Hello Sewists! It’s official, we in Britain are always talking about the weather!
I was a little previous with my recent Smart Summer Shorts make – I’d hoped the hot spell of weather would have lasted so I could wear them to the theatre last Monday. But I ended up wearing long trousers, tshirt, shirt, jumper, jacket, gloves & a scarf! – I love the unpredictable London weather… 🤔
(MrA & I saw ‘Chess’ at the London Coliseum- it was amazing. I hadn’t seen it for 20 years and it didn’t disappoint. It’s only on for 5 weeks apparently, so get a ticket if you can!)
It ended up a week of theatre as my brother in law surprised us with a trip to see Bat out of Hell the musical at the end of the week – it was BOILING, I got to wear my shorts! (The show was a bit mental, to be honest; I’m still not sure what it was all supposed to be about, but the big numbers were awesome and you couldn’t fault the talented casts dedication to the performance! It was nice to see a decent budget spent on a set for a change too!)
Anyway, my last Omer jacket has been a real success. A funny thing happened (… a few times in fact) … On three separate occasions when friends or family caught a glimpse of the label inside they all said;
‘Wow, you made this too…? I didn’t say anything because when I saw it I thought, Oh! He’s bought himself a jacket!’
How about that for a compliment!
So, once I’d floated down from cloud 9, I decided I’d make another. No lining this time, I was going to stick to the pattern… (or that’s what I thought…)
My fabric stash isn’t too big, but it’s getting too big for my small flat. (There were some vague plans that MrA & I might move house but those have been shelved for now. I must admit, we’re both happy living where we do, but after so many years in a one bedroom flat, who wouldn’t want a bit more space… or a dog?! The move would also have provided me a sewing room, but there’s no use crying over something you never had, and we’ve had a big clear-out, sort-out, tidy-up & decorated and feel like we’re in a new apartment anyway!) … so ‘stash-busting’ it is!
I had a few off cuts of wool from my Goldstream Peacoat and my Tweedy Bomber, some scraps of black wool felt and a sizeable cut of some weird upholstery fabric left over from some window-seat cushions I’d made. As there are 23 pattern pieces to the Omer jacket and most of them are quite small, I figured I should be able to squeeze one out of all these off cuts, left overs and scraps!
I got MrA involved as we chose where to put each fabric, I printed out the line drawing from the pattern and we started colouring it in… in the end we went linear with the fabrics, although we’d started at the polar opposite with a totally patchworky design.
(When I made the lining for my last Omer I noticed that most of the lines – especially on the sleeves – don’t add shape; so you could just tape it all together and put the seams where you like.)
I’m particularly pleased with the sleeve vents on this one, so let me show you how I did them…
(Start by marking the slit on the sleeve and facing. Sew the box and cut carefully through the middle and to the corners. Push the facing through to the wrong side and press.)
Now, I use a lot of those continuous zippers, you know, the ones you cut to length then have to wrestle the zip pull onto. I don’t really have a tip to share for these but this is my method (when you reach the last step you’ll understand why there are no photographs!)…
- Open the end of the zip by 1-1.5cm.
- Slide one then the other end of the zip teeth into the top of the zip pull.
- While holding on to both sides of the zip tape, grab the zip pull in your teeth and slide it down the zip.
It may not be pretty to watch, but it works (almost) every time!
Make sure you’ve got the zip the right way round and the right way up as you sew it in place under the sleeve opening. I did it in 3 stages; each side, then the top.
Now for the fun bit…
First, finish the edges and hem the bottom of the vent lining.
1. Position the lining face down matching the side of the facing.
2. Flip the sleeve fabric out of the way.
3. Turn it over and fold the sleeve out of the way.
4. Sew with a zipper foot as close as you can to the seam. Catching the facing, lining and zip tape.
5. Open the zip to pin the other side.
6. Flip it over and sew as before.
7. Fold the top down and sew the top of the lining/ facing/ zip.
Then the Tetris of putting the sleeves together…
They went to one side while I worked out what to do with the front zip. You see, the one I had was a bit too long, so I figured, if I made the collar in line with the front edge, I could zip it up all the way to the top. Easy, no? …. well… No! With that one little alteration I had to completely change the order of sewing the collar, zip and facing! No more instructions for me!
So I put the outer collar on first then basted the zip.
Check it lines up then prepare the flap. I had to extend it to meet the collar so I added a bit of black felt with a curve to the top and hemmed the bottom so it wouldn’t get caught when I sewed the facing on. After my sewing clips never arrived from eBay I ordered some more from another supplier and they really came in handy with all this chunky sewing.
Prepare the facing (I added a hanging loop and my label) and sew the under collar to the facing.
Pin it all to the main jacket, right sides together.
Sew up the sides, along the top and that little bit at the bottom before double turning the hem and topstitching.
The other amendment I made was switching the back tabs to the side seam and moving them up a bit. This puts it closer to my waist so I could put a 2nd snap in to make it more fitted.
I’m so happy with it. The fabrics are showerproof (perfect for the london summer!) and quite wind-proof (also perfect for a london summer!) and the wool panels give some breathe-ability (… also perfect… ah, you get the picture!)
Notes to self:
• That’s probably enough jackets for now.
• Get the right zip length & do the flap properly if there’s a next time!
• Now, where did I put my summery fabrics…?