Ever have a project that you can envision so clearly in your mind, but doesn’t come out at all close to what you imagined? Sometimes it’s a disappointment, but sometimes, it’s perfection. And luckily for me, this jacket is perfection! When I set out to make this jacket, I had visions of a great fall layer: cozy, soft, and strong. I had a feeling I could use Simplicity 8700 to hack my way to an amazing jacket. What I ended up with is more utilitarian than I expected, but let me tell you — I am obsessed with it!
*this post was sponsored by JOANN. the experience and my words are my own!*
Simplicity 8700 Utility Jacket
Fabric and Sizing
I love the masculine style of a utility or army jacket. They’re so simple, which makes them really easy to style to your liking. They’re even easier to style when you make them with a pattern designed for hacking! Simplicity has been coming out with more and more patterns that actually walk you through the process of hacking, or making your own modifications to the pattern. Beginner sewists are often overwhelmed by the thought of changing a pattern, but the packet makes it really simple to put your own twist on things. Plus it includes grid paper for you to trace out new or changed pieces!
Aaaaaanyways, I used Simplicity 8700 for my jacket. It’s basically the first look, but I didn’t add any sort of cuff or band to my sleeves. They’d probably be normal length on someone of average stature, but they’re three-quarter length sleeves on my lanky frame.
The fabric is an awesome red corduroy. It’s really a deep red, not as candy apple as it is in the website photograph or in my own. The weight is definitely a little heavier than what this pattern would ideally use, but I just loved the color so much! It also has the tiniest bit of stretch to it, which helps balances the heaviness of the fabric. It looks stiff and structured, but it’s easy to move in.
If you’re looking for something less structured, I am loh-ving the rayon twill JOANN has in a few colors this fall. I’m using this navy color for a few projects, and have the charcoal as well. It’s super soft, so if you’re looking for a true twill military jacket feel, maybe give their stretch twill a try.
Sewing Simplicity 8700
This utility jacket was the perfect afternoon project. I think sometimes people get overwhelmed by the thought of making a jacket. There are definitely some patterns out there with lots of pieces and elements, but this isn’t one of them! If you’re comfortable with a collar and button holes, you’re in business.
I debated for a while on what I wanted to add to this jacket to make it totally me. Initially I was thinking I’d do a back patch, which is part of view 3. As I started sewing and saw the jacket taking shape, though, it didn’t feel like the right route. The weight of the fabric meant it was much more utility than military. So instead of the back patch, I made elbow patches! The patches are actually based on one of the pocket pieces.
I started to figure out the perfect placement for my patches (say that three times fast) after attaching the sleeves to the body. I always prefer to set my sleeves in flat, which was perfect for trying on the jacket and determining where the patches should go. Using safety pins to close the sleeve, I slipped my arm in and bent it. I used a pin to mark the pointiest part of my elbow, and then used that to center my patch. Initially I thought about exposing the raw edges of the fabric and fraying them for a cool distressed look. The fabric isn’t really the fraying kind, though, so I ended up tucking the edges in.
This jacket has me dying to get involved in some fall activities! It’s finally starting to cool down in St. Louis — I think I need to go apple picking or to a pumpkin farm or something. What’s your favorite fall-ish thing to do?