I have finally, finally finished my Kelly Anorak. This has been a journey, folks. I literally started this pattern as soon as I physically could in October. I was so super excited when it was released, just like basically everyone else (and for good reason!). Maybe three days before, I had just been admiring a similar jacket on the L, and wondering how I could make one. It seemed like Divine Providence reaching out to me and saying, “make a jacket.” And who am I to mess with Divine Providence?
But then Divine Providence said “hey wait there’s gusseted pockets in this pattern and you’re not gonna understand the directions.” And I said, you’re right, Divine Providence. Well then there was a gusseted pockets tutorial on the Closet Case Patterns blog! But then Divine Providence said “it’s November in Chicago, maybe put a hold on this light jacket.” Like a good girl with 15 years of Catholic education, I listened.
And then it was spring. Kind of. Enough to make me think about finishing this jacket, so finish it I did. Which is the reason you are here and if you have continued reading until now I owe you one and will just jump into the details!
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Cutting out the Kelly Anorak
I cut out my Kelly on a 6. I’m gradually realizing that my body shape is weird, y’all. Isn’t it truly a miracle that so many people fit into clothes you buy at a store? I think the more you sew, the more you realize that bodies are odd and not at all the same. My bust probably fits a 2 in the coat, and my waist is between a 4 and 6, but I have broad shoulders and I like deeper armscyes because I layer and this is a lot of information about my body, isn’t it? Anywho, I cut out the 6.
The fabric is a gray twill from fabric.com. I’m sometimes wary of ordering no-brand fabrics with no reviews, but I’m glad I took the chance. This twill is a beautiful weight – heavy enough to be a reasonable warmth, but not too thick that it would impede movement. If you’re curious, I think it would also make some nice lighter-weight twill pants. It’s a little less soft than a nicer twill, but you absolutely can’t complain for the cost.
Sewing the Kelly Anorak
If I said this was an easy sew for me, I would be lying. If it could be messed up, I messed it up, probably twice. I mean clearly, the gusseted pockets threw me for a loop in October. I was really reliant on the online tutorials for the pockets and the zipper insertion. Those articles were really useful, and I found them much easier to understand than the directions. For some reason, I usually have trouble with the Closet Case instructions. I don’t know why – they seem beautifully produced, but the drawings drive me insane. I just can’t get them.
Once I got past the pockets and the zipper, I really felt like I was flying through the jacket! Kind of. The hood comes together nicely. It’s in three pieces, and the difference between a two-piece and a three-piece hood is real, y’all. It fits soooooo much better! The sleeves are also two-piecers. You’re supposed to flat fell the sleeve seams, and it was a little wonky, especially near the cuff, because it gets folded in. I ended up just Tim Gunn-ing it, and it seems fine so far.
I flat felled one seam in the sleeves, and then zig zagged the other day. Someday I’ll get a serger… Setting the sleeves in and adding cuffs is all normal — didn’t stop me from fucking up the cuffs three times each but hey! I actually ended up re-cutting the cuffs because I messed them up so significantly. It was a blessing in disguise, though, because I added two inches into the cuffs when it became apparent the sleeves were going to be laughably short. That is the single #sewingtall adjustment I made on the whole pattern. Next time, I’ll just add that length into the sleeves.
And then it was time for the snaps. Those snaps, you guys. I thought they were going to kill me. I bought two kinds and ended up using a fancier kind (?) even though the packages said basically the same thing. Because I guess I just can’t follow directions, I messed up five snaps — out of twelve. Track record: not so great. I’m planning on doing a post for snaps when I make my next Kelly anorak (because I will!) because I struggled so hardcore and my guess is that other folks do, too.
My Big Takeaways
The number one thing I’m going to do on my next Kelly anorak is meticulously transfer markings. I’m so bad about this, but I think it’s really key for a great jacket. The second thing I’ll do is add three inches into the sleeves. This will make them a little overlong, I think, but they’ll still look good and maybe I can roll them! I’m also going to go on a hunt for nicer drawstring stoppers (mine are just black plastic), and maybe some metal drawstring ends. Is that a thing? I hope so.
The last thing I’ll do is take my time. It seems a little odd to say, seeing as this jacket took me so long. But I spent a lot of time redoing stuff that I messed up, and then I was too frustrated to spend time on other details. Now that I know more about the jacket, hopefully I’ll spend less time doing dumb shit and I can give the attention to the areas that really deserve it.
Summary of the Kelly Anorak
Yardage needed: 2.5 – 4 yards
Level: Confident sewer
Time: 15-20 hours
General modifications: follow online tutorials for pockets and zipper, rather than pattern descriptions
#SewingTall modifications: Add 3″ into sleeve (or cuff, depending on when you remember…)
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