This month I decided I was through with summer sewing and ready to create some cool cool-weather clothes.
Last winter, at Mood Fabrics in New York City, I had stumbled upon a wonderful piece of camo-print wool knit — the end of a bolt, alas, and only one yard. The fabric is soft and fuzzy (maybe some mohair in it?) on the right side and has a knit backing.
I knew it would be perfect for outerwear but it would have to be combined with another fabric so I’d have sufficient yardage.
I decided to match the camo print with a wool-cashmere blend navy blue coating. I think the solid color sets off the camo print nicely: if I’d only used camo, the result might have been overpowering. And the result is also reminiscent of traditional men’s varsity jackets. (You can find similar wool knits at Mood online here and here; you can find solid navy wool coating here.)
The pattern I used for this project is a vintage Thirties Simplicity teen jacket pattern (1820 in a Size 18, equivalent to a men’s Small — 36″ chest). I made Version 1. The only adjustment I made was to shorten the torso and sleeves by roughly one inch, add inside pockets, and use rib knit for the collar (more about all that below).
To stabilize and strengthen the camo knit, I underlined the front and back of the jacket with cotton muslin. (The shoulder seams are also reinforced with rayon seam binding to prevent stretching). I added two inside breast pockets which were not part of the original pattern: I love to have places to put my wallet, phone, and/or sunglasses. The jacket also has two single-welt front pockets, which are really only good as hand warmers. I cut my inside and outside pocket welts from my solid blue wool coating.
The jacket is lined with rayon bemberg, blue for the torso and tan for the sleeves. Rather than bag the lining, I attached it by hand at the inside waistband and cuffs.
Instead of cutting the collar from my wool coating, I opted to craft a navy rib knit collar. I think it gives the jacket a sportier look, don’t you? In making this project, I overcame my fear of working with knit ribbing, something I had never really tackled before.
Little did I realize when I started this project earlier this month that camouflage is on-trend. Subsequent research revels that there was a lot of it in the menswear fashion shows for S/S 2017.
My jacket is not unlike the Neil Barrett camo wool jacket below:
I’m thrilled with the way this jacket turned out — it’s quirky but still classic and easy to wear. Men’s outerwear may just be my favorite thing to sew.
I may not be able to wear this jacket with any regularity for a few months but knowing it’s in my closet makes me look forward to the cold to come in the months ahead.
See you in September!