Okay, I’ll admit it. I could never be a minimalist. I just have too much… stuff. (Cue my mother, nodding vigorously in agreement.) But I like to have all my books on hand! Fun new recipes often require fun new cooking equipment! And gosh darn it if I just don’t love a good jacket. Kellys, Yonas, Estelles… and now, The Joy Jacket. The Joy Jacket is the latest pattern from Chalk + Notch, and y’all, it is a KEEPER. Simple construction, clean lines, easy style, and best of all, a sweet story behind it! Maybe you’ve noticed that so far, all of Gabriela’s patterns have been named after hairstyles. Hilarious, right? The Joy Jacket is named after Emily of Enjoyful Makes’s mother, who passed away a few years ago. It replicates one of her favorite jackets that Emily has continued to wear. I was so honored to test something with such a special backstory, and I’m so excited to share my Joy Jacket with you today!
The Joy Jacket
Sizing and Cutting
Gabriela’s pattern testing sitch is the real deal, y’all. There’s a Facebook group and links and spreadsheets and surveys, and included in that is the size she thinks you should make. I came in at a 4 this time — for reference, I make a six in the Fringe. She did note that I could draft out to a six at the hips, though, and I should have! It’s pretty tight there. I’m hoping to *ahem* drop a few pounds, so maybe in a few weeks I’ll be singing a different tune. But my next Joy Jacket will definitely be a six in the hips.
My fabric came from Harts Fabric, and I definitely recommend it! The main fabric is this awesome blue cotton twill. It’s incredibly soft, and feels reminiscent of a fine chambray. The inside is this gray lining. I’m used to cheap linings from JOANN, and let me tell you, this is not one at all! Buttery soft and the perfect heft. My zipper came from Wawak, and is 26″ and double-ended. Get a double-ended one, trust me! I love a good double-ended zipper in general, and it is such a cute feature to add in on this jacket.
I did make a few #sewingtall changes. Gabriela drafts for 5’7″ or thereabouts, which I do feel is taller than most companies! But all the same, I am not 5’7″. I added 2″ to the sleeves and body, which I of course reflected in the lining as well. The sleeves fit really nicely. I may still put another two inches into the body, though. It totally fits right now, but I love the look of a slightly longer coat, you know? Plus then I’ll get to make bigger pockets, soooooo… total win.
Sewing the Joy Jacket
In addition to running a mean pattern testing, Gabriela does NOT mess around when it comes to pattern instructions. Her PDFs are so lovely, with links to the different sections and layered printing! I also love that she has two versions of the instructions. First comes the version with the illustrations, and then just a listing of steps with minimal elaboration. I love the ability to not scroll or to print just one page on a pattern I know a little better!
The Joy Jacket is totally lined, which I know can be intimidating for some. But the pattern instructions are so nicely done that I think even lining beginners will have no problem. There’ll also be a sewalong in early March, rumor has it.
I did my entire jacket in two nights. Well, more like a night and a half. Even though this pattern is more complex than some of Gabriela’s others, it’s really a breeze if you’re handy with a zipper! The trickiest thing to wrap my brain around were the pockets, oddly. Once it clicks, it seems so obvious, but it took me a while to get there. I didn’t do myself any favors by cutting out the pocket and the lining from the main fabric, too. I think it’d be clearer if I had used the lining fabric for the lining. You know, the way that makes sense.
Even though my next Joy Jacket will have a few important modifications (specifically length and hips), I’m still wearing my first version to death right now! It’s a great weight for spring, and so easy to style. I had so much fun testing this pattern, and I really look forward to making my next version! I’m hoping to have it up around the time of the sewalong, and maybe even have a little giveaway for the pattern then. Keep checkin’ in!