Thursday, July 7, 2011

Army style jacket, with detachable (faux) fur-lined hood

I mentioned some time ago my new army/military style jacket; finished way back in March, well, here it is!
When we were in Tokyo I saw all ages and both sexes, everywhere, sporting big khaki army type jackets.  All with military details, lots of pockets, cinched in waist belts and sometimes with fur-lined hoods, and I just fell in love with them and decided I just had to have my own.  They just looked so big and comfy and cosy looking, and the girls (and boys) wearing them looked so warm not to mention so so so too-cooool-for-school; casually and bulkily stylish...  I'm sure a lot of the ones I saw were real army jackets, possibly from army disposal stores or secondhand stores, but naturally with my DIY aesthetic I was always going to try to make my own... :D
Of course what I wasn't taking into account was that it doesn't really get all that cold here and especially for the hoodie part of it!  I expect I will wear it without the hood for most of the time... but it was still fun to have a go at making a furry hood, and it just might come in handy for some mornings, and if we ever go down to the country.

Jacket; Burdastyle 05-2010-127 with my own modifications, khaki ripstop cotton and grey marle fleece lining
Skirt; Vogue 7303, olive green corduroy, to see this little skirt styled in 6 different ways go here
Top and tights; Metalicus
Socks, handknit by me, details here
Shoes; Francesco Morichetti, from Zomp shoes

Dressmaking details; if you want to know...
I used Burdastyle 05/2010, pattern 127 as a starting point, and as usual made a few modifications to get the army-style I envisioned, but as the bones of the jacket are essentially the same I think I can dare to write a review for this pattern??  I used ripstop cotton in khaki, a wonderful fabric both tough and hardwearing and so so so perfect for an army style jacket!  I have also made this and this from the exact same fabric, so I guess it is obvious I love it...!  I'd better not buy any more, hmmm?  The lining is a pale grey marle fleece, and the faux fur is... well, faux fur.  I think from memory, it was labelled silver fox.  All the materials are from Spotlight.
The modifications I made:
Lengthened the jacket by oooh, roughly 7cm? and also slightly enlarged (length-wise) and slightly lowered the lower front pockets.  I chose to enlarge these because I thought the original smaller ones would not have the right proportions on the lengthened jacket...
I drafted a completely different collar, a sorta slightly curved rectangle, because I wanted more of a wide standup collar than the little fold-down one in the pattern...
My sleeves are not vented or cuffed, and have a tab with snap closure, for more of a military-looking effect.
I did not incorporate buttons and buttonholes at the front as stipulated in the pattern, but instead inserted an open-ended zip, again inspired by the styling of army jackets I've seen around
My jacket is fully lined, with grey fleece (for warmth, and also to enhance that bulky look an army jacket is supposed to have)  as it turns out it is very warm!  I did not hem the lining, but enclosed the flat raw edges inside the sleeve and lower hems of the jacket.  The fleece was partly leftover from this project, I had to buy a bit more.

I added a tab at the lower edge, and another tab at the neck edge; both features I mentally noted from the army jackets I saw in Tokyo.  These both have snap closure.

I made a detachable, (faux) fur-edged hood.  For this, I used a modified version of the hood from KwikSew 3667, with the lower edge cut flatter and a bit narrower to fit in with the neckline of my jacket.  It is also lined with fleece, and has buttonholes sewn in the bottom edge, which correspond with the buttons that I sewed inside the collar edge.  I realise the fur-edged hood is probably kinda silly in this climate, but I think it looks kinda cool, and it just may come in useful one day?

My review of this pattern, if you're interested...

Pattern Description:
Unstructured long-sleeved jacket; with two piece sleeves with vents and buttoned cuffs, front buttons and buttonband, epaulettes, four flapped patch pockets at the front, belt loops at waist level for the self-fabric belt and a short, buttoned collar.
Pattern Sizing:
36-44.  I made a 38
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you had finished sewing it?
In essence, yes.  I made a few modifications.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes.  I did some steps differently and in a different order, to accommodate my modifications...
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like everything about this pattern!  The basic bones of the pattern are great; being unstructured it is therefore very easy to fit, to put together and also easy to incorporate your own alterations.  The fun is in adding your own details.
Fabric Used:
Ripstop cotton, and fully lined with cotton/polyester fleece.  A strip of faux fur (silver fox) to edge the hood
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Lengthened the jacket by about 7cm? and also slightly enlarged (length-wise) and slightly lowered the lower front pockets.  I chose to enlarge these not because I thought they were too small but because I thought the originals would not have the right proportions once I had lengthened the jacket...
Drafted a different, slightly curved rectangular collar, because I wanted a higher standup collar than the little fold down one in the pattern
Inserted tabs with snap closure in the top and bottom of the front edges
Instead of the front buttonband and buttons, extended the front opening edges slightly so I could insert an open-ended zip
Fully lined the jacket in a polyester cotton fleece
Added a hood, also fully lined with fleece, and edged in faux fur.  This has 4 buttonholes on the lower edge, and attaches to 4 buttons sewn around the neckline, inside of the collar
Left off the sleeve vent and cuffs, instead inserted tabs with snap closure inside the lower end of the sleeve seam, sewed the sleeves closed to the end and hemmed over the raw edges of the lining.  The lower hem of the jacket also encloses the raw edge of the jacket lining inside
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I would definitely recommend this to others!  I might sew it again, if I need another jacket like this.
This pattern was one of the first to catch my eye in this magazine, and I always had a mind to make it.  After visiting Tokyo, and being totally inspired by the cool cool army/military style jackets I saw worn over there, I realised this was the perfect pattern I could adapt quite easily to get that style of jacket.  And I'm totally happy with how it turned out; even if the hood is not super appropriate for our climate I still love it, and am very pleased with the smart styling and warmth of the jacket even sans hood.  The waist belt is a nice finishing touch, although I am very glad I lengthened the jacket as I think the belt would have looked a bit funny on the shorter length.

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