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  • Helen Puddefoot

Simple Sew Blog Team: The Jackie O' Jacket

Hello stitching fans!

It’s been a while since I’ve written a proper tutorial-style blog post but as this is my first post for the Simple Sew Blogger team I thought I should dust off my tutorial skills!

My first pattern was the Jackie O’ Jacket - a chic and simple cropped jacket in the style of the great lady herself and something that has been on my sewing list in some form or another for ages! I was thrilled when this was my first make as it’s just my cup of tea.

In my quest for making quality things I will wear a lot (see my New York vlog post for more on that!) I decided I would do a few extras in this make to just it a bit more special and this post will detail how to do those additions:

Adding a lining

Inserting a sleeve head

Finishing with a chanel-style trim

The instructions included in the pattern really are VERY simple (and by that read you can fit them all onto one side of A3 paper in 9 diagrams). You definitely need some sewing experience for these patterns - they are simple, but they assume quite a lot of inherent knowledge so bear that in mind.

Having said all that, the jacket sewed up really nicely and the simplicity of the main pattern meant I could get stuck into doing the little alterations and lining I wanted to do. I’m pretty pleased with the finished results, though I intend to add a hook and eye to the front so it will close properly, unfortunately I seem to have completely run out so that will have to be added post-post! There are still things I’m not happy with but overall I think it’s a good first attempt!

So here goes, dusters at the ready!


Main fabric

I made my jacket out of a beautiful woven fabric I got in the Sew Over It remnants sale so unfortunately it isn’t on their website any more for me to link to. I’m not sure what it’s made of but I think it’s a wool mix and it’s in these beautiful warm autumnal colours in what I think is a bit of a liberty-inspired print. When I was making my Chloe Coat I almost bought this for it but got won over by the flowers on the fabric I actually chose, so I was a bit chuffed when I found it in the remnants sale at 50% off!

The lining is one I had in my stash and it’s just a simple polyester lining in a cream/lemon colour. Ideally I’d have gone with something a bit thicker and better quality but in the spirit of using what I had I went with this.

Sewing the Jacket

The first thing to do is make up the jacket as in the main fabric for the outside but don’t sew on the facings. I won’t go through the details for this as it’s just following the pattern so do that and you’ll have your jacket ‘shell’ all made up.

There were a couple of things I did that I would recommend. Firstly, I did make a toile to start with and needed to do a full bust adjustment to make it fit properly - you can see the adjustments I made in these two photos and I’ll go into more details on this fitting process in another post.

I stay stitched the neckline and front curves of the bodice pieces, I really recommend you do this as a stretched neckline on this jacket would be very annoying!

I also decided to interface the main body of the jacket to give it some more structure. The fabric naturally ‘flopped’ a bit as it has a good drape, and for this jacket it needed a bit more stability than that. I happened to go to Stone Fabrics while I was in Devon (OK, I made a special trip) and bought some gorgeous medium-heavy weight iron on interfacing for this.

As I’d already sewed the jacket up at the point I realised I wanted to interface it (oops) I botched this a bit - you should interface your pieces before sewing! I traced off the back and front bodice pieces, but avoiding the arm hole and bust dart on the front. You can see the line I took on the picture below.

Here is the jacket shell and you can see the interfaced front bodice piece once that was attached. I also interfaced the back bodice piece in a similar way.

Marking out and cutting the lining

For this you need to do a bit of pattern drafting so you can get the pieces to cut out the lining.

Firstly, I drew my facings onto the front and back bodice pieces of the pattern (I’ve traced mine onto brown paper here for making adjustments). You can see that the facing line for the back bodice is drawn on around the neck line.

You then need to add seam allowance on, because you’ll be joining the facing to the lining, so I’ve added my ⅝” seam allowance to that facing line, making the facing smaller and the lining piece bigger. If at this point you wanted to keep the facings their original width you could do so, and add seam allowance on to the facing pieces, I didn't bother and it turned out fine, but you could do this if you'd like.

I did this for the front and back facings, including the waist facing for the back piece. This leaves you with lining pieces that are smaller than the original shell pieces, and leave room for you to attach the facings so the whole thing will fit beautifully inside the jacket shell.

You now need to cut out your lining pieces and attach the facings to them so you have one facing-lining unit.

Pinning the front facing to the lining is a bit tricky and the sew is not an easy one, you need to go round quite a few corners and match opposing curves so take your time. I found that I needed to sew to the point of the corner and then treat it like a square corner, pausing with the needle down in the fabric, clipping right to the sewing line, and then turning the fabric round the corner so it would like up. I’ve taken a picture of what this looks like so you can see what I mean.

When your facing is sewn to the lining piece you should end up with something that looks a bit like this:

When your facings are all sewn to your lining pieces you can sew your lining up as you would the jacket shell - just remember not to sew the bust darts in full, just sew them as a pleat so the lining doesn’t risk tearing.

Your lining-facing unit should look something like this (with sleeves attached!)

Adding a sleeve head

I added a sleeve head to my jacket sleeves to give them a slightly more rounded finish - you can see the difference here that a sleeve head makes to the overall shape of the shoulder, it’s subtle but I think gives a slightly more polished look to the finished garment.

No sleeve head:

With sleeve head

To make and insert a sleeve head you will need a piece of wadding cut into a 9” by 4” rectangle (you’ll need two, one for each sleeve). Fold the top half down along the length of the rectangle by 1 3/4” so the fold is slightly off centre, mark the mid point of the sleeve head with a pin.

Now you need to attach the sleeve head to the sleeve itself. Position the sleeve head with the pin lining up with the shoulder seam on the shell of your jacket. The folded edge wants to be butting up to the seam allowance of the sleeve and body seam.

Once pinned in place you need to hand sew the sleeve head to the seam allowance of the shoulder seam that joins the sleeve to the body of the jacket. Sew from the body side and use 1cm stitches of a fairly loose tension - if you pull too tight you’ll see ripples from the outside of the jacket. Sew both sleeve heads in place.

Attach the lining to the jacket

Now you are ready to attach the lining and facing unit to the jacket shell!

You need to pin the facings to the main jacket, remember that the lining wants to be wrong sides together with the jacket shell so to make sure you pin everything in place correctly I’d recommend you put everything together the way it will sit when finished (so the lining inside the shell wrong sides together) then flip the facing over to it’s right sides together with the jacket and pin - that way you know you won’t get it wrong!

Sew all the way round the jacket, leaving about a 6” gap somewhere around the edge (I’d recommend the centre back if you can as it’s straight so easier to slip stitch closed). Clip your seam allowances to allow the curves to sit flat, turn the jacket the right way out and steam well so the facing and jacket shell sit as you want them to.

Adding hem weights

I sewed some weights into the front bottom corners of the bodice so the jacket sits down a bit when wearing it. As it’s so short there isn’t much fabric to make it hang straight and the weights help give it a bit of body. I used 2p pieces and sewed them between the facing and jacket shell at the corners by hand - this is entirely optional but I think it helped give the jacket a bit more substance. Slip stitch the gap you left closed once you’ve added your weights (you can pop them through hole and maneuver them round to the corners fairly easily.)

Hem the sleeves to the length you’d like.

Adding the trim

The final step is to add trim if you would like to. I dithered about this in principle but as soon as I held up the fringing to the jacket it completely made it so I had to add it! My trim is made up of the selvedge from my main fabric, it has a gorgeous fluffy selvedge down one edge and I had enough to trim the front and neckline with room to spare. I wanted the trim to sit on top of the jacket, not be sewn in a stick out through the seam allowance. You could of course treat it like piping and slot it in when you attach the facing to the jacket but I wasn’t confident enough I’d get the positioning right and I think it needs the full width of the fringe to get the desired impact so I did it afterwards.

I did a test by cutting the selvedge off right next to the fringing and it didn’t fray so I continued and just cut the fringing off, keeping the selvedge intact with a very narrow strip next to it.

I pinned this down the front edges of the jacket and around the neckline and sewed it on by hand using a very small slip stitch to catch the raw edge and hold everything in place.

And there you have it! One slightly beefed up Jackie O’ Jacket - I hope you found this useful and try it yourself!

Happy stitching!



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