Hi friends! I’m really excited to be hosting a little Estelle Jacket sewalong, one of this month’s Project #SewMyStyle options and my first sewalong! I loved making this jacket, and it’s super easy. Knits are often recommended for beginners, and honestly I disagree, which I mentioned in my Sunny post. The Estelle, however, is the exception to my knits-suck-for-beginners rule. It uses ponte, which is super stable (no weird needles or tension issues), but is still stretchy (so forgiving!). All the same, there are a few oddities to the pattern, which is why I’ve got this Estelle Jacket sewalong. So, friends, are you ready? Let’s do it!
Estelle Jacket Sewalong
A disclaimer of sorts: StyleArc patterns are notorious for having scant instructions. This doesn’t particularly bother me, but if you didn’t like the amount of instructions in this pattern, you probably won’t like any of their others. I was impressed with the number of drawings in this one!
I used a twin needle because I like it, but I don’t think my ponte really needed it. Additionally, if my jacket looks a little big, it is. I made a beginner PDF pattern mistake and didn’t check the print scale. Way to go, self! Lastly, please enjoy many photos featuring my hands, which are basically entirely covered in cardboard paper cuts. The #archivistlife is shoving heavy duty folders into cardboard cartons, you guys.
My Estelle is a size 8. Here’s basically how I arranged the pieces on the fabric to be cut out. The other set of pockets got cut out of the space next to the front pieces at the top.
I actually did the first three steps in reverse because I thought it’d be easier for you guys to see what I was doing with less fabric. I’m showing you here how I did them (3, 2, 1), but feel free to do it in the real order if you want.
1. Sew the center back collar seam.
The center back collar seam is the upper one of the two weird slanted notches on the back. Sew that seam with the right sides together.
Trim the seam allowance on the left side pretty close — since you’re using 3/8″ or 1cm seam allowances, there’s not a lot.
Then, turn the right side over the trimmed left seam allowance. Ideally, you’re really looking to snuggle up their edges and then pin really well. However, if your fabric isn’t too thick and you want to ensure the seam stays, you can make a little seam sandwich. The right seam allowance is the bread, and the left seam allowance is the inside.
2. Sew the front shoulder to the back shoulder.
The back shoulder is the straight part of the back pieces. The front shoulder is the lower slant of the notch. I recommend not completely sewing the seam through the end closest to the upper notch. It makes the next step easier.
3-4. Sew the neck seams together. Start by sewing the center back seam.
Match the center seams, and stitch the curve. This is when not fully sewing the seam in the previous step is useful. Unpick if necessary to get a smooth seam.
5. Stitch the neck seams down.
Starting at one shoulder, stitch the neck seam down to the back. I like to do this from the inside so I can see the seam. Be sure that the fabric is pulled taut so you’re not creating little bubbles at the neckline.
6. Sew those sleeves.
Your sleeves have one side that’s higher than the other. That’s the side that goes towards the front!
I had to ease in my sleeves — meaning that there’s extra room in the sleeve to make sure it fits comfortably in the shoulder. Basically, I kind of rounded the sleeve cap over the shoulder area. You can start to see the shoulder take shape, and your sleeve should fit perfectly!
7. Okay, step seven is sewing in the pockets, but I’m going to encourage you to sew together the arms. The reasoning here is two-fold. One, it helps you put the inseam pockets in the right spot for you. You can slide your arms in the sleeves and pretend to put your hands in pockets. Two, I don’t know about y’all but my ponte had no right and wrong side and I put in the pockets wrong every. single. time. Sew the sleeves starting at the cuffs, and stop a few inches below the armpit. THEN, figure out where you’d like the pockets.
8. Sew in the pockets and finish the side seams. Inseam pockets kind of boggle my mind when there’s no clear right or wrong side. They’re really easy, so I must have a mental block!
Place the pocket pieces right side to right side. You separate the pocket bags here — don’t be looking to make a pocket. Sew at the 3/8″ or 1cm mark. Now you get to finish the sides!
Pull the pocket bags back out and place the right sides together. Keep on sewing the sides from where you left off. Turn 3/8″ or 1cm into your pocket bags, and sew around the bags until you’re back into the sides.
Boom! That’s it. Ponte is super stable, so you don’t need to do the hems on the bottom or at the cuffs. You can serge or zig zag the edges if you’re worried about it fraying but really, it should be fine. I did have two adjustment requests, so let’s talk about those quickly.
There are no lengthen/shorten lines in the pattern. Again, please don’t use how the finished garment looks on me to make your adjustments, because I printed incorrectly. To make your adjustments, I recommend you take some measurements.
- If you prefer to add or remove length in your torso, take your neck to waist measurement in the back. Compare that to the back piece, and remove length there. Match armscyes and remove the same amount of length from the front.
- If you prefer to add or remove length in your lower half, take the length off the hem.
- If you add or remove length in sleeves, take your arm measurement. Be sure to gently bend the arm so you can get a measurement that will look good when you move your arms around! Compare that measurement to the sleeve measurement, and add or remove length at the center as needed.
Aaaaaaalrighty, so I have never made a shoulder adjustment in my life. Instead of fumbling through a few instructions, let me link you to what look like some great resources!
- General tips for fitting shoulders
- Walkthroughs for wide and narrow shoulder adjustments.
- Another narrow shoulder adjustment
- A video on adjusting shoulders!
- Forward shoulder alteration steps
I hope that this little Estelle Jacket sewalong was helpful! This jacket is easy to sew, I promise — once you can visualize how the collar comes together, you’ll fly through it. I can’t wait to see your finished Estelles!