Wow, long time no blog! I made this jacket in June and have worn it SO MUCH I thought it was about time I wrote about it. It’s a super simple pattern and better yet, it’s FREE! You can download the pattern here and the tutorial is here.
Tee by Wren and Wilson
Peppermint Spring Shorts, chambray from Escape and Create
Hairband by Adornments by Rosheen
Shoes from Shoe Embassy
If you follow my ramblings on Instagram, you may remember that I pre-ordered this Perfect Match fabric from Selkie Patterns for my Dressmaker’s Ball dress. There was a good chance it wouldn’t arrive before the ball but I did it anyway to justify a reasonably expensive fabric purchase. The fabric is certified organic, made in a fair trade factory in Pakistan and printed in the UK so their price is 100% justified, I just don’t have a lot of disposable income! Anyway, long story short, the fabric didn’t arrive in time and I ended up doing a last-minute dash to Escape and Create for some quilting cotton I knew would be a breeze to sew up. That left me 2m of this gorgeous cotton satin and no plans for it…
Picture by Selkie Fabrics
The fabric was heavier than I expected and while it would have made a beautiful and dramatic twirly 50s style dress, I wanted to make something that I would get more wear out of. I fancied making a denim-style jacket although I knew my machine wouldn’t cope well with the thick seams of the Audrey jacket and I didn’t want the design to be lost in all those panels. I was tempted by the Ready to Sew Julien chore jacket and Merchant and Mill’s Ottoline but again, I wasn’t sure my machine was up to the task and they both looked quite advanced and fiddly.
I spotted the Paola jacket on @gyasti on Instagram and it looked like exactly what I was after: a boxy casual jacket with simple construction that could be made in a huge range of fabrics. No disrespect to Fabrics Store but don’t be put off by the sample photos: I don’t think they do this jacket justice!
Photo by Fabrics Store
The pattern is only available as a print-at-home PDF but it doesn’t take too long to stick together. I’ve recently switched to using a guillotine and glue stick instead of scissors and tape and it’s made the whole painful process a lot easier! The pattern is layered so you can just print your size which saves time and ink. I went for a size XS as the design is boxy and I didn’t want it to be too oversized to wear over dresses. I usually make and wear a UK 10 so bear this in mind if you’re smaller. I also shortened the pattern, I THINK by two inches but I honestly can’t remember as I made it so long ago, and I didn’t add the top pockets.
The instructions tell you to flat fell all seams but I opted for mock flat felled seams to decrease bulk and I didn’t bother doing this when I inserted the sleeves. I WISH I hadn’t done it on the sleeve seams either. Have you ever flat felled or mock flat felled a sleeve seam? It’s super awkward and you end up with the entire sleeve doughnutted (that’s a word) around your presser foot! Frustratingly, I snagged my fabric when I removed it and I definitely won’t bother with that step again!
That aside, the instructions are really clear and thorough and there's links to tutorials for the more complex techniques.
I often roll up my sleeves so I decided to bind the inside of my sleeve seams. Ok, I only did like 10cm so that the bit that’s rolled up looks pretty! This isn't a true Hong Kong seam but I love how it looks! I used some scraps of lining fabric I had left from my Silvia coatigan.
I think the only other change I made was to sew the front hem and facing right sides together, then flipped, as I think this gives a neater finish.
I didn't bother to add any fastenings as I never do my coats and jackets up and I didn't want to risk ruining it at the last hurdle!
I love this pattern and will definitely be making another in the autumn. I fancy making one in a cord or tartan wool with a faux-sherpa lining. Cosy! This one by Fab Works in dreamy but I’m off to Edinburgh in October and hope to find something there.
Fabrics Store has loads of great free patterns and you should definitely check them out! This wasn’t sponsored, although, full disclosure, they did contact me after I shared a photo of my jacket to Instagram to ask if I would like some of their fabric for a blog post. Unfortunately I had too much on my plate at the time to accept, but I will always be transparent about sponsored content. None of my links are affiliate links.