Ginger Made: Anise Jacket

Here she is– my first make of 2013, and my very first jacket!  I’m so excited to add this little piece to my wardrobe!

This is my January contribution to the Mood Sewing Network.  I went to Mood NYC with every intention of leaving with a bright, saturated fabric, but once I laid eyes on this gorgeous Ralph Lauren wool, I couldn’t put it back!  It’s a twill-weave suiting with lots of drape, and the warm, paprika-red shade is really easy for me to wear.  I picked out a fun silk charmeuse in a Tetris-like print for a contrast lining.

I used Colette Patterns’ Anise jacket pattern, which is perfect for beginners.  I bought the The Anise Companion when it was on sale a while back, and it’s a great confidence booster if you haven’t sewn a jacket before.  There’s quite a bit of helpful information about how to correct various fit issues, but as it’s pretty straightforward to fit, you probably don’t need the companion guide if you’re an intermediate (or beyond) sewist.

Oh, look! There’s a mouse in my pocket!

The whole jacket is underlined with lightweight muslin, which helped to stabilize and secure the fabric (like most twill weaves, this stuff frays like a mother!).  I used Pro-Weft Supreme Medium-Weight Fusible Interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply after Gertie recommended it for her coat sew-along.  The interfacing feels like a quality product and didn’t pill, bubble, or come unglued the way that cheaper products sometimes do.

The shoulder pads gave me a bit of trouble.  I used 1/4″ shoulder pads, and I had a great deal of difficulty getting them to lie nicely and not look lumpy and unattractive where they meet the sleeve.  I think this was due to my fabric– since it’s a drapey, lighter-weight wool, the pads were really visible.  I solved the problem (mostly) by drafting sleeve heads out of cotton batting (instructions for how to do this are included in the Anise companion).  The weight of the batting makes the sleeve cap a bit more substantial, so it looks worlds better now.

All buttoned up…

I made a size 4, but cut the shoulders and sleeve caps as a size 2.  If I made this again, I would narrow the sleeves a bit more as they’re a tiny bit baggy (I was worried that they would be too tight once they were lined and I had a shirt on underneath the jacket).  I also added 2″ to the length to keep a cropped, vintage feel but avoid flashing my tramp stamp lower back when I bend over (don’t worry, ma, only kidding!).

The jacket comes together easily, but it’s really time-consuming.  I spent basically every spare evening/weekend moment this month working on it (granted, I’m pretty slow, but still…).  Steps like constructing the welt pockets are explained really clearly, but they do take time to do correctly.  I hand-basted the markings for the buttons and buttonholes, hand-stitched the lining pieces together to avoid slippage when I sewed them, and spent ages pressing and steaming to get everything to look right.  I’m really glad that I took the time to do a good job, but it was really hard to keep other projects and ideas on the back burner while I slogged away at this one for a month.

This jacket is a little dressier than what I usually wear day-to-day, so I just machine-stitched buttonholes and used 1″ faux-tortoise buttons to keep it looking casual.  But I think this would look really cute (and very early ’60’s) with bound buttonholes and covered buttons, maybe even paired with a skirt to make a sweet little suit.

Overall, I’m happy with this jacket and think it looks alright for a first attempt (although it’s definitely not perfect).   The wool suiting is really easy to work with, too.  It presses neatly, is warm but lightweight, and the seams aren’t bulky at all.  I highly recommend the pattern for anyone looking to make their first jacket.  But I can definitely say that I’m looking forward to making a few quick and dirty projects after this one!

What about you guys?  Are you tailoring fiends, or are you working up the nerve to make your first jacket?  Do you like investing time in slow projects, or do you prefer to sew a top in a day?

[Note: If you’re a Mood Sewing Network reader, you may notice that my posts are different there than here on my blog.  I keep my posts pretty brief over on MSN, but I thought that you guys might want to read more details about construction and the pattern.] 

189 responses

  1. Oh, I love it! You make me want to make one.

    (Also, sidenote: I love your boots! Are they new enough to still be able to buy them? I ruined my knee-high boots recently and I’m dying to find a replacement pair…)


  2. What can I add to these comments that hasn’t been said already?!! So much love here for your Anise- it really is stunning! And I do love a red jacket to brighten a winter day 🙂


  3. I love this, it looks SO stylish! The shade of red is beautiful and the jacket really has an expensive feel to it. Great job! One day when I get around to attempting tailoring I hope my first attempt is half as successful 🙂


  4. I can’t get over this jacket!! I want it so bad! The color is great, the fit is perfect. It looks wonderful on you! This is by far my favorite make of yours! I would never want to take it off!


  5. Argh! Jacket envy, Jacket envy!
    This is SO CUTE….. this makes me want to sack off fixing my Minoru and start on an Anise instead…. Practicality wins though… based on my productivity if I started an Anise now it might be ready by spring 2014! I love this colour on you, you look AWESOME!


    • Aw man, I really want a Minoru now! Maybe in March, in time for spring weather? Hmm… But girl, you could TOTALLY get this done. Sarai’s sewalong breaks it down into an eight-day plan. I probably spent eight days total working on it– I just don’t have spare time on weeknights to sew, so my eight days were spread out over the course of a month. 🙂


  6. What a stunner! It shows that you’ve put lots of effort and love into this beauty! I understand how difficult it was for you to continue working the jacket while wanting to bring into life other ideas ! I am still working on the dress from Susan’s class (since October)….


    • Thanks, lady! I can’t wait to see your dress from Susan’s class (whenever you finish it). It’s going to be killer! Some projects just take longer than others (I’m thinking of my dress from my class with Gertie, that I started in September and didn’t finish until May!).


  7. I like the Anise jacket better with the added length. I’ve always thought the original jacket looked a bit disproportionate, now I know why. I’m working on a coat myself, and it really is soooo time-consuming. I actually used a 60s dress pattern, so I also had to make a ton of changes to make it into a coat pattern. What slows it down most, though, is probably the lack of decent supplies in my area. I had to order my lining fabric online and it takes so long to arrive.


    • It’s just a little too short for me otherwise. I think that really cropped jackets look better on curvier people. I just look extra boxy in shorter lengths.

      I’m excited to see your coat! It does sound laborious, though. And it’s definitely slower if you have to wait for supplies…


  8. Wow Sonja! Really really REALLY beautiful job! You’ve left me speechless! This is such a perfect little jacket and it fits you like a dream. I’m also now obsessed with the idea of this as a little cropped 60’s suit jacket with a matching skirt (and a little hat too?!)


  9. Wow! Just wow. That is a beautiful coat! My favorite Anise I’ve seen by far. I love that color and the slightly longer length. Definitely inspired to try my hand at a jacket this year now! Beautiful job.


  10. I must have missed this post in my WordPress reader – criminal. Thank goodness for my Gwhizz, Feedly & bloglovin’ apps which I have operating trying to solve the mobile blogger commenting issue (major fail).
    Love this, it’s just lovely. Sweet, simple and classic.
    I have a cornflower or electric blue version of this in my head. Alas my fabric store does not have it on the rack!


  11. Wow, cute cute! I love that red suiting and the lining you chose. I ordered this pattern a while back and have been itching to sew it up. Great job!


  12. Well done! I’m so very impressed! I wish I had bought the Anise companion booklet back when it was on sale, but I just knew that I wasn’t going to be making the jacket any time soon. Oh well. . .
    The paprika is the perfect shade; I’m glad you picked it!


  13. Gorgeous – I love it. The colour, the buttons, ths shape…I am not making a jacket at the moment though I would really love to. Especially after seeing your Anise. I just have to keep things simple in terms of my sewing. 🙂 xx


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  15. This looks really good Ginger, I can hardly believe it’s your first jacket! 🙂

    I love tailoring, but I already have too many tailored clothes for my climate… Maybe next year when I’m somewhere with more reasonable seasons… 🙂


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  18. You look absolutely marvelous in that red! I am so impressed that you just jumped in and made a bold red jacket. I bought red wool two years ago for making a coat, then chickened out and it’s still sitting in my fabric bin. Yours is so inspiring, and looks so well made! Good choice re: the buttons and lining, to keep it more casual. Also, your whole outfit just looks so classy and put together!


  19. I have this one coming up in my queue (making it for a friend), so I am so glad to read about your experience with it! Yours turned out just wonderfully – that red is stunning. Great job, and thanks for the info!


  20. Congrats on your jacket! What a cool way to start the year. I’m so detail-oriented that I love making coats and taking time… but I know what you mean–at the end other projects start calling my name!


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  22. I was just skimming through your blog the other day and I’m back again today to have another snoop around 🙂 Ha! At first I thought this was just a style post but silly me! You actually made this beautiful jacket from scratch! You talented woman! Just, wow. Thanks for following along with my blog too 😀


  23. Thanks GM, I’m working up the courage to do my first jacket, I love this pattern so will definitely give it a go after reading this. Eeeeee (nervous squeal). Ps love it in red!


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