Friday, April 28, 2017

Indiesew S/S Collection 2017: Hampton Jean Jacket

I'm the anchor leg on the Indiesew Spring/Summer Collection blog tour! I'm really excited to share my project with you! It was a labor of love and I am so delighted with how it turned out...

I was honored to be asked by Allie at Indiesew to join in the Indiesew Spring/Summer 2017 Collection blog tour.* She always puts together such lovely pattern collections and this one is no exception. All of the patterns are fabulous! I already had two in my stash and the other three are new patterns I was eyeing, too, so obviously I am a fan!

*Note: I received the pattern bundle for free; but all opinions expressed are my own.

You can read more about the collection on the Indiesew blog, but the important details are that it includes 5 patterns (Allie Olsen Highlands Wrap Dress, Alina Designs Hampton Jean Jacket, Named Clothing Minttu Top, Hey June Charleston Dress and True Bias Ogden Cami) and, if you buy the whole collection, you save 25%. Alternatively, you can grab the mini collection (Highlands Wrap Dress, Minttu Top, and Ogden Cami) and save 20%.

When Alina Design released the Hampton Jean Jacket, a classic denim jacket, it really caught my eye, so I was delighted to see it was part of the Indiesew spring/summer collection! I think it was because she used a curvy model to show off her sample, so I could really envision how the jacket might look on me. Bravo, Alina! I've been wanting a denim jacket, too, to replace the one in my closet, which is like 15 years old and a bit snug...

I had a great non-stretch denim in my stash that I bought locally here in Bangkok. It was a cornflower blue denim on the right side, but it was the wrong side that really intrigued me. The wrong side reads more of a charcoal-y color with hints of the cornflower blue in the background and lots of little white nubbins. A very interesting texture! Since I liked it so much, I opted to sew my Hampton jacket with the wrong side out, and I love how that turned out. My photos don't really do the color and texture justice, but it's cool, trust me. I'm thinking of going back to see if there is more of this denim because I really want a pair of light colored Morgan jeans.

The Hampton jean jacket is not a quick project (so much topstitching!), but it is so worth it. If you have access to a second sewing machine, it would behoove you to set it up for this project: one machine for major, structural seams and one for topstitching.

I struggled at the beginning of the project to find the right stitch length and tension for topstitching; I ended up with a 3.5 length and lowered the tension as far as it could go. I also struggled with buttonholes using the topstitching thread, but they went in fine with regular thread.

Alina provides great instructions for sewing up the jacket, and also has a sewalong on her blog for extra support. She calls for for using flat felled seams throughout the jacket, which is what I started with, but I was quickly foiled when my machine would not cooperate with jumping over the thick spots where two seams cross (time for a new, more powerful machine, Meg?). Ultimately, I serged my seam allowances and did faux flat felled seams throughout. I used a piece of folded up denim as a hump jumper to get me over the thick parts. I also found it helpful to bash the thick parts a little bit with a hammer to help flatten them before sewing.

Size-wise I went for a size 16 bust/shoulders graded out to an 18 at the hip, which worked really well. I considered that I might have to do an FBA, and figured that if I did, I would use the cheater method Alina describes in her sewalong. In the end, I didn't bother with it because I was happy with the fit as is.

I think the only thing I may do, fit-wise, is shorten the sleeves a smidge; as you can see they're ever so slightly long. But that's a pretty easy fix! And, construction-wise, if I made the jacket again, I would also be sure to trim the under collar down a bit on the edges to account for turn of cloth on the thick denim and to make sure the seam rolls under properly.

I'll probably never wear the Hampton jacket fully buttoned, but here she is, all done up, for your viewing pleasure:

Changes I made: I ended up skipping the welt pockets because the jacket I was replacing didn't have them, I knew I was unlikely to use them (I know... gasp, etc.), and I like the sleek look of the panels without them. I also didn't make my little back tab thingies pointed at the end. I couldn't quite get them as sharp as I wanted, so I squared them off. And finally, I had to do the buttonholes with regular thread because my buttonholer is a jerk and doesn't play well with topstitching thread.

I am really psyched about this jacket! It will merge perfectly into my handmade wardrobe... here I've paired it with my True Bias Lodo dress, but a jean jacket pretty much goes with everything (except maybe jeans, unless you're going for that denim tuxedo look, à la NSYNC-era JT). I highly recommend this pattern!

My husband was jealous when he saw this... he wants a handmade jean jacket of his own now. Sigh.

Thanks again to Allie at Indiesew for inviting me to be part of this blog tour! Be sure to check out what all the other women on tour have made... it's been a truly inspirational series of posts to highlight this killer collection. I've added so many items to my to-sew list as a result of this creative bunch... can't wait to get started working on the rest of the patterns in the bundle!

April 17: Hey June
April 21: The Sara Project
April 24: Ada Spragg
April 25: True Bias
April 27: Sew MarieFleur