The Military Jacket

I’ll confess this now – I have a love for all things double-breasted. Something about those two rows of buttons always lures me in. When I saw this Anne Klein pattern, I knew it would be perfect for some red wool fabric I picked up when I was in Edinburgh last year.

I had some blazer buttons hanging around that I wanted to use for this jacket, but I only had three when the pattern calls for 12. I sent the husband out to McCullough and Wallis which hides just off the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street in central London to purchase the remaining buttons, but they no longer had them on the shop floor. So he earned his brownie points by asking the assistant and thankfully they had a further supply of them out the back. He returned home with the buttons and they joined the ones that were already waiting – clearly this partnership of fabric and buttons was meant to be.

This pattern calls for a half-lining, something I’d never done before. I chose a red and gold paisley lining, but decided not to make the suggested matching bias tape from the lining because I felt that the fabric would fray too much as it’s quite slippery and tended to unravel when handled too much. So instead I went for some red satin bias tape to edge the seams with, which looks ok but I can’t help thinking that tape made from the lining fabric would have given a more polished finish. Something to remember for next time I guess, to bear in mind when choosing the lining fabric.

There’s a lot of topstitching on the jacket, which I like. I think it’s the finer details such as those that really make garments look professional – and I enjoy the challenge of them. Especially with the ‘v’ on the back of the jacket – it took a few attempts but with some hand basting in place before actually stitching with the machine, I got it.

The sewing instructions for this garment were really concise, especially when it came to finishing the inside corners of the lining and jacket – I’ve made a couple of coats in the past from other pattern companies that were extremely vague on where things should go, how facings should be secured and how the lining should sit, and the overall finished item was just a bit ‘meh’ because I kind of had to wing it. I always find Vogue patterns very detailed and they will always be my preference.

The only fitting issue I had with this was at the top of the arm, where the sleeve meets the shoulder. Put together straight from the pattern, I ended up with about an inch of excess fabric that pouffed up from the shoulder seam, giving me a very odd 80’s look. Not cool. So I had to unpick the seam (twice) and pull in all this weird excess fabric. In the end I got there, but not sure what shape of shoulders this was designed to fit?!

This was the first time I had used high quality 100% wool coating for a garment, and I can definitely say it makes a difference. It cost me an eye-watering £25 a metre, but it honestly was worth every penny. It goes through the machine like a dream, behaves itself when you press it, and sews up really well. Despite the half-lining, the jacket is super warm too. Success.

Photography credits: Photos by Hmexus

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  1. Tricia
    January 30, 2017 / 2:05 pm

    Love the jacket and hadn’t come across a half lining before. Trust you to boldly go etc. The whole thing looks so professional.

    • Sarah
      September 2, 2017 / 1:34 pm

      Ahh thank you! I’ve got another version of this, in a deep purple, to make this autumn. It’s such a lovely pattern I want to make one in every colour!!

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