Sorry for breaking the African Wax Print streak, y’all – I think I’m the only MSN blogger who didn’t participate in the challenge. I knew I’d be gone for the majority of January, so what little sewing time I did have was dedicated solely to my upcoming vacation to Egypt! This project in particular was made with that trip in mind, and I’m so glad I finished it in time, as I literally wore it every single day while I was gone.
An anorak has been on my to-sew list for a while now. This sort of jacket is super useful to have in Tennessee – it’s warm enough for spring and fall (or, the majority of our mild winters haha), lightweight, and the hood is great when its just barely raining. It’s a good in-between for when there is a bit of a chill in the air but not enough to require a full coat. I have something very similar that I made out of a bright cotton twill a few years ago, and I’ve loved and worn it to death and it is starting to really show at this point. I was more than ready to make a new one, and I figured it would be useful in Egypt so I planned to finish it before I left.
Cotton twill is a really good fabric for this type of jacket – like I said, it’s lightweight but adds a layer of warmth. The cotton means its breathable, and the weave is durable and the fabric is easy to wash and doesn’t really wrinkle. I have always loved these organic cotton twills from Mood Fabrics and I use them every opportunity I can! They are a great medium weight – perfect for a jacket or pants – with vibrant colors that wash and wear beautifully. I’ve used these twills in different colorways in the past, and I can personally vouch for how awesome they are. For this project, I bought the Olive colorway. I actually bought it in the store, but it is also available online.
A few things to note about this fabric:
- It is always in stock at Mood Fabrics. If they run out of stock in the color you want, be patient – it’ll return soon. Promise.
- They sell it in the store as well as online, so if you are desperate – you can call the store and order it through them.
- Obviously, the colors in the photo are not very accurate (I don’t know what’s up with that!). Definitely order a swatch to verify that you are getting a color that you are happy with.
The pattern I used to make this jacket is the Kelly Anorak from Closet Case Files. I loved the olive colorway, and that was 100% the inspiration behind my jacket – although my hardware is different. I made a size 2, which is my usual size with this company. I love the way this jacket looks – for real, there is an identical one in JCrew right now (which was quite helpful for me to try on and be able to determine that I liked the way it looked on me, ha) – especially the drawstring at the waist, the gigantic 3-D pockets, and the butt-covering length.
The pattern was easy to put together and I think the finished result looks really, really good. Although, to be fair – a huge chunk of any sewing success (or failure!) can be attributed to fabric selection. In this case, it was definitely the right one! And this particular fabric was really easy to work with – the cotton presses well and it’s not so heavy that you have to fight with too many bulky layers. I used a lightweight interfacing for all areas that needed some extra support (like around the zipper and snaps), and an 80/12 regular sewing machine needle. The interior seams are all flat-felled, and the topstitching is done with a triple stitch. All my little hardware goodies are from my stash, and the snaps were set using a professional snap setter.
Like I said, this jacket was soooo handy the whole time I was in Egypt. It’s currently winter there, and while it’s not necessarily freezing like it is in the majority of the States, the temperatures can still dip to 50* at night. Parts of the desert are especially chilly in the early morning, which is when most tours start (not really a huge deal in the winter, but the timing is very important in the summer when the heat is no freaking joke over there). I could wear this jacket all day – buttoned and zipped in the early morning to ward of the chill, and then open with the sleeves rolled up as the sun warmed everything up. Since Egypt is a very dry climate, I pretty much never took my jacket off when I was outside – even when wandering around some of those temples in Luxor, where it would easily be 80* and VERY sunny!
Anyway, I’ll close with an action shot – here I am standing on the Great Pyramid of Giza, wearing my anorak! Woohoo!