This project has earned me some serious kudos from my eldest daughter while simultaneously producing a fair bit of jealousy in my youngest. The denim jacket, which was a bit of a labour of love in itself, was laboured over a little more on journeys to Brighton for meetings with some embroidery thread. I used the theme of April showers brings May flowers (although it seems to have been very much the opposite way round in London this year!) from Project Run and Play’s sew along this month to inspire the embroidery .
Stripes and florals are a pretty classic combination so I made a striped playsuit to go with the jacket (although I’m fairly certain it will be worn with everything). The playsuit is to replace the two Petal Fold Playsuits from Made-it patterns that she has recently outgrown. When the weather gets warm they got so much wear that I was happy to replace them. This version was made with striped linen from Simply Fabrics. I graded between a size 4 at the waist, 7 at the chest and hips and 10 in length. The fit turned out pretty good but with a fair bit of growing room. The fabric was a little translucent so I lined it with a lightweight cotton. I paid quite a lot of attention to matching the stripes in as many places as possible, although in order to match the side seams on the culottes and the vertical stripes through the bodice and culottes I had to sacrifice matching the shoulder and side seams on the bodice.
I had my heart set on saving time making the jacket by purchasing a pattern, but knowing that I could draft it myself I didn’t want to invest a large amount of money in one. Finding a Burda pattern that looked perfect seemed a great option, only to find that it was no longer available on Burda. I did however find it on Sewingpatterns.com which promises instant download on the largest range of patterns online. What I didn’t notice before purchasing was in order to get your instant download you must download particular software plus licensing agreements – which did not work on my system at all. Online support was not helpful either but they did refund my payment quickly when I requested it. After the hassle of unsuccessful pattern purchasing I went back to what should have been option A and drafted the pattern myself. There are, of course, a lot of pieces to make a denim jacket, but it allowed me to draft them for the best fit.
One shortcut I took was to make the chest pockets faux not real. The side welt pockets will be the most useful anyhow and I couldn’t work out how to insert the chest pockets in the best way so just added a pocket flap and some topstitching.I used flat felled seams wherever possible and used some scraps of Liberty lawn to bind any exposed edges and for the pocket bags. The binding shows a little where the collar folds over as my facing should obviously been a little wider at the collar – but you can’t expect to cut a pattern perfectly on the first attempt.
Just as I was finishing the edges of my pocket bags with the overlocker I managed to cut a small hole in the centre of the front panel which would have been very irritating if I hadn’t already planned to add embroidery. I’ll let you guess which of the flowers isn’t purely decorative!The floral design was largely improvised as I went along although I did draw the main flower and leaf design on the back yoke onto the fabric with washable pen first.I don’t have any particular experience with embroidery, so everything on the jacket was made with either chain stitch, french knots or ordinary stitches (is that satin stitch in embroidery?) I wasn’t sure quite when to stop adding flowers but when my youngest asked imploringly if she could have a flowery jacket too I thought I’d stop sooner rather than later. I have however, managed to pick up a small denim jacket in a flea market so there will be more flowers appearing on that during my next long commute.