Tag Archives: Claire Schaeffer

Making My First Jacket

Guess what? I’m making my first ever jacket!

I’ve been wanting to make one for a while now, but for oh-so-many reasons I’ve only just got around to doing so. Firstly, the thought of making a jacket always seemed so much more intimidating than making a dress or a skirt, then there was the matter of finding a pattern I liked and fabric that would work well. I kept telling myself that there was no point in investing time and energy in making something that I wasn’t going to wear a lot. And so the jacket-making idea kept on being put on the back burner.

Then I went shopping with Mum a while back, and I finally found a jacket pattern I liked. Actually, let’s make that a pattern I loved! It’s what I’d call a cardigan style jacket, but what my lovely sewing teacher Sabina calls “une vraie Chanel”- it has no collar, no cuffs, no lapels, no buttons, and it’s not particularly fitted. I think this style of jacket can be really elegant, but can easily be either dressed up or dressed down depending on your mood. And, for a first foray into jacket making, it looked reasonably straightforward. So I bought it, with plans to make a summer-weight jacket at some point.


Soon after this, I saw a class on Craftsy to make a classic tweed jacket. I love Craftsy classes, because you can follow along at your own pace, as and when you want, and everything’s always really well explained because you can actually see what’s going on. So I signed up, and found that the class pattern was the one I’d just bought with Mum. Now this was a good sign 🙂

What’s more, the lovely RR had bought me this book on making this kind of jacket as a Christmas gift (aren’t Amazon Wishlists wonderful!). Serendipity indeed!

But what fabric to use?

Well, as it turned out, I actually already had the fabric for this project sitting in my cupboard. I’d bought it on a whim at our local fabric store,where it sat languishing in the remnants bin at half price. There was about  1 1/2m of it and I had no idea what I wanted to use it for, I just liked the colours and the weave and the texture, not to mention it was a pretty good price (well, for Switzerland, in any case!) For the lining, I used some beautiful vivid blue silk dupion – I do so love a bright coloured lining.


And so it all finally came together. Spurred on by the success of the grey shift dress I made for Ms S and Mr E’s wedding, I decided to jump in at the deep end, and use the beautiful but inexpensive fabric to make My First Jacket.  To tell the truth, I was kind of hoping when I started that it would be ready in time for said wedding, so that I could wear my two creations together, but it took me ages to put together the toile, and make the necessary adjustments to the fit. Well, suffice to say that I only actually got round to cutting the fabric out the day before we left, so wearing it to the wedding was a bit of a non-starter. But it is now underway nonetheless.

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I’ve been working on the jacket for the past few weeks, and slowly but surely I’m getting there. I know it’s not going to be perfect, but I’ve already learnt a lot, and I’m hoping it will be finished before my trip to the US in June, and my week at Susan Khalje’s Couture Sewing School. I’m going to be making a jacket while I’m there, so this one is partially a trial run, as well as something I hope I can wear during my trip.

Fingers crossed, eh?!