The Joy Jacket has been on my wish list for a while. It was on my MakeNine for 2019, and didn’t get done, so it was added again for MakeNine 2020. Well….. I’ve finally done it! Very pleased I am with myself too.
It is a really good pattern, and didn’t present many challenges – at least none that were not of my own making. (You can sense that I did find some of what I chose to do a bit tricky! Doh!) But I got through it all, and I have a coat which I am proud of!
I can divide the making process into three stages:
1) Preparation. The pattern piecing, the toile, gathering notions, cutting out, and attaching interlining.
2) Slow sewing. Step by step through the processes, the main body and the lining.
3) Finishing off. Finally bagging out and adding little touches.
I bought the pattern In February last year, but it took me until June to actually look at it properly, and then throw together a toile in a size 18, (for which I used an old bed sheet). It seemed big, which led me to using a size 16, with a slight grading to 18 for the front raglan sleeve seams in place of a FBA. I took in the sleeve seams by a corresponding amount so that there wasn’t any underarm bagginess. I then put it away…… because I was too busy, or overwhelmed, and it languished in my pile for more than a year.
So I seriously started preparation this October, and made some more decisions about what lining and what interlining to use. I bought some dark navy showerproof cotton for it last year, from 1st For Fabrics in North Tyneside, and originally bought a gold silkie lining for it, so after thinking of brushed cotton or ready quilted lining instead, in the end I stuck with the gold. But it wouldn’t have been warm enough on its own. After inwardly debating what to use as interlining, I ended up using an old mattress protector, which was two layers of batting and cotton, quilted.
The cutting out was quite straightforward, and I collected all of the pieces of fabric, interfacing and interlining, and had them all ready magnetised to my whiteboard. (I didn’t have enough magnets, so had to group the pieces.)
One other step for preparation is, of course, ironing on the interfacing – better to get it all done in one go.
At this point it literally is – just keep sewing one seam after another. (And this pattern has nowhere near as many pieces as some others I’ve seen!) The progress seemed to be slow, but then, lo and behold…… the main body was together with no mishaps.
When I started to sew the lining, I realised that the gold fabric was the most unstable fabric I had ever used. It really would not hold its shape! So I had to devise increasingly more robust ways of handling it – spray starch, tacking, double pinning – you name it! I also needed to attach the interlining to the gold. I read a tutorial which advised trimming the seam allowance off and then zig zag stitching it to the lining pieces just inside the SA. Seriously fiddly! But I went for it. I thought this process would never end, and even with all of my strategies, the gold still ended up losing some shape.
The zig zag stitching also caused some puckering of the lining fabric, so I had to reduce the width, and ensure that I didn’t sew over the edge of the interlining. Trimming the SA of the interlining also held the danger of snipping holes in the lining – which I did once or twice. 😣 I then had to mend these with minute pieces of interfacing.
When it came to ironing, I hit another problem. The first pieces were attached with the batting upwards, and I instantly melted the top layer with the iron – even with a press cloth. So, lesson learned, I ensured that the rest of these pieces would be batting side down! Still a £$$%&* to press, but at least when/if it melted, it didn’t matter if it fused with the gold on the inside.
Sewing the lining pieces together was a long process, and I have to say – with all of the uneven shapes and all of the stitching, it looked a real mess, and I just had to plough on through. It was quite a relief to get to the point when, actually, I was ready to stitch main and lining together!
Despite all my misgivings, it sewed together really well, and because I was able to use the main fabric for placing, which is an extremely stable fabric, it all fit into place accurately too. I reduced the hood size at the front – I don’t like hoods to come over my eyes and prevent me from seeing where I am going. That worked too! Yay!
The birthing process is, as I’m sure many people would agree, quite magical. All of the apparent messiness ends up on the inside, and what you have is a jacket!
So, I finished off with a row of topstitching all the way around the edge, which is not in the instructions, but it looks nice and I also added a placket to cover the zip. (I was lucky to have enough fabric left to do this)
It’s not perfect. You can see if you look closely that the top of the pockets don’t line up exactly, and the inside centre back is not very neat. But it’s not going to be seen much.
I really like this pattern, because it works so well, and because with different fabrics, and a few adaptations, it can be made up so differently.
I deliberately chose not to add cords, or hardware, and to cover the otherwise exposed zip with the placket, because I wanted it to be not too much like an anorak, and more like a smartish jacket with a hood. It isn’t totally waterproof, but it will keep out some of the northeastern weather.
In hindsight (a wonderful thing!) I should have used the size 18 in order to accommodate the interlining, but it isn’t too small to wear. I may not be able to wear something too thick underneath, though. It’s just as well that the interlining makes it nice and cosy!
Sooooo there it is – my Joy Jacket. I am very proud of it indeed.
It had its first outing this morning, and after yesterday’s dismal rain, it was lovely to have a crisp, sunny, Autumn morning. (To go for my flu jab! 😕😕)
Some spam to finish with!