Sometime last year, I saw a scuba cape jacket in COS which I fell in love with. But the price 1400 sek (~$200USD) and its impracticality (cropped sleeves), I couldn’t justify buying that jacket though I still think about it sometimes!
After seeing this pattern in a sewing book by a Swedish designer Jenny Hellström called “Sy! Från hoodie till skjortklänning” (Sew! From hoodie to shirt dress), I just had to try sewing my own cape jacket!
The line drawing of the jacket looked simple enough for an advanced beginner sewer (or naively ambitious complete beginner like myself!)
And it would have been easy, if I had chosen stable fabrics, but I didn’t make it easy for myself by using a hellish, slippery, form-shifting rayon lining.
problems challenges were a result of my inexperience in choosing fabric and not having a great selection of fabrics where I live (bought fabrics online and during a weekend trip to Stockholm). I found it pretty challenging picking appropriate fabrics, lining, interfacing (and interlining as I had chosen to do) to get the result I had in mind, though I guess that is the whole thing about learning! Closet case files Clare coat sewalong was really helpful for me.
What I had in mind was a navy scuba with hot pink lining using (non-polyester) fabric… I purchased what was labelled as Medium/heavyweight Telio scuba knit navy from fabric.com. The fabric color was much more near-black than I was expecting unfortunately 😦 This made the jacket look a bit too vampirish as my boyfriend joked but luckily the ribbed sleeves saved the jacket from feeling too Dracula.
The scuba fabric was also more drapey than I had expected, so I debated between interlining and interfacing the fabric for more body. After sewing the jacket with an interlining, I would recommend interfacing it instead.
For the lining, I had planned to use Kona Cotton Broadcloth in Valentine from fabric.com, but when it arrived, I realized it wasn’t really suitable (not slippery enough and too stiff), and didn’t really look good paired with the near-black navy either. I ended up using it as interlining for the collar and front, but I’m not that happy with the result, and wished I had interfaced instead. For the lining I used a lilac rayon lining.
Review of the book and pattern:
The entire book falls short of providing an easy way for beginners to construct the pieces in the book, which is a bit disappointing given that the book is aimed at beginners/advanced beginners. And there were some issues with the pattern and instructions, such as that the collar was to be sewn with 2 identical pieces (my collar doesn’t quite roll under) – so next time I would grade the under-collar to be slightly smaller. I didn’t agree with their method for finishing the hem and cuffs for example. I do love how the back of the jacket “kicks” out. I’m a bit unsure whether the sides of the waist were supposed to be cut higher as in my resulting jacket, or if it was supposed to be a level hem, which I think would look better (hard to say if it is the pattern or my less than perfect sewing skills).
There are a few other cute pieces in the book though, and it was still worth slogging through the difficulties with this pattern.
Added side seam pockets, using lining material, though I wish I had used the outer fabric instead. I would recommend welt pockets though, since the location of the pockets is rather far back.
Lengthened the body by 2″ (the jacket is a bit too cropped in its proportion, and I’m short waisted to begin with). I had to shorten the sleeves by 1cm in order to finish the cuffs on my lining which mysteriously ended up too short, though luckily I received 12cm of ribbing due to the salesgirl’s generous cutting. I used twill tape around the armholes and neck to stabilize the scuba fabric.
I skipped the topstitching as shown in the line drawing, but maybe others could give their opinion as to whether or not I should top-stitch?
I had planned to start sewing this project in September, but saw that Pattern Review was hosting an Outerwear contest in October, so I delayed my start to the project! This project basically took me the whole month to sew, and unfortunately it’s a bit too cold to wear it now. But I think this jacket will fill a hole in my wardrobe as I don’t have a suitable jacket for late summer / early fall transitional type weather. If you’re a member of Pattern Review, I would appreciate a vote for my jacket 🙂 Voting opens Nov 1st.