One of the nice things about sewing apparel versus decor items is the chance to
create something for a special person to wear…and that’s what this project is about!
My sweet mom hates to be cold (don’t we all?!), but frequently finds herself reaching for warmer garments during the winter. So, making her a nice, cozy fleece jacket seemed like
Christmas New Year’s Groundhogs Day present! Enter Butterick 5683.
This is a nice little jacket pattern that bills itself as “loose-fitting, unlined vest or jacket with a front separating zipper”. Recommended fabrics are quilted fabric or faux shearling (apparently, there IS such a thing!). So, of course I decided to LINE my jacket and make it out of fleece. This should work out well…!
Since I’m a big texture person, my quest for the perfect ‘cozy’ fabric consisted of stalking my local fabric store, feeling every bolt of fuzzy-looking fabric to find that ‘just right’ one in a great color. It didn’t take too long to score a nice, substantial gray fleece and a really fun, incredibly soft black curly faux fur…but the lining? That took some doing! What do you use when you want a warm, cozy yet substantial lining inside without making the wearer feel like the Michelin tire mascot?
Two rounds through the store, and I still hadn’t come up with a suitable fabric. One more stroll around the store and…hey, what’s that in the middle bin – that I’ve totally overlooked? Super thin fleece that feels like you want to wrap yourself in it and stay there all winter? Bingo! Lining fabric found!
This jacket is meant for someone who is slender, who gets cold easily (me, too!), and I wanted it to be suitable for wearing inside the house for ‘relaxing’, but also
to run into town – with or without a coat over it. Butterick 5683 seemed perfect for this: a little fitted, but not closely fitted, with nice pockets and a cozy little collar. I chose to make view B of this pattern, but treated the collar more like the one on view D. I lengthened the jacket about 3 inches, too, and added a couple inches to the sleeves for my 5’9″ model.
If you’ve never worked with fleece before, there’s a reason everyone loves to fiddle with it! So easy to cut and sew, and there’s no seam fraying, either.
Hmm…Wonder if a fleece winter wardrobe would be overkill?
I was feeling pretty good about this project, then I got ready to cut out the collar…
out of the wonderfully soft curly faux fur…and total madness abruptly ensued!
When I tell you this stuff SHEDS, I mean IT SHEDS!
Like all OVER the place. Getting it off surfaces is darn near impossible!
Here’s what my cutting mat looked like after about two minutes:
My table looked like a war zone, and so did my sewing room! Little tufts of curly fur everywhere – on ME, the floor, cutting table, the cats...! But SO worth it, as this is the softest, most delicious feeling fabric ever! I wanted to just wrap it around my neck and cuddle in it! As I
cut fought with it, it seemed clear that this would not be the easiest fabric to sew into a collar as the pattern directed, so instead, I made decided to make a fleece collar, then sew this into a kind of ‘over collar’ and hand sew it to the jacket,
over the fleece collar. Make sense? It did to me, and happily, it worked!
The finished product, and close up of that fun collar: (Yes, there are still curly bits on the jacket – don’t judge. I had to vacuum everything, for heaven’s sake! )
Here’s the wonderfully soft lining – kind of a fun print, too, I thought!
Pockets lined in it, of course! I hand sewed it to the front ‘facing’ after the zipper went in, and along the hem for a finished look. The lined sleeves were finished the same way.
The big concern on this project was installing a separating zipper, which was ridiculously easy once I got over being my usual skittish self about tackling a new technique! After hitting google for some advice, I realized this was not quite the mountain I’d made it into. It actually went in quite nicely…AND it matched up at both ends! Score!
Seriously, I don’t know why I let myself get so thrown off by these things…!
Sewing Thump on the Head:
- Stop stressing out over technique when confronted with something new! Part of the great thing about sewing today is that if you get stuck, there are TONS of ‘how to’s” online, complete with videos to show you how to do things! Not to mention actual CLASSES you can sign up for; some free, some not…as well as great advice from others in the sewing community. I need to stop being such a chicken, no doubt about it!
Here are a few more random pictures for you…first, the jacket without the collar:
Sorry I don’t have one of the back of the jacket, but it has the same nice princess seams
as the front does. I like that fit, don’t you? Here’s a glimpse of the on-seam pockets:
Since this was a gift, it ended up getting shipped off to the recipient. Thankfully, it fit and she loved it! Hopefully, I’ll have some pictures posted soon of this on an actual person…for now, “Lilly” is pulling model duty!
One thing I’ll say about the crazy winter weather we’re having…it’s perfect weather to
sit inside and sew! Several projects in the works, including one in which I’ll boldly tackle yet another new sewing technique! More on how that goes coming soon. Until then, enjoy the winter cold and snow from behind your favorite sewing machine!
PS…If anyone knows what the super soft micro thin fleece fabric that I used for the lining is called, please post the name! It’s truly awesome. I’m thinking pajamas would be super…!