The Hoodless Hoodie
Posted on Sunday the 21st April 2019 by Anna-Jo Sews
Hi everyone! This month I’m sharing my first jacket, Burda Style 6847. Okay, it’s not a tailored jacket but it’s in some kind of halfway house between a jacket and a hoodie. All the comfort of a hoodie, but the vibe of a casual tailored jacket. Marvellous—it’s just the sort of light jacket my outerwear wardrobe was missing.
There are two views of this pattern, both of which I like, but in the end I decided to go with view B, the hoodless version. That’s partly because much as I love the look of a hood I never actually use them (too much hair to fit in!) and often find they get in the way when using cross body strap bags or backpacks. It’s also a shorter length than view A, which I thought would probably look better for a casual jacket. And finally, I just love the look of that contrast collar. So chic!
My only issue with the pattern design is that it doesn’t include pockets. What?! Who designs a jacket without pockets? Still, one of the joys of sewing your own clothes is being able to put pockets wherever you need them, so I decided I would be adding pockets to the front princess seams for carrying my phone and keys. And possibly for posing with my hands in them…
Fabrics suggested for this on the pattern envelope are “knit fabrics, jersey, fiber fleece and sweatshirting”. That was fairly vague, but I figured a heavier weight was called for, so browsed sweatshirting fabrics first of all. Initially I wanted to replicate the pattern envelope picture with a bold print, but when I saw this Lady McElroy Fleece Back Sweatshirting I decided I just had to have that, and searched for a monochrome print for the collar and facing instead. You can’t go wrong with stripes, so I went for another Lady McElroy fabric: this classic black and white Viscose Jersey Fabric.
The pattern also calls for a 32” two-way zip but the longest Two Way Plastic Chunky Open End Zip Minerva carry is 30” so I ordered that one. Turns out it was absolutely perfect and I’d have been in trouble with a 32” one, so watch out for that if you make this jacket yourself.
My measurements (using the high bust rather than full bust, as I have narrow shoulders) put me in a 14 for the bust and a 16 for the waist and hip. However, I decided to cut a straight size 14 as I’m so used to Butterick and Vogue having excessive ease, and I figured I’d be able to take out the seams at the waist and hip if needed.
Well, it turns out Burda don’t have excessive ease in their patterns and I definitely should have graded out to a size 16 below the waist. However, since I basted the seams to check the fit it was easy to let them out when sewing up on the overlocker, and with all those princess seams I was able to add back about 3” to make room for my hips.
I made cutting out the facing a bit more complicated than it needed to be as I didn’t want a seam at the back of the collar, and wanted to control the angle of the stripes as they’re such a strong feature. It meant cutting the collar as one piece and joining it to the front facing strips at an angle, but I’m really pleased with the end result so it was well worth the headscratching involved.
Despite being a jacket, this was a pretty straightforward sew, thanks to using this lovely sweatshirting which behaves itself beautifully. The zip in particular was incredibly easy to put in as it’s simply sandwiched between the main fabric and the lining. Who knew separating zips were so much easier to insert than closed end ones? I’d always assumed it was the other way around! I’ll admit I did make life easier for myself by hand basting the zip in place using Tacking Thread, though. So much easier than sewing with pins in bulky fabric. Try it out if you haven’t already.
Gotta be honest, though: Burda’s notoriously scant instructions didn’t help much. There were even a few typos which confused matters further, referring to the hood rather than the collar for view B. Still, I muddled through easily enough by using logic and the illustrations. Beginner sewists take note, though, you will probably need a more experienced sewist on hand for advice (or liberal use of Mr Google’s help) if you choose to tackle this one.
There is absolutely no mention of using interfacing or stabilising the shoulder seams, but I took the time to do both as I want this jacket to last. I decided to use a Woven Fusible Interfacing as there is so little stretch in the sweatshirting. I used this in long strips along the front edges where the zip would be sewn to prevent rippling, and also on all the facing fabric as well as the pocket openings.
To stabilise the shoulders I used some narrow black grosgrain ribbon from my stash. I’m really glad I remembered to add a hanging loop using this too. There isn’t one in the pattern, but it’s a really simple addition and although I’ll always hang this on a hanger at home, it’s often handy to have a hanging loop when out and about and all that’s on offer is a coat hook.
I made construction much more complicated for myself by adding the in-seam pockets, but they were an essential in my book. I made myself a simple pattern piece using the front panel as a base, making them 30 cm deep with a 15 cm opening. I cut the pockets from the facing fabric, using the right side as the inside of the pocket and fusing the same woven interfacing to the wrong side. It means the interfacing is visible inside the jacket, but I don’t mind. I’d rather that than have the pockets wear through or lose their shape. As you can see in the following picture, I sewed the jacket facings to the pockets to help anchor them in place ensuring they won’t droop lower than the front edge of the jacket even when loaded up with all the crap you end up carrying when you have kids.
Aside from the shonky instructions and me making things more complicated for myself in the ways I’ve described, I didn’t have any real difficulties sewing this one up. Then, then it came to basting in the zip it wouldn’t line up. I realised that somehow I had ended up with one front panel a full 4cm longer than the other. WTF?! This never happens to me!
I’m still not sure whether I made a mistake on the cutting table or if when interfacing along the front edges I somehow either gathered one side or stretched out the other (or perhaps a bit of both?!. Anyway, regardless of how it happened, it needed fixing or I would have one seriously weird-looking jacket. I decided to trim off the longer side in a wedge, decreasing gradually to nothing by the side seam. This turned out to be the right decision as you’d never know there had been a problem now, but it was more of a pain than it should have been as I’d already hemmed by this stage. Ah well. Lesson learned: always check your front edges match up before hemming!
The only other slight issue I had was that the sleeve heads were definitely too large for the armholes, but I simply sewed a line of basting stitches on upper part of the sleeve heads and eased them in. Perhaps Burda just assume you will know to do this sort of thing, but I can see it tripping up a less experienced sewist.
I’ve got to say, I am over the moon with my finished jacket. I had a really strong picture of how this was going to end up looking on me and it’s exactly what I was hoping for. The lines are simple and elegant, but it has all the comfort of a hoodie. The fleecy inside feels lovely and soft against my skin, so it’s perfect for a summer cover-up. I wouldn’t say it has enough ease to use as a winter layering jacket, but that’s not what I was after so no complaints here. I also love it just as much hanging open as I do zipped up, and I know I’ll be wearing it both ways.
I’m particularly thrilled with the look of that black and white collar against the deep green. For some reason the combination makes me happy, and it’s just enough detail to look fun, without being too much. Jackets need to be fairly neutral if you want them to go with lots of your outfits, and I’m confident this will work with most of my wardrobe.
I really love the zip which feels really sturdy and good quality. I’m not sure I’ll ever be unzipping it like this from the bottom, but I can see it being a useful feature if you needed a bit of extra ease for cycling or something like that. Since I don’t own a bike I’m unlikely to need to do this, but perhaps I’ll find another reason to.
The zip also goes all the way up the sides of the collar, which looks pretty cool as a detail when open and also means you can zip the collar up like this:
Again, I don’t think I’m likely to want to do this often as I’m not dead keen on how it looks, but I can see how I might if some nasty weather came in unexpectedly and I wanted a bit of extra warmth.
The only thing I’m not so keen on with the finished jacket is the way the facing makes a visible ridge on the front of the jacket down each side of the zip where I hand stitched it down. I don’t know if it’s something to do with the fact I interfaced the facing, making it completely non-stretchy so it’s pulling slightly, or if it would have happened anyway due to the thickness of the facing. To be honest, it’s much more noticeable in the photos than in real life as I bumped up the contrast. It doesn’t bother me enough to figure out how to fix it, at any rate. And at least it’s symmetrical so looks like an intentional design detail :)
To summarise: I absolutely love my new jacket and I can definitely see myself sewing it again in different colours and patterns. It’s a total winner!
Happy sewing, everyone!
All materials for this make were kindly supplied by Minerva in return for an honest blog post. Thank you, Minerva!