Barrier Reef Fabric Jacket
Measurements - very important!!
- No person has perfect measurements, therefore when you are sewing you may need to cut the pattern out over two sizes.
- Take the time to prepare and learn about your body shape.
- Measure the paper pattern before cutting it out on your size as you may look at cutting out over a size below or above to give you a good fit.
- My top chest measurement was way smaller than the pattern. As we tend to choose a pattern size by bust size, my bust is rather larger. I always seem to have too much fabric at the top. Now I trace from a size that fits my upper measurements to a larger size for the bust and then back down to the smaller size. The result is a better fit, and a nicer looking finish.
There is a good explanation of how to do this on the Stitch Coach blog
About the Jacket
- This jacket is un - lined. Which means, it does not have another fabric lining it on the inside.
- Suitable for: Broadcloth, Linen, Crepe, not suitable for, stripes and obvious diagonals.
- It is a long length jacket, covering the hips.
- Being a casual pull on jacket, it does not have any buttons or closures.
- The jacket is loose fitting.
How easy is it to sew and alter?
This is a very easy pattern to cut out, sew and alter. It goes together nicely. I made a sleeve alteration, as the sleeves were very narrow for my bicep, see problem section below.
Fitting issue pdf from Wild Ginger
I would definitely make more of these jackets in other fabrics.
I would like to put pockets in and maybe make it a fully lined jacket. Button closures are also on the list when I make the next one as this is a great pattern.
Problems I have found with this pattern
Before I start sewing a garment, I measure the pattern pieces. I have a full set of measurements for myself.
I noticed that the size, which suited my measurements, had very narrow sleeves. I have quite chunky biceps and this sleeve was way too tight in this area. I read up how to increase this measurement without changing the actual armhole. See this adaption here, By Sewaholic or By Seamstress Sarah
150cm wide, cotton, polyester, spandex, light weight cloth in an all over multi-coloured floral and other shape design, which would suggest underwater, and therefore the Barrier Reef or maybe another reef. It comes fairly muted as indeed it would be below the sea, but brightening as they neared the surface. This cloth will lend itself for all manner of garments and in the right place will be absolutely stunning.
£10.00 per metre
Cutting out the paper pieces
- The paper pattern instructions tell us we need for Jacket A pattern pieces 1,2,3,4 and 5.
- Look at the cutting layouts and ensure you have the correct amount of pieces. If you look on the paper pattern piece, you will see it gives a number and tells you how many of that piece you need to cut out.
- When laying out, take note to align the pieces straight using the grain lines. These are straight lines with an arrow- head on them.
- Take the time to cut the little notches out, it will help you align the pieces correctly.
What Fabric I am Using.
The pattern states, the fabrics that are suitable are
Broad Cloth - clothing fabric of fine twilled wool or worsted, or plain-woven cotton.
Linen - is a made from the fibres of the flax plant, it is very strong, absorbent and dries more quickly than cotton.
Crepe - it is a twisted weave fabric with a bubbly/nobbly appearance. It doesn't wrinkle or crease easily.
It also states that it is not suitable for obvious diagonals.
I am using none of the above. I found this fabric called Barrier Reef and fell in love with its strong colours and great design, so it became my chosen fabric. See details and picture above.
Top tips before sewing
- Wash your fabric before cutting it out.
- Nice sharp pins are an asset as the fabric I am using does not like blunt or dull pins. It hooks the fabric threads as the pin goes in.
- Take pictures of you wearing the jacket, once you have completed step 6. This will allow you to alter the fit easily, before the sleeves are fitted.
Let's start sewing - if you are new to sewing find an old bed sheet and make a muslin/toile before you cut your expensive jacket fabric.
We are following the Jacket A instructions.
Gather the upper edge of the back (1) . You only need to gather the fabrics between the dots. I use a straight stitch on the longest stitch length 4.0 or 4.5. Do not reverse to secure at the beginning or the end. Two rows of stitching approx 5mm apart will give you a good even gathering if you pull the threads together.
OOPS!!! I forgot to do this but had no problems however "do as I say and not as I do" could be the option on this step. Stay stitch - look at the glossary. Basically sew a line of straight stitching in the seam allowance of 1.5mm to secure the neck edge. Straight stitch length 2.5.
- Pin the yoke to the back. This is where the little notches come in handy.
- I find the centre of my yoke and pin it to the centre of the back.
- Then I take one top thread and one bottom thread both on the top of the fabric and gently pull.
- This gathers the fabric, use your fingers to spread these gathers evenly until the one side of the yoke from middle to the thread edge you are pulling match.
- Repeat for the other side. Sew the yoke to the back with a row of straight stitches stitch length 2.5 and seam 1.5mm.
- Remove the gathering threads. I finished the seam with a zigzag, I stitched both sides together and made one seam edge.
- This seam I pressed towards the neck.
- Press using a pressing cloth to prevent shine marking from too much or too hot iron.
The Front Sections
- Place the front sections right side to right side and sew together at the shoulder seams and the underarm seams.
- Now! Because I made my sleeves wider, I sewed my shoulder seam at 1cm and the side seam I tapered from 1cm at the underarm side to 1.5cm at the bottom. This helped me fit my new sleeve in nicely.
- Press once again using your pressing cloth.
Sew the Front Collar Pieces
- Place the front sections right side to right side and stitch the top seam . I sewed mine at 1cm to match what I did at the shoulder seam.
- Press flat.
- Pin and sew the front to the main jacket section. I sewed the whole seam at 1.5cm and pressed this seam to the front section. TRY THE JACKET ON AT THIS STAGE - make alteration to the fit. Make a note of the alterations you made.
Sewing the facing to the collar piece
- Stitch the facing pieces together at the top seam.
- Stay stitch the back facing yoke .
- Press the seam allowance under for the shoulder seam and the bottom seam sew it to the facing strip at the neck edge.
- With rights sides together pin it to the front, around the neck and sew the seam. There are notches you can match as you go but it is a nice pattern and all these pieces fit perfectly together.
Finishing off the bottom of the front band
- At the bottom of the front you will see that the one piece is longer than the other, this is correct. With the facing piece you have just sewn still right side to right side stitch along the bottom to make the hem of that panel.
- Fold the facing to the inside and press neatly matching the seams. I hand stitched this bit down using a slip stitch in matching thread. It took ages but wow, it looks neat. https://www.instructables.com/id/Hand-Sewing-Basic-Slip-Stitch-Blind-Stitch/
- Over lock or zigzag the left over hem and turn the edge over to make a fold. Press this then turn the hem to the wrong side of the jacket and pin flat. Hand stitch the edge under the front facing piece and then using a top stitch ( straight stitch length 3.0), sew the hemline between the front panels.
- Using matching thread, slip stitch the yoke to the back seam and the shoulder seams.
Mark and sew the darts in the sleeve. Make sure the pattern is sitting straight on the fabric.
Sewing and fitting the sleeves
- Using a straight stitch length 4.0, sew two rows approx 5mm apart between the notches on the top/head of the sleeves. Do not uses reverse sewing stitches as you will be pulling these threads to create ease to fit the sleeve.
- Stitch the sleeve seam. Over lock, zigzag the sleeve hem and fold to the wrong side and stitch using a top stitch. Straight stitch length 3.0.
- With right sides to right sides pin the sleeve to the armhole. Match the armhole seam with the sleeve seam. Pull the threads together at one side to create ease, ensure you spread the ease across the notched area so its not bunchy. Sew the seam.
- At this stage I try it on before finishing off the sleeves as I often have to unpick if the fabric has caught or it needs minor adjusting.
- Once fitting trim the sleeve seam and over lock or zig zag. It is now done.
If you enjoyed making this jacket try the pants for the same pattern number. You can follow the sew a long to get a good fit and a great pattern for easy to wear elasticated waist trousers.
Check our the New In section on our website for new fabrics every week.