There are lots of reasons why people sew. Some like to play with color or form. Some can’t find clothes that fit them in stores. Some just like to create. Me, I sew so that I can wear clothes that are nicer than I can afford.
I’d like to say that I’ve sewn myself a designer wardrobe with high-end Vogue patterns, and that I look like a million bucks on a regular basis, but it’s just not true. More often than not, I look like $148 plus tax.
You see, what I find myself knocking off most of the time is medium-priced ready-to-wear. Oh, sure, I could copy Dolce and Gabbana or Dior, but my lifestyle can’t support those things nearly as well as, say, Anthropologie. Or Levi’s.
I saw this jacket on Pinterest about midday on Sunday, and I immediately wanted it.
It’s perfect for me–kind of casual, but with a nod toward dressiness that suits my community college teaching job. The price is not astronomical, but beyond my reach: $148. Luckily, I have skillz. Also, stash.
I’ve had this pale green Ellen Tracy wool-mohair boucle since last fall, and I’ve been wondering what to do with it. It’s a chartreuse underlayer with gray wool fuzz over the top. It’s not really my color–I was fooled by my monitor when I ordered it, and it’s got lycra, so it behaves more like a sweater knit than a woven. If I used it in this pattern, the contrast collar would keep the green away from my face, and the fabric is so cuddly, I knew it would make a great unlined jacket.
I pulled out my trusty out-of-print Simplicity 5738 and two hours after I saw the jacket on Pinterest I had it cut out and the shell assembled. One quick trip to Joann’s later, and I had a 32″ remnant of pinstriped linen for the contrast, two fun shank buttons, and the real bank-buster of the project, this:
A 1″ bias-tape maker, necessary for the bias-bound edges of the jacket. Altogether, I spent $12. If I include the price of the wool fabric at $5 a yard, of which I used 1.5 yards, the jacket cost me $19.50 plus labor.
About five hours of sewing later, I had this:
It’s unlined, with serged seam allowances inside. I layered the collar and fronts wrong sides together and applied the bias tape in one step. The curved lapel corners are the only major alterations to the pattern, which is my go-to pattern for a simple suit jacket.