I wanted to make a riding jacket. I just didn’t really know how, or whether I had the skills, or what fabric to use, among other things. So I did what I tend to do, collect pictures on a Pinterest board (Blazers in this case) and let the project
rot, fester, mature in the back of my mind. One of the pins that sparked my interest was this Nanette Lepore Sherlock Coat. I’m not entirely sure whether riding jackets have been a relatively recent dream of mine, or whether it’s been there for ages, but it was time to do something with it.
The relative success of the graduation dress meant that I used the same pattern again, but with some alterations, effectively none of the pieces stayed the same:
- The bodice pattern pieces were printed out off scale (accidentally), so a size larger was cut and the bodice was lengthened by a centimeter.
- The shoulders were made square and thereby shortened the center front.
- The center front was split, broadened and curved with a longer front edge.
- The sleeve pieces were lengthened to full length and got an elbow dart following this tutorial from A Challenging Sew.
- The collar was drafted following this tutorial from Em Makes Patterns.
- The shirt/peplum pieces were drafted.
- An attempt was made to pattern match the pinstripes in the fabric.
- The lining had a vent added at the neckline.
- Hanging loop added at the back.
- Facings were drafted for the sleeves ends and a bias strip for the bottom.
Perhaps more things changed, but this was a multiple month project and I have terrible memory. The fabric was wool-esque (not sure of the actual content), dark blue with light blue and gray pinstripes. The sleeve lining was some bright blue lining stuff I also used for my dark blue winter coat. From that previous experience I knew that that fabric was really shifty, and my overlocker was still in the naughty corner for not working so I got myself a new toy! I bought a walking foot; oh my, the improvements in my sewing are staggering! The remainder of the lining was some dark with blue triangle fabric that also produced a failed shirt before.
Everything was sewn together and I didn’t have to do too much editing to the fit. The design is not completely the same as the original inspiration, as I hated that back and was more into this type of thing. I did want to keep the option of closing the front, like this. I used some buttons I had in my stash for some time now. Domed military jacket inspired buttons that worked really well and attached nicely. I also added a button to the inside right to close the front. I am quite happy with the finishing, I think it looks quite nice on the inside too.
I did my best to do stripe matching where possible, and I’m quite proud of how well that worked. I wore it for Easter this year, and while I was afraid that the sleeves would be too tight, I didn’t have any troubles on the day. There are three ways of wearing the jacket: open, with hook & eye closed and completely closed. The longer back-end does take a little bit of getting used to, but I feel really happy when wearing it.
I proclaim it a successful project!