The Jacket

This jacket is the first item on my list  that I created from the inspiration from the baby sleeper construction of a few weeks ago. I bought this polar fleece recently at Joann’s on sale for a great price. I was only looking for fleece for baby blankets. This piece caught the husband’s eye but I told him it was too dark for a baby. He liked the piece enough to say, “Go ahead and get some. You’ll find something to do with it.” Yes, this came from the guy who constantly asks if I am sure that I need anymore fabric, so I knew I had to make something fun with it.

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I have made a couple of kid’s jackets before with some success, but only out of sweatshirt fleece. This was my first try of making a jacket out of polar fleece. Thinking back, I believe this is my first garment out of polar fleece that I have ever made.

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I got out the pattern I used previously, but it was only a size 1, 2, 3. I wanted a bigger jacket so I went to my children’s Kwik-Sew book to look for a pattern. I found the style I wanted by combining details from several different patterns and making a few things up along the way. Although, I really just wanted to cut and sew a jacket, it was fun to spend the time in designing the details of the jacket too. I tried not to rush the process, spending the time to think the design through. The pockets were the most difficult to decided on. At first I was going to do welt pockets but decided they would be too bulky with the polar fleece. Next, I decided to put the pockets in the side seam, but rejected that idea and in the end I decided to make patch pockets to take advantage of the frogs on the fabric.

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After finishing designing my pattern, the cutting and the sewing went together nicely. I was surprised how nicely the polar fleeced stitched in the serger. I thought I was going to be in for a fight. My made up pattern did well except for the collar. I did not really have a pattern for the collar  to take inspiration from and I cut it too short, so in the process of attaching the collar, I had to stop and cut a longer collar. Not really a problem, just an annoyance.

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This biggest fight I had in the construction of the jacket was the button holes. Not having sewn much with polar fleece and especially since it would be doubled layers at the jackets facing, I figured the button holes were going to be a little tricky. I did some practice button holes on some scraps and my machine stitched just fine. I then stitched two of the three button holes on the jacket and they were perfect. But on the third button hole, my machine just decided to shorten the button hole by half. I unpicked the button hole, not my favorite thing to do, reset my machine and did another practice button hole and it stitched great. I then tried the third button hole on the jacket again and the machine once again stopped and finished the button hole at half the size.

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I tried this all over again with the same results. The only thing I can think of that would cause this problem is that the jacket was catching on something while stitching the button hole and stopping the process, but I could not find what the problem was. After the third time, the fabric was starting to show signs of being unpicked so I decided just to finish the button hole manually. It turned out pretty good. I actually think it stitched better than the second automatic button hole did.

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The end results are very acceptable and the jacket turned out to be very cute. With the completion of the jacket, I went back to the list to see what my next project would be, but once again, I can’t decide what to do next. Do I do the next thing on the list, or make another jacket? Possibly with a zipper and pockets in the side seams? Oh, decisions, decisions.

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