One of my 2018 goals was to sew a jacket with structure and a lining. I have made a couple of jackets out of knits, and one lined cape. This one was a case of learning one seam at a time.
Well, honestly the inspiration was that I needed a jacket – any jacket – and I wanted something that would look more buttoned-up and professional. So let’s just say the inspiration was dressing more professionally.
First, there was Lisette B6493 – a princess seamed, raglan sleeved jacket that I thought would be easy to fit. I sewed up a toile and posted it on YouTube for feedback. Yeah, all I needed was to see photos of myself to know that this was not going to work. The shape was wrong for me and it would have needed a lot of tweaking to make it fit. I don’t have that ability or the patience.
So I dug through my pattern stash and found Burda 6616. I liked the princess seams, and the interesting collar/lapels. The bonus was that one of the suggested fabrics was jacquard. There was something about it that I liked and I realized that it reminded me of a colour blocked jacket/skirt from the naughties.
Diamond Jacquard from Fabric Mart Fabrics and Bemberg Lining. I purchased 2 yards of the fabric last year, and FMF kindly sent me an extra 15″, which meant I was able to cut the longer jacket. Hurrah! For interfacing I used a quality interfacing from Fashion Fabric Supply. I now understand why people suggest a better quality interfacing – it certainly fused better.
After comparing the pattern measurements to my measurements, I cut a straight 20 knowing that I would be able to tweak the princess seams.
Sigh … the pattern instructions … I found it difficult to follow along. The instructions jumped from one area to another for no reason. This meant that I missed things because the pattern would throw in something important, like zippers in the middle of something else entirely. Plenty of picking stitches with this one 😦
I think the issue is that the pattern instructions were sparse. Burda classifies this as “average” difficulty, however, I’ve now got a fair bit of experience and was baffled by the instructions in some places.
There are a few things I want to highlight for anyone who may choose to make this pattern:
- Invisible zippers would be nice on the pockets
- The one notch on the front of the jacket marks the bottom of the zipper
- Bag the lining …
- And the pocket zipper insertion is clumsy
Pocket Zipper Installation
After I inserted one of the pockets and zippers, I realized that there is a better way. As written, the zipper is placed on top of the pocket pieces, but it’s just as easy to place it between the fashion fabric and pocket bags (see below). It doesn’t make a huge difference because most people won’t see inside the pocket, but this method certainly makes it look more professionally finished.
Stupidity disclosure: I somehow managed to cut one sleeve 2″ wider than the other at the cuff in spite of cutting the pieces together. This wasn’t apparent to me until I tried to attach the lining, however, I was able to pick out the sleeve seams and taper appropriately. I am going to blame the cat because she was begging for attention when I was cutting.
Did I mention that I unpicked a lot of seams with this one?
I’m conflicted about this. I am generally very happy with how the jacket turned out but spent at least 20 hours working on this project because of the poor instructions. Yes, I am a slow sewist, but had the instructions been better this would have been about an 8-hour task.
The finished product is pretty good. Yes, there could be improvements in the fit, but I will definitely wear this to work. In fact, I’ve picked up a couple of different pieces of fabric to make tops that will work under the fabric.
Will I use this pattern again? In spite of the problems, I may. I like the shape and think it might be cute in a textured, printed fabric, perhaps unlined with Hong Kong seams. The in-seam zipper pockets are great. It’s just a shame that the instructions are so poor.
Would I recommend this pattern? To a beginner: no. To an experienced sewist who can ignore the instructions: yes.
All of that said, I love the zipped pockets!