Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Ubiquitous Olive Jacket

Because they're everywhere, right? This is a wee bit of a cheater's post, because this project was completed  about two years ago, and has been worn endlessly since. The thing is, I've got two new finished sweaters that I haven't had a chance to photograph yet, as well as two sewing projects that are rapidly nearing completion. Rather than wait to post all the new stuff (and further neglect this blog), I decided to simply post about this old but awesome jacket that I am still very proud of.

The source pattern was the Built By Wendy/Simplicity pattern 3694, which in its original incarnation, looks like this:

I'm not sure what I was thinking when I first picked up the pattern, because none of these three looks particularly appeals to me (dress = no, too-short-jacket + too-flared-sleeves = no, terry clothe spa robe = extreme no). Perhaps I was already anticipating some monster modifications? Who knows. At any rate, because it's been a few years, I may not remember all the mods I made to this pattern, but the ones I do recall are as follows:

- jacket length somewhere between the dress and cropped jacket versions
- pockets placed slightly lower to sync with new length.
- front hem curves upward, while back hem curves down.
- sleeves were cut straighter with more length to accommodate rolling them up.
- zipper runs full length of front facing pieces (you probably can't tell from the photo of the pattern, but the original jacket has a zipper that ends several inches below the neckline (??).
- added a lining, because unlined jackets are just...yuck.
- made the hood bigger, since hoods never fit tall enough for me, and I end up looking like I'm shrugging my shoulders all the time.
- added some jumbo grommets for the hell of it.

The fabric I used is an olive nylon-ish outerwear kind of stuff, with a slightly velvety reverse side. I don't think it's actually waterproof, and it's not warm at all, but it performs relatively well in rainy and windy weather.

 The only other thing I might mention is the awesome front pocket construction: because the pocket sides are sandwiched between the front facings and the back piece respectively, you only have to sew the pockets to the front at the bottom edge. That's right, folks: none of that dreaded all-round top-stitching, which I hate and suck at! The only thing I wish I had done differently is the sleeve part of the lining: because I knew I would be wearing the sleeves rolled up, I flipped the lining so that the "wrong" side became the "right" side (if that makes any sense). As a result, the arm linings are the same velvety finish as the rest of the outer side of the jacket, which means my arms don't glide into the sleeves *quite* as smoothly as they could. I know now that I should have just made a cuff piece and kept the slicker side of the lining consistent throughout, but it's not really a huge problem.

The actual pattern is out-of-print now, but you can still pick it up on Etsy from time to time, and I would highly recommend it (just don't get fazed by pattern pictures). I love this jacket, the pattern was super easy to modify, and I'll be making another one very soon!


  1. so glad i found your blog from over at burdastyle!
    love this parker and i may have now bought it off etsy.... i agree....since when did everyone start wearing these?!
    really like your style!

    Ruffles ^_^

    1. p.s. you made all the perfect mods....i may have to make something incredibly similar!

    2. Thanks so much! I'm going to try another version soon using a caramel twill, so we'll see how versatile the pattern can be! Send me a link if you do try it out: judging from your other projects, I'm sure it would be a breeze for you :)

    3. ah thanks! just got the pattern in the mail today....the challenge will be finding some fabric.....also. I can never decide between khaki and navy blue is far more versatile...but i love khaki!
      Cant wait to see your next one!

      p.s. i just spent so long going back through burdstyle/blogger to find this because i didnt save it the first time *so silly!*

    4. That's great! Once you see how easy and wonderful the pattern is, I'll bet you decide to make one in both colours :) I know what you mean about finding fabric though. Jackets are not too bad, but finding the right fabric for jeans or pants = impossible!

  2. i LOVE your version. i have a similar cut jacket out of wool and the length and weight are perfect. i may have to buy this pattern!

    1. Thanks! I can definitely see myself making more than one or two of these, playing with the hems, closures, fabric, etc!