November 26, 2014

The Bonfire Jacket

Have you checked out One Thimble Magazine yet? Kate and I are huge fans and the 5th edition (and 1st birthday edition) was released a few weeks ago. Some of my favourite ever sewing patterns have been in One Thimble. This latest addition is brilliant. Not only are the patterns fabulous, but the articles are really really good and I do plan to write more about them in a later post.

One of the patterns in the latest edition is the Bonfire Jacket, by Ainslee Fox Boutique Patterns. Jen Kennedy is the designer of Ainslee Fox and also the whole reason One Thimble ezine exists. I love Jen's patterns - I trust them right from the word go. They are well thought out, produce beautifully sewn garments, and thoroughly tested to ensure that both the fit and the pattern instructions are spot on.
I consider Jen to be the queen of party dresses. Her dress patterns are beautiful and so clever in their design that you can tweak them a little to make reflect your own style if you would like. But a jacket, and a jacket for knits is completely new from her, so I was super excited to give it a go.

I made my first run through out of some scraps of merino wool jersey that I had left over from making myself a dress. It was literally just scraps I had left, and I hadn't thrown them out because I thought I may be able to squeeze a top of out them for Zoe. I had to get a bit creative and add some circular pockets so that I could get the lemon fabric in there somewhere because I didn't have quite enough fabric to do the whole jacket in grey. I used some yellow ribbing from the stash to finish it off. The circular pockets are not included in the pattern, but the normal pockets from the pattern are really cute too.

This first version was a pre test before it went out to the testers, so a few things have changed since then, but they are subtle things that you wouldn't really notice. The jacket has two different "fits" you can put a smaller (width across the body wise) ribbing hem around the bottom to make it sit nice and close around the hips, or the looser fitting one so it is a little looser on the hips. This is the tight one.

Zoe is just starting to extend out of size 2. She isn't a three yet, but she has grown out of size 2 cardigans and jackets, which is always the first thing I find my kids grow out of. I made her a 2 and it fits really really well, but there isn't much room for growth. If your child is at the top end of the sizing scale, I would suggest sizing up for this jacket because it really doesn't matter if it is a little big with a jacket.

There are so many things to love about this jacket. Its cute, its comfy and you can change the look of it so much by using different fabrics. And it's perfect for boys too. My boys don't wear homemade clothes, they refuse, so I don't bother, but for those whose children are a little less fussy and happy to wear handmade clothes, it is perfect. The pattern instructions are simple and easy to follow as well.

This jacket is sized to be a lightweight throw over, but if you are in a cooler climate I think you could easily do one out of fleece. There is plenty of ease in the body, underarm and sleeve and I will be trying it when it is winter next year (sob sob - you all know how I feel about winter). You could also get away with wovens too, but remember to size up a couple of sizes.

The instructions for the jacket make it a straightforward sew, but remember if you have not sewn one before to pay close attention to cutting pieces out exactly the same for the two sides (I cut them together) and be very particular with your seam allowance, or it just won't line up properly, and will look homemade versus amazing. And don't skip the interfacing. It's really important in this jacket.

The sprinkle jacket I made with an European cotton/lycra jersey. It is top top quality and I am really picky with which patterns I use my euro knits for. This jackets is awesome, I love it and Zoe loves it too. She was not having a great day in these photos - we were staying at a friends farm and she was tired from trying to keep up with all the kids and just not interested in standing still for photos. This one is based on the final pattern - I gave it a final run though before release, and I made a size 3 this time.

I know this is Jen's first venture into knits and she has nailed it!!! Im really excited to see what she comes up with next. Definitely a pattern worthy of your prized knits that you've been squirrelling away for the perfect project, and so practical too because you always need a jacket to just pop on when it is a little cool, or the air conditioner is freezing.



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