Colette Anise Jacket

Well, limping to the finish line, a bit battered and bloodied (from needle and pin pricks no doubt) I have finally finished my jacket.  Even my hubby started saying “aren’t you done yet?” after the umpteenth hour watching me handstitch something or other.

Colette Patterns Anise Jacket

Now, I made many mistakes on this jacket.  It was a huge learning curve and a huge experience for me and now that it is done it feels like a huge accomplishment, like I have done the sewing equivalent of a marathon.  Despite its many imperfections (mostly invisible or only obvious to another seamstress/sewist/sewer – I hope), it is extremely comfortable to wear and very very warm. I fully intend to wear this for the rest of winter (and many winters to come) as my “daily wear” coat, so that lessens the pain of the uncountable hours I have spent on it.

Colette Patterns Anise Jacket

I am a bit disappointed with myself that despite the many hours I still managed to stuff certain elements up but I console myself with the words of Kenneth D King who said “Expect to destroy several acres of fabric before you get good. Perfectionism is a disease.”  The knowledge that the next time I make a coat I won’t repeat the same mistakes is a huge comfort.

Colette Patterns Anise Jacket

So licking of wounds aside here is what went RIGHT with the jacket:

I got the fit pretty good.  Its a little boxy in the back but I wore this to do the grocery shopping and it was comfortable and there was no pulling or tugging or tightness in any of the wrong places.

Its my first for bound buttonholes, welt pockets and full jacket lining.  Lots of things learnt.  I really loved doing the welt pockets.  They were fun and look great.

I splurged on $6/ea italian handpainted buttons for my coat.  The buttons cost me more than the fabric but I love them.

And finally, but probably the most important thing: I FINISHED it and its wearable. The crowd in my head cheers.

Colette Patterns Anise Jacket

And here is what went WRONG cough.  Less Right.

The wool melton is heavyweight and extremely difficult to work with.  I had a number of problems relating to this, including the huge turn of cloth that threw things out a tad.  I have talked about some of my issues in my last post here.

I ditched both the underlining and the interfacing as it was SOOOO stiff.  Later on in the process I realised that I really needed some kind of interfacing but I ignored that little voice and so the front of the jacket does not sit as well as it could.  I don’t know why I didn’t just swap out the too-stiff interfacing for a lighter and more flexible option, but I didn’t.  Blame it on sewing too late at night and pressing on when I should have just stopped for a day or so. As a result the front does not sit as well as it should.

I recut/redid the front buttonhole side twice, the facings twice (the first time my buttonhole facings DID NOT LINE UP after the turn of cloth thing was taken into account).  I also reset the sleeves twice as the first time I realised I had inserted size 4 sleeves in a size 0 armhole and the underarms were way too tight, and the sleeve cap was too gathered. 

Due to not using underlining my heming is slightly visible in the form of a ridge along the stitching line even though my stitches do not show and I catch-stitched very loosely.

I added a hem facing as I realised that the jacket would end up a bit short.

Colette Patterns Anise Jacket

Colette Patterns Anise Jacket

And everyone needs to go and look at Leith’s fuscia pink Anise here. Its so beautiful and gives me something to aspire to.  Leith sums up the processs perfectly when she noted “Nothing in this jacket is particularly difficult, it simply takes a long time.” and also comments about NOT sewing while tired or distracted.  All my “mistakes” were a result of being tired and sick whilst sewing so I guess I learnt my lesson the hard way.

And now for some shots of the guts of the jacket:

Colette Patterns Anise Jacket

Colette Patterns Anise Jacket

Colette Patterns Anise Jacket

Colette Patterns Anise Jacket

Colette Patterns Anise Jacket

In terms of the pattern: its great, the instructions are detailed and designed for a less experienced seamstress.  With that in mind, they get you to hand sew LOTS rather than bag the lining (great tutorial here).  After reading a few tutorials about how to do this I was really frustrated by the hand sewing process but I understand why Colette Patterns did it the other way.

My next coat I plan to sew is The Sewing Space’s Jackie Jacket.  The instructions provide full details on how to bag the lining professionally, including extra tips and tutorials on the website.  After the Anise I am looking forward to making something the “other” way, which I feel will give a neater result. I’m a glutton for punishment though – two winter coats practically back to back, although I think I will make myself a Lady Skater Dress in the meantime just to make something easy and recalibrate my sewing mojo.

Colette Patterns Anise Jacket

  • I still think you did amazingly well! Wear your jacket with pride! I'm sewing a blazer and started it over 2 months ago. The lapels will not sit flat and I just have no motivation to try and fix them πŸ™

  • Zoe

    I still think you did amazingly well! Wear your jacket with pride! I’m sewing a blazer and started it over 2 months ago. The lapels will not sit flat and I just have no motivation to try and fix them πŸ™

    • Its so frustrating when that happens. Thanks Zoe, I have been wearing it heaps.

  • Wonderful jacket! You should be proud, it looks great!

  • Wonderful jacket! You should be proud, it looks great!

  • Sharon

    Your jacket looks fantastic and you did an amazing job for your first coat and have learnt a lot along the way. Glad to see someone else purchases buttons that are more than the fabric πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Sharon. And I did have slight horrors when I realised how much the buttons would be. But thats why we sew, isn’t it? To be unique and its those finishing touches that make all the difference. If the jacket dies I WILL be reusing those buttons though!

  • Your jacket looks fantastic and you did an amazing job for your first coat and have learnt a lot along the way. Glad to see someone else purchases buttons that are more than the fabric πŸ™‚

  • those buttons were totally worth the splurge. This jacket is on my to do list, but I still feel a little like a scaredy cat thinking about making a jacket. It is also Summer here, so maybe it will move up in the queue when the weather cools down.

    • I think you can do it Melanie. If I can you definitely can, especially as you have made a few things from Colette Patterns before. The secret is just take your time and dont rush any of the steps. And don’t do what I did as choose something too heavy – nearly all my problems were as a result as that.

  • those buttons were totally worth the splurge. This jacket is on my to do list, but I still feel a little like a scaredy cat thinking about making a jacket. It is also Summer here, so maybe it will move up in the queue when the weather cools down.

  • Margo Bergman

    I’m cheering right along with the “crowd in your head”! Your coat looks fantastic. Good for you for persevering!

    • Thanks Margo. It was worth it in the the end.

  • I'm cheering right along with the "crowd in your head"! Your coat looks fantastic. Good for you for persevering!

  • Gail

    Wow – it looks fantastic!

  • Wow – it looks fantastic!

  • WOW! This looks awesome! Those buttons are totally worth the splurge, and I’m in love with the polka dot lining πŸ™‚

    • Ooh, thanks. I am loving both the buttons and the lining.

  • WOW! This looks awesome! Those buttons are totally worth the splurge, and I'm in love with the polka dot lining πŸ™‚

  • Your work is always perfect! Very nice!

    • Perfectionism is a disease – so true. But its finished and thanks so much.

  • Your work is always perfect! Very nice!

  • MarrieB

    Your jacket is just beautiful! I love the lining. And the buttons. Great job!

  • Your jacket is just beautiful! I love the lining. And the buttons. Great job!

  • What a mammoth effort!! Well done and it really does look beautiful. Happy to hear it passed the grocery shopping test πŸ™‚ Agree that the buttons were well worth the splurge. Love your idea of ‘recalibrating your sewing mojo’. It is essential after a big effort like that isn’t it.

    • Thanks so much Kirsty And I’m so glad I’m not the only one who loved those buttons.

  • What a mammoth effort!! Well done and it really does look beautiful. Happy to hear it passed the grocery shopping test πŸ™‚ Agree that the buttons were well worth the splurge. Love your idea of 'recalibrating your sewing mojo'. It is essential after a big effort like that isn't it.

  • Oh my gosh I LOVE this!!! And you are right – unless you point out the little things you are less happy with no one would notice, I am positive. So wear it with pride girlfriend or I’ll steal it for my own wardrobe. It’s just beautiful. I have serious coat envy…

  • Oh my gosh I LOVE this!!! And you are right – unless you point out the little things you are less happy with no one would notice, I am positive. So wear it with pride girlfriend or I'll steal it for my own wardrobe. It's just beautiful. I have serious coat envy…

  • Shar

    Your jacket looks absolutely perfect to me! The buttons are just the right accent. The crowd in your head should be cheering!! I have the Skater dress printed, but not put together yet. I can’t wait to see your version.

    • Thanks Shar. I loved the Skater dress. I just blogged it. No problems with the small bust for a change, so I think you’ll love it!

  • Your jacket looks absolutely perfect to me! The buttons are just the right accent. The crowd in your head should be cheering!! I have the Skater dress printed, but not put together yet. I can't wait to see your version.

  • A mammoth effort and a great result! I applaud your persistence, enjoy your jacket and thank you for trying Jackie!

    • Ohh, I am very excited about Jackie. I’m using a wool tweed that will look a bit Jackie-O I think. We will see. And thanks!

      • You know where to find me should you have any questions!

  • A mammoth effort and a great result! I applaud your persistence, enjoy your jacket and thank you for trying Jackie!

  • Taracat

    Wow, this is amazing! I can’t believe this is your first jacket. You have so much patience but it was totally worth it. And I love those buttons.

    • Thank you so much. If you saw it up close you would probably see its my first jacket, but it looks fine from a distance, thankfully.

  • Wow, this is amazing! I can't believe this is your first jacket. You have so much patience but it was totally worth it. And I love those buttons.

  • Oh but it’s beautiful! Really, really gorgeous, and in my mind, totally worth all the effort. I love the blue, the buttons and the polka-dot lining (pure awesome). I also absolutely adore that quote from Kenneth, because it’s just so true! Having made several jackets myself now… I can so easily see where I’ve learnt from doing, and each iteration just gets that much better. I still wear my first-time coat make too – a Colette Lady Grey. I hope you and your lovely new pea-coat get many winters of wear!

    • Aww thanks Melanie. I so agree with you. The lining is a silk from The Fabric Store. I love it too.

  • Oh but it's beautiful! Really, really gorgeous, and in my mind, totally worth all the effort. I love the blue, the buttons and the polka-dot lining (pure awesome). I also absolutely adore that quote from Kenneth, because it's just so true! Having made several jackets myself now… I can so easily see where I've learnt from doing, and each iteration just gets that much better. I still wear my first-time coat make too – a Colette Lady Grey. I hope you and your lovely new pea-coat get many winters of wear!

  • Sew Brunswick

    It is lovely! You did a great job. I love the colour and your buttons are perfect. Well worth the effort!

  • It is lovely! You did a great job. I love the colour and your buttons are perfect. Well worth the effort!

  • Oh thank you Leith!

  • Aww thanks Melanie. I so agree with you. The lining is a silk from The Fabric Store. I love it too.

  • Thank you so much. If you saw it up close you would probably see its my first jacket, but it looks fine from a distance, thankfully.

  • Ohh, I am very excited about Jackie. I'm using a wool tweed that will look a bit Jackie-O I think. We will see. And thanks!

  • Thanks Shar. I loved the Skater dress. I just blogged it. No problems with the small bust for a change, so I think you'll love it!

  • Thanks HEAPS.

  • Thanks so much Kirsty And I'm so glad I'm not the only one who loved those buttons.

  • Thank you so much.

  • Perfectionism is a disease – so true. But its finished and thanks so much.

  • Ooh, thanks. I am loving both the buttons and the lining.

  • Thanks Margo. I was worth it in the the end.

  • I think you can do it Melanie. If I can you definitely can, especially as you have made a few things from Colette Patterns before. The secret is just take your time and dont rush any of the steps. And don't do what I did as choose something too heavy – nearly all my problems were as a result as that.

  • Thanks Sharon. And I did have slight horrors when I realised how much the buttons would be. But thats why we sew, isn't it? To be unique and its those finishing touches that make all the difference. If the jacket dies I WILL be reusing those buttons though!

  • Thanks Christy!

  • Its so frustrating when that happens. Thanks Zoe, I have been wearing it heaps.

  • You know where to find me should you have any questions!

  • I think you’ve done an amazing job and this looks fantastic! Only you know about the less perfect details, so be sure not to point them out to people. You made a beautiful winter jacket, and that’s an accomplishment!

  • I think you've done an amazing job and this looks fantastic! Only you know about the less perfect details, so be sure not to point them out to people. You made a beautiful winter jacket, and that's an accomplishment!

  • gillian bc

    Beautiful. Well done. Thanks for sharing the things that didn’t work out so well, they’re really helpful.

    • Thank you! Stay tuned, I just made another Anise in a lovely wool crepe, as this one hasn’t held up to constant wear over 2 winters. Shame as despite its flaws I really loved it and wore it to death.

  • gillian bc

    Beautiful. Well done. Thanks for sharing the things that didn't work out so well, they're really helpful.

  • Thank you! Stay tuned, I just made another Anise in a lovely wool crepe, as this one hasn't held up to constant wear over 2 winters. Shame as despite its flaws I really loved it and wore it to death.