Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Forest Green Twill Sienna Maker Jacket by Closet Case Patterns

I have a new favorite wardrobe item... please welcome my Sienna Maker Jacket.

This is yet another instance of Closet Case Patterns releasing a pattern for an item I had never even considered owning, but after making it, I don't know how I lived without it. I've worn it every day since finishing it.

While all of the samples were amazing and envy-worthy, as usual, the one that really struck me was Carolyn's. Not only did her version make forest green seem the most lovely shade in the world, but it also reminded me of a piece of orphaned fabric I had in my stash.

Orphaned, you ask? You see, I bought this stretch twill with every intention of making pants. It wasn't even an online purchase, it was bought locally, and I was convinced while in the store that it would all work out well. The first problem was the color-- it was an odd shade of medium green, and I had in mind a pair of black pants. So I purchased a couple of packs of Dylan black dye and threw the whole mess in the washer. This did not work out as planned... instead of black I got this dark green, which isn't bad at all, but if one was expecting black, it is rather disappointing. I have since read up about dying things black, and apparently it can be quite tricky to get a true black, especially with a cheap packaged dye. Dark green might not have been a deal breaker, except for the fact that when washed, the twill ended up weighty and without the kind of recovery one hopes for in stretchy pants. I worried that for the pattern I had in mind, they would just bag out and be saggy. That was a couple years ago, and it has sat in the stash ever since, causing me a bit of consternation every time I looked at it and wondered what in the world I would do with it.

Then came Carolyn's Sienna, and I knew just what I had to do.

Out came the dark green twill, and I laid it out with concern... could I fit the pattern pieces on my 2.25 yards? I had my heart set on the mid-length, with sleeve pockets and the very cool wrap tie-belt, which calls for 3.25 yards, not including the sleeve pockets. While all logic and the pattern envelope asserted that this would not be possible my pattern layout intuition thought it might be possible... and it somehow was. I didn't measure, but it must have been an especially wide fabric. The facings were cut from a piece of scrap linen, and the belt was pieced together. It is a touch shorter than the pattern called for, but I'm only 5'4" so this worked out fine. After cutting, I only had a handful of tiny scraps left.

Concerning sizing, I merely graded between sizes based on my measurements. If memory serves, I decided on a 14 shoulder, 18 waist, and 16 hip, and 16 arms. I made no muslin. With the intended fit being fairly loose, I figured that precise fitting would not be necessary.

For a relaxed fit jacket, the fit is perfection!

The directions were superb as usual. I followed them step by step just because it was fun.

Since the coat is unlined, clean seam finishes are called for. Having previously sewed a rain coat using true flat-felled seams for strength and waterproof-ness, I would call their version of a flat felled seam a "faux flat felled seam." And their faux flat-felled seam, where one serges and stitches down the seams, might be a faux-faux flat felled seam? However, in this case, since all was needed was a nice seam finish, I used what I would call a faux flat fell, where one trims one seam allowance and wraps the other seam allowance over it and stitches it down. There were a couple of exceptions... for the second sleeve seam I used a french seam, which is easier to do on a closed tube. And I serged the armhole seams, since I was feeling too lazy to fuss with binding or flat felling on the curve. Carolyn serged hers so I felt in good company.

The facing edges are bias bound with bias made from my striped linen. The way the inside pocket is stitched down under the facing is an unusual detail, but it works!

Stretch is not suggested for this pattern, and this twill is very stretchy. To balance this, I interfaced pockets edges with strips of interfacing, and I also was very careful not to stretch when sewing. There was sometimes a bit of a wave after sewing a seam which was fixed with a bit of steam from the iron.

Hanging look loop interferes with my personal brand tag... didn't notice this until I took pictures. Might have to move that tag down. 

I had a bit of fun with hardware. The rectangular rings I found at Joannes, I wish they had an antique brass finish but since I didn't think ahead, I had to take what I could get. The antique snaps I had in stash from a previous project. I accidentally added the snap to the wrong side of the collar, so I had to add another to the correct side. The rivets were from a leather project and were too long for riveting fabric, but after snipping the ends they were perfect.

Sleeve pocket detail.

Not perfect. Not apologizing.

I haven't yet figured out what to do with sleeve pockets, but I'm enjoying the detail anyway. They strike me as a good way for someone to sneak up behind you and play a little prank... but anyway.

The patch pockets in the front are HUGE. 

Facing on the front patch pocket. The pattern has cut-on facings, I drafted this facing on the fly due to lack of fabric. 

As I said, it's been hard to take it off since finishing it. It is also very satisfying to have made it from a piece of stash fabric that had been a disappointment for its original purpose, but is very satisfactory for this jacket. I actually sort of hope the cheap dye I used will continue to wash out and add to the aged look. 

I'm already dreaming up other versions. The collar has definite trench-coat vibes, maybe a long wool version with a shoulder flap and back vent? Or a short (view C) version with repurposed denim....


  1. Love this...love your style!

  2. Your best make yet, that I know of! In any case, it is quite chic and so useful. I love all the details, especially the hardware. I have not used hardware like this but I'm anxious to try some.

    1. Thanks Martha! Glad you enjoyed the details, I had fun!