Hello sewists, Alexis here, ready to show you all the details of my very own Sienna Maker Jacket, guts included!
In the studio this fall we had a bit of an ongoing joke about how many maker jackets a person could possibly sew. We actually started developing this pattern well over a year ago and there were, of course, many muslins sewn up while we tweaked the design before sending Sienna off for testing. With the three different views, and our new extended size range, this meant we had a lot of samples to sew for our photoshoot, as well as the four samples we made for our Montreal Maker series. Considering this army of lovingly crafted jackets, you'd think our team would want to put this pattern aside and sew something new, wouldn't you? Well, Heather expressed it perfectly - this pattern is truly a team favourite and we obviously just couldn't stop.
For my first version destined for myself, I knew I wanted to sew View C. I was a fan of the back vent detail for this view ever since our pattern drafter Celine first dreamed it up.
I also had a collection of old denim I decided I would finally put to use. I had a thrifted pair of jeans that I had been coveting for a long time even though they were a strange cut and the wrong size. The denim had this crazy zigzag pattern printed on it. It looked like a bleach job, but it must have been chemically done by the garment manufacturer because it seemed like they came that way. I also had thrifted a pair of jeans with the worst, most blotchy indigo dye job you have ever seen. The patchy colours reminded me of playing with watercolours though, so this denim was also destined for a maker jacket.
When it came to deciding on the patchwork layout I froze. After spending way too much time on Pinterest looking at denim refashions I had decision fatigue. This zigzag denim was also so precious to me! I had already attempted making a pair of Morgan Jeans from it that ended up too small. The more I cut into it, the less I would have for the next project if this one failed too. After stalling for too long I finally just went for it, remembering a popular Heather mantra: It's only fabric!
When Heather shared a progress shot in our Instagram stories during one of our team sewing days, we had a lot of questions about how I dealt with cutting on grain. For the most part, I could see the direction of the grain just by looking at the twill weave in the fabric. I also wanted the zigzags to run straight across. To be honest, there were some places where I just fudged it. I was starting to run our of denim when I cut the under sleeves. All the denim was non-stretch and pretty sturdy so it worked out in the end!
I added the sleeve pocket to the left arm only. I added a little interfaced patch to strengthen the spot where the snap back closure would be installed.
I also added cuffs to the sleeves, using our Kelly Anorak sleeve cuff tutorial. This was an easy customization to make. I shortened the Sienna sleeves by a couple of inches to allow the finished length of the sleeve to include the cuff. I narrowed the hem of the sleeve as well, keeping the top of the sleeve the same width and shape so it would fit the armscye of the jacket. I added a little extension to the bottom sleeve pattern piece so I could assemble the sleeve placket as per our Kelly cuff tutorial.
I am always a fan of a pattern that can have a completely clean inside finish without the use of a serger (I write the bulk of the instructions for all our patterns and am always trying to figure out how to make the insides as pretty as the outsides). The patchwork denim panels were flat felled. Whenever two flat felled seam lines intersected, they were hammered flat. The only parts of this jacket that were serged were the inside raw edges of the pockets, and the side seams where it would have been absolutely too bulky to flat fell a seam that had already been flat felled a couple of times! I also serged one of the seams on each two-piece sleeve, since it can be tricky (though not impossible!) to flat fell a seam in a tube. The hem and back vent seam were finished with bias, as well as the armscye seams.
Let's talk about pockets! I sewed one camouflaged patch pocket on the right side (I'm pretty proud of this print matching!), and made one welt pocket on the left side.
For this welt pocket I kind of made it up as I went along. I had lost of practice sewing welt pockets with our Sasha Trousers pattern so I felt somewhat confident when it came time to cut into the jacket front.
The pocket bag of the welt pocket is secured in the facing and hem of the jacket, and it doubles as an extra inside pocket!
When I was ripping apart the vintage jeans, it was so fun unstitching the seams and seeing how the denim had faded in places. I particularly loved this scrap that I saved for an inside pocket on the right side of the jacket.
I stole a piece of Heather's hand-dyed linen from our scrap heap for the back neck facing. (Thanks, boss!)
This was a pretty involved sewing project that took some time to put together because of all the details. I do plan to sew another Sienna Maker Jacket someday soon since I want to sew View A in a stable knit. I'm so glad I finally got to sew a Sienna Maker Jacket for myself after all this time! It's been fun wearing it around the office while working on our next pattern!
I feel like I need to pop in here to say that this jacket is a perfect example of the kind of thoughtfulness and obsessive attention to detail Alexis brings to everything she does. I think we've established a reputation for the quality of our instructions and construction details, and she is a huge part of that process. Nothing makes me happier than seeing her in deep development mode, sewing sample after sample to find the best way to put our designs together. Watching her process enfold with this totally original and beautiful make filled me with total joy. This jacket is as creative and meticulous as Alex is in real life! A maker jacket perfectly suited to the maker in question 😉