So, a trip to Scotland, my first ever! Has inspired me to make my first waterproof coat. I have made a few coats before but not really ventured into tech fabrics so there was some new ground to negotiate ahead and I don’t just mean the 11hr drive!
First the pattern: After a bit of pattern research I found the Eden Jacket by Tilly and the Buttons matched the style I was looking for best. As this coat was also destined to become a course, I always had my lovely customers on my mind when choosing too. I needed to avoid a dauntingly technical pattern but make sure it had loads of scope for added extras to keep even the most ambitious attendee happy. For my own version I wanted to throw in all the bells and whistles so I opted for the short version with storm flaps and decided to go for both zip and poppers.
Then the fabric: Fabric choice took a while, I wanted to work with soft shell as I wanted a light jacket but not a plasticy or shiny raincoat feel to the fabric. I had a decision between fleece backed soft shell or thinner single layer softshell that would then need lining. I opted for fleece backed in the end and am really pleased I did. I went for a beautiful Beatle print in petrol from Poppy Bear Fabrics with a plain petrol ½ metre which I used for storm flaps and pockets.
Once I had my pattern sorted and my fabric had arrived it was time to run a few samples through the machine. The softshell, having a woven surface went through like a dream. Seams, tucks and top stitching all sewed up fine without the need for Teflon or walking foot. This might be a different matter if you are using a waxed canvas or plastic coated fabric and many clips were needed ro get really tidy curves on the storm flaps. As the fabric was fleece backed grading the seams (trimming seam allowances to different lengths) was essential to cut down on bulk and ensure nothing looked ‘bouncy'
Not lining a jacket actually take just as long as lining one, as your internal finish has to be spot on, with all seams trimmed neat and tidy and finished beautifully. The softshell I used trimmed down perfectly and held a lovely straight line, helping the inside finish stay crisp. I also added a semi circular layer on the inside back of the neckline with label, hanging loop and coloured topstitching. This was added before attaching the back storm flap so the back of the panel and stitching is all hidden away between the layers.
On my version there are a host of additions to make it a little unique. I added some lovely soft cuffing to the inside of the sleeve ends. These match the coral topstitch details I scattered over the jacket and on the inside finishing. I added little lozenges of zig zag stitches in a kind of dot dash dot pattern. The bright coral thread contrasts so beautifully with the dark teal and really pops!
Snaps in antique brass were placed not only where the pattern says but also in the centre of the back storm flap and on the little tabs I added to the hemline below each side pocket.
The tabs were added to take down the very generous 16cm of ease this jacket has at the hip line. I went for a size 4 which matched my hip measurements on the size chart, but next time round would swing in to a size 2 at the hip line for a slimmer, more flattering fit.
The flap pockets the pattern has are great but don't sit in quite the right position and have poppers so aren’t quite as easy to pop hands in and out of. I went for the folded pockets which maybe wasn’t the easiest when working with bouncy softshell fleece.
So whaddaya do?
Side pockets! Oh yes, the more pockets the better for me and I like to be able to pop my hands in my pockets easily. For this reason I added side pockets that sit in the side seams of the jacket. They are top stitched for strength and have the fleece side of the fabric on the inside for extra cosy hands.
The hood is a beautiful fit and great shape, some hoods really don’t cut the mustard but the Eden hood is flattering, practical, understands that ponytails exist and just sits well.
All in all this little jacket pattern provides you with a good basic shape and loads of potential to make your own unique changes and additions. A good all rounder with good sizing and clear instructions. Now what to make the next one out off………