I had plenty of teal textured stretch bengaline left over from my Style Arc Cassie pants. I really like teal – I think that it’s a colour that works well with many others, and looks good on most people. I also think that it’s going to work as well with my greying hair as it did with my red hair. Originally I considered sewing a pinafore from the leftovers, then I realised that I actually had a bit of a wardrobe gap (anyone who’s seen how much is in my wardrobe would laugh at that) for a teal mid-weight, woven jacket.
I looked at many, many patterns when before making a decision on which one to use. I wanted something shortish, casual, unlined, and with a fairly open collar. After rifling through my extensive paper pattern and pdf pattern stash, there was nothing that quite ticked all the boxes. When the Helen’s Closet Pona Jacket was first released I didn’t particularly like the size and proportions of the lapels. However, I took another look at it and decided that it might actually be just the right pattern for my fabric.
I really enjoyed sewing this jacket. It’s size 12, without alteration. I decided that I’d use a Hong Kong finish on the facing edges, as they were likely to be exposed at some stage considering that this jacket is unlined. I also added a little hanging loop. The bias strips are cut from Japanese cotton leftover from a dress that I made years ago (and still love).
Does anyone else like to sew in components? I assembled the facings first, then the collar pieces, then the pockets. Construction of the body of the jacket came next – and all those components were ready when it was time to add them.
From the pattern website: The Pona Jacket is a modern outer layer that is easy to make and style. An extra-wide facing allows this unlined jacket to drape open in the front, no closures necessary! Pona has an oversized blazer feel, complete with pockets and a statement lapel. Make a modern, cropped Pona in linen for warmer weather or a longer jacket in wool for fall and winter. Pona is a perfect beginner jacket pattern! Recommended Fabrics: Light to medium weight fabrics with no stretch, such as mid-weight linen or cotton, corduroy, and wool. Pona can be made in a lighter-weight, drapey fabric such as Tencel twill for a more fluid look.
Clearly I didn’t stick exactly to the fabric recommendations – they are for a fabric with no stretch. However, I think that this stretch woven has worked really well in this jacket! I did of course take the stretch into account while sewing, with more pins than usual, and seams stitched on the machine. I finished seam allowances with the overlocker when not using a Hong Kong finish. As is always the case with Helen’s Closet patterns, the instructions are excellent. There are clear, helpful diagrams, and the language that is used is also easy to understand. I highly recommend these patterns to beginners.
The eagle eyed among you may have realised that the pants I am wearing in these photos are sewn from the same fabric as the jacket, just in a different colourway!
The large lapels on this jacket have really grown on me. I often find that it’s just about ‘getting my eye in’ with new designs; the more that we are exposed to a particular style, the more we like it (most of the time). This pattern will definitely get another outing. I might give the longer line jacket a go, maybe in a linen type of fabric as suggested. Wait and see! Casual coats and jackets work best with my lifestyle; I don’t need anything fitted or that feels at all restrictive.