Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.


Jacket is finished!

The jacket is finished! It took two more months to finish up and now it’s too warm to wear it, but it’s ready for the fall!


I used Simplicity pattern 2808.

I finished sewing the jacket a couple weekends ago but only last weekend added the buttons. All that’s left, based on recommendations by Nannie and my mother-in-law, are to take it to the cleaners and have the jacket “sized,” something that’s supposed to help the garment hold its shape. I hope it’ll help get the wrinkles out too.

Although I ironed prior to the photo shoot, you can still see some wrinkles here:

Nannie said I could size the jacket myself, but since I’ve never heard of it before I think it best to leave that to an expert. I’d hate to spray some chemical on my wool jacket and it get ruined after working on it so long!

This is the first time I’ve ever set in sleeves. Why I decided to use expense wool and a jacket as my first experience with setting in sleeves, I don’t know. Some people say just learn by sewing what you want and others say start simple and build up. I kind of just dive in and do what I want and learn as I go, no matter if the pattern is deemed to hard for beginners by experts. I don’t want to sew boring table runners and place mats for months on end before moving on to the things that excite me!

I was so excited to see how easy the sleeves went in once I got the hang of easing in the fullness of the fabric. I only had to resew the first sleeve in twice and pick out a few pinched up places around the seam.

The trick is (or I guess it’s what you’re supposed to do) is to sew two lines of basting stitches along the seam. Then, pin the sleeve matching the shoulder seam and bottom of the sleeve. Next, pull the basting stitches and spread out the top of the sleeve to fit into the shoulder evenly.

It took a lot of pulling and adjusting, pinning and repinning, but I eventually got it in. I also had to rip out some areas where some fabric got folded under during the final seam stitching and caused the fabric to pinch. Ripping out the stitching in that area helped pull out the folded fabric. In some cases I had to resew the sleeve in that area; other times I didn’t.

The second sleeve went in much more quickly and I only had to seam rip only a couple of sections where some fabric had gotten pinched.

I also nicked (whoops!) part of the collar and one of the pin tucks on a sleeve when I was trying to snip off the threads. But, I figure no one may notice so why worry about it? I don’t have any more fabric to redo a whole sleeve or collar anyway. So, I just stitched over the holes to help keep the fabric from unraveling and went on my way.

I also sewed in my first facing, but that seemed to go in easy enough. I think I might go back and tack the facing down. It tends to unfold along the front.

I love the pin tucks on the jacket, but I’m not sure if they work just right with a patterned piece though.

The fit seems a bit large for me too, but maybe it seems that way because I’m petite in height. For instance, I think I’d like the jacket better if you could actually tell the sleeves are supposed to be 3/4 lengths. In the photos it just seems I’ve cut the sleeves just a 1/2 inch short.

What do you think? Do you like it? What would you do differently? Different fabric? Make the sleeves shorter?


Jacket progress

I’m making progress on my wool jacket. It’s still cool in the mornings and evenings up here in the mountains so I should still have time to enjoy it before it’s too warm to wear it.

Here’s a close up of the pin tucks on the front and the darts on the back. How does it look?

All that’s left to do is sew and set in the arms, sew in the facing and sew on the buttons.

Mom suggested that I resew the collar too. I didn’t clip the curve that is attached to the neck so it sticks up a little bit.

Next sewing projects include shorts for hubby and a dress for two weddings we’re attending this summer.

On trend

I’m not one to usually follow trends. I like to look at them to get ideas, but, otherwise, don’t really care and don’t break the bank to follow the crowd.

But I was excited to see this on MyStyle’s blog today! Houndstooth!

Why so excited? I actually bought beautiful houndstooth wool material a little more than a year ago to make a jacket out of. So, if I can finally get this project finished, I’ll be right on trend!

But, I’ll have to finish it before it starts to turn warmer. And I’ve got to figure out how to set in sleeves, something I haven’t attempted yet.

Mmmmm . . . pressure.