I don’t quite remember why I decided to make this jacket but I think that when I was making my fall sewing plans, I looked at the list and thought I should add a basic jacket. Then I found Simplicity 1688 in my stash and decided it was the one. I chose a navy linen as the fabric and with some very easy stitching and hardly any fitting, I have a great basic jacket. Granted, it is more suited to spring or summer but I don’t think the cropped style will go out of fashion too quickly.
The pattern is Simplicity 1688 by Cynthia Rowley. I’ve used a few of her Simplicity designs before and have always been pleased with the results. This pattern comes with a shift dress and two jackets, this one and one with pieced stripes. This jacket is View A and features bands at the hem and sleeve cuffs. It is fully lined with fashion fabric lining the bands.
A few days after cutting out the pattern pieces, I realized that I was missing one of the pieces. I looked all over but couldn’t find it. I don’t know if I lost it or it wasn’t included to begin with but I was not confident enough to just redraft it. So, I emailed Simplicity customer service and after I told them what size I needed, they sent me a pdf of the missing pattern piece. They were so speedy and accommodating. Thank you Simplicity!
I decided to skip the muslin but instead used my lining as a test. I cut a size 14 in the front and back bodice and stitched it together. After trying it on, I decided to lower the bust dart length by about 1.5 inches. I made the adjustment to the pattern and cut out the fashion fabric. To give the jacket a smidge more length (1/2 inch to be exact), I used a 3/8 inch seam allowance at the sleeve bands and hem band. I'm 5'11" so I usually need a little more length. I think if you wanted to lengthen it more it wouldn’t be too hard to add length to the body. However, it is boxy and the silhouette could be overwhelming if lengthened a lot.
The pattern was really easy to put together. I think a confident beginner could tackle this project without issue. There are no zippers or buttons to throw you off. The hardest part is stitching around the curve at the edge of the jacket. Plus the boxy style is pretty easy to fit. It's a great jacket pattern to get you started.
The fabric is a navy linen that I bought at Joann's. It was really easy to work with as most cottons and linens are. The lining is some sort of poly from my stash. I like to have a little stash of lining fabric on hand in the basic colors (white, black and navy). I often sew on a whim and it's so handy to already have lining ready to go when I need it. Do you do that too? I also stock up on zippers. But they're now starting to explode out of their shoebox so I need to remind myself that I'm well stocked on zips and stop buying them. :)
Overall I really like the jacket. However I do think the shoulders are a smidge too wide. If I make it for myself again, I might take it in a little there. In these photos, I’m wearing the jacket with my Floral Alder Dress. I love the fun floral pink paired with the plain navy. I’ve been meaning to make another Alder with a few fit adjustments (FBA and lengthening) and will hopefully get around to it by the Spring.
I’m planning to make this jacket again as a christmas gift for my Mom. She brought back a piece of very lightly woven silk from India and asked for a jacket. The fabric is very light and loosely woven so we’ve decided to try sewing it with a double layer. I will need to make sure we have enough fabric though. Cross your fingers for me that it works out!