Whilst some articles of clothing seem to have waned in popularity in recent years, this doesn’t mean that the style of garment may never be worn again. In this post, I explore using a vintage bed jacket pattern from the late 1930s, to make an outerwear jacket that can withstand the recent dropping temperatures!
Since completing my wedding dress, I have entered a rather productive sewing phase. As most of the year was devoted to the design and construction of said dress, once the wedding was over it suddenly hit me – that yes! Now I can focus on making other things! So that is precisely what I have been doing.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, I decided that my next big sewing project using a vintage sewing pattern would be a cosy outerwear jacket. Initially; I thought about using a denim jacket style pattern (I have this one by Gertie, but am yet to use it). But then I remembered I had Butterick 8188 – an original vintage pattern dated from 1939. The pattern is actually for a set of bed jackets, but view B is absolutely perfect for a standard outerwear jacket.
Almost 2 years ago, I actually made-up view B (see the original post here). On reflection, I think I used the wrong weight of fabric for the jacket, and I wasn’t too thrilled with how I lined the hood either. However, at the time I liked it, and I don’t mind looking back on some of my makes realising what I would do differently next time – after all, we are all learning and growing on our own individual sewing paths.
For this version of my hooded jacket, I wanted it to be:
- Warm – I really feel the cold, so if I taking the time to make a jacket, it has to be warm.
- Pockets – the pattern doesn’t have any, so I added some hidden pockets into the side seams. One thing I didn’t take into account was how far back the side seams sit on this particular pattern. This does mean I have to contort my body somewhat in order to actually get my hands into the pockets, but at least I do have pockets to tuck my hands into.
- To sit on my natural waist, or slightly below. One thing I didn’t want was an odd gap between the hem of my jacket and the waistband of my trousers/skirt.
Changes and Alterations I made to the Pattern
- Lengthened the body – to ensure the jacket waistband would sit slightly below my natural waist
- Added pockets – as described above
- Increased the depth of the waistband, and backed it with lining fabric rather than the wool fabric
- Inserted channels of elastic casing into the back waistband to ensure the jacket didn’t ride up at the back if I wore the jacket whilst cycling
- Created a lap-over button closure at the centre front waistband, rather than a tie closure as featured on the pattern. The wool fabric would have been too bulky for a bow, and I wanted a more functional/practical fastening anyway.
- Inserted elastic casings into the cuffs.
I also decided to interline the entire jacket with weft insertion, using herringbone stitch to then secure the seam allowances of each seam flat to the insertion. Karen wrote a great post here about her beautiful Cocktail Hour Sewalong coat, in which she also interlined her jacket.
I love the hood on this pattern, the back has a series of darts to add shape, which I think looks really visually pleasing. It took me a little while to decide on what colour of lining to use. I was going to try and find a similar shade of green, but then realised that would be near impossible. Instead, I chose to go for a contrasting russet orange, which I think works really well.
The jacket did take a couple of weeks to make. Adding to this time was the fact that the whole thing was put on hold, during my search for a pair of buttons for the centre front band. I actually wanted to use cover buttons from the wool fabric, but I found it was just too dense for me to secure the button backings in place. Instead, I sourced this set of square buttons in a very similar shade to the lining I had chosen, and thought they suited the jacket nicely.
Links & Supplies
- Jacket Pattern: Butterick 8188 (original vintage, dated from 1939)
- Jacket Fabric: Tuileries Soft Green Wool Fabric from Clothspot (if out of stock, Ditto also carry the same fabric)
- Jacket Lining: Ditto Fabrics
- Weft Insertion: English Couture Company
- Buttons: Textile Garden
I am really pleased with the finished jacket, I just love the muted warm green shade. Whilst Kieren and I were taking these pictures, I had a little realisation – that I was shooting pictures of a garment I had made that was actually cosy and warm! I can’t tell you how many times I have shot pictures of garments that have me freezing cold, posing for the pictures! But to get to the stage where I am making (and wearing) outerwear – well, I feel a little twang of pride in myself 🙂
And who would have guessed that the original purpose of this pattern was intended as nightwear!?
Until next time dears!