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!

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26 thoughts on “A Perfect Swing Jacket With How To Do Fashion

  1. Jenny Frances says:

    Aw, Carla, you are too kind! I was so relived that I did actually have enough fabric in the end. It was a tense time when I was placing the pattern pieces lol! 🙂 xx

  2. Jessica Cangiano says:

    Super lovely outfit! I’m wild about the colour of your coat (and that you matched your nail polish to it here), as well as this whole ensemble itself. Black + fuchsia/carnation pink + sea foam green feels incredibly fresh and is so very pretty. Awesome styling!

    xoxo ♥ Jessica

  3. Cate says:

    I adore the colour of this jacket and I love that you matched it with the colour of the railings! Hehehe! The bright pink looks fabulous with it, a really vibrant combination. xx

  4. Jenny Frances says:

    Hi Jessica, thank you so much! I hardly ever wear nail polish, as it always chips on me after about 3 hours. But I couldn’t resist the minty green shade, and the opportunity to match it to this outfit! 🙂

  5. Jenny Frances says:

    Hi Cate! I hardly ever wear pink, but I seem to be going through a bit of a pink phase at the moment. I think I am being partly influenced by my choice of colours in my work studio that I am currently re-decorating (as one of the shades is vibrant pink). When I was a teenager, I absolutely LOVED pink! All my clothes were pink, my bedroom was pink, and all my school books were pink! I think maybe I overdosed on it back then, but now I am gingerly adding it back into my life 🙂 xx

  6. Jenny Frances says:

    Thank you so much! I think I surprised myself at how relatively straight-forward the jacket was to put together. I will definitely not be scared at the prospect of making another jacket – or even a coat now! 🙂 xx

  7. Jenny Frances says:

    Hi Katherine! I was slightly unsure of the colour at first, as I had my mind set on a very pale, muted green for this jacket. But, when I saw the fabric on the roll I was irresistibly drawn to it, and I love how it looks made-up as this jacket now! 🙂 One of my friends also said the colour is very Art Deco – like a deco jade green (which totally enamoured me of the shade even more!) xx

  8. Jessica says:

    That jacket is fabulous! I love a good swing coat, and soft green color is really lovely for transitioning into fall. It looks perfect with the vivid pink accessories, and I could see it pairing beautifully with any number of other colors.

  9. The Homemade Pinup says:

    I’m amazed how appropriate that 30s skirt looks with this coat! The outfit looks so 50s, really. I love your coat, the color is so wonderfully cheerful! That would be lovely on a gloomy winter morning. I can’t wait to see you (hopefully) make up another one in the future!

    ♥ Lauren
    thehomemadepinup.wordpress.com

  10. Tanith says:

    Oh it’s fabulous! I love the colour and you have made it with such wonderful attention to detail. So beautifully made. Well done!

  11. Jenny Frances says:

    Hi Jessica, thank you my lovely! Yes, I’m hoping to get lots of wear out of it for the Autumn. I’m looking forward to teaming it with different colours and accessories, and seeing how I can make it fit into different vintage eras 🙂 xx

  12. Jenny Frances says:

    Hi Lauren, I know what you mean! But the 1930s skirt I am wearing is a very simple cut, and because of this it can be worn with so many different outfits/eras. My mind is running wild with all the colour/pattern possibilities for another version of this jacket now! 🙂

  13. Jenny Frances says:

    Hi Emma, I know the weather is so unpredictable here in the UK at the moment. Only yesterday it was around 26degrees, and today it’s more like 19degrees. At least I am prepared for the cooler months now! 🙂

  14. Jenny Frances says:

    Hi Tanith, thank you so much! I was going to do bound buttonholes, but decided to go for regular machine-ones in the end. I’m glad you like it, I’m soo excited to see the final piece in your Nora Finds collaboration collection! It’s great to see pieces specifically for shorter hairstyles too. When I had my hair cut into a pixie crop earlier in the year, I did find it harder than I thought to find hats that were compatible. I think I just ‘assumed’ that all my regular hats would be fine – when in fact some of them no longer held in my hair/stayed in place. Great work, can’t wait to see the full collection once it is all revealed! 🙂 xx

  15. Christina says:

    I do love a swing coat! This little one is fantastic. The colour choice is totally gorgeous! And the little collar too is very lovely. Makes me want to sew one up immediately.

  16. Jenny Frances says:

    Hi Nicole, I am definitely looking forward to wearing it when the temperatures drop (although I am not looking forward to the winter time, I’m definitely more of a Springtime person!) xx

  17. Tanith says:

    Thank you Jenny! I forget how much a hair cut can change how hats look and fit. Whenever I get a new style I am surprised and have to think through what I can wear!

  18. Jenny Frances says:

    Hi Amanda,
    The pattern is pretty straight-forward to follow, and you don’t technically need to line it either. I think it’s a great all-rounder pattern, as you can choose to keep it simple, or make it more complicated by adding internal structure etc. The fit is fab too, as really only the shoulder measurement and length are crucial to the design. Go for it! 🙂

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