Maybe it’s because my hair is graying, but I’m finding black denim much more flattering to me than blue denim these days.
I’d recently purchased two and a half yards of stiff black 100% cotton denim at Mood Fabrics in New York City and I knew it would be perfect for a not-quite-winter shell-type jacket I could wear over sweaters. (This black Ralph Lauren denim would be perfect.) I much prefer layers to a single cold-weather garment: with global warming, you never know what the temperature will be.
If I told you my jacket was based on a 1930’s men’s pajama top pattern (Advance 2141, below), would you believe me?
I’d tried on an expensive Comme des Garcons black zippered jacket in New York City last month, and it inspired me to try to whip up something in the same vein. The pajama top had similar elements (notched collar, off-center zipper, side pockets, 3/4 length) so I thought, why not?
I made a few changes. Rather than add buttons, I inserted an antique brass YKK zipper into the outer edge of the left front, and split the right front (using the facing piece as my guide and adding seam allowances) and stitched the other side of the zipper between the two right front pieces so it mirrored the left front (like a classic motorcycle jacket).
Rather than use the shapeless one-piece sleeve that’s part of the original pattern, I added a more tailored two-piece sleeve, along with two single-welt side pockets and a zippered left breast pocket for iPhone or wallet.
The lines of the jacket are simple and somewhat uniform-like. The boxy fit gives it a vintage 30’s/40’s feel and leaves room for sweaters.
I don’t think this jacket reads “pajama top” — do you?
My denim jacket is unlined, but the under-pockets are made with the same denim to keep things clean-looking inside.
This super-comfortable jacket is a great addition to my wardrobe. Worn alone or over a bulky sweater, it’s a neat twist on typical denim jackets and very easy to wear.
MORAL: Don’t overlook all those vintage men’s pajama patterns out there — they’re rich with possibilities.
See you in the new year!