Today is June 6th, and it’s 60 degrees and raining. It’s not especially summer-like right now, though I’m told we can expect a weekend of near 90 degree temperatures. This happens a lot where I live. To cope with this crazy weather, a variety of jackets is a must. I have found that my trusty black hoodie, always worn for light warmth, is looking a bit ratty, and it was time to sew up something new. I had bought the Lonetree jacket by designer is Allie Olsen as part of the fall/winter 2016 pattern bundle on Indiesew.com, and it was clearly meant to be. I actually had bought the bundle for all the other patterns and initially didn’t care about the jacket. Serendipity is a wonderful thing!
I decided to go ahead and make one and participated in the sew-along on the Indie Sew blog back in early March. (This is why in my photos everything in my garden is still in bud or dormant.) I have worn this jacket a whole lot since completing it and I wanted to sing the praises of this terrific pattern!
I had a good time sewing this jacket and I was really happy with how easy it was! It’s only my second piece of outerwear that I’ve ever made, but I find it isn’t as intimidating as I’d initially thought. There are a large number of pieces, but breaking the construction into smaller chunks and sewing a little every day over two weeks really made a difference. I made very few mistakes (I know, it’s unbelievable, right?) and I found it moved pretty fast once I did get started.
If you want to try out this sew along, please check it out here to get started: https://indiesew.com/blog/lonetree-sewalong-pt-1-gather-your-supplies#post
This pattern calls for durable fabrics, like twill or canvas. I found some wonderful waterproof canvas at Fabricmart.com in a striking herringbone pattern. I thought it might be fun to try having a flashy jacket for a change. Most of my coats and jackets are boring neutrals or serviceable materials, but they’re not very stylish. I’m slowly working on changing that. If you do use this pattern with a busy print like I did, pay close attention to how it lines up. When I cut my jacket, I used a slightly different layout than the suggested layout. I wanted to make sure the front pieces and the pocket pieces would follow the same lines, and I also made sure the belt channel pieces matched up with the corresponding front and back pieces. I did an excellent job matching up my lines if I do say so myself! I was really pleased with the result. It’s worth the extra time to get that unbroken look in your motif.
This was my first project using canvas. I used a 90/14 needle to cope with the slight bulk of the canvas. Canvas is prone to unraveling, so be prepared! It’s not as bad as some things I’ve worked with, but plan for that special finishing to make it behave itself. I ended up using french seams to stop the fraying. I actually cut my Lonetree to the large size so I’d have extra room for the seam allowance and to accommodate a light sweater. I prefer my jackets a little bit large so I can layer under them. I opted to self-line with the fabric instead of purchasing lining, since the jacket isn’t fully lined. I didn’t really need a cold weather jacket anyway, so it suits my purposes.
To begin the process, the pockets are sewn up first. They’re so cute! They’re patch pockets and they have a flap that can be used with either buttons or snaps. I didn’t want to buy snaps and a snap setter, so I raided my stash for something suitable in buttons instead. Happily I found some cool cobalt blue vintage buttons from my grandmother. The ones I used are from two different sets and while the color is the same, they don’t actually match. Don’t tell anyone, okay? (Grin.)
They work with the lighter blue of the fabric and make a very striking accent. I had some trouble with the sewing machine buttonholer on the canvas. I suspect this is a quirk of my personal machine, rather than canvas being difficult to work with. I ended up hand sewing the buttonholes, but since there were only four of them, it wasn’t too tedious.
This jacket has an interesting construction with both a collar and a hood joining the neckline of the body, and then a facing goes in there, too. I was confused by how it fit together at first, but as I started putting it together it made sense. The hood goes on the neckline first. The collar has two pieces and one side joins up with the facing and the other side attaches to the neckline. The whole thing comes together when the collar pieces are joined. It’s really elegant and I like how it works during assembly. The facing then attaches to the front pieces, encasing the zipper.
Another first for me was sewing a hood. I don’t have much experience sewing outerwear, so working on the hood was little strange for me. Happily, it went together very easily, though I did end up taking apart a few inches on the interior portion to make the pieces match up more exactly. Take your time with the hood because it has to fit very well so it doesn’t look sloppy. I am so pleased with the way it came out!
I love the length of the jacket, too. You can see it hits at the start of the hip and provides some protection from the elements. I haven’t actually worn it in a fierce downpour yet, but I’m sure the day will come and I’ll be grateful for it.
I know you can’t see it in the photos, but I used a dark blue twill ribbon that was half as wide and thicker, with a more pronounced weave. It works much better with the color scheme and I think it will be more durable than my original choice. I like being able to cinch the waist. It gives the jacket a feminine touch and keeps it from being too utilitarian. Love it!