Friday, 12 June 2015

Jacket Wrap

My last post - and all the lovely drapey jackets I keep reading about on people's blogs - reminded me of another drapey jacket, a much lighter jacket, one that I made last year and never got around to blogging.

I think this one's a pretty nice shape, though the fabric I chose to use wasn't right for the jacket. More on the fabric later, but the pattern looks OK doesn't it?  Don't answer; that's a trick question!

Before you commit to an opinion have a look at the jacket from a couple more angles... it was a windy day when I took these photos, but I thought they showed the drapey, fluid nature of the jacket quite well!

OK, enough photos for now!

Let's move on to the pattern, shall we?

The pattern is one I tested last year for Rosie Martin of DIY Couture fame. And yet... And yet if you know anything about Rosie's approach, you'll know she's all about liberating sewers from their patterns! So when I say it's a pattern I tested, well it wasn't a set of pattern pieces so much as a set of gorgeous, clearly illustrated instructions for sewing a drapey wrap top WITHOUT a pattern. I don't want to give the game away, but basically with this pattern Rosie shows you how to work with a top you already have and use it as a template for a a drapey wrap top - which can of course be a jacket if you so desire :).

The particularly cool thing about this sort of pattern is that it lets you make a whole range of different tops (or jackets or dresses) - you choose the fit you already like, and you choose the lengths and widths and hem shapes, and you choose what seam finishes you want, and so on. That probably sounds so broad that you're wondering what's actually included - well, there's still plenty to cover:

  • tools needed for the job
  • fabric information 
  • diagrams of the wrap top design and of variations to the design
  • easy drafting instructions 
  • suggested order of construction and construction tips, with a LOT of photos and diagrams to make all steps very clear

OK, over to the fabric now. The fabric is really interesting; it's a double sided fabric I bought from Tessuti fabrics ages ago on a whim. It has a matte blue side that I've used as the outer or "right side" of the fabric, and a cold slippery black side that I've used as the lining or "wrong side" of the fabric. Unfortunately it turns out I don't like the cold feel of the black side on my skin, and the 3/4 dolman the sleeves I chose to make feel too narrow when I wear them over long sleeves (in these photos I'm wearing a 3/4 sleeve t-shirt underneath, and you can see those t-shirt sleeves are doing a bit of bunching under the jacket sleeves). So this jacket has ended up something for layering over sleeveless clothes - I'm thinking my lovely full length bias cut dress in layers of black chiffon - when my arms are up for it :).

Most of the wrap top examples shown in Rosie's instructions have a collar band and a waist tie, and all of her examples had finished edges - but this is the shape I was after, and although I generally like a finish to my jacket edges, in this case I couldn't think of anything that would look as neat as carefully cut edges. And I have to say, this fabric has not frayed in the slightest since I made it.

Of course you have to take my review with a grain of salt, as the pattern testing experience just necessarily results in bias, BUT I think this "pattern" (or the book it's going to be in) would be perfect for an adventurous beginner - someone with lots of ideas, but without a clear idea of how to get there. No advanced sewing knowledge or skills are required, so really anyone with a reasonable amount of attention to detail could use the instructions and make something from them. 

And for sewists with a bit more experience? I can't speak for everyone, but for me Rosie's approach was exciting and inspiring.  I guess I normally tend to think of sewing projects in terms of available patterns, plus I'm quite risk averse, so to be honest it took me a little while to work up the courage to cut into my fabric - but once my scissors had started cutting I relaxed and started thinking of all the possibilities!  

See you soon

- Gabrielle


  1. Cool jacket. Would look nice styled with a simple black dress and heels.

  2. Interesting fabric and you have a jacket that will work for some outfits, it is just disappointing that this weather makes them less. Can you turn it inside out to wear, just a thought.

  3. How absolutely brilliant Gabrielle. I have been looking for exactly this "pattern". I fell in love with cardigan (for AU$200)

    I purchased double sided sweater knit (grey on one side and rust on the other) and have been searching for a pattern. I almost settled for the StyleArc Mason Knit Jacket and so glad I didn't. I love your cardigan and this is perfect for what I want. Sorry to hear your inside is cold for you. It looks fabulous.

  4. Oops - that was supposed to be a link to the picture - not the picture itself.

  5. Love the black and blue combination. The DIY couture book is great for a beginner sewer.


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