Now that I've been sewing for myself for almost a year, I keep thinking it's time to jump in and start blogging about my makes. The Hampton Jean Jacket by Alina Design Co. was such an epic project in my sewing journey, that I knew it would be my first me-made sewing blog post.
To say I was thrilled when I got an email from Alina asking if I would test this pattern would be an understatement! She hinted at a jean jacket pattern on the horizon while working on the Panama Tee, and several of us found ourselves giddy with excitement! As with her previous patterns, the Hampton Jean Jacket does not disappoint.
I knew going in that this would be an involved sew...do you see all that amazing top-stitching? While I've had a RTW jean jacket for years, I never paid attention to how many parts and pieces there are! But I've sewn Alina's patterns before, and have learned a lot doing so...I trust her instructions and knew that with her holding my hand I could do this.
The pattern comes with instructions for both flat-felled seams and faux flat-felled seams, as well as multiple other techniques...given the tight timeline for testing, I opted for the faux flat-felled seams. Neither is difficult, but all that stitching is time-intensive! I sewed the bulk of the jacket on my trusty Bernina, but also had the good fortune of being able to borrow my mom's machine and was able to use it for all the top-stitching...which saved a ton of time swapping thread back and forth!
For a project of this magnitude, I can't recommend a muslin highly enough - I used 10 oz drop cloth fabric from Harbor Freight, and used it to help zero in on the fit. I sewed a straight size 16 and based on my muslin and general group discussion, shortened the bodice by 2" and the sleeves by 2" as well. In retrospect, I think I could have left both alone...after washing my jacket a few times to help break it in, I can't help but feel it's a tiny bit snugger than I would like...but that won't stop me from getting lots of wear out of it!
When I stand back and look at this jacket, I am absolutely amazed that I made it! The level of finish is amazing, and it all comes back to a thorough, well-written pattern. Sewing a piece for my wardrobe with this level of detail has definitely kicked my sewing confidence up a couple of notches and makes me excited to sit down at my machine again! To see more great tester versions, check out Alina's round-up here. How about you...willing to give your own jean jacket a try? I hope you will!! If I can do it, you can too!