29 April 2016

Simplicity 2153 (anorak): Almost Finished

Sorry folks, I had to exorcise the demon that was that polyester fabric.  Fortunately I hadn't progressed too far with flat-lining so I didn't have much unpicking to do.  Here it sits, seething in its unfinished glory waiting to become a backpack or tote bag. 

Cotton denim is SO much more pleasant to sew.  Everything pressed and behaved beautifully.  Well - almost everything.  Read on.

While sewing this jacket didn't take forever, I made a lot of mistakes which obviously increased the completion time.

Fabric & Notions:
  • 2.5 yards 100% cotton denim (not from stash)
  • 3 yards 100% floral cotton lawn (from stash)
  • 1.5 yards Ambiance bemberg (sleeve lining; from stash)
  • 8 gold studs (Pacific Trimming)
  • 24" gold separating zipper (SIL Thread)   
  • weft fusible interfacing
  • 90/14 universal needle (for shell)
  • 70/10 microtex needle (for lining) 
  • regular sewing and serger thread
Sizing/Fit:  I cut a size 16 and did a 5/8" FBA.  I found that a 16 was rather roomy, but there was slight gaping at the center front.  The FBA solved this problem.  Since I didn't know where to rotate the dart, I just left it.
I also shortened the sleeves two inches. 
What I neglected to do was move the casing line up.  I am shortI know this.  But for some reason, I fail to adjust the placement of things like this to account for my height.

 "Unbloused," the casing line is way too low.  Meh.
About that casing:  I say that this coat is almost finished because I cannot find cord to fit my cord locksI bought the cord locks last summer in NYC giving no thought to the size of the cord needed.   Oops.

I could use rattail, but it's not hefty enough.  I am thinking about using twill tape, but I'm not certain it will be strong enough either. I called the store where I bought the cord locks; unfortunately, this is the largest size they have.  D'oh!  I will check a couple more places and see if they have something suitable.  If I can't find smaller cord, I'll look for beads or something else to accommodate the cord I have.
To make the casing, I used 2-inch wide self-bias tape.

Flat-lining:  The pattern doesn't call for a lining, but I added one anyway.  After a long search for a good way to line the coat, I settled on flat-lining using Bunny's (La Sewista) tutorialI've never flat-lined anything before and found the technique extremely easy!
Basically, the technique combines underlining and a Hong Kong seam finish in one.  The lining is cut using the same pattern pieces, but with an extra 1/2" added to the side seams.   The lining is then sewn to the shell , right sides together, with 1/4" seam allowancesFinally, the lining is turned so that the pieces are wrong sides together and the extra 1/4" is wrapped around the edge of the seam allowance of the shell.
Pretty neat, huh?
The sleeves are flat-lined as well, but I didn't follow Bunny's tutorial.  I didn't understand part of it and opted to do something different.  I cut the sleeve lining from rayon Bemberg - less the hem allowance.  Then I sewed the hem of the sleeve lining to the hem of the jacket.

Once I pressed the hem up, I serged the side seams and treated the whole thing as one unit.  The only thing I don't like about this is the hem finish.  Since the side seam is sewn after the hem is finished, the seam isn't encased in the hem.  Bleh.  I'll be okay with this for now, but it's not something I do often.

Other construction notes:  I created a back neck facing so that the collar seam would be completely enclosed.  I made a mistake somewhere in measuring the facing width because the facing doesn't lie flat at all.  The wrinkly and unruly mess isn't visible from the outside, but I know it's there. =)  I might take a series of darts in the bottom of the facing just to make it lie flat.  Maaaybe.

I also used Bunny's tutorial on the "burrito method" to sew the back yoke. 

Because I made so many mistakes sewing the coat, the neckline stretched a bit.  As a result, I had to take a slight tuck to get the collar to sit evenly.

Yeah, I know.  I really should re-position the collar so as not to need the tuck.  But that would mean unpicking topstitching, already-trimmed and graded facings, casing, and a shitload of other stitches.  Let's be honest, I am not doing all of that.  The small tuck isn't visible under the collar.  I rarely pop my collars, so I'm not worried about it.

A few irks:  I like the idea of the shoulder tab, but you can't see the button over the huge collar.  It seems kind of pointless.    

The casing on the collar is supposed to end at the edge.  I wasn't sure how this was supposed to be finished, so I made tiny buttonholes instead.

I should have interfaced the pocket facings - even though the instructions don't say to do so.  I think over time the pockets are going to sag in an unflattering way.  Eh.  It's okay for now.

Conclusion:  I'm happy with the coat.  I wanted a light-weight transition coat that I can wear in more casual settings.  I absolutely ADORE my trench coat but I don't want to wear it out.  I could...I really could.   This anorak will let the trench get some rest. =)


Up next:  I cut out this top...

Jalie 3130
 ...and did NOT make a muslin.  I cut a straight size Z and used the finished bust measurement of 45.75 inches to calm my fears.   Yeaaaaah, we'll see how this goes. =)

Until next time, peace!



  1. No muslin!? WHUT!? :)

    I love your jacket. And hell no to unpicking everything for a hidden tuck. PFFT! I love the idea of that flat lining treatment but it's never made sense to me. Maybe it will if I were actually doing it??

    Love, love, love the metallic accents. It really looks fantastic!

    Oh, lastly, when I made this pattern I too ended up not finding cord + cord locks that work together. But mine is all black and I ended up finding cord locks that were large enough at the surplus store! LOL! :) Maybe check Etsy?

    1. I think I should have made a muslin. Waaaah!

      Girl. I would be unpicking ALL the stitches. I tried to ease the extra length, but it didn't work. Meh. No one will see the tuck.

      I was able to find some navy paracord that is quite flexible and small enough (hopefully) for my cord locks. I forgot to take them with me. Oops

  2. You are the Queen in sewing denim! I so love where this jacket is going; I love the the metallic detailing, looks so chic. I can't wait to see the final reveal!

    1. Haha. Thank you! I really should branch out into other fabrics. Heaven knows I have plenty from which to choose! I hope to get some photos with the jacket on Monday.

  3. It looks like a great coat and I *love* your lining!!

    1. Thanks Kyle! I got it from JA many years ago. I wanted to make a shirt, but thought it would be better as lining.

  4. I love this - even with all it's little quirks. And I love the flat lining method - looks fantastic. And great to use on those fabrics that have to be underlined, I think. The cord - have you sussed out curtain cords - might just be something that would work.

    1. I did look at curtain cord, but I couldn't find a dark-enough blue. I was able to get paracord which I think will work well.

      I'm all-in on flat-lining now. I have some shifty polyester boucle on which I will use the technique.

  5. Your anorak looks great! Thanks for sharing Bunny's flat line tutorial.

    1. Thanks Tomasa! I really like it and hope to get a lot of wear out of it. You're welcome for the tutorial. I condensed her descriptions into a more readable (to me) version. If you'd like a copy, let me know.

  6. I knew you would do it!! This jacket is awesome and I love everything you did with it! I know you'll get TONS of wear out of it! I never heard of "flat lining" and may give it a try next time I have an unlined jacket I'm working on. Also, no muslin for that shirt pattern???? I have that pattern and really like it. I've made a couple of shirts from it. I can't wait to see your version!


Thanks for commenting! I appreciate and read them all - even if I can not personally respond.


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