The fabric is from Spotlight, although I did go to both Tessuti and The Fabric Store looking for a grey boiled wool to no avail (my fabric hunt cost me over $20 in tolls, $15 in parking and 80kms in driving that day - that's dedication)! The label on the fabric says it's a "Wool Boucle" which cannot be right as isn't that the fabric Coco Chanel makes her trademark jackets from (ie the fabric that frays like crazy)? After some deliberation I decided to wash the fabric in cold water...Spotlight Castle Hill is like an old man's backyard shed and I just felt that this fabric NEEDED to be washed. It shrunk by 20cms which is OK as I actually bought 20cm too much.
I was a little nervous about sewing this pattern as it has a few new techniques for me. The seams are sewn by overlaping the right side onto the right side. In order to make sure I had my seam allowance right I marked every seam with tailors chalk before pinning. I wanted to be extra sure that I had enough fabric on the underside of the seam so that the jacket wouldn't fall apart on me.
I was also a bit nervous about the pockets. It took all my spatial abilities (of which I have few) to figure out which way was "up" for the pockets. Whilst the pattern instructions are good, I think one or two more pictures of how the pattern piece was meant to "fit" wouldn't have gone astray. Close ups are fine for detail but I need to see the bigger picture also. Cutting a hole into the fabric once the pocket was ready to become a pocket was a bit nerve-wracking - I was extra careful and went VERY slow to ensure that I didn't cut beyond where I was supposed to.
All in all I'm pretty pleased with my Sydney Jacket. I thought I'd have a million problems trying to sew this, but things went pretty much OK. My machine did have a few dramas - it couldn't seem to be get going and the needle would just go up and down on the same spot. Some percussive maintenance soon sorted that out. I also found out that I'm unable to raise my presser foot to help fit bulky fabric underneath it...I know some machines have this function, but mine annoyingly does not which is surprising as it's a quilting machine.
For this version of the jacket I've sewn an XL. After wearing it for a week I think it is too big and next time I'll try an L. Last night I washed my jacket in hot water and chucked it in the drier which was made it a tad smaller, but really only succeeded in making it shorter and making the short sleeves even shorter. Now that I've sewn the jacket once and know which pattern pieces belong to the sleeve (the pattern pieces are a bit mind-bending) I'm going to lengthen the sleeves to at least below elbow if my fabric allows. Whilst the jacket is "warm-ish" I want my sleeves longer...Sydney winter isn't freezing by any means but I do want longer sleeves.
Pattern: "Sydney Jacket" by Tessuti
Size: XL, sewn with 3/8" seam allowance.
Fabric: Mystery wool(ish) fabric from Spotlight
Changes for next time: Sew an XL and make the sleeves longer!