Behold the greatest thing I have ever sewn:
Okay so it’s not a real parka – it doesn’t have a proper fishtail and it isn’t lined. You probably couldn’t wear it on a scooter down to Brighton without your fellow mods laughing at you.
But I’m really proud of it all the same.
I was planning on making it for autumn ’13 but that came around a bit too quickly…as did spring ’14…and then autumn happened again, as it tends to do.
So I actually finished this exactly when the freakish warm spell in London ended about two weeks ago.
Excellent timing as usual.
But again I don’t really care because I love it so much.
It was really fun to make. It’s an unusual shape for a jacket, with two-part kimono sleeves – I made version C.
Because it’s an unlined jacket, I decided to flat-fell every seam, even on the curved side/underarm seams which was a bit of a pain.
The insides look beautiful now though. Coats and jackets are probably the one item where people do see the inside so I guess it’s worth the hassle.
The only fitting change I made was to lengthen the sleeves 2.5 inches to accommodate my gorilla arms.
The length, the pockets, and the elastic placement were absolutely perfect for me, so I think it must be designed for tall people.
I was worried that the dolman shape would be a bit 80s but it’s actually great for wearing big jumpers underneath. I made a large so there’s lots of room to move around.
This pattern has lots of fun details, like tabs so you can roll up the sleeves:
And cording and toggles at the top and bottom (the middle is elasticated)
I considered going for boring old brown or green cord, but I saw a parka in Whistles once that had neon binding on the hood, which was my inspiration for this.
The fabric is beautiful. Even though it’s unlined, the cotton twill is very sturdy so it keeps out the wind chill. And it only cost a tenner!
However, all the notions I had to buy were a lot more expensive. Here’s the rundown:
– Two packets of antique brass snaps from Jaycotts- £8.60 each, ouch (one pack is not enough, especially if you’re crap at hammering and keep breaking them. I speak from experience).
I also had to buy three spools of thread for all that flat-felling.
Incidentally, I never could have made this without my special Bernina edgestitching foot. I love it so much.
The pattern and instructions were actually very good, although they don’t mention seam finishing at all so you need to factor that in before you start.
The one annoying bit is that the pocket flaps aren’t functional – just decorative. I put a snap on them for looks, but didn’t bother with the corresponding bit underneath.
The trickiest bit was topstitching down the flap that covers the zip. 8 layers of thick twill – my poor Bernina was groaning a bit going over that. But we made it in the end.
I seriously think this is one of the best things I’ve ever made. It turned out exactly the way I planned out.
I can’t think of anything else to say about this jacket, except that I love it, I want to marry it, and if I ever lose it (fairly likely given past experience) I will cry for at least two weeks.
p.s. I also made the skirt using the Home Stretch skirt pattern, but as it took 20 minutes I don’t really think it’s worth blogging separately.
p.p.s. Sorry for the excessive photos but seriously I LOVE THIS JACKET
p.p.p.s. I also have new hair! I should blog more often, at my current rate I’ll have a new hairstyle with every blog post.