Thursday, September 27, 2018

Hack - A - Jacket

I promise I really do listen to the sermon and worship Jesus at church on Sunday mornings. I even take notes and can tell you what the sermons from the past month have been about! But. . . I also look at people's clothes, and consider how I could make certain items for myself. About 3 or 4 weeks back, while we were having a burst of "faux fall" weather (before our most recent heatwave), many of the ladies at church were wearing cute fall-ish jackets and sweaters. There was one jacket in particular that caught my eye. It was a mid-thigh length cotton twill jacket, that looked rather standard, typical, "fall jacket" from the back. The front however, the front made this jacket stand out to me. It was a loose and flowy "waterfall" style. I loved the overall structured, yet soft, look of this jacket and decided I had to recreate it! I casually surveyed the jacket on its wearer during church, and when I got home I began to formulate my plan.

Clearly I would need to combine a few patterns to make this jacket, as I'd never seen a jacket matching this one before, let alone a pattern. I just had to figure out which patterns - thankfully the September Winter Wear Designs Blog Tour played right into my hand for this! This month the blog tour is a Hack-a-Thon! The other bloggers and I each got to mash up and change up ("hack") whatever Winter Wear patterns we wanted to, in order to make things that don't quite resemble the original pattern. This is right up my alley, and just what I needed for my jacket plan!

So, all I had to do to find my patterns was head to the Winter Wear website, but first I made a Pinterest detour to see if I could find a picture of a jacket similar to my Sunday morning inspiration. I wanted a picture to refer to as I searched for patterns with the general shapes I needed for this hack-a-jacket project.

On Pinterest I found a jacket resembling the one from church, I took stock of the general shape, began to think of what pattern pieces I would need, then headed to the Winter Wear pattern shop to find those pattern pieces.

Clearly, the most striking part of the jacket was the waterfall front, so I started there. Winter Wear has a waterfall front add on (meant to be paired with the Phresh Blazer pattern), which was just what I needed!

Front taken care of, next I needed to figure out what pattern base I would put it on. The blazer the waterfall add-on was meant for didn't have the shape I needed for my jacket, so I did a bit more looking. Eventually, I decided the Women's Button Up Top pattern, with it's back yoke and princess seams, was just what I needed. 

Finally, I decided it would be nice to add a hood as well, so for that I used the hood pattern from the Provence Pea Coat.

With the patterns thus decided on and acquired (Thanks Suzanne!), I began my pattern mashing and hacking. Pattern hacking is when you alter a pattern to get a different look from the original pattern design. Pattern mashing is when you put together more than one pattern to make a garment. For this jacket, I did a bit of both.

I began by altering the center back panel. First, I added 10" to the length, so the back of the jacket would come down nearly to my knees, rather than ending at my hip. I also decided I wanted a center back hem vent. To accommodate this, I added a seam allowance and cut the center back panel as 2 different panels with a seam down the middle, rather than one panel cut on the fold. I also added an extra rectangle of fabric for the hem vent to the very bottom of that new center back seam.

With the center back pattern piece "hacked" to match my vision, I worked my way around to the front of the jacket, adding length to each panel. I wanted the jacket to be shorter in the front than the back, so I slightly angled my new hemline up as I went from panel to panel.

Center back to side back, side back to side front, side front to center front. Where I had added 10" to the center back, I only added about 4" to the center front.

When I got to the center front, I moved on from pattern hacking and began pattern mashing. To give my jacket the waterfall front that had originally sparked my imagination, I omitted the Button Up Top center front panel and replaced it with the Phresh Waterfall Add-On pattern piece. I added a bit of length to the waterfall pattern piece to match the length I'd added to all the other panels, and my waterfall front was good to go.

Pattern pieces all fixed up, I was ready to cut my jacket out! In my stash I found a piece of cotton twill, the perfect weight and drape for the jacket. There was only one problem - it was white. White clothes and I don't get along, I'm just too clumsy and messy. So, I dyed the white twill purple - a much more Alyssa-friendly color that matches multiple items in my wardrobe! (Such as the Double Take Tank shown in these pictures, another WWD pattern!)

Continuing with my pattern mashing, I skipped cutting out the collar and collar stand from the Button Up Top pattern, and cut out the hood and hood band from the Provence Pea Coat pattern instead. I also cut out a set of inseam pockets - no pattern used for those.

I constructed the jacket using mostly flat felled seams for extra durability and a beautiful interior finish. Where I didn't use felled seams (such as the sleeves) I used french seams. The one exception to this was the top of the pockets.

The pockets themselves are made with french seams, just like the sleeves, but I left the top of the pockets raw, because I had a plan for the waistline of my jacket. I wanted a drawstring. Thus, I added a grommet to the upper corner of each pocket, through the outside of the jacket. 

I then sewed a piece of twill tape all along the waistline on the inside of the jacket, ending just past the grommets.

This formed a casing for my drawstring and encased the raw edges at the top of the pockets.

I threaded a linen cord through the casing, added black plastic cord stops at either end, and there I had it - a drawstring to give me some waist definition in this otherwise loose and flowy jacket.

I used the sleeve pattern directly from the Button Up Top pattern and made no changes. The sleeves were perfect for my jacket just as they were. My sleeve plackets however, didn't turn out quite perfect. Honestly, those sleeve plackets were probably the hardest part of the whole jacket, but I had fun dressing them up with jeans rivets and finishing my cuffs with heavy-duty button snaps. 

The hood itself was very easy to construct, the only tricky part was figuring out how to neatly attach it to the waterfall front panels, since the neckline didn't really end anywhere. After a bit of thought and messing around, it turned out decent.

The entire jacket actually turned out better than decent, I love it!

It was so much fun to figure out how to make it from three patterns that didn't at all resemble my end goal.

The end result is incredibly satisfying, and just what I'd hoped it would be!

Check out the rest of the blog tour to see all sorts of fun pattern hacks and mash-ups! And while you're at it, the Winter Wear Designs Fun Facebook page has pattern hack related giveaways happening all week!

Don't miss out on any of the stops along the tour!!!!

Jess of Jot Designs


Livia of Liviality


Patricia of Sew Far North