams to make the jacket look more trench-like but when I decided to add piping to the front and sleeves, it seemed a tad too much.
Here are the touches I added to make the denim jacket uniquely mine:
I added piping to the collar, the fronts, the overlap and on the sleeves. There are no tips on how to apply piping in this post because I've detailed how I add piping to garments on the blog before.
I really wanted to add bias binding to the exposed seams on the jacket. However, after putting the back together and topstitching it all down, it looked so nice and neat flat that I discarded the idea of adding it to the back seams. One of the side seams is covered by the front facing so I decided to press the side seams forward and topstitch them down. That only left the front facings exposed and that's where I decided to use the bias tape.
I haven't actually made my own bias tape from scratch in years. I could have gone to the sewing library but I wanted a tutorial that everyone could use and found a great one here. It's from the website, Make It, Love It. The instructions were easy and simple to follow and what I used to make the bias binding.
I will admit that I have fat arms from the bicep to my elbow. Because of that I need to fix almost every sleeve I insert into a garment. Every.Single.One.
First thing was to measure the width of the sleeve and it's just a little too small. Now I could go through making the bicep larger but look at my first sentence. I have to add width all the way through. So I chose to use a sleeve I knew would work. I pulled the sleeve from my blouse pattern to start with...I went through my normal stages of making a pattern sandwich and adding the width. I also removed some from the sleeve cap to make an allowance for the extra width at the sleeve edges.
I cut the cuff part off and added 5/8" to the sleeve and the cuff. This was done to add piping to the sleeve hem. Once the piping was applied and the sleeve and cuff were sewn together. Then the sleeve was sewn into the jacket.
After inserting the sleeve into the jacket, I hated the extra wide seam allowance and serged it down to 1/2" wide. It gave the sleeve edge a clean finish and made getting in and out of the jacket easier. But I noticed when trying on the jacket that the tops of the sleeve were collapsing. So I added a shortened sleeve head just to the sleeve cap so it wouldn't buckle. A shoulder pad would accomplish the same thing, I just didn't want to add one.
The belt was made according to the instructions but I added rows of stitching down the length of the belt. Again another detail that no one will really notice but something that I really wanted. Honestly I didn't think that I would wear the belt and never made the belt carriers for the coat for that reason. However, after we took the pics...I really like the belt!
I cut 3" off the bottom of the jacket because it was lower midcalf length and once I switched to a jacket, I wanted it a little shorter.
For the sleeve hems, the hem of the jacket and the belt, I sewed multiple lines of topstitching. Because of the print of the denim, you can't see this topstitching but I'm fine with that. I know it's there and it weighs the hems and stops them from shifting. The duster has side seam slits. I omitted them for the jacket.
And if I haven't peppered this post with enough photos here are a few more:
First a shout-out to Gaylen who put up with my bitching for three weeks as I made this! Second, thanks to all the Instagram Peeps who opined about piping and which one to choose. Finally, this pattern is an easy sew. Of course, adding piping and deciding to add sleeves at the last minute added some time to it's construction but I'm so thrilled with the final garment!
I plan on using the pattern again to actually make the duster. I have some lighterweight, flowy fabrics that will accomplish what I want so hopefully I will get to it before the winter is over!
However, now I have a brand new denim jacket to wear for fall/early winter and spring. A sweater will go under the jacket and it will go great with jeans or leggings. Also, I'm kinda in awe of the fact that I got this jacket made...
...as always more later!