Some of you might have seen a snap I put on Instagram last week of the cute little hood of Sophia's new jacket I've made her using our new water resistant soft shell fabrics. I'm really pleased with how it turned out and it was pretty simple pattern to make so here is my full story all about it.
I've made a video to show you it in real life and I also took little mini videos as I was going along, so whether you fancy making one for a little person or for using the fabric to make something for yourself, I hope you find my tips useful and inspiring!
The pattern and fabric
I used the Henry reversible jacket pattern from Zierstoff patterns. They do lots of lovely PDF patterns - check them out in this link. You can make it as a reversible jacket or a simpler version with a facing. That's the version I choose as the soft shell fabric has a lovely fleece back. I used our Added attraction fabric and solid Aqua fabric as the solid contrast for the hood, facing and the patch pockets.
The fabric is water resistant or shower proof, it's not totally waterproof, but as you can see water does sort of sit like beads on the surface when you splash it.
The back of the fabric is a lovely soft fleece and it doesn't fray at all. As it's synthetic it doesn't press very well as you'll see in the video, but there are things you can do to get around that…..
It is really simple to put together and if you've made simple garments before you'll be able to follow the instructions no problem.
I decided to contrast the hood and patch pockets to add a bit of interest but you could even leave off the pockets altogether. I'm pretty sure Sophia won't actually use them!
I used wonder tape quite a lot during this project. If you haven’t come across it before then it will change your sewing life! It’s great for replacing hand basting or pining and on a fabric like this that doesn’t press well it’s a lifesaver! I used it for the hems, attaching the ribbon, attaching the patch pockets and applying the bias binding to the inside edge of the facing. It doesn’t replace sewing things on with the machine, it just does a great job on holding things in place in a really quick way. Check out my video above for a demo!
To help over come the pressing issue, I decided to sew the seam allowances open. It means that you can see a parallel line of stitching at the seams (I did all the seams apart from the arms) but I think it just adds another design detail.
The fleece back does make the fabric a bit thick, which means folding it over on itself twice at the hem, for example, will mean it becomes a little bulky. As the fabric doesn’t fray you can just fold it once and leave the raw edge exposed but I wanted to make it a little neater than that so at the hem of the hood and the bottom of the jacket I stitched a ribbon over it. It means you can see two lines of stitching along the edge on the right side of the fabric, but again I think this adds a nice design detail.
The only down side with adding the ribbon onto the bottom hem is that you have to finish off the bottom edge of the facing by hand. Normally this would be done on the machine but you have to put the ribbon on before you attach the facing, which means you can’t do it in the normal way. I used an invisible ladder stitch to finish it off and I’ve shown how I did this in the video so check that out if you want to give it a go.
For the edge of the facing on the inside of the jacket, I used a contrasting bias binding to finish the edge off. Again, you could just leave it exposed but I wanted to make it neater than that.
The back section of facing seemed to fan out a lot and wasn’t really sitting flat so I put a few hand stitches at the shoulder seam to hold it in place as well as sewing on a section of ribbon so the jacket can be hung up.
I’m so pleased with how this turned out and I was so happy to be able to use some of my random ribbon collection too!
Sophia seems pretty happy and comfy in it too. She's busy bird watching in the garden in this pic!