June 22, 2011

Summer Jacket

I was so excited to have this jacket finished and ready to wear just in time to take along on a weekend at the beach - and it was absolutely perfect during the cool evenings! Made from Simplicity 2443, a Cynthia Rowley design, the short sleeves and light denim fabric make for an ideal lightweight summer jacket.

I spent a lot of time on this jacket; it took me nearly a month to complete.  This is mostly due to the large number of design details that are a part of this jacket, including; four pockets, two pocket flaps, two decorative fabric strips, four fabric loops and grosgrain ribbon ties that serve as the closure for the jacket, slitted sleeves with D rings and adjustable straps, and my own personal design element of handmade bias tape to cover every raw edge:

I really pushed my sewing patience and skills with this jacket, and upped my personal quality standards.  I wanted the jacket to look like well-made piece inside and out, and, for me, this meant hiding away all my raw fabric edges by covering them with decorative bias tape.  To do this, I decided to learn how to make my own bias tape.  It turned out to be a two person job, but with the extra set of hands it really went quite quickly and smoothly.  In fact, now that I know how to do it, I can definitely foresee making it again.  I used Clover bias tape makers in the 1/2" and 1" sizes (I used the larger bias tape around the armhole seems) and a blue floral calico fabric.

Sleeve and D ring with adjustable strap

My only gripe is over my own fabric choice; after wearing this jacket a few times, the fabric is beginning to show signs of stress around some of the seems.  I'm thinking this lightweight fabric is just too light to withstand frequent wear.  I'm not sure how to go about strengthening the weak areas (center back seem, in particular!).  I hope I'm able to get a lot of wear out of a jacket that I love and put so much time into.

This pattern certainly requires a strong command of sewing skills and patience, but it was in no way difficult for a sewer with adequate home-sewing experience.  The result is a fashionable jacket with great design details.


  1. You did a great job! I have been eyeing this pattern for some time. It is up on my sewing table. What fabric would you use if you had it to do ober?

  2. Thanks, Sunni! If I were to make this jacket again I would still use a light colored denim, but in a slightly heaver weight. The fabric I used was very thin, and I've learned my lesson!

    I'm thinking I might take out some of the stressed stitches along the CB seam and insert some small patches of fusible interfacing along the seam line on both back pieces, and re-stitch the CB closed. But, I'm afraid even lightweight interfacing may be too heavy, and show through the fabric. I think this may be my best bet? Any other recommendations?

  3. Emily, Well done. The details are polished and crisp. The time you put into the jacket was worth it.