Welcome to my stop on the Breaking Ground Blog Tour! I finally made the olive denim jacket I've been daydreaming about. Read on for ALL the details and find links at the end to all my fellow Breaking Ground bloggers!
Project Origins: Fabric
My project for this year's Breaking Ground Blog Tour was inspired by the fabric! I knew as soon as I saw the olive stretch twill from Simply By Ti ages ago, it needed to become a "denim" jacket... someday.
Someday when I found the perfect jacket pattern....
Someday when I had time in my sewing schedule....
Someday when I had the room in my fabric budget....
Someday turned out to be January 24, 2018!
On that day, a notice had gone out that thanks to a distributor issue, the twill would be discontinued! Naturally, I panicked and ordered 5 yards on the spot... you know, for someday.
|Kingston Jacket worn with Hepburn Turtleneck and Sequoia Cargos|
I can't really say why I was so drawn to the olive color. I had worked with the twill in the burgundy color-way in November, and found it to be a fantastic quality. I expected the olive to be a rich, saturated color, sturdy, stretchy, have great recovery, not fray or shed but be a little too quick to 'shine' when pressed. I was not disappointed!
Project Origins: Pattern
As I waited impatiently for my fabric to join my stash, I remembered a cute denim jacket pattern I'd seen not to long ago from pattern designer, Rebecca Page. The Kingston Jacket is exactly what I wanted! A collar that wasn't too big or small, bust pockets with button flaps, classic cuffed long sleeves with small vents and lots and lots of seams to top stitch!
Those of you who are always looking for value in a pattern would do well to check out the shop listing HERE. The woman's pattern is sized XXS-5XL, fitting bust measurements 30-54 inches, and has several sleeve options if you are in the mood for something a little less traditional. Plus, you can find the same pattern in children's and doll sizes. I'm not into kid sewing, but I AM into hoodie denim mash-ups, so I grabbed the hoodie add on pack when I bought my original pattern. --Watch for that in the near future!
|Kingston Jacket worn with Chi Shirt Dress|
-The pattern is a layered PDF, so you can print only the size(s) you want
-Traditional 2 piece cuffed long sleeve, half angel, trumpet and bell sleeves
-Optional side seam pockets
-Front breast pockets
-Waistband tab option
-Separate files for US letter, A4 and copy shop printing
-Available in Womans, kids and doll sizes as separate or bundle purchases
-Hoodie Option (additional purchase)
|Kingston Jacket worn with hacked Lindy Petal Skirt|
I've never sewn a Rebecca Page pattern before, but I was impressed by what I found. Your PDF is a whopping 142 pages, but don't panic. It is very organized from start to finish with nearly every detail you could possibly need:
-How to best use the PDF and layers feature
-How to assemble the printed tiles
-Size and finished measurements
-What to do to make a muslin
-Where should specific sleeves hit on your arm?
-What threads should you use?
-Discussion of different types of denims and other appropriate fabrics
-Choosing the appropriate needle
-Full color picture tutorial
-Abbreviated instruction sheet for experienced sewers
Yes "Denim" Jacket, Not Denim Jacket
I actually have a denim jacket already. I never wear it. It stares at me from the closet mocking me. So I give in and I try to make an outfit.... and disgusted, I toss it in the corner. It's too tight and I can't move in it. It's too cropped, hitting the wrong spot on my waist making me look pudgy. Plus, it's too denim. I love wearing denim, I really do. And that's the problem. I can't bear to wear a denim jacket with my denim jeans.
IT'S TOO MUCH!
IT'S TOO MUCH!
|Kingston Jacket worn with RTW jeans and Visby Henley Top w/Hood|
Thankfully, I sew and I can make what I want!
I want a casual spring jacket. I want to try a "new" neutral; I never reach for olive! I took my precious olive twill and this terrific Kingston Jacket pattern and made just that. My olive twill jacket is versatile, comfortable and exactly my size.
I cut a size large and although my measurements are only a 1/2 inch or so bigger than the bust of that size, I was unable to close the front. I'm not really sure how that happened, and even double checked that my pattern had printed correctly. (It did)
However, everything else was great!
1.5 inch FBA solved my problems. This was a huge FBA to apply to a princess seam, but it wasn't difficult. I do think that I neglected to account for my twill having an easier stretch than this denim, so I probably could have only used a 1 inch FBA for my final.
Still, you can't argue with having plenty of bust space and not straining your buttons! The jacket looks level front to back and doesn't creep backwards as I move around.
I honestly didn't make very many changes to this pattern. Aside from the full bust adjustment, here's what I did:
1. Shortened the chest above the bust by 1/2 inch.
2. Shortened the sleeves 2 inches.
3. Shorted the breast pocket 1 inch.
The pattern directions are detailed for a traditional flat felled seam. There are notes for serger/overlocker sewing, if you prefer to do that. I was feeling a bit nervous about making my deadline for the tour, plus, I wanted to use my cover stitch for all the top stitching, so I opted to skip the flat fell seams this time. For the most part, I didn't have any difficulty with that at all. However, the sleeve vent didn't have any serger/overlocker alternative instructions. Wanting everything to be sewn consistently, I sort of winged it and managed to make some pretty good-looking sleeve vents!
Sleeve Vent Details
I approached the sleeve vents the same way I would a skirt vent. Of course, the difference being there's no vent extensions on the sleeve. You only get the 5/8 inch seam allowance to work with. It takes a little finesse... but it is possible!
I must admit that it isn't as clean a finish as I expected. But, it is secure and does the job with skills that are familiar, and a finish that is just like the old RTW jacket I have from Target. Next time, I must push myself and try the more authentic flat fell process.
Confession and Comparisson
Even though everything is precisely drafted with all the pieces and notches lining up perfectly, I was really confused by the notches on the sleeves. The tutorial shows setting the sleeve flat, then stitching up the side seam through the under arm to the cuff. But, my experience with two piece sleeves is that they are off-set with a notch on the under sleeve piece that lines up with the side seam. It looks to me on the pattern pieces that there IS an under arm notch (red arrow).
Checking in with the Rebecca Page FB group, it was confirmed that they should be set in the flat with the side seams matching the under arm seam of the sleeve. Rebecca Page even has a YouTube video demonstrating the sewing of the Kingston Jacket sleeves. I had set my sleeves in the round for my muslin, and as you can see they look nice. To compare, I basted in the sleeves of my olive final as instructed in the tutorial and did not like the result.
I did the photos at the same time, wearing the same outfit underneath for maximum scientific credibility.
One of the biggest Fit Realizations I've made about myself in the last year is that I really need to rotate my sleeves backwards, like a lot, to have them hang correctly.
|WOW, I really should have done a sloped shoulder adjustment. Good note for the next one....|
I ended up ignoring the directions for setting the sleeves. I tore out all my basting and set them in the round. This gave me the added benefit of being able to top stitch the side seam and both sleeve seams. That makes me incredibly happy!
Look at how far that seam is rotated!!
The second thing I found odd about this pattern is there's no interfacing. At all. I don't know enough about denim jackets to know if that is normal or not. With all the extensive details included in the PDF packet, interfacing is an odd thing to have overlooked. Is it because denim is generally a thick and full-bodied fabric that it is not needed?
I'm not a novice, and I know from experience that more interfacing is better than too little. Especially in key places. I should have followed my gut and added some light tricot interfacing to all the usual suspects: Collar, pocket flap, cuff, bottom band and button bands.
Even with tear away stabilizer on both the top and bottom, I experienced distortion and stretching when I stitched the button holes. It not going to be a problem for me. We all know that the best denim jackets have character. That comes from the little imperfections that develop with wearing for a long time. I'm just going to say I have a head start on that!
I'm really loving this jacket!
I don't do a very good job of sewing trends, or with the season's fashion colors, but that's never really been my goal. I'm striving to create a closet full of great pieces that work together and will get worn.
Here's the link to the Simply By Ti Fabric Shop.
Here's the Link to the Rebecca Page Ladies Kingston Jacket.
Here's the link to the Wawak denim buttons I used.
Breaking Ground Blog Tour....
Check out all the fantastic projects shared this week by more than 20 Breaking Ground Bloggers. I'll bet you discover something new and inspirational for you!
Be sure to visit us each day:
Monday March 12
Tuesday March 13
Wednesday March 14
Thursday March 15
Friday March 16
Lulu & Celeste, Tenille's Thread, Sewing A La Carte, The Bear and Pea Atelier, Aurora Design Fabrics, Sprouting Jube Jube, Kathy's Kwilts and More
To make the tour even more fun, our Breaking Ground blog team member, Gail is offering 2 patterns of choice from her pattern shop Flosstyle to one lucky winner.
We'd love to see how you're Breaking Ground this month. Share with us what you're working on by using the hashtag #BreakingGround2018 across social media. Better yet, join the Sew Alongs & Sewing Contests Facebook Group to sew along with the Breaking Ground theme for the entire month of March. In the group you'll find support and encouragement for your projects and fun themed challenges.
|How can you think of playing ball at a time like this? There's snow on my jacket!|