Closet Case Patterns Kelly Anorak

Closet Case Kelly Anorak

Ok, buckle up. This is the big one. The big sew of the season. A full-on 100% jacket. Or Anorak to be more specific.

This one tested me in many ways and in the end, I’m not sure if I came out on top. In any case, it’s finished and I love it, flaws and all, and it’s only spurred me on to make another.

Let’s dig in:

This is the Closet Case Kelly Anorak which was released last year to much fanfare. I liked the design, classic yet sporty. But it wasn’t until I started planning my trip to Utah that I decided that by golly, I NEEDED a new jacket!

Closet Case Kelly Anorak

I definitely have a preferred “style” when it comes to dressing for the outdoors. Now you might say, “it doesn’t matter what you look like while you’re in the wilderness, so long as it’s functional.” To that, I say, “go rain on someone else’s 7-mile hike!”

For me, my ideal look for traipsing across in the desert/mountains/forest involves a cross between Lara Croft (circa the 2013 reboot) and a 1911 Egyptologist. Basically, I want to look like someone who regularly carries a torch.

So when I saw a jacket at REI that was almost identical to the Kelly but had a shearling hood lining, visions of torch-lit ancient tombs glittered in my eyes.

I immediately ordered some shearling and a couple yards of ripstop cotton from fabric.com (appropriately named “coyote”).

Closet Case Kelly Anorak

I had about a month to finish the jacket but first I needed to address some fit issues.

1. The sleeve was too small. Luckily the sleeve is in two pieces which made it easier to alter.

Not only did I made it wider in the bicep but I lowered the height of the sleeve cap to give me some more rotation in the arm. Before I could only lift the arm in front of me to neck-height. Now I can reasonably scale a rock wall while wearing it. Not that I did, but still.

2. In several versions of this pattern, I see a recurring fit issue. It’s not a huge problem but I kept seeing it enough that it bugged me. Right above the bust, near where the chest yoke seam met the armscye – a fold. A lumpy, slightly angled fold. Always appearing when the wearer had the jacket zipped up. Like the jacket was crying out for a dart.

Luckily I had a friend who loves fitting more than I love complaining. She helped me tackle that dreaded fold in a muslin.

Unfortunately, that fold proved hard to fight. You’d think you could take the fold out at the yoke seam but the yoke doesn’t come anywhere near the fullest part of the bust. And while the yoke piece of the jacket is curved toward the armscye, the body of the jacket is not curved along that seam.

My options were to make a whole new side dart, or try to squeeze the excess fabric into that yoke seam. Neither option was a perfect fix. I ended up forgoing the new dart and trying to curve the yoke seam more. It helped – but didn’t fix it completely.

Closet Case Kelly Anorak(That fold(s) is still visible – though not all the time – with the jacket zipped. And now that you see it on me, I dare you not to see it on other people’s Anoraks as well…)

To adapt the hood I simply cut out the same hood pieces again from the shearling. Then I adapted the lower front piece that gets snapped together to be sewn from the cotton. I didn’t want to try to apply snaps through the fur.

Closet Case Kelly Anorak

Now, I have to admit, fiddling with all those front zipper-area flaps was confusing and frustrating. Following the tutorial online helped.

One thing I found annoying in the instructions, however, was the part where it suggests finishing the hem before adding the zipper and the flaps. So I did. Then when I went to add the flaps and zip I had to unpick some stitches to get it to fit (maybe I stitched too far over??? I don’t know). But after those steps, the instructions essentially said, “if you didn’t hem before, go ahead and hem now.” It likely would have been easier had I hemmed after the zipper section.

Another change I made was to the drawstring. This idea I stole from my REI inspiration piece. Rather than risking my drawstring getting caught on a tree branch or other obstacle while hiking, I turned it into an interior drawstring.

Inside of the jacket, I stitched the drawstring end to the center front zipper area, then I left the casing open at each side seam. The string extends out from the casing at the side seams so it can be tied. You could go fancy and buy one of those spring-press stoppers but I was short on time.

Closet Case Kelly Anorak(on the right you can see the holes made from attaching the snaps which I talk about below. Also, I bound the side seam allowances in bias binding, although I realize I should have just flat-felled them instead. Oh well, they look pretty at least.)

Removing the exterior drawstring meant I needed to adjust the position of the snaps. And here’s where things got messy.

Since I wasn’t going to use the drawstring hardware, I chose not to buy the Kelly’s hardware kit and instead bought snaps from WAWAK.

When the snaps arrived I realized I did not have the correct tool to set them. I have multiple tools for snaps, grommets, eyelets, etc – but not the kind made for this specific type of snap. I immediately ordered a new tool but when it hadn’t arrived by the day before my trip (even though I paid extra for faster shipping, ugh) I got desperate.

I went to the Tandy Leather store in my city and bought a new tool.

I returned home and the new tool doesn’t fit the spring snaps either. Luckily, I had the right frame of mind to buy extra snaps at Tandy. But upon closer inspection, I realized these were ring snaps. Ring snaps are different than spring snaps in that they have a tiny, loose metal ring inside them on one side. This makes them noisy, it also makes them hard to snap on and off. But it was my only choice.

Oh, and did I mention this package of ring snaps only had 10? And I needed 12?

Closet Case Kelly Anorak

Yeah, so my jacket has fewer snaps than it’s supposed to. ANNND when I was out of snaps I tried my darndest to get one of my many tools to work on my original snaps for the left cuff. I got one half of the snap on before I gave up. Instead, I hand stitched the cuff closed. On the outside, it looks like a normal snap but it’s completely nonfunctional.

At this point, I didn’t care anymore.

Oh, and I didn’t think to fold the under facing of out of the way while attaching the snaps, and banging on the metal tools formed tiny holes in the fabric in that facing layer. Ugh. Welp, lesson learned.

I wore this jacket at some point on every day of my trip and I noticed a problem… My pocket stitching started to come undone along the top edge. I realize now I should have stitched these pockets like one stitches back pockets on jeans, with a little triangle of stitching at the opening to prevent this exact sort of thing from happening. I fixed it when I got home.

Closet Case Kelly Anorak(the moment I realized my pocket stitching snapped. I was not happy.)

Ok plans for my next Kelly *rubs hands together like a scheming villain*

  1. Lining – gonna buy the lining pack and make a warmer jacket. This add-on includes a new sleeve that is larger around which I hope will preclude my need for width adjustments. Does anyone know a good source for high-quality flannel? None of that cheap stuff from Joann.
  2. Breast pockets – the pattern has that yoke seam over the chest and is just begging for pockets. A pocket deep enough to hold my phone/keys would do well. I’m thinking interior pockets with an exterior flap as opposed to patch pockets on the outside.
  3. Do the snaps the right way! ‘Nuff said.
  4. Better, more secure stitching around those pockets.
  5. Shearling lined hood again – because I bought a yard of that stuff so I gotta use it up somehow.
  6. I think I’ll do the ripstop cotton again but in a different color. It looks cool up close, was easy to sew with, is a good width, and best of all, it’s cheap!
  7. Carry an actual torch while wearing it.

Closet Case Kelly Anorak

Deer and Doe Lupin Jacket

Deer and Doe Lupin Jacket

You guys — I looooooooovvvvveeee this jacket! The Lupin Jacket by French pattern company Deer and Doe is a cute cropped, fully lined jacket that is perfect for Texas’ not-quite-winters.

I love the princess seams in front, the epaulettes, the light gathers at the waistline and cuffs, the floppy lapels, everything! Yes, I’m gushing but this is a great jacket for me and my climate right now. 10/10 would sew again!

Deer and Doe Lupin Jacket

(does anyone else think of Harry Potter when you hear the word Lupin? It’s not a word you hear often in English.)

The shell fabric came from The Cloth Pocket (these photos were also taken at the awesome mural outside their new building!). I’d describe it as medium-lightweight. It’s light enough to make the lapels hang nicely by thick enough to supply some warmth.

What’s great about it is the gold sparkle comes from threads woven into the fabric rather than glitter stuck into the fibers or “glued” on top. That means the metallic can’t be washed out or ironed off (which I have experienced, much to my disappointment).

Deer and Doe Lupin Jacket

The lining is some plain black cotton voile, the source of which I can’t remember. Metal buttons from Joann.

Deer and Doe Lupin Jacket

Once I finally got everything cut out and organized, the jacket came together rather quickly.

I appreciate that the lining isn’t simply a copy of the shell, but slightly bigger in places to allow for movement. The assembly was different than what I would have expected but I liked the method they used — similar to the bag-lining technique but you finish by sewing the waistband rather than an interior sleeve lining seam.

Deer and Doe Lupin Jacket

My only change, I added a button and buttonhole at the waistband. I’ve seen this done on a few other people’s makes but it’s not included in the pattern. I wanted the option of closing the jacket if I needed to. Plus, these buttons came with 3 on a card.

Deer and Doe Lupin Jacket

I topstitched most seams in black thread but it’s only visible up close.

All in all, I’m quite pleased! As you can tell. I’ve sewn two other Deer and Doe patterns (and have one unfinished) but this is my first completed photoshoot. I’ve enjoyed using their patterns. I’m only surprised it took me this long to make them!

************
Class Update!

I’m going to be teaching a class next week at the Cloth Pocket in Austin on the Washi Dress! And the week after that is my Sewaholic Pacific Leggings Class. Click the links for more info!

Sparkle Ponte Grainline Morris Blazer

Grainline Morris Blazer

Sorry that some of these pics are a little blurry. It’s been raining all weekend so I was forced to do indoor photos. Black fabric is hard to photograph anyway.

Grainline Morris Blazer

The Pattern: I’m a little late on the bandwagon for Grainline’s Morris Blazer. Better late than never. I was drawn to this design ’cause it’s a simple, unlined jacket that I thought I could make quickly. I wasn’t wrong. This pattern came together in just a few hours.

Grainline Morris Blazer

The Fabric: Some weird rayon poly blend ponte with tiny metallic threads running through it. Bought it at Joann Fabrics which has been surprising me lately with some good fabric finds.

Grainline Morris Blazer

The Changes: I didn’t exactly follow the directions very well for the hem facing and that point where the lapel meets the hem facing had about 70 layers of fabric in there (and this fabric is thick). I tried to trim some of the seam allowance there but only ended up with raw edges sticking out at the point.

Grainline Morris Blazer

Then I kind of half-assed whip stitched the points down and now they look ok (you can’t see the hand stitching). Next time I’ll do it the correct way.

Grainline Morris Blazer
Also, I can’t really tell but I think I might need a small FBA on this jacket. The fabric wants to roll back on itself at the front shoulders.

Grainline Morris Blazer

The Results: I’m hooked on this pattern now. I gotta make, like, a dozen more. I don’t have many blazers that I wear regularly but I can already tell this is going to be a popular one this winter. Another Grainline winner for me!

Grainline Morris Blazer

Pattern Anthology’s 8 Days a Week Collection

15324621711_d3f9e851e3_z15335206662_ec956a1ae4_z

Oooh, two garments in one post! I was lucky enough to participate in Pattern Anthology‘s last womens-wear collection blog tour earlier this year and now they’re back with a new collection of mix and match garments that will become staples in your wardrobe.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the Pattern Anthology concept here are the deets: 8 Days a Week Collection is a new collection of women’s sewing patterns by Pattern Anthology. This collection includes:

  1. The Neptune Tee: A casual tee with optional triangle cutouts at the front and back neckline as well as the sleeves.
  2. The Marigold Dress: A button down dress with elastic waist, long or cap sleeve options and even a peplum option.
  3. Go To Knit Pants: 3 styles of knit pants including leggings, straight leg pants and relaxed fit pants options.
  4. McCartney Jacket: A zip up jacket with fun options and lots of style.

Pattern Anthology sells their collections for a limited time at a 40%+ discount. You can purchase this collection now through October 6th. Get more details HERE.

  8-days-a-week-bloggers

So, which designs did I make? Let’s start with the Marigold Peplum Top from Blank Slate Patterns:

15324615681_f308c3e576_z

The Pattern: Melissa, the designer behind Blank Slate, is also from Austin so I got a sneak peek at an early version of this pattern at sewing meet up and was immediately like, “YES PLEASE.” The Marigold is quite versatile. You can make a dress, skirt, or a straight or hi-low peplum shirt.

15141061770_92954b7f61_z

The Fabric: I used a silk/cotton blend from Form and Fabric in Austin. It has this pretty, abstract, brushstroke style print. I bought this fabric before I knew about this pattern so I didn’t have enough yardage for a dress so I made the top with short sleeves.

15327774915_cff693b631_z
(I wore this top two days in a row so needless to say it’s pretty wrinkled…)

The clear crystal-like buttons are from my stash.

15141076760_e644962328_z

The Changes: None, really. With no darts and a blouse-y shape fitting is easy peasy.

15141068560_6f5969a5fc_z
(My friend Susan was nice enough to take pics of me outside of The Common Thread at our last sewing party. The store is next door to a bridal salon. Wedding dresses for a backdrop? Why not!)

The Results: Loving it! I can definitely see this being a TNT pattern with all the variations available.

And next: The McCartney Jacket from Shwin Designs

15332338831_3c1567104a_z

The Pattern: A nice bomber-style jacket with rib knit cuffs and hem band (love rib knit details like that!).

15148952587_90c073256d_z

And it’s got sweet welt pockets, too!

15148918378_b6a4909f8a_z
(I’m calling this my “It’s way too hot to be wearing a jacket in Texas in September” face)

The Fabric: Ok, so this pattern is drafted for wovens but I had this gray panda print sweatshirt knit from Girl Charlee I had bought ages ago and I really wanted to use it. It was very stable and hardly stretched at all so I felt safe using it.

15312477276_d7eaeee6a5_z

The lining is a woven, however. It’s a purple rayon lining fabric that I starched within an inch of its life because that stuff is slippery!

15148945177_6239689601_z
(I realized later that I didn’t take any pictures of the back of the jacket, oops. So here’s a random picture instead!)

The Changes: The pattern calls for self and lining fabric for the collar but I wanted to use some more rib knit so, yeah… I used that instead. :p

15335182462_74cdb5ac85_z

The Results: As hard as I tried matching my panda-stripes they’re a little off when I zip the jacket up (shhh… if you won’t tell anyone I won’t…). And I think I could have sewn one size smaller for a tighter fit but I don’t mind the size.

Besides – PANDAS! Pandas win everything. This is going to be such a fun jacket later in the year when I can actually wear it, lol!

Now go check out what all these lovely ladies made from the collection then go and pick up the patterns for yourself at PatternAnthology.com

Rachel from House of Pinheiro
Melissa from Melly Sews
Stacy from Stacy Sews
Abbey from Sew Charleston