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“I am going to sew this jacket, which you liked. Out of this pink floral fabric, which you found really terrible“, that was approximately how I described this project to my friend.
Today I present my first (but certainly not last) Joy Jacket after the latest Chalk & Notch pattern. I have seen it the first time when the testing call on Instagram was announced. I thought the jacket was great, but a little plain. That’s always my problem. I like elaborate cuts, but I wear relatively simple things. On the very last day of the release week, I decided to buy the pattern on a whim.
The fact that the jacket is already finished, surprises nobody more than myself. After I had sent the pattern to my standard printer service, I studied my fabric stash. The used fabric (I remembered him as jeans, but it seams to be more like a twill) was waiting for a short spring jacket. And since the fabric had already waited in the stash for some time, I was able to convince myself faster to sacrifice it for a sample model.
I am some who traces each and every pattern. Due to the many pattern pieces for the outer jacket, lining and also interfacing, I took quite some time to trace every single one. I understood for the first time those seamstresses who simply cut out their “right” size. I personally think: “Maybe I need another size … sometime, someday in the future”. Speaking of size: I have choosen the size according to the bust size. In one of the testers’ blog posts, I read that the jacket sits a bit tight on the hip if you’re not grading. So I graded from the waist to the hips to a size larger (according to the measurement table). The waist sits relatively loose (no grading is necessary here), at the hip level the jacket sits tighter and therefore it is actually relevant to compare your hip measurement.
The sewing process takes a little longer due to the many parts. As always with Chalk & Notch patterns, the instructions are very detailed by means of technical drawings – only once have I done something stupid (that was not in the instructions), but more on that later. The 2 cm seam allowance added in the sleeve seam for any changes through me into a bit of a loop. Since I have a pretty average body shape, I used the seam allowance completely or as a compromise 18 mm (with an attached quilting ruler to my foot). In general, I pretty much let off steam during top stitching. There is one single seam – apart from the lining – which I have not top stitched.
The fact that I did not use the complete 2 cm seam allowance (even if only this means only 4 mm more on each side) had me worried a little bit afterwards. Because of that the hood on both sides was too short by exactly 4 mm. In the end, I have removed this few millimeters from the front and since I did not use the complete 1 cm seam allowance for the zipper, everything has come together wonderfully.
I chose the zipper and the flat drawstring in dark blue. This blue did not appear in the pattern. But black seemed a bit harsh in contrast – even though black actually does appear in the floral motifs. I am a bit of a perfectionist, so I had doubs about that decision later on, but I’m now reconciled with the world and the dark blue.
Since I needed my first buttonholes for this project (and my first Kalle shirt), I went home for a long weekend. Therefore, I was also able to get a bright, medium blue polyester lining from my mom for the lining. After some fabric stacks no longer fit in her closet, she has gladly given me one or the other fabric.
Unfortunately, the lining was not that easy to work with. Hot ironing with steam made it wavy (not because I ironed it too hot, but because the iron leaked every now and then). The second attempt was to wash part of the lining in the bath tub. The result was a crashed lining. Finally, I hid the lining under a piece of linen and ironed it as hot as possible with a lot of steam.
I still had a bit of a hard time with the pockets: I did not understand the manual at first glance – but it is very logical. I had some additional troubles with streching fabric (even there was interfacing there) and some markers did not match (I have probably mislabeled them). And then I have disregarded the instructions for the first time: While bagging the jacket I thought: “Oh see, this seam is soooo easy, I will do it right away…” And that was attaching the sleeves together, which was a big mistake.
On the last day, I just played around with the top stitching, pulled in the drawstring and added some fabric to the ends of the drawstrings. And she was done, my floral, pink Joy jacket. She has an optimistic, cheerful color and fills a gap in my wardrobe: my only thin jackets right now are sporty rain jackets.
PS: The opinion of my boyfriend has changed fundamentally. The statement on the finished jacket was: “The finished jacket looks really good, like if you had bought it!”
Conclusion: Detailed and very well constructed pattern. Especially for a first jacket project perfect, since you get to know many steps (with good instructions)! Even though I have already sewn a lined jacket, the sewing project taught me a lot of techniques (and unfortunately I’m spoiled by the included pattern pieces for the lining – did I mention the fold at the back and the side?!
Pattern: Joy Jacket by Chalk & Notch
Materials: 1.90 m floral twill from the fabric scrap table – according to the instructions I would have needed much more! and blue polyester lining from my mother’s stash
Cost: approx. 20€ for the fabric, 10€ zipper, 5€ vlieseline, 5€ cord
Linked to the #alittlelawnparty Challenge on Instagram.