Wool Knit Biker Jacket

G’day, it’s Australia Day. Today, despite it being the middle of summer in Australia I’ve made a biker jacket in some fabulous wool knit suiting from Mood Fabrics NY. I have a tendency to sew out-of-season, at least I’m ready for the cold of winter or heat of summer when they arriving.

Style Arc Ziggi Jacket - front view

Style Arc Ziggi Jacket – front view

This jacket is another adventure into fabrics I’ve never sewn with before! A wool knit blend, this particular one is sold out – however this heavy black wool stretch suiting would be perfect and this wool ponte would also be a dream to sew with.

I spend FOREVER researching patterns for the fabric. I choose the Style Arc Ziggi Jacket as I wanted an edgy jacket to pair with this charcoal fabric, a corporate-like fabric with a funky pattern design. I liked the idea of zips in the charcoal and grey top stitching. Yes, it’s plain but it’s also timeless.

Style Arc Ziggi Jacket pattern does specify a woven. However this fabric has that special magic where is looks like a woven but behaves partially like a knit – there is stretch but not too much. Ponte and suiting type heavy wool knits are also a nice weight, making them perfect for a wide range of garments from jackets to skirts and dresses.

I was also pleasantly surprised by how little bulk this fabric created in the seams. I had some concerns about top stitching through all the layers – but it was ill-founded and it was a breeze to sew.

I was also concerned that is might not support the zips. I was wrong. I thought I may need to interface more than just the front panels as specified by the pattern – I was wrong. This fabric is very well suited to this jacket.

Style Arc Ziggi Jacket - back view

Style Arc Ziggi Jacket – back view. The back does sit well – shoving your hands into the pockets doesn’t help!

I can’t imagine battling this pattern with a fabric that frayed too easily – and I can’t imagine creating these seam zip pocket opening as well with any other fabric. There is just the right amount of stretch to enable you to turn those raw edges to the wrong side to create a window for the zip. Yet it is not so stretchy that the corner is distorted. I found it very easy to pull the window into a nice sharp shape. The nature of the fabric also means that you can fiddle quite a bit with a seam or an opening – without fear of the fabric disintegrating as you work. I used some scrap silk organza from my stash to turn the raw edges of the window to the wrong side.

Style Arc Ziggi Jacket - pocket zip detail

Style Arc Ziggi Jacket – pocket zip detail

I sewed up the jacket using a standard ball point needle on my machine.

I used a regular straight stitch for all my seams. I didn’t need to neaten the seams as I lined the jacket with some ‘jungle’ stash fabric – because it was Jungle January and I could not resist!). However with this fabric you really do not need to neaten the raw edges at all – it simply does not fray!

Style Arc Ziggi Jacket - peekaboo cheetah pockets

Style Arc Ziggi Jacket – peekaboo cheetah pockets

I used an upholstery thread for my top stitching. I like this type of thread for top stitching as I find I don’t need a special needle for the thread thickness or to adjust my machine’s tension. It’s not quite as heavy as top stitching thread but you get much the same look without the drama. I lengthened the stitch to 3 for all my top stitching. To create the ‘quilted’ yokes and upper sleeves, I fused some lightweight Pellon to the back of a large piece fabric and then chalked a grid onto the fabric. After top stitching the grid, I then cut out the upper sleeve and yoke pattern pieces. I did this as I wasn’t sure if the quilting/top stitching would shrink the pieces slightly.

Style Arc Ziggi Jacket - back top stitching detail

Style Arc Ziggi Jacket – back top stitching detail

I used four different sewing machine feet to create this jacket. My standard foot, a walking foot, an edge stitching foot and a zip foot. Having the right tools when sewing makes the world of difference to your sewing experience.

If  you want to make this jacket – the sleeve and pocket zip features are drafted for 5 inch long zips – not 6 inches as the pattern requirements state. I’m just telling you to save you the pain of shorting four metal zips – or redrafting the pocket bags and facings to fit longer zips. I’ll write more about my pattern experience on my blog in a few days. There is a lot to say about this pattern.

This fabric was incredibly easy to work with and easy to wear – if you haven’t sewn with this type of fabric, wool pontes and wool stretch suitings…. then give it a try, you will be pleasantly surprised at the ease with which it sews up into a finished garment.

Fabrics: Wool suitings with lycra
Pattern: Style Arc Ziggi Jacket

One of the toughest elements of this project was taking the photos… I had to hide in the ‘bush’ to take these photos as it was a searing 30+ degrees and HUMID… not the best day to be wearing a wool jacket and jeans. If I looked flushed or hot and bothered… that is why! And today? It’s pouring rain and the town is experiencing minor flooding – typical!



  • Heather
    January 26, 2015


  • AJW
    January 26, 2015

    One of the best-looking Ziggy jackets that I have seen! Beautiful work and fit.

    • Sew Busy Lizzy
      January 27, 2015

      Wow that’s a lovely thing to say as there are some awesome ones out there. It was a lot of work – now I feel like I need a big sleep!

  • sallie
    January 26, 2015

    This is definitely my favorite version of this jacket that I have seen!! Good choice to make it up in the wool, it really works well! I’ve had this pattern sitting in my stash for awhile now but have been a bit apprehensive about making it up, so I’m eager to hear about your experience.

    • Amy
      January 27, 2015

      I also have this pattern sitting in my stash. I planned to make it a year ago, but I just haven’t made the time. Lizzy, I’ll also be looking forward to your review of the pattern later this week on your blog.

      • Sew Busy Lizzy
        January 27, 2015

        I’ve got plenty to say about the pattern – rather too much for here! It’s going to take a couple of days to think through and write.

    • Sew Busy Lizzy
      January 27, 2015

      Thank you – I’ve got a bit to say about the pattern and thought it best to put on the blog as it would have been overwhelming to talk about the suitability of the fabric and the pattern itself. Watch this space!

  • Erin
    January 26, 2015

    Love it! I have the pattern and am hoping to make it soon. Would love any further tips you have.
    Thank you!

    • Sew Busy Lizzy
      January 27, 2015

      I’ve got plenty of tips – I just need to write them all down!

  • carolyn roemer
    January 26, 2015

    The top stitching looks great. Thanks for the tip about upholstery thread.

    • Sew Busy Lizzy
      January 27, 2015

      Sometimes the most unexpected things work well. Upholstery thread isn’t quite as thick but I think depending on your fabric choice the difference is barely noticeable.

  • Amanda S.
    January 26, 2015

    What a fun jacket! I keep wanting to make a biker-style jacket, but the zippers intimidate me. Yours look perfect. Great job!

    • Sew Busy Lizzy
      January 27, 2015

      I actually found the zippers one of the easiest things to do! It was the lining that sent cold shudders down my spine!

  • Lori
    January 26, 2015

    This is such an incredible jacket, your details and topstitching are perfect. Great job on all aspects of the jacket, you look great.

    • Sew Busy Lizzy
      January 27, 2015

      Thanks so much Lori – I was terrified to make this one and not much daunts me. It’s good to overcome ‘sewing mental roadblocks’ however I am very very tired now! Crazy time of the year to take on a big project.

  • Ginger Makes
    January 27, 2015

    This is so sassy and cute! I love it!!!

  • Kimberly
    January 28, 2015

    That’s the bomb jacket – beautiful.

  • Enriquesews
    January 29, 2015

    I LOVE LOVE this jacket! You did a hreat job wish theybhad a pattern for men!

  • Fiona
    January 31, 2015

    Great choice of fabric for this pattern and beautiful job on those zips and topstitching! I’ve had my eye on this pattern for a while so I’m keen to see what you made of it!

  • Kati
    February 11, 2015

    Gorgeous jacket. Your topstitching is impeccable. I appreciate your advice with alternating the sewing machine feet to get the appropriate stitches. Very helpful. Thanks!