I wasn't intentionally meaning to blog another book review so soon, but I was working on a project that happened to be out of a book, so I figured...what the heck. :) This is 'Sew Serendipity' by Kay Whitt of Serendipity Studio. This book is a couple of years old, and I can't believe that I didn't already have it in my sewing library; I love Kay's patterns, and if you have followed my blog for awhile, you know that I've made quite a bit of clothing from her sewing patterns.
I'm traveling to Seattle in a couple of weeks for a photoshoot for my (!!!) bag book, and I thought that I would sew the 'Classic Tailored Jacket' (see photo below) to wear over some of my dresses (which are quite loud). I chose a more neutral fabric than I am used to using, so that it would not clash with the fabric in my bags. I used a gray and white print from Michael Miller Fabrics from the 'Bekko' line. This is a cotton sateen (decor-weight) line of decent-sized graphic prints.
This is the first time I've ever made a jacket, and I was a little wary about halfway through construction. Usually when I make a dress, I am familiar with checking the fit many times during sewing, and I know which areas I usually need to pay attention to, how to adjust the darts, and how to take it in a little bit on the sides if I need to. I will be the first to admit that I don't make a muslin (although I should, and I would probably recommend that to anyone making clothing, but I am just frankly too lazy for that). The thing about the jacket is that there is no zippered closure, and the front of the jacket obviously overlaps since it has a front button closure, so that was where I was unsure. But I trust Kay's pattern-writing, and once I was sure the darts were to my liking, I just followed the pattern exactly and put my trust in it.
I finally finished the jacket last night (before the weekend I was almost done, except for the sleeve cuffs and the buttons on it), and I am super-ecstatic! I think it came out even better than I imagined! Of course there are little things here or there that are not perfect, but I am not a perfect sewist. I am happy that I gave it a try and super happy with how it turned out!
The details I like the best about this jacket are the wide collar, the detailed topstitching about 2" around the outer edge of the jacket, and I also like that it has a facing instead of a lining. I think the facing actually looks really beautiful on the inner edge of the coat! With the fabric I chose, it's definitely not a 'warm' jacket, but then, sometimes clothing is more for looks than for warmth. I'm okay with that, and the jacket has just the right amount of extra room so that I can wear a sweater underneath and it wouldn't be too bulky.
So, let me talk about the book in case you're curious about the rest of it! The back of the book contains tissue pattern pieces for 3 separate items of clothing (a skirt, a top or tunic, and a jacket), but I think that it's pretty deceiving that you're only getting 3 patterns, because you're really getting a lot more than that. Each garment type actually has 6 separate patterns in the book (so really 18 patterns in total). The beauty of it are that each are completely different. I mean, if you look at the photo of the two jackets below (the blue jacket and the yellow jacket), I think you would agree that these are completely different jackets. However, they are taken from the same pattern pieces, and the bulk of the assembly is the same. The change is in the details! The front tabs, perhaps some ruffled fabric, they are all different and all just as great!
All of the instructions are accompanied by a hand-drawn illustration for just about every step, so they are all easy to navigate through. Normally before I start a pattern, I read through it a few times to make sure I understand all the steps and can imagine the construction in my head. When I read through these instructions, I just thought 'wow, this is going to be fun'. Of course, the sewing takes time, and I did rip a couple of seams, but the pattern was not mentally taxing, and I think that is a credit to Kay Whitt and how she writes patterns. She is just extremely talented at what she does. I'm trying to write a balanced review, but I don't think there's anything bad I can say about this book!
So, that's my review! If you are new or not new to sewing clothing, I think this is a great book to have in your sewing library. I would definitely make the jacket from the book again, and it would be great in a thicker fabric like wool or boucle. If you don't already have this book, you can actually get a signed copy here!