Coat Month: Sherri's Marmalade Jacket
Hi! I'm Sherri from Thread Riding Hood, and I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to sew up a jacket for Coat Month. It's not likely it would have gotten to the top of my to-do list otherwise! This wonderful coat is the Marmalade Jacket (View B) from Waffle Patterns.
I am so proud of my final jacket and really happy with how it turned out. Looking back, it was a fun project, and I learned a lot about tailoring and properly lining a coat. During the process, though, I have to admit I was a bit terrified due to my lack of coat-making experience. There were quite a few things in this pattern where I used my previous garment sewing knowledge, so I would recommend this as a pattern for intermediate sewers.
I chose this motorcycle-style jacket despite it being the dead of winter here in Ontario, because I've been wanting to make it for a while now. I've had my eye on this pattern and especially wanted to try it in faux leather (though this was maybe not the pattern I should have chosen to use for it; more on that later!). My Marmalade Jacket is not especially warm, but will be perfect come spring and fall. And I'm really happy with the fit; it will go over a thin long-sleeve fall sweater as well as a tee for spring. The fabric is fleece-backed vinyl; thin enough to gather nicely, with a slight stretch. I found it and the lining fabric at Joann Fabrics on a trip to Ohio over the holidays.
If you take a look at the original Marmalade Jacket, you will notice that the sleeves do not have gathering (puffed sleeves!) at the shoulders. This is where I explain why I should likely not have made this jacket in a non-woven fabric! The faux leather does not stretch, and when I attempted to insert the sleeve the ease would not fit without puckers. It may have been my lack of practice, but when I made my two muslins I was able to set the sleeves in without any problems, so I think it was the fabric itself. It may also be because I could not pin or baste my final fabric outside of the seam allowance, since this would leave permanent holes. If I could have used two gathering lines to set in the sleeve I think it would have worked much better. Even the shoulder gathers had to be hacked; I used scotch tape to hold them evenly in place for sewing!
The other fairly significant change I made was to use buttons instead of snaps. Snaps and I don't get along (yet!), so I decided instead to replace them all with buttons and add a hidden button placket in place of the hidden snaps at the center front. This was actually a fairly easy change. The only problem I had was folding the many (many!) fabric layers at the center front when they needed be sewn through to apply the collar and hem belt. Thankfully my machine powered through them, though I did also use a slightly larger needle. I was pleasantly surprised that it had no trouble getting through the 8 or 9 layers. It would also be fun to replace the snaps with a zipper front, and much faster than doing up 10 buttons with each wear!
SUMMARY: Marmalade Jacket by Waffle Patterns
Here are a few things I love about it:
- I really like the gathers. They add a nice feminine touch - especially the shoulder gathers, even though they shouldn't technically be there.
- I was worried about being able to follow a coat pattern, but this one is laid out nicely and the illustrations are really helpful.
- I like that the pattern has a seam line and cutting line marked on the pattern pieces. They are especially helpful while making alterations.
- It was fun sewing up the lining with proper techniques like pleats that leave extra room for movement.
Thoughts on the fit & my alterations:
- The fit of the garment is true to the measurements given on the pattern.
- I made a size 40 and altered this pattern to fit my specific body type (as I generally do) with the following alterations: size 42 shoulders, size 38 bust, 1/2" of gathers removed to (hopefully!) mimic a small bust adjustment. I am long waisted, so I lengthened the bodice 1 3/4".
- I also added 1" to the center back to allow for more ease. I may have been able to leave this out as the faux leather had a bit of stretch in it. But I like that it allows more room for bulkier garments underneath.
Things I changed from the original pattern:
- The ease in the sleeve caps were not set in properly, so I changed them to gathers.
- The snaps were changed to buttons and I added a hidden button placket.
Things I might change next time:
- I'd love to make this again in a "pin-able" fabric so I could set the sleeves in properly.
- I would also like to conquer my fear of snaps and make a "proper" version, maybe with the View A gathered back bodice.
Making a coat is so rewarding, following the small steps one at a time until you realize you have an amazing final product. I know I will get a lot of use out of this jacket and now I also have new knowledge to carry forward into future projects. Hooray for that!
Many thanks to Indiesew for letting me hang out here again. Let us know about your coat-sewing; adventures, I'd love to see what you are making!
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