Hi, guys! I hope your week is off to a great start! One of my favorite things about sewing clothes is that you can find unique ways to make a style your own. For example, you can take the edgy, menswear-inspired moto jacket, but make it up in pastel lace, and you’ve created a unique look that really shows off your personal style! So, for this little jacket, I wanted to try the classic Chanel-inspired silhouette, but use a casual (and extremely washable!) fabric that screams “me”!
I knew right away that I wanted to use a plaid flannel cotton for my take on this look, and what better way to go than a classic buffalo plaid in red and black? (Note: if you wanna get your grunge on, check out Mood’s selection of plaid flannels here!) Once you’ve gone through the hassle of matching and cutting your plaid, cotton flannel is the EASIEST fabric to sew- it loves steam, and doesn’t really even need pins! Yay! Plus, it’s soft and warm, but breathable, and it doesn’t wrinkle very much, in my experience.
My original plan was to quilt the flannel with a layer of cotton batting- wouldn’t that have looked cool?? But after further reflection, I started to think that the jacket might be too warm with the added layer (since it’s a cropped jacket with three-quarter length sleeves, I won’t be wearing it on very cold days). But I wanted it to have a bit more body, so I fused all the pieces to a lightweight interfacing, except for the facings (medium-weight for those guys!). I like the effect of this- it’s not as drapey and baggy as flannel is on its own, but it’s not stiff or inflexible.
Now, there are quite a few patterns you can use to make a little French jacket like this, but I chose the Coco jacket by Schnittchen. I like the rounded edges at the center front, and I also really like that it has front darts. There’s a fair amount of shaping in the center back and side seams, too, so it’s not as boxy as other takes on this style. I really enjoyed putting together this pattern, and found that this two-piece sleeve gave me probably the nicest-fitting sleeves I’ve ever had in a blazer style! One tip if you make this pattern: when I go around curved edges like the center front, in addition to shortening my stitch length, I also sew one side with the facing up and one side with the jacket front up. This way you’re stitching the exact same curve in the same direction on each front (from top to bottom in my case, but you could also sew bottom to top). If you’re a very accurate stitcher, you probably don’t need to do this, but in my experience, my curves are very symmetrical when I do this!
OK, let’s talk about the elephant in the room… the PLAID elephant. GUYS. I totally failed to match the plaid at the side seams. Here’s the thing- I used my usual technique of matching the front, back, and sleeve pieces at a spot 2″ below the armscye, BUT, I completely forgot to factor in the dart! As a result, everything matches… for about 1.5″ above the dart! Ack! I didn’t have enough fabric to re-cut the front pieces, so I decided to just live with it and really, it’s not the end of the world… as long as I don’t think about it too much because HOLY COW SO ANNOYING!
I lined the jacket with a Mood fabric I’ve had in my stash for a very long time- I’m pretty sure it’s this, but can’t be certain. Now, I love me an animal print, so when I needed to buy some black fabric, naturally I grabbed the black-on-black animal print! There is a bit of disagreement in my home regarding the exact animal we’re dealing with- the fella feels that it’s python print, while I’m CONVINCED that it’s a small-scale giraffe print because EWWWWWWW PYTHONS NOOOOOOOOOOOO! Obviously it’s a small-scale giraffe print. Wait, that makes me want to see a small-scale giraffe!!! Scientists, get on that!
Oops, I’ve been sidetracked by tiny giraffes! ANYWAY, I’m really happy with this little jacket and am glad to have a little more tomboy chic in my wardrobe. I’d like to make another version in something fun and textured, like jacquard or a chunky wool knit! This is the PERFECT style to use up special pieces from your stash- it doesn’t take very much fabric, and will look really different depending on your fabric choice. Now, tell me, do you like to sew classic shapes in untraditional fabrics? What’s the most fun you’ve had mixing up a look? Jackie O sheath dress in vinyl? Classic trousers in quilted nylon? Peacoat in neon boucle? Do tell!