About a month ago, Andie and I were chatting on the CSC editors Facebook page and decided to do a sew along with the Seamwork Magazine Jill Coatigan. We had both had our eyes on the pattern and figured that since March and April are Jacket and Blazer themed for the #CurvyYearofSewing, there was no better time than now!
I have had this chunky sweater knit in my stash for what seems like forever- real time about 3-4 years, I think. I bought it from my dearly departed Santa Fe Fabrics before they closed forever (RIP) and if I recall correctly it was quite pricey, so I had to allow it to marinate in stash for a while so I could forget about the cost and find the perfect pattern. I’m happy to report that I’m quite pleased with how it turned out!
Look at that fun texture! Its 100% wool so it pressed like a dream, though I was careful to only press on the wrong side to make sure I didn’t flatten the texture. That got a bit confusing when I was working on the collar portion. Speaking of confusing, the directions left a bit to be desired. I hadn’t sewn a coat before and I did get there in the end, but there were a few parts that ranged from head scratching to downright wrong (like understitching the facing seam allowance to the entire front of the coat, not happening Seamwork!).
I sized down pretty aggressively, my measurements put me in an XL bust, 2X waist and hips but I decided to cut the size L, grading up an extra inch at the side seams below the bust for a total of 4″ added. The XS-L pattern and the XL-3X patterns are on different pattern sheets because they have different drafts, so I couldn’t just grade between sizes. I’m glad I made the smaller size range work for me because that is drafted for a C cup, while the larger size range is drafted for a DD. Another SBA successfully avoided!
I am happy with the fit on the sized-down version. I decided to size down partly because I used a heavy sweater knit that had some stretch to it (the pattern is designed for coating fabrics though it also suggests sweater knits) and partly because of my pear shape. I really dislike when things are oversized though the bust. The L has a finished bust measurement of 51″, which still gave me 6″ of ease through the bust. I recommend looking at the finished garment measurements if you decide to make this and use your own judgement about how oversized you want it to be. I think we can all agree that it is still plenty oversized!
I kept things simple and finished all the seam allowances with my serger. I was originally going to hand stitch all the hems, but after I tried it on the pockets it looked more “formal” than I wanted it to so I switched to topstitching.
I love how this turned out and my only complaint is that the wool is SUPER itchy. It really will have to be more of a coat than a cardigan, which is good because I have lots of gray cardigans already! This is going to be a great piece for spring, I’ve been wearing down puffy coats all winter and I am ready for a change, but didn’t have any lightweight toppers before I made this.
If you want to see Andie’s version, check out our “Same Pattern, Different Bodies” post on the Curvy Sewing Collective website. Though we both used gray wool, our versions turned out really differently.
Thanks for reading!