Ginger Made: Style Arc Romy Anorak (Or, the Jacket that Took Forever)!

Yowza! It’s cold out here, people!  I am not on board with this weather!  I left behind snowy New York this week for the even-more-frozen tundras of Vermont.  I am NOT excited about the cold, but I AM excited to finally show you my new jacket!

Style Arc Romy Anorak made with twill and flannel from Mood Fabrics

This is the Style Arc Romy Anorak pattern, and it’s my January project for the Mood Sewing Network.  I’ve been working on this thing for what feels like the entirety of my life.  OK, it was closer to 2.5 weeks, but between the RTW details, winging it and adding a lining, and attempting to decipher the illustration-less, minimalistic instructions, this one was a real marathon.

Style Arc Romy Anorak made with twill and flannel from Mood Fabrics

First things first: this pattern is super cool and I adore the style, but it’s NOT for the faint of heart.  There’s absolutely no hand-holding here– the instructions offer helpful advice like “Make belt loops and attach them”.  They don’t tell or show you how to do this, the pattern piece (one single long strip) doesn’t give you any details, and the placement markings for the side front belt loops aren’t on the pattern piece, so you have to measure/eyeball to figure out where they go.   That’s pretty much par for the course here.  This is at least an intermediate pattern– I would really only recommend it to a confident sewist who doesn’t mind figuring things out on her own.  It didn’t help that I strayed from the instructions and added a lining.  I had to completely change the order of operations to accommodate that, but it was worth it (unlined jackets are kind of pointless in my climate).

Style Arc Romy Anorak made with twill and flannel from Mood Fabrics

OK, some more pattern details: it has raglan sleeves with darts at the shoulder, which I haven’t seen before but is a nice detail.  There are tucks right above the hem in front and back, and elastic is inserted in the hem so you can cinch it in if you like.  The zipper is hidden behind a fly guard, which feels very RTW to me.  If you’re not familiar with Style Arc, their patterns come in a single size.  I wasn’t super stressed about this because I’m pretty close to a straight size and this isn’t a very fitted style.  I made this without any alterations and the fit is roomy, but works for the style.  If you make this yourself, check the zipper and button placement and make sure it works for you.  I followed the diagrams for zipper and fly guard placement, but it feels backwards to me– when I try to button up the collar, it’s really awkward and hard to do.

Style Arc Romy Anorak made with twill and flannel from Mood Fabrics

ARRRRGGHHHHHH CAN’T GET BUTTON ASGSKOSDIFHGAJDKLFJKSJDGFXDKFLJDFK

While I’ve really been digging the trend of slouchy anoraks that all the cool Brooklyn babes seem to be wearing lately, I’m not super into the ubiquitous olive green that seems to be the only color these jackets come in.  Instead I opted for a nice medium gray cotton twill.  I love twill– it’s my go-to fabric for hard-wearing, good-looking garments.  I love how it looks when it starts to show some wear and tear.  Because twill weaves fray easily, I serged all the seams, even though they would be hidden under the lining. It’s a nice precaution to help extend the life of your jacket. I topstitched all the seams with a twin needle (OMG, WHY WAS I SO SCARED TO USE A TWIN NEEDLE?!  It’s stupid easy!), which gives it a RTW look and also adds some stability.

Style Arc Romy Anorak

You get the idea.

Since I’m the world’s biggest wimp, I added a lining made (mostly) from buffalo check flannel.  It’s so warm and cozy! The sleeves are made out of black bemberg rayon– I get nervous that I’ll rip my lining putting on the jacket if the sleeves aren’t slippery! Since brushed fabrics have a tendency to pill over time, I made the lining with the unbrushed side of the flannel facing out. It’s still beautifully soft, but should stay in great condition longer.  I basically made a second version of the shell and basted it to the neckline and center front before stitching on the collar and fly guard.  I made a booboo when I was cutting it out and forgot to add a CB pleat in the lining, so after consulting the experts (the Twitter sewing crowd!) I cut a strip of fabric the length of the back bodice and stitched it in, so no harm no foul.  The lining pieces were all cut at the hem line, so I just pressed the hems up over the lining, enclosing all the raw edges.  I fell stitched the facings and inner collar down with about 488,135 teeny-tiny stitches… my finger and thumb are still sore!

Style Arc Romy Anorak made with twill and flannel from Mood Fabrics

The pattern calls for the pockets to be made with a box pleat that’s stitched down all the way. I wanted the pocket to expand to hold tons of stuff, so I used an inverted pleat that’s only stitched 2″ from the top and the bottom, so it can sort of bulge out.  I find it annoying to iron under all the seam allowances when I’m making patch pockets, so I opted to line them instead. I cut a second pair of pockets out of the plaid flannel, stitched them together at the sides and bottom, then turned them right-side out, turned under the top seam allowance, and edge-stitched all around. This makes for nice, neat pockets, plus my hands will stay warm in happy flannel-lined pockets!  We allllll know how much I love flannel-lined pockets!  (Sidebar: Can someone please make sure my coffin is lined in flannel?  Oops, got a little morbid there… but still– MAKE IT HAPPEN).

Moving on…

Style Arc Romy Anorak made with twill and flannel from Mood Fabrics

I wanted this to look very clean and RTW, so I used brushed antique nickel jeans buttons from Taylor Tailor that I had in my stash, a matching separating zipper, and two faux metal toggles at the CF hem. I’m really pleased with the way they look!  Oh, and if you want to get in on the jeans button fun but aren’t sure where to start, here’s a great tutorial from Taylor’s blog (spoiler alert: you get to use a hammer!  In the end I discarded the belt loop pattern piece and just followed this great tutorial from the Coletterie— you don’t have any raw edges, and you don’t have to turn a loop!

Style Arc Romy Anorak made with twill and flannel from Mood Fabrics

In the end, I’m over the moon about this jacket! It’s just exactly my style! Isn’t that the best thing about sewing? It took forever to make, and even though the pattern was frustrating, it’s so rewarding to sew something that you can actually get away with wearing day in and day out, and that you’ll love wearing all the time!  While I’m thinking about it, if you want some serious jacket inspiration (and envy!), check out Kelly’s gorgeous Minoru!  It’s stunning!

What are you guys sewing these days? Are you sewing for the season, or jumping ahead to the next one? As much as I dislike winter, I’ve still got some cold weather items on the docket to sew before spring sets in. What about you?

Style Arc Romy Anorak made with twill and flannel from Mood Fabrics

195 responses

  1. So I just saw this on the Mood Sewing Network this morning and to say I’m impressed is an understatement. E v e r y t h i n g about your new Style Arc cotton twill jacket is spot on! How did you do it?

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  2. Wow… I’m speechless… the amount of innovation and customization you did to a pattern that has minimal instructions at best.. it looks incredibly professional and immaculately constructed – I’m blown away 🙂 I love the fabrics and notions you chose, and I love that it has a fuzzy lining and yet still looks chic – bravo, bravo I say!!!! *golf claps*

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    • Thank you so much– you’re way too kind! I’ve been sold on fuzzy linings since I found a RTW jacket several years back that’s a tailored blazer made out of sweatshirt fleece– it really looks professional until you’re up close! Secret sweatshirt! So now it’s always my goal to look put-together on the outside, but be cozy on the inside (although I don’t always pull that off, hahaha).

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    • You can do it, Jenny! Anyone with the fortitude to make as many buttondowns as you have can TOTALLY do a jacket! I bet it would take you less time to sew a coat, start to finish, than you spent on your Archers combined.

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  3. My God, this is the best jacket EVER! And you were so thoughtful about every step of the process. I really love the checked lining and the choice to line the sleeves in bemberg rayon! The look of the whole thing is so professional and you look great in it! Yippee! 😀

    One question (because I’m also working on a jacket with patch pockets) – when you lined the pockets and then edge-stitched them to the front bodice, how did you make sure the lining fabric didn’t show on the front? (like peak out from the sides accidentally) I’m having issues with this. 😦

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  4. i also just finished a jacket that took longer than expected but came out exactly how i wanted – i feel your pain AND enthusiasm! 🙂 this jacket is totally perfect for you, i love all of it. great job.

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  5. Wow, you are such a pro! I’m amazed at how great this looks. All the added details, the perfect style for you, the construction, I’m in awe! Amazing job 😀

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    • Thank you, Jo! I have to confess that while I’ll happily spend lots of time on details, I rush through fitting and would never take the time to perfect a muslin the way you do! In fact, I shouldn’t even tell you, but I didn’t even bother making a muslin for this– naughty!

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  6. A-frickin-men on pockets that hold stuff! Why are girls not supposed to ever have big enough pockets to hold anything? And if you’re not a purse-type-gal you have to hand stuff off to someone else to carry. Screw that!

    Ahem. Your jacket is AMAZING. Everything is SO professional!! Holy crap and that top stitching!! The only thing better is the collar-buttoning face. Great work!

    Oh, and HAAAA on 2.5 weeks being a long time, sewing-wise…pffft! That’s sewing quickly!

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      • Why ARE there always piddly little pockets on lady stuff? I’m a jam-it-in-my-pockets girl and they’re always bulging at the seams! Why you gotta rip us off, dudes?!

        Wellllllll, 2.5 weeks feels like FOREVER when you’re sewing in basically every spare minute and all weekend long ALL THREE WEEKENDS. #addicted

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  7. Yay! Great coat.jacket! And the grey twill is perfect. Olive is a little to military for me usually. And twin needles – I know right??? Fell in love with one while working on a knit top.

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  8. It looks great on you, I love all the rtw details you’ve given it. And the flannel is to die for! I’m actually working on the Romy at the moment for my sister. Have to confess, I saw the instruction sheet and immediately put it back the envelope – I need pictures on my instructions! it’s going alright though, touch wood.

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  9. Wow, seriously impressed!! This is like from a designer label! And you are so right about flanel lined pockets – there should be a law requiring everyone to line their pockets in flanel 😉
    I’m in sewing season confusion at the moment (it’s a recognised psychological condition, you know?!) I just bought a load of white and off white summer fabrics and keep looking through winter coat patterns… There should be some therapy for this…

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  10. Love this! I’ve been craving to make one of these for this winter… I really must find the time this year. Hope you are not too cold – our 40+ temps have finally ended and we can sleep again!

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  11. Great coat!!! And half a million fell stitches? I’m impressed! I’m stitching up a muslin for Colette’s new duffle coat pattern because it’s 8 degrees in NYC today, and all I want to do is sew wool.

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  12. This coat is freaking awesome!! I love it 🙂 I’m always scared of sewing lining and seeing yours make me want to have lining in every garment haha. Great job 🙂

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  13. Wow, this is AMAZING!!! I love that plaid lining too… I also really have a thing for plaid. My plaid shirts also get lots of wear this time of year, haha. 🙂 Anyway, this looks way better than those RTW coats I’ve seen around lately, and it looks really warm to boot. So so so so so so cool! And I love that it’s not that ubiquitous olive green. Even better!
    I majorly owe you an email, girl! Grad school has kept me mucho busy the last few months… in fact, I finally just got some things blogged that I stitched up before the move. Aaaaaargh. FAIL. Lol.

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  14. Dang! This is seriously impressive, Ginger!! Everything about this looks RTW and professional – perfectly executed down to the last detail! And cosy and totally your style to boot!

    I’m cutting fabric for a cape this weekend. Isn’t it nice to work with warm fabrics in such cold?

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  15. OMG this is amazing! I love the style and it looks like it would cost a fortune to buy in a shop! So professionally finished. I’m very impressed. Plus it looks really practical in that cold weather you’re having 🙂

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  16. wow, Wow, WOw, WOW! I love this Sonja…you’re so talented and clever to have figured it all out alone and to have added that lining too! It’s perfect, just perfect!!!

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    • Haha, I lucked into good results and I probably spent as much time puzzling over the directions as I did actually sewing (no exaggeration)! I’m happy, though I’m not in a hurry to undertake another project like this anytime soon!

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  17. Oh my gosh, I have this pattern and wanted one EXACTLY like yours, but you’ve scared the bejeebus outta me hahaha oh dear.. If you found it hard I have no hope 😐 It might have to wait for a couple of winters lol

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  18. Lookin’ good! I never knew the name for that kind of jacket, so thanks for clearing that up, hehe. It’s so RTW looking people on the street are gonna be wondering where to get a gray one when all they can find is green, muahahaha!

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  19. I love this so much – it looks like the kind of perfect jacket you find when you weren’t even jacket-shopping and the bank balance is low… but you hand over the credit card anyway, because you know there will be serious regrets later! (Just me?!) Totally inspired to crack on and actually finish the winter coat I cut out in November…! Nice work 🙂

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  20. Awesome jacket! No wonder you are feeling pleased. StyleARC instructions aren’t for the inexperienced, but the drafting is fabulous and they pride themselves on having patterns on trend. Gotta take the good with the bad sometimes… 🙂

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  21. Terrific! And I concur about StyleArc patterns. They’re excellent, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, those instructions aren’t going to do anything for you 🙂

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  22. Coooooool. What a great jacket- I’ll have to see if I can find a similar pattern for more beginner sew-ers.

    Also, if you were any more adorable, I think I might explode. That last photo is SO cute. Teach me the secrets of your AQ (adorability quotient!)

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    • Maybe the Sewaholic Minoru would be more beginner-friendly? Tasia’s pattern instructions are always really clear. Kelly at Cut Cut Sew just made the awesome version I linked to in the post, and Lisa from Notes From a Mad Housewife also made a really cool adaptation.

      Girl, you’re too kind! You’re pretty damn cute yourself!

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    • Thanks, Morgan! I was a bit obsessive working on this, so it was basically EVERY FREE MINUTE for 2.5 weeks… whoops! Give your twin needle a whirl– I promise it’s easy! Just dial the tension alllll the way down if you’re using a knit, if not, normal settings are fine. 🙂

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  23. Wow, this is AMAZING! I love all the extra steps you took and little touches you added – it really takes it up a notch. And to make this with minimal instructions! Cor blimey.

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