Last spring, in the aftermath of a particularly painful breakup, I found myself laying on the bed of one of my best friends from high school. I had invited myself over, along with my embroidery, and I think also several types of cheese. Even in times of emotional turmoil, ya girl has priorities. In between in-depth analysis of the breakup and mini embroidery lessons, we wanted a show to watch on Netflix. Somehow, we landed on Pretty Little Liars, which quickly became a near-obsession with us. It’s horrific, to be honest — a lot of questionable parenting and just illogical situations. But let me tell you: the fashion choices can be pretty on point. One item in particular caught my eye, a trench coat one of the characters wears in a later season. I loved how drapey it was, and I felt like it would be so easy to layer and style. I’ve been on the hunt for a matching pattern since, and I really think that the Jack Coat from Ready to Sew is it!
The fabric for this post was provided by Style Maker Fabrics. Thanks for supporting the shops that keep the lights on at Maddie Made This!
The Jack Coat
Fabric and Sizing for the Jack Coat
I made a straight 38 for the Jack Coat. Pro tip — print this pattern in color, or be prepared to count lines! I didn’t look closely enough at this pattern before printing it, and regretted it a little. I did not adjust the body length, which I would have done in retrospect. There is 2.5″ extra in the sleeves, and I think they could use a smidge more. For reference, I am 5′ 10″ – 11″, and all my height is in my limbs.
Part of the beauty of the Jack Coat is its drapiness. Fabric choice is key for that reason. I’m not saying the Jack wouldn’t look good in a stiffer fabric (but something still lightweight). But I really did want something that flowed, and Michelle totally delivered. The main fabric for my Jack Coat is this tencel twill in taupe, and lemme tell you — if fabric could make me melt, this one definitely would. OMG. So soft and liquid. It was my first time working with tencel twill, and how am I supposed to go back now?!
The lining is this beautiful rayon crepe. It’s very lightweight, but also pretty opaque. It’s such a fun pop of color on the inside of the coat. And really, who doesn’t love a good fun lining?
Sewing the Jack Coat
The Jack Coat is definitely a labor of love. I don’t mean that it’s particularly tricky — if you’ve made a lined coat, this is very doable. There’s just a lot of steps.
A big issue (and that’s relative, really), is that I don’t think the pattern steps are in the most logical order. You’re meant to put the waist casing and pockets on before you do the shoulders. I think it makes much more sense to put the shoulders together and the collar in before you do the waist and shoulders. That way, you can make sure the casing is at the most flattering spot for you, and the pockets at the most useful. I also recommend you do a quick toile if you want to adjust the waist casing. It’s supposed to line up with a seam in the back that you may want to adjust up or down depending on where your casing lands. Be sure to add or subtract length from your back piece if necessary.
The second major problem I have with the instructions is that the waist casing is on at all before the lining. It’s a very neat finish to the inside, but then the lining doesn’t gather with the front! It makes the facings floppier in an unintended way that I don’t love. I may adjust the waist casing again, which would force the lining to gather with the main fabric as I am NOT taking the whole thing apart to do it.
My final issues with the pattern instructions: I would understitch the whole facing — time consuming, but worth it as mine kept rolling as I topstitched. I would leave an opening in a facing/lining seam to turn it, and not in a lining/lining seam which is how I interpreted the directions. I would fully line the weather flap instead of using the half-sized lining piece. Finally, the pattern calls for ribbon for the collar, sleeve, and waist ties. I made simple drawstrings from my fabric and really prefer it.
These issues shouldn’t turn you off, though! Overall, I found the pattern to be well-translated (it’s originally in French) and well-illustrated. And it’s much less scary than trench patterns like the Luzerne, I think. No buttonholes or anything. The details at the collar and sleeves are so unique. I really like this coat, and I can see myself making another in a deep petrol color for fall.
Don’t forget to check out my Lander Pants, also made for the Style Maker Fabrics Spring 2018 Blog Tour, and to read all the other amazing posts from the bloggers Michelle has lined up for us! I can’t wait to see what they’ve all made (and probably spend a million dollars on fabric). Sarah from Sewing with Sarah posts tomorrow, be sure to head over to her blog and see what she’s made!