If you have a daughter(s) and you love sewing, you're in luck - the possibilities are endless. There are so many cute things to sew for girls and the fabric choices are extensive. But boys, on the other hand, can be a bit more challenging. I'm not all that into sewing pants and can't seem to muster the motivation to sew button down shirts. I haven't learned how to sew knits (stretchy fabrics) which would open up a whole new world of sewing potential. So, I was very excited to be able to sew a jacket for our sweet Jude and he was excited, too. I let him choose the lining fabric and the color of the jacket.
This jacket was (mostly) a dream to sew. [I'll get to the 'mostly' part later.] As always, I have to say that Oliver + S patterns are extraordinary. Yes, they are more expensive than traditional patterns but they are truly like taking a sewing class. If you look at it that way, they really aren't expensive at all. Liesl's patterns have taught me how to sew.
I ordered the wool from the Mill End Store in Oregon after reading great things about it on Angry Chicken's blog. They sent me 12 swatches to choose from. You cannot believe the quality of this wool. It is so soft and dreamy and not at all scratchy. It was $20/yard and I needed 1.5 yards for the jacket. I knew I could never buy a wool jacket of this quality for $30. That made it even more delightful to sew because I felt like I was saving a lot of money doing it this way. As I've mentioned before, sewing these days is often not for thrift. The jacket I made for Indi was probably only $20 less than the Mini Boden version I copied, but I spent about ten hours working on it. That means if I was doing it to save money, my work was about $2/hour.
I ordered the toggles from Pacific Trimming in New York. Liesl from Oliver + S gave me this recommendation on the Oliver + S sewing forum and let me tell you, they do not disappoint. The toggles are reasonably priced and the service was great. I ordered Indi's toggles from this company as well. I was very happy with them.
I made a few changes to this jacket. The first was to add pockets to the lining. My kids love pockets and I got this idea from the Angry Chicken blog a year or so ago.
The big change that I made was to the pattern itself. I found the sleeves on the jacket were too wide and bell-ish for a boy. I didn't notice this until the outer jacket was complete and I had Jude try it on. I asked Dan for his opinion because I was really hoping not to have to change a pattern after everything was sewed (ugh - seam ripping!) but he agreed that it looked too choir robe-ish for a boy. So I took each sleeve in by 1.75" at the hemline of the sleeve. I then measured 2 inches from where the sleeve meets the body of the jacket. I made a mark at 2" in (on the sleeve) and then used a straight edge and drew a line with a fabric marker to connect the two points - 1.75" in from the sleeve hemline to 2" from where the sleeve connected to the body. This formed a taper. From the sleeve hemline to the end of the sleeve, I kept the line straight (1.75") so that the fabric would easily fold over to form the hem. Then I sewed along that line.
Without further ado