Before getting started on the Simple Sew Jackie-O Jacket I decided to do a bit of research. By now quite a few stitchers have made the jacket and everyone was saying a similar thing, it’s a little bit tight on the shoulders. After inspecting the pattern pieces it’s easy to see why. The sleeve piece is completely symmetrical where most sleeve pieces would be a little bigger at the back.
I made a quick toile from the pattern and found I could definitely benefit from adding some more into the shoulder of the sleeve. I didn’t really do anything mathematical, just extended the curve out a little on one side of the sleeve cap then gently curved it back round to the underarm seam. I cut it out and tried it… It was MUCH better but the armhole was sitting a little too high on my shoulder. After faffing with the seam allowance a bit I decided I needed to extend the shoulder by about a centimeter (remembering to alter both front and back pieces), then gradually curve this back into the armhole.
Aside from that, fitting of the jacket is pretty simple. The only shaping is a bust dart which seemed to sit quite nicely.
The pattern suggests attaching the sleeves ‘flat’ ie, before you have sewn up the side seams, but I think you get a MUCH neater finish but inserting them traditionally and easing the sleeve head into the armhole.
Fabric wise I chose this black fake fur from Doughty’s(ahhhhh thanks guys!). I’ve never worked with fur before so was a little bit nervous! I learnt a few things-
1- Cut your pieces out flat (not on the fold). This way you have more control over what fur is being cut off. Ideally you want to cut only the backing fabric and not any of the fur, which leads me to…
2- Use scissors! Not a rotary cutter. Once the backing has been cut you can just pull the fur apart along the cut lines and you won’t end up with any weird bald patches
3- Select a long stitch length
4- When seams are sewn you can carefully brush out the fur trapped in the stitching. Don’t hate me, but I used and eyebrow comb to gently ease it out and it worked really well. It’s full of fluff though so I’d recommend a good clean before getting fluff in your eyes!
5- Once you’ve brushed out your fur in the seams I would recommend trimming the fur off of the seam allowances to reduce bulk.
And that’s it really! Sewing with fur was a little easier than I thought it was going to be. The fabric does actually have a little bit of stretch which is handy across the shoulders. Also when you’ve brushed your fur out (!) your seam lines all get pretty hidden so handy for disguising any wobbly seams (shhh).
I used my third toile as the lining. I’ve recently gained myself a pile of this sexy pink crape left over from my new band’s video shoot. It seemed like a nice idea to build some of those memories into this jacket. It’s lovely to touch but sadly a little bit too thin so you can see straight through it and spot the seam allowance. As the fur is quite bulky this is really noticeable on the inside and makes the seams look a little unneat 🙁 Colourwise though I love the contrast of the pink against the black, which is what we’ve been playing with in the video too.
To make the lining I just followed the exact same pattern as I did for the shell but made the sleeves 2cm shorter. I then attached the lining around the neck, front and front bottom before turning the lining to the inside. After understitching the neck and the front opening, I turned the sleeves up by a centimeter twice then hand stitched these to the hem of the sleeves.
To keep the lining in place I did a little run of stitches on either side attaching the side seam allowance of the lining to that of the shell.
This is a fun little jacket for beginners as it has no fastenings. A lot of reviews have said to be wary at how short the jacket is, so I guess that’s something to bear in mind but I love it cropped! The lining is optional really, the pattern comes with facing pieces which could be used instead (also maybe as well?) but the texture of the underside of fur is not that comfy! So I went with the option to line it.
The instructions are easy to follow, I don’t know if I had an old copy of the pattern but I should probably point out that there are no notches on the pieces so be aware when you are setting your sleeves in.
Voila! Tres Chic x
Location: Shirland Lane/Adelphi Theatre, Attercliffe, Sheffield
Currently listening to: Moi Je Joue, Brigitte Bardot