Hey y’all! Today is the final day of my “Sewing with Denim” series. Have you enjoyed it?
Today I’m sharing my pattern review of Mimi G’s denim jacket pattern with Simplicity 8845. I’ll be offering some tips and tricks that helped me be successful in making this jacket.
The denim jacket is a unisex pattern that came out a few years ago. The tutorial on YouTube is hosted by Norris.
I recommend watching this tutorial at least once before you get started and also review the paper instructions as a reference guide as well. Second, I encourage you to study the lines and seams of a denim jacket that you already own so that way you can be inspired by a finished product and if you begin to doubt a step, you can take a glance at the jacket. I did this several times through out and it was extremely helpful and motivating.
At the start of the video Norris gives you two ways to finish your seams. He talks about a flat fell seam and a serged seam. I started using flat fell seams on the front but as I continued to work and seams appeared to get bulkier and bulkier it became harder to be consistent. So I switched to serging. The inside of my jacket still looks neat and you wouldn’t be able to tell that I switched finishes.
You’ll want to have the written instructions near you as well. In the tutorial Norris uses a corduroy fabric and it was personally hard for me to tell which side was the right and wrong side at times. So I made sure to use the instructions which show the difference to help me with some of those areas.
The tutorial begins with the front part of the jacket, which to me was the hardest – because of the welt pockets and the breast pockets. If I had to do it again, I would start with the back pieces. Truth be told, I redid the welt pockets about 4 times and the breast pockets – twice. Yikes, but I wanted them to be flawless. I strongly recommend doing a few practice welt pockets before you get started on your real jacket. I also recommend keeping a scrap piece of denim near you to do a few top stitch test runs. Thank me later. 🙂
I did end up changing two things. I noticed that many people who finished the jacket had a bit of overlap from the button holes to the topstitching on the front part of the jacket – and I completely see why. I preempted this problem by unpicking the inside topstitched seam on the front and simply left the placket as a single top stitch. Simple fix, right?
I also used my regular dark blue thread to make the button holes. My fabric is a very stiff, gifted denim and it was not agreeing with the top stitch thread being used to make button holes. So it was a minor change, but I don’t think it takes away from the essence of the jacket.
I reinforced a few of my seams with a basting stitch. Those would be the front button plackets, the collar stitch, the wristbands and the bottom band. All of these would normally be a “stitch in the ditch” or a slipstitch – but because I wanted really neat top stitching on the front and backside I used a basting stitch first. It’s an extra step, but it works!
Next, I highly HIGHLY recommend keeping your iron nearby for all the steps. This will ensure that your seams are super-super flat and will give that professional finish.
Lastly, have fun but take your time. This project took months for me to finish. It might take you that long (or shorter) to finish it. I made mistakes, and most of them I tried to fix, others I simply just took as a lesson learned. It’s not perfect, but it’s mine. If you need more advice, you know where to find me! xo.