Oh yeah! I introduce to you the best thing I’ve ever sewn.
That’s right, my Sew for Victory jacket is complete! Can you believe it? Be prepared for a bucketload of photos. Because let’s be real here. Internally, I’m actually shouting, “HOLY SHIT I CAN’T BELIEVE I SEWED THIS OMG!!”
It started over a month ago when Rochelle announced the 1940s-themed Sew for Victory sewalong, and with my crazy little idea that since I already sew a lot of 40s clothing for myself, I could challenge myself further and maybe I could even learn to sew my first tailored jacket from a 40s pattern. Sure, because that sounded like it made sense during the time frame of a sewalong, right? Riiiight.
There were so many things I had never done before! Tailoring techniques. Fully-enclosed lining. Sleeve cuffs and vents. Handworked buttonholes. Precision in places I am not necessarily usually able to be all that precise. I felt looney for even entertaining the thought.
I wasn’t sure that I could learn it all or execute it fast enough for the sewalong!
But I was wrong. Boy, was I wrong. Sometimes it feels awesome to be wrong!
I am so over the moon about this jacket, I can’t even tell you! I’m not even sure there are enough exclamation points in the world to punctuate it!
If you haven’t been following along my progress, this jacket was sewn from Hollywood Patterns 1678 from 1945. It was described as a battle jacket, modeled after a style of military jacket but also inspired by windbreaker jackets. What better pattern for a 40s-themed sewalong, right?
I used wool flannel fabric and rayon bemberg lining from Mood, and underlined the body with organic cotton batiste from Fabric.com. I also used vintage buttons and buttonhole twist to handwork the buttonholes. I love the wool fabric to wear but it was a pain to press (I even realized looking at these photos I need to steam the collar one more time).
It’s a heavier fabric combo than I bet the pattern thought you’d use, but it makes for a great warm jacket. Or short coat, whatever you want to call it. It was in the 30s when we took these photos and other than my hands freezing, I was toasty!
I really couldn’t be happier with the fit! It hits me perfectly below my waist but with room for the gathers, just like the original style of jacket (after taking about 1 1/2″ off the bodice length). That does take some getting used to, since there are no pockets to stuff my hands into (inseam pockets would have been too high to access).
I kind of like the little peek of lining you get from my sleeve cuffs, an unintentional side effect of not using matching lining, ha ha!
Speaking of the sleeve cuffs, I added 1″ to the width of the cuffs from my muslin, and now I can slip the sleeves on and off without unbuttoning the jacket. I also added back 1″ of some of the fullness I’d removed from the length of the sleeve so they’d gather nicer than my muslin, and they do!
I’m pretty happy with how the sleeves look from top to bottom. The sleeve heads and shoulder pads were definitely perfect for the final jacket even though I questioned the bulk along the way.
There’s some drag line action on the sleeves and I think it’s partially because they bunch up slightly. But that part is on purpose. The original sleeves on my muslin looked better but didn’t allow me to comfortably bend my arms without the cuffs riding up, so I decided I’d rather go for comfort. I mean, you do want to be able to move in your clothing after all.
Since I didn’t add the overlap on the bands at the front waist, I can wear it open just as nicely.
And I love the lining! I contemplated a pocket on the inside but with the (fully lined) patch pockets on the front and the short length, it was kind of like well, there’s really nowhere to put it.
Close up you can see I didn’t fold down the jump hem at the bottom and just left it as-is because of the gathers. I think it looks nice even like that.
But but but, stop the presses!
This jacket holds a secret…
I embroidered the back neck facing, making up a design based on V for Victory posters from World War II. I used fusible interfacing on the back to stabilize it. I love this little secret inside! Especially with the cross stitch on the lining center back pleat. This is one of my favorite parts!
And yes in case you’re wondering… I totally Photoshopped it out of all the pictures in my post on the lining. What a sneak, huh?? Well, I didn’t want to give away the surprise!
I’ve had the opportunity to wear the final jacket a couple of times since I finished, each time thinking, “I can’t believe I sewed this!” (or, you know, above-mentioned all caps shouting and swearing version).
You know that’s a great feeling!
It feels epic.
I have long coveted a short 40s jacket, and now I have just the perfect one!