Thursday, 28 January 2016

SNYPH part one: Cordova jacket, or ARGH

My first project of the year! I've been sitting on this pattern for a while; I bought all the bits for it last year then changed my mind about what I wanted the fabric to be. But jacket making appealed to me, I wanted to make sure I kept making modern pieces as well as vintage ones, and I had an awkward-length separating zip just waiting for me. It seemed like the time.

I've not seen too many versions of this floating around, and a lot of reviews I have seen have been a bit "ehhh" about it. It's unusual, because generally with any given indie pattern you can find at least one blogger writing "this pattern and I are now legally married" posts. Not that I'd expect anyone to be making up the same jacket pattern over and over again, but still. Having considered all that, I decided that I was going to do it anyway because I still liked it and I need to care less about other people's opinions on stuff (life goal!).

Verdict? I like this jacket, but yeeaaahhhh... this wasn't the most fun I've ever had sewing a project up.

The instructions were definitely on the sparse side, which didn't bother me at all until I got to the bit where you attach the facing to the rest of the jacket and I had absolutely no idea what the diagram was getting at. I spent quite some time pinning it together in different ways, and I'm sure what I ended up doing wasn't what the pattern was going for. It's basically fine except for the corners at either end of the zip. I'd never sewn a separating zip before and I couldn't work out how to get a clean finish, so I just tried to get all the raw ends in as best I could. This was especially tricky as some of the pattern pieces seemed to be a centimetre or two short and the fabric was fraying at crazy rate. I was also a bit confused about the front lining pieces, which were shaped the same way as the front of the jacket (the curved neck forming a corner with the straight front) but had to be sewn to the facing, which is curved and doesn't have a corner.

The instructions called for quite a lot of handstitching, but I didn't do any. The fabric hides stitch lines pretty well, so I machined the whole lining and hems in place and topstitched across all the facing pieces. I wouldn't ordinarily sew a whacking great line of stitching across the back of something, but I was somewhat frustrated and cranky by that point. I also found the jacket a bit too boxy, so I took a couple of centimetres out at the waistline to make it a bit more fitted.

Oh yeah, and on the second day I wore this the back seam split. ARGH. I think it was a combination of crappy sewing machine and fabric that frays alarmingly fast, but it made me very grumpy indeed. I was visiting my parents at the time, so I hastily hand-stitched it shut and made plans to buy a new machine as soon as I got back to London. I've been wearing this jacket all week and my hasty hand-stitching has held up just fine, by the way. 

I'm in a bit of a quandary over whether I'll make this again. I would really like a zip-up jacket to use as a casual layering piece (still on my quest to put Zombie Hoodie out of its misery), and I literally cannot find even one other lined zip-up jacket pattern, but I'm in no hurry to struggle through these instructions again. Maybe once I understand how to finish cleanly around a separating zip. Having said all of that, I do really like this jacket. I like the black and white with the bright blue lining, I like the peplums and I like the puffy shoulders. I'm glad I finally got around to making it, and massive troubles aside, the whole thing cost me £7 to make up. Can't say fairer than that.

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