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Sew Long Summer...Hello Lilia Jacket!

Well, Hello there! I'm glad we are still able to connect here today. It was a close one, what with me deleting my original blog post mere hours before it was set to publish. I'm sorry the world will never see it's brilliance. No matter. I still remember how I made my fabulous Lilia Jacket and I will share that story with you today! 


For me, fall is the best season of the year. The temperature drops (eventually), humidity dissipates, the boy goes back to school and plays football! It's his 4th, and last, year playing for our local youth organization, (next year he will play for the school), and though the time commitment is intense I do love to watch my boy play. 

I really suck at pretending to be cold. The week before I snapped these photos, it was cold and perfect for fleece. On photo day: 80 degrees by 10am and so humid you can't breathe. Today, it's 68 and raining. That's Michigan for you! Since you never can tell just what the weather is going to do, I thought stitching up an easy fleece jacket to put in my Magic Mom Football Bag would be smart. 


GAH. This rewriting stuff is so HARD! I know in my original post, my transition from fall and football to sharing how I chose my pattern was a piece of poetic prose. Something I can't possibly replicate. So instead, I'll just tell you all abrupt and jostling:

OK, I saw the announcement that Sew Long Summer 2016 was accepting participants and thought it was perfect motivation for making that fleece jacket. I didn't have a pattern in mind, so I poked around the websites of the blog tour sponsors and knew the second I saw it that the Lilia Jacket from Zierstoff Sewing Patterns was exactly what I wanted. It is super cute with curved hemlines, a wrap-neck closure, pointed hood and round patch pockets. (I can put hand warmers, and gloves and my camera and snacks in there all at the same time!)

In the last year or so, I've really gotten away from sewing Big 4 patterns in favor of indy designers. My experience with Zierstoff is a great example of why: I ended up having a question right after I downloaded the pattern. I sent off an email to the address I saw on the website and received back the nicest response from Joanna, one of the company's co-founders. She resolved my problem and was genuinely interested in my project. Just in case Zierstoff is new to you too, they are a German pattern company offering patterns in sizes for ladies all the way down to babies. Some of their patterns, including Lilia Jacket have corresponding YouTube videos where co-founders Joanna and Ilka walk you through construction. Word on the street is that they are planning to produce several more videos later this year. There is nothing I love more than finding a small pattern company who is passionate and involved with the sewing community!


Please tell me I'm not the only one hearing that impending deadline siren...



As Zierstoff is a new-to-me pattern company, I did a quick mock up of the pattern and made a couple adjustments to personalize the fit: a 1/2 forward shoulder adjustment and I raised the waist a couple inches (shortening it that same amount). 

I chose a very thick "Lux" High Density fleece from my local Joann's shop for this jacket. It's incredibly soft and warm. It's also more than 2x the price of their standard fleece line. I used a 50% off coupon and feel like it was worth the extra money. I did find it a bit tough to shove through my overlocker at times, but it didn't give me enough trouble to really complain. I even used a silk organza pressing cloth, like a good little seamstress, which helped me avoid any shine or iron marks. I found the pattern to be well drafted. Everything matched up as it should and came together really quickly.

The cuff on the Lilia Jacket is a simple rectangle stitched together, folded in half and sewn to the sleeve. Nothing wrong with that, except I neglected to consider the thickness of my fabric. Two layers like that really just felt too heavy. So, I cut it off and got creative. 

I cut the cuff piece in half, to make it a single layer. I added an inch or so for an overlap and then rounded the edges to mimic the curves on the front hem of the jacket.

The result is this tulip shaped cuff!


The pattern encourages you to be creative with your edge finishes. On the samples, a lettuce stitch is used, which looks great. Unfortunately, I couldn't duplicate that on my fabric, even with my differential feed cranked all the way. Disappointing, as it would have been quick and easy. My alternative idea was a blanket stitch. 

This turned out to be a very time consuming choice. I experimented with a couple different threads before deciding on this vibrant purple #5 pearl cotton. I wanted a little color contrast, and the purple is "school" colors so I can pretend it's "spirit wear" at sporting events. It took some time to strike the right balance of stitch size and tension. Then, when I got to the curve on the front, I realized the stitches were getting lost in the pile of my fabric. I had to rip it all out, bevel the front and back of the edges and restitch. You can see above the before and after. Well worth the time. Below, is me "shaving" my fabric. I made a huge black fuzz mess.

 I'm a big fan of the way the neck wraps in front and sits high in the back. This keeps the wind from blowing down inside without needing a scarf. 

The hood is the right size for staying in place, but not too small. 

I also think the hood is deep enough to keep the rain drops off my glasses when it drizzles.


Enough already. I'm nearly done, and there's time to spare.

I expect this jacket to get lots of wear in September and October...Not just for football practice, but running errands as well. 

There's a bunch of us saying Sew Long Summer, Please check out all the other projects and bloggers!


Check out the discounts being offered this week by our Blog Tour Sponsors:

  Zierstoff Patterns 20% off patterns Code: zierstoffpatterns20 Ends 9/17/16
  Blue Dot Patterns 25% off patterns Code: SewLongSummer Ends 9/17/16
  On the Cutting Floor 50% off patterns Code: SEWLONG Ends 9/17/16


Hopefully, you don't feel the sting of having missed out on the journalistic gold that would have been my original post. But if you do, entering the giveaway below might help soothe the pain.

Are you feeling lucky? Don't forget to enter the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



  1. Wish I had seen this pattern last week - I just bought something similar! But looking at their patterns, I think I will buy the cape,
    Nice job, Crystal!

    1. I look forward to seeing how your cape comes out! There are a few other designs I'm eyeing myself.

  2. I love your creative sleeve cuffs. Well executed! :-D

    1. Thanks, Kennis! I'm really pleased with how they came out.

  3. Replies
    1. The temperatures should start dropping next week. I'm looking forward to snuggling in it during evening football practice.

  4. Love the jacket, looks super cozy.

  5. This jacket looks great and very comfortable. The finishing with the contrast yarn looks beautiful.

    1. Thanks! I'm very happy with the way it all turned out.

  6. Your jacket looks great and so cozy! Perfect for football games. I need to get mine done before our weather cools!

    1. I wish I took it to practice last night, it got chilly. It's going in the bag today for sure. Are you making one of these too?

  7. I loved your video. Both of you are very natural. You have some very cute patterns.

    1. Joanna and Ilka were so much fun to watch, weren't they?

  8. It looks lovely and warm! I love the blanket stitch finish you chose, much nicer than a lettuce hem (IMO!) and that pop of colour is just perfect!

    1. Thanks! I'm glad I went that way too. It came out better than I'd hoped.

  9. I'm loving the tulip sleeves. What a great touch. I've never thought of doing that.

    1. It pays not to rush, sometimes. I slept on it for a day or two before I thought of it.

  10. I agree with Linda and the others, the tulip sleeve is a brilliant solution and looks so good with the jacket's design lines. I'm so glad you like Zierstoff Patterns too. I'm trying my hardest not to buy too many patterns with the discount.

    1. I keep looking at the Nicki Capri Pants...which of course, are totally out of season, LOL.

  11. Cute jacket! It looks so warm and best of all, comfy!

  12. Very nice, looks super warm, I need a jacket like this, looks great on you!


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