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Hampton Jean Jacket // Sewing For Women

Hampton Jean Jacket // Sewing For Women

Hello everyone!!

I can't even express how excited I am to share today's post with you! This project is by far the most labor intensive project I have ever tackled, to date. And by far the one that I am most proud of!!!!!

The Hampton Jean Jacket is the newest pattern from one of my (if not the) favorite pattern designers, Alina Sewing + Design Co. Her attention to detail, plus clear instructions and illustrations make her amazing patterns top notch. In this pattern, she walks you through the process step-by-step and it's pure magic to watch this jacket take shape!

Before I dive fully into all the details, I want to make sure I make it clear, that while it is labor intensive, it is not that difficult! I believe an advanced beginner could handle this project with some patience. Keep reading for all the details about what I learned through the process!

Hampton Jean Jacket // Sewing For Women

Oh my goodness, where to even start... Well, I'll just start at the very beginning! 
Alina had each of us testers make a muslin. I would recommend this to anyone looking to make this jacket as well. A canvas drop cloth from a hardware store works well, and is an easy on the wallet option, mine was $6. I was between sizes, so this was especially helpful in trying to decide whether to size up or down. For this one, I ended up going with the larger size, because I wanted to make sure I would be able to get the most wear possible out of it! I can throw this on over a couple of lighter layers, I've worn it over a tee and long sleeve cardi and was still comfortable. I've also worn it over just a sleeveless maxi dress, and it still looked fabulous. There are also things to consider like how it fits in the shoulders and elbows when making a muslin and tweaking just a little to get a much more custom fit that you would from a RTW jean jacket.

Just to note a few changes between mine and the final pattern: The bodice and sleeves are both 1" longer, the waistband, collar, and cuffs are interfaced (mine are not), and the welt pockets are a teeny bit longer.

Hampton Jean Jacket // Sewing For Women


Next up, was choosing denim, prewashing (machine wash and dry completely to pre-shrink) and cutting it out! I used 10oz. Cone Mills Denim in Indigo from Thread Bare Fabrics. I have read so much about Cone Mills Denim and was so excited to get some in my hands. I am fan girling just like everyone else about this stuff. It is sooooo nice. I actually found it quite nerve racking to cut into, haha. I was so scared I was going to mess us this precious denim and not give it the life it deserved. I also feel somehow connected to it because it is made right here in NC, not that far from where I live! I had to chuckle about the fact that it was sent to me from California, though. 

Hampton Jean Jacket // Sewing For Women

After I got through the cutting part, the real fun began with construction! Before I started sewing, I sewed a couple of sample seams and practiced some distressing. Funny how I was so scared to mess up the denim when I was cutting it, but had no problem attacking it with sandpaper!! What I found worked best for me, and gave the results that you see, was to use 220 grit sandpaper and distress each seam by hand before topstitching. I paid more attention to the edges of the seams to give them a slightly worn in look. I also sneezed a lot, sanding denim is quite dusty. And blue! :)
Alina has a full post coming on her finding with bleaching and distressing denim. It is definitely a resource worth keeping!

Hampton Jean Jacket // Sewing For Women

Once I had the distressing method figured out, the real process of constructing began. It was magical from the beginning, because each seam was like a little nugget of gold after it was done and was so fun to admire. 

*It's been almost a month since I finished up my jacket, and just talking about the process makes me want to make another, it's just that thrilling!!*

I pulled out my backup machine for constructing the seams and then used my Bernina for the topstitching. If you have the option to set up 2 machines, I highly recommend it, because it helps things go so much faster. Otherwise, you will be sewing a seam or two, then switching to topstitching thread and back again. A serger is useful as well, but really not used very much. As you can see below, most of  the seams are beautifully enclosed with flat felled seams or as I did, you can choose to bind them in a couple of areas. In the final pattern, Alina also gives tips on what types of thread and colors to use. My only regret on this jacket is that I didn't use bobbin thread that matched my topstitching thread. If I were to do it over, I would use beige bobbin thread throughout on the inside, except for the places I used the binding and the pocket linings (I would have used white). It would just have made it look a little cleaner. But regardless, I am still extremely proud of this make and will show you the guts with no regrets. :)

Hampton Jean Jacket // Sewing For Women

Katie from Handmade Threads and Threadbare Fabrics gets full credit for this next tip. She suggested using wonder tape to hold the seams down when flat felling instead of using pins and it was awesome. Be sure to have a full roll or two on hand before starting though, but it is worth it!

Hampton Jean Jacket // Sewing For Women

Probably the most difficult part, but really not even truly difficult, it just required patience, was the sleeves. There's a bit of topstitching that needs to be done after the sleeve is a tube. But it just takes breathing, (I always forget to breathe! Ha.) and taking your time, plus making sure your fabric is moving evenly so the topstitching stays consistent. There are places where mine is not perfectly so, but I don't mind, I'm sure no one will notice except me anyway!

Hampton Jean Jacket // Sewing For Women

 I'm still in a little bit of disbelief that I actually made this. Like I said before, although it is a very time consuming project, it's not that difficult! And seeing it come together is empowering! It has given me the burn to make more difficult things. I have swimsuits, jeans, all the bottoms, really, and slow sewing tops in the pipeline now! Life has been a little difficult and crazy lately, so I haven't been able to start on most or any of it, but I've had time to do fabric shopping! :)

Ok, that was a rabbit-hole... Back to the jacket. I seriously love all the topstitching on this garment. Heart eyes, all the heart eyes.

Hampton Jean Jacket // Sewing For Women

The last steps are to make the button holes and hammer in the buttons. A couple of the others convinced their machines to cooperate in using topstitching thread for the buttonholes, but I didn't quite have that coaxing power. I ended up using regular thread in the same color and doing 2 passes on each button hole. This worked great and unless you really look closely, you can't tell. Also, my plan was to do a keyhole style button hole, but because of the bulk of the intersecting seam at the very top and bottom of the placket, it didn't want to play nice. I was able to do this style with no problems at all on the front pockets and back tabs. So I ended up doing regular button holes on the placket. Now that I'm thinking about it, I realize I didn't try to use my seam jump thingy-ma-bob here. I will have to try that next time, and maybe my keyhole button hole dreams can come true. :)

Hampton Jean Jacket // Sewing For Women

The final step is to throw that freshly made, crisp denim jacket into the washer and dryer at least once, maybe 2-3 times. It will give it an amazing crinkly, worn-in texture, just like what you crave in your favorite jean jacket.

Hampton Jean Jacket // Sewing For Women

Well, there you go guys. My most prized me-made garment, to date. So far my favorite reaction to telling someone I made my jacket was "WHAT!? I thought those were only made in factories!" Empowering I tell you! Also, if you have a chance, search for some videos that show how jeans ARE made in factories. It is extremely fascinating. And might make you wish for some of the crazy machines they get to use. :)

 I hope you've enjoyed reading about it and seeing it. I sure have enjoyed reliving the experience! And I hope I have inspired you to make your own! You can do it!! Alina has a sew-a-long coming as well and it will be super helpful for any little tricky bits!

Hampton Jean Jacket // Sewing For Women

Hampton Jean Jacket // Sewing For Women

Hampton Jean Jacket // Sewing For Women

Hampton Jean Jacket // Sewing For Women

Hampton Jean Jacket // Sewing For Women

Hampton Jean Jacket // Sewing For Women

Hampton Jean Jacket // Sewing For Women

Hampton Jean Jacket // Sewing For Women

Hampton Jean Jacket // Sewing For Women

Be sure to check out the jackets my fellow testers made!!! They are all incredible. Click on the links below to access their social media and/or posts.

Leslie - Threadbear Garments
Teri - Fa Sew La
Heather - The Pug & Needle
Katie - Handmade Threads
Jill - Becoming Bright
Ashley - @littlebitco
Anya - Anna Zoe
Jodi - Back40Life

 Pattern:

Fabric: 
  • Waterfall Raglan
  • Necklace - made by me - supplies from Hobby Lobby
  • White Rockstar Capris - Old Navy
  • Leopard Print Flats - Target















1 comment

  1. Loooooooove, Heidi!!! I am seriously so proud of how everyone's jackets turned out. It was such a fun test group! Thank you again for testing!

    ReplyDelete

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