Bottlebrush Tree Pilvi Jacket
Posted in Projects on Sunday the 6th October 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
Hello there! This is a project that I was inspired to select the fabric first without having a pattern yet in mind. I love gray and creme as a non-traditional Christmas motif. I also love the texture in bottlebrush Christmas trees so I was very excited about this fabric.
My favorite items to sew are garments. I have come to the realization that I do not love making garments in quilting cotton weight fabrics (skirts or pajama pants being the exception). With this preference in mind, I decided to sew up a light jacket/blazer. For the pattern I picked the Pilvi jacket from the book Everyday Style by Lotta Jansdotter.
1.7m, Christmas Calico Fabric/Grey
1.2m, 20” wide Lightweight woven interfacing, White
2, ¾” (2 cm) buttons
90/14 Universal needle
Glass head sewing pins
French curve ruler
Fabric Marking pen
Tracing or medical paper
I did not make a muslin for this project. I have a few projects going on in parallel at the moment so I thought I’d jump in and make this garment without a muslin/toile.
One note from the book is that the pattern sheets are printed out onto four images, on two sheets of paper. The sheets are printed double sided, with the pattern pieces on the front and back. There is a diagram at the back of the book which is very helpful to reference how to tape these pages together to trace off the pattern. One other helpful detail in this diagram are the grainlines are shown in highlighted pattern images. Once you reference this diagram, the process of tracing is not too bad. I find it’s helpful to set this expectation upfront (that you will need to trace off the pattern). I like to use medical paper on a roll to trace off patterns.
I selected a Small size for the shoulders and and graded to a Medium past the underarm seams. The following diagram is a helpful reference for the size chart for the patterns.
I found a discrepancy in the pattern. I did a little checking online and found that I have the 7th printing of this book. You can reference which printing you have in a book by looking at the copyright page. There are typically a line of numbers shown on this page and the smallest number shown in this row is the printing. I wanted to note this information as it will be helpful if you also own this book in the 7th printing. If you do not own this book in this printing, it’s possible that there were changes made before or after and these discrepancies might not apply to your copy.
The first discrepancy I noticed is that the sleeve notches did not lineup in the sleeve backs or fronts (with the jacket back and fronts). For the back sleeve seams I ignored the notches as I sewed the sleeves. The construction of the sleeves are a raglan style so it really wasn’t a big deal to sew along the curve (ignoring the notches).
I had a bigger issue come up as the front of the sleeves were 5/8” (1.5cm) longer than the jacket fronts. I wanted to double check my tracings and went back through the tracing lines. I rechecked my pattern tracings a few times to make sure between the sleeves, fronts, and back pieces that I traced each correctly.
In doing research online, one error that people have made is that they do not include the neck facing in the sleeve pattern. The neck facing is included along the top edge of the sleeve and you trace this pattern piece off separately. I found through this investigation that I did trace the pattern correctly and I did include the neck facing in the sleeve pattern correctly.
To address this I decided to get out my most favorite sewing notion, my french curve ruler. After lining up the front seam I placed the french curve ruler along the top edge of the sleeve. I drew a curve to shorten the seam so that it aligned with the jacket front and curves to gradually incorporate back into the top of the sleeve.
After making this change on one sleeve, I used this little scrap of fabric as a template to also cut off the same amount on the left sleeve and then also on both sleeve/neck facing pieces.
This small fix made the pattern come together beautifully. I really like the concept for this pattern. The jacket is unlined and the front facings are built-in. Both of these features allow for a very quick project to sew up. My favorite feature in the pattern are the folded down lapels. I also like that the jacket has raglan sleeves, which feels like a unique construction.
A lot of jacket patterns I’ve seen out there are more fitted and have shaped panels around the bodice (adding seams down the front and back of the jacket). I like that this pattern is an all-in-one construction. In a case like this where I picked a printed fabric, there are minimal seams to break up the design in the fabric. I loved this pattern application with the fabric to show off the print.
I decided to make button holes in the top edges of the jacket. It would have been easier to have tacked them permanently down but I thought the flexibility would be fun to try out the pattern.
Another mod that I did to the pattern is that I added two interfacing pieces along the front edges, following the built-in front facings. To create this new interfacing piece I folded the pattern front piece back (mimicking the fold in the end garment). Then I traced the curve along the folded front edge to create a new mirrored piece to use for the interfacing template. I ironed this interfacing piece to both of the jacket front pieces.
This was a really fun project to experiment with. I’ve been enjoying sewing outside of my comfort zone lately and it’s been really fun to make garments that I don’t currently have in my wardrobe. If I made this project again, I wouldn’t grade across the sizing as I did through the waist area. Next time I would leave the jacket one size as it’s worn open and not fastened.
The sleeve length is another area to note. The sleeves are cropped, which is cute, but this length might not be for everyone. I can see myself wearing this jacket with sleeveless or short sleeved tops but I’m not sure that I would wear it layered over long sleeves.
I have enjoyed making handmade, holiday garments (as I made this velvet sleeved raglan tee last year). This jacket is a fun option to throw on over neutral clothes for a fun, layered holiday piece. I think I could also get away with wearing this jacket outside of the Christmas season (the bottlebrush trees could be seen as a winter motif). This jacket would be fun to wear layered over a little black dress.
For the inside seams, I serged the side seams/facings and did a Hong Kong seam finish for the sleeve seams.
Let me know if you have made this garment or if there are any other quick blazer pattern that you have enjoyed as well.
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