I think that most of us have an affinity for particular pattern lines, especially when it comes to independent pattern lines. The large companies like Vogue, McCalls, Butterick, Kwik Sew, Simplicity, Burda and New Look tend to cover lots of bases in terms of style and aesthetics, although they definitely not exactly the same as one another. In fact, they do have different tag lines to differentiate themselves. Vogue’s is “the exclusive source for designer sewing patterns”, Butterick are “the world’s first name in sewing patterns” and McCalls claim to be “sewing patterns for today’s fashion trends” and Kwik Sew have “making sewing a success”. This all says a little about how they position themselves in the sewing pattern market. Independent pattern companies position themselves in different ways. Some design for a particular shape, like Sewaholic who design for a pear shaped figure and SBCC who designs for short women. Others design particular types of clothes, like Jalie who specialise in sports wear. Ottobre have what appears to me to be a distinctly European aesthetic. Style Arc say they are “the fashion industry secret that keeps you ahead of the rest”. You could go through a huge list of companies and work out who they are primarily designing for.
So the point of this? I think that Tessuti design patterns for people like me. They don’t explicitly state it, but they design simple shapes with nice details that appear to be drafted for – dare I say it – an Australian middle-aged woman’s body. Their styles don’t look remiss on younger women or older women, as they are fairly classic but are not staid and traditional and they definitely have a modern, inner-city vibe (whatever that really means!). I really, really like most of what they design. Which brings me to the Sydney jacket!
First, the description from their website. This oversized, draped jacket features a relaxed collar, back yoke, extended cropped raglan sleeves and side pockets. This jacket is ideal for layering over garments and is the perfect cover-up for the autumn/winter months. Ideal made up in boiled wool knits, ponti knits, boiled felted wools and neoprene fabrics. IMPORTANT: Not suitable for woven fabrics that fray when cut.
As the description says, this jacket is constructed without edge finishes. The seams are overlapped rather than sewn right sides together (except for the side seams). That’s why they recommend fabrics that don’t fray when cut. However, I’ve now seen some wonderful versions in other wovens; the fraying just needs to be taken into account when they are constructed, and either used as a feature on some seams or the construction methods need to be varied. Anyway, I used a fabric that doesn’t fray. Despite owning and sewing many garments from Tessuti patterns, I don’t actually use a lot of Tessuti fabric – way out of my budget most of the time! This fabric is a beautiful wool/cashmere blend that I actually found in my stash! I think it was a gift from Jodie one Sewjourn a very ong time ago – and unsurprisingly I was thrilled that there was enough of it when I went stash diving for this jacket.
After considerable deliberations I made a straight size Medium. Although it’s an oversized style, I needed to make certain that it would fit well across the shoulders. I could possibly have made the Small, but feel that the Medium doesn’t look too big.
Construction was simpler than I had anticipated. You definitely need to get that chalk pencil out and mark a big cross on all the wrong sides of the fabric pieces, and take things one step at a time in order to jigsaw all the pieces together. I’d have liked a few more markings on the pattern pieces to let me know what edge went with what, but figured it all out without much difficulty. Just don’t rush!
Like others, I had wondered what the point was in a winter jacket with short sleeves and no lining or closure – but it’s actually been very warm and snug to wear, especially given that Melbourne is so well heated indoors during winter. Thumbs up for this pattern! If it wasn’t such a distinctive style (and if I didn’t have about 497 jacket and coat patterns in stash) I’d even make it again.
Which pattern lines do you have a particular affinity for – and do you know why?