Sewing pattern review with How to do Fashion

A Perfect Swing Jacket With How To Do Fashion

A few months ago, Nanna from sewing pattern company How to do Fashion contacted me to see if I would like to make-up some of her sewing patterns. Back at the start of July, I made-up the No 5 Arhus pattern (which you can read about here). The pattern went together so perfectly, and it actually reminded me that modern-day patterns are often easier to understand and work with than my usual go-to original vintage ones.

Amongst the patterns that I had chosen, was the No 4 London Swing Coat. I was drawn to the pattern due to it’s great vintage inspired details – the oversized collar, swing shape, the broad welt pockets – these style details all added up to a great design. Swing coats and swagger jackets really appeal to me, as they can be styled to suit many different vintage eras and looks. Swing coats had their heyday throughout the 1950s, although they were also worn from the 1930s up to the 1960s.

The pattern comes with 3 different versions or styles:

  • Version 1 is a long coat with patch pockets and rounded collar
  • Version 2 is a mid length jacket with no collar, a belt and concealed pockets
  • Version 3 is a short jacket with welt pockets and a tie collar

For my version of the jacket, I decided that I wanted to incorporate elements from each of the three different pattern versions. I used: The collar of Version 1, the length of Version 2, and the welt pockets of Version 3. The pattern pieces for the main body of the jacket are essentially the same, with cutting lines to alter the length for each version.

As with the Arhus pattern, this pattern went together quickly – in fact, much quicker than I expected! I decided to fully line the jacket, so I cut out the front sections from my main fabric twice, giving me a facing. I also cut out the neck facing from my main fabric, giving me a nice backing onto which to sew my How to do Fashion label (which came with the pattern – amazing!). I then cut out the remainder of the pieces (including the sleeves) from my chosen lining fabric.

The most time-consuming part of the entire making process, was putting the lining in. Firstly I sewed the collar onto the main jacket. I then stitched the lining along the CF and neckline, encasing the raw edges of the collar. After this, I added shoulder pads. In order to ‘bag out’ the lining, I referred to this tutorial from Grainline Studio. Whilst I was doing this, I realised I had never ‘bagged out’ a jacket lining before – crazy huh? But with Kieren’s jacket that I made in April, it featured a waistband encasing the lining – thereby not requiring a lining/jacket hem. After bagging out the main body of the jacket, I then did the same for the sleeves.

After turning the jacket the correct way out through an underarm seam, I then checked everything was aligned and sitting correctly, before stitching-up the underarm opening in the lining closed. I finished the jacket with two cover-buttons made from the main jacket fabric, and buttonholes (which this time, actually turned out pretty well! Phew.)

When I was initially thinking about fabric colours for this jacket, I wanted to find a soft, muted green wool. After searching for a while, I couldn’t find a soft green, but I found this jadey/aqua green instead which I thought was perfect! I did have a bit of drama with it though.. It was the end of a roll, and the cutter told me that there was 2.7metres left. I said yes, that’s great, I will have the 2.7metres. But when I got it home, I measured it just before I pre-shrank it, to discover there was only 2.3metres! I don’t know if I was charged for the extra 0.4metres or not, and frankly (after brooding and thinking what an idiot I was for not watching the cutter more closely), I was just pleased that there did turn out to be juust about enough fabric to make this jacket. So anyway, the main jacket fabric is a nice medium weight 100% wool. I wanted the lining to contrast slightly, so I choose this lilac lining with tiny paisley motifs.

I am so pleased with how this jacket turned out, and I would most definitely make it up again! In these pictures, I decided to go for a 1950s pink and aqua look – especially as I don’t tend to wear pink too often, so it’s nice when I do for a change.

Outfit Details

  • Jacket – Made by me, Pattern is No 4 London c/o How to do Fashion
  • Skirt – Made by me, from a vintage 1930s sewing pattern
  • Brooch – Luxulite some years ago
  • Bag – Sun Jellies
  • Shoes – c/o Hotter

Thank you so much to Nanna from How to do Fashion for this wonderful pattern! Now I know I shall be warm and cosy come the autumn months.

Until next time dears!

Fall/Winter Style Series For Hotter Shoes

Since January this year, I have been working with Hotter Shoes creating Style Series posts for them to publish over on their blog; It’s a Shoe Thing. I am thrilled to announce that I am continuing to work with them, producing Style Series posts and articles for the forthcoming fall/winter collection.

There are some wonderful vintage inspired styles coming out for fall/winter, from flats to heels and boots (for when the weather inevitably gets much cooler and damper!)

For this series, I will be showing how to style selected designs to suit a vintage decade; from the 1960s back to the 1930s. In my first post, I style the Crimdon loafers to suit a retro 1960s look.

Pop on over to the Hotter Shoes Blog to read the full post, in which I also talk little about the history of the loafer and the styles of flat shoes women wore during the early decades of the twentieth century.

View the full post here.

To view my previous Style Series posts for Hotter Shoes, check out this category here.

Until next time dears!