Fall Sewing Project #1: Tasia’s Gabby Jacket

My first project of the fall sewing season is complete! It’s the Gabby Jacket from Style Arc, sewn in a lovely wool tweed.

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Short story, I love it, it’s supercool, I enjoyed sewing it and I can’t wait to wear it this fall.

Three most important things that I noted while working on this project:

  1. I love sewing with wool. I’ve been working with a lot of synthetic fabrics recently and it’s been nice to sew with wool. It presses, it eases, it smells good when you iron it. Sleeves ease in beautifully, curved hemlines are easy to shape. Wool is light and warm so even though the fabric isn’t heavy, it’ll be a great warm little jacket to throw on when I need it.
  2. Simple doesn’t have to mean boring. This jacket is relatively basic in design with a few special details – the neckline, the curved hem and the awesomely big shoulders.
  3. You adapt to unusual things in sewing quickly. In this pattern, the seam allowances vary, from 1cm to 6mm, along different parts of the garment. At first it felt so small to work with such a narrow seam allowance, but by the end of the project it felt normal. (Also, narrow seam allowances mean less trimming!) The instructions are brief, but enough to tell you what part to work on next.

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It looks shinier in these photos than it does in real life, making the sleeves look a bit loose and wrinkly. Because there’s no closure and the front hangs open, it’s easy for this jacket to slip around and not sit in the exact right spot all the time. Fine for general wearing, but it makes it hard to get a really accurate self-photo of the sleeves.

The fabric does have a soft drape like you’d imagine from the photos though, so it’s very comfortable to wear. It doesn’t feel stiff even though the entire front is interfaced and the shoulder pads are huge.

I feel cool in this jacket. It meets my criteria of being more modern and sophisticated than cute. It’s got a nice shape and structure. I love the big shoulders.

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It’s a good style for pear-shaped figures as the shoulders balance out wider hips. The straight line of the shoulders draws your eye upwards, the shorter jacket length hits at a nice place on the body. The pockets are too short to be useful, but they’re pretty and enjoyable to make. I considered slipstitching them closed, so they’d stay perfectly flat, but haven’t done that yet.

It is loose-fitting through the back. Lots of room for sweaters and layers underneath, but not the most shapely appearance from the rear view.

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The fabric is a wool tweed, seen in this post here. It’s lined with blue rayon bemberg lining, barely visible inside the sleeve cuffs here.

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The blouse in these photos is our Pendrell Blouse in a rayon floral print, originally posted here and also seen in this post.

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Jackets are fun to make. Collarless jackets, like this one or our Cordova Jacket, are faster to make than jackets with collars or lapels. I’d like to sew our Cordova Jacket again as I dream up more jacket sewing projects. I’ve always wanted to make another one after sewing the metallic sample and maybe this will be the year.

But first, sewing the rest of the projects on my fall list!

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41 Responses to Fall Sewing Project #1: Tasia’s Gabby Jacket

  1. camelia August 31, 2015 at 6:05 am #

    WoW! This is lovely..I love the fabric , great shoulders and the fit. But I must say I LOVE your hair color!! Greetings and good luck with you sewing list! Camelia

    • Tasia August 31, 2015 at 9:21 am #

      Ah, thanks! It’s fun to try out a new look, I’m loving the purple even as it fades out!

  2. Betty Jordan Wester August 31, 2015 at 7:17 am #

    This came out beautifully. I’m a pear shape as well and have found this jacket style to be great for balancing hips.

    • Tasia August 31, 2015 at 9:20 am #

      Thanks so much!

  3. Sam August 31, 2015 at 7:29 am #

    I love this! It looks great on you.

  4. Violeta August 31, 2015 at 8:44 am #

    Wow! It’s really nice!! I’m also happy to report that I just made a Cordova Jacket with a grey wool fabric. I’ve been receiving lots of comments when I wear it when I go out. :) I planning on sewing a pair of pants to make it a complete set.

    One thing about wool fabric, though. I like sewing it, but I’m not too keen on the dry cleaning bills… Can one wash wool things at home?

    • Tasia August 31, 2015 at 9:19 am #

      Oh that sounds lovely! I’ve always thought the Cordova would make a nice two-piece suit – not too formal, but with a nice structure.
      I’d always dryclean a jacket – because of the interfacing, shoulder pads and such, there’s a good chance it might lose its shape if hand-washed. Wool skirts and trousers though, you may be able to get away with hand-washing and laying flat to dry. Other than that, I try to wear something with long sleeves under a jacket, so the jacket doesn’t get as dirty as quickly. Or spot-clean skirts, if you spill while eating.

      • Violeta September 1, 2015 at 12:03 pm #

        Thank you for the tips!

  5. Ofer August 31, 2015 at 10:14 am #

    That is one amazing jacket! the dramatic fabric, the pattern and perfect fit. and those shoulders! it is just right. and it goes so well with the floral shirt underneath. Love it.

    • Tasia September 2, 2015 at 10:17 am #

      Thanks! I’m really happy with it and it’s so great to sew a neutral jacket like this, it goes well with pretty much everything!

  6. Jill August 31, 2015 at 10:51 am #

    The fabric makes a really great twist on the classic jacket style.

    • Tasia September 2, 2015 at 10:16 am #

      Thanks! The fabric is awesome, it was a pleasure to sew with. You really do get what you pay for, in this case, an expensive designer wool made for a lovely sewing experience.

  7. Sandra P. August 31, 2015 at 11:15 am #

    That’s a wonderful jacket on you, it’s a very nice silhouette and really flatters your shape. :)

    • Tasia September 2, 2015 at 10:17 am #

      Thank you!

  8. Nathalie August 31, 2015 at 11:30 am #

    That is an amazing jacket! love it the fabric is beautiful and the fit looks great!

    • Tasia September 2, 2015 at 10:15 am #

      Thank you!

  9. Leanne August 31, 2015 at 1:13 pm #

    Very chic and modern! I’ve been wanting to make a jacket/blazer but get intimidated when looking at patterns. I need to just take a deep breath and do it!

    • Tasia September 2, 2015 at 10:15 am #

      What part scares you? Jackets are not much harder than shirts and dresses, especially if you’ve sewn set-in sleeves and lining before.

  10. Barbara August 31, 2015 at 1:28 pm #

    I agree, very chic. Im always on the look out for simple yet chic jacket patterns. This looks like it would be perfect for spring or fall.

    • Tasia September 2, 2015 at 10:14 am #

      This is a good one!

  11. Sue August 31, 2015 at 2:50 pm #

    The shoulders look just exactly right–do the jacket sleeves extend past the shoulders?

  12. nothy lane August 31, 2015 at 4:31 pm #

    Oh this is really nice. I love working with wool too. It is devine.

    • Tasia September 2, 2015 at 10:11 am #

      It’s the best, after working with inflexible fabrics, to sew with something that steams and presses and molds into shape so nicely.

  13. Katherine August 31, 2015 at 5:26 pm #

    You ahve done a superb job on this jacket. Now I want one! Edgy and sophisticated, for sure!

    • Tasia September 2, 2015 at 10:10 am #

      Thank you! I’m aiming to choose more sophisticated sewing projects, and I think this falls nicely into that category.

  14. Margo August 31, 2015 at 6:47 pm #

    Very chic! I can see this being styled so many different ways for fall. Well done!

    • Tasia September 2, 2015 at 10:09 am #

      Me too, I think it’ll be so great with a light sweater, as there’s plenty or room. Or a sheath dress. Lots of options!

  15. Charlie September 1, 2015 at 2:12 am #

    This looks stunning! The pattern and the wool are a perfect match!

    • Tasia September 2, 2015 at 10:08 am #

      Thank you!

  16. Elisabeth September 1, 2015 at 3:41 am #

    Lovely jacket!
    I must admit I wasn’t totally onboard when you first talked about this jacket, I didn’t like the shape, but it is gorgeous!
    And I was so preoccupied by the jacket I didn’t even notice your hair until I read it in one of the comments :)

    • Tasia September 2, 2015 at 10:08 am #

      I can see this jacket isn’t everyone’s taste, it’s lovely fabric but a bit more unusual style! I actually think the line drawing gives it the impression it’ll be shorter and tighter, and it’s more boxy and loose, but I like it. It’s different and cool.

  17. francesca September 2, 2015 at 12:13 am #

    OMG I love your hair! Fabulous! And at the same time it’s not in your face bright – perfect.

    Re the jacket, it’s a gorgeous make – but I can’t stand big shoulders – it’s my age. I did my teens in the 80s – a time of great dance music with fab videos which were sexy but not obscene, and excess in general – big hair, big shoulders, big frills – it was great fun and I loved dressing like the New Romantics, but I shudder when I look back. So it’s hard for me to like them now. Or look beyond them.

    But that hair! If I lived thereabouts, I’d beg you for your hairdresser’s number. First time I’ve seen wild colour that isn’t unflattering. Trust you:)

    • Tasia September 2, 2015 at 10:07 am #

      Ah thank you! It’s so fun to have fun hair. I’ve always been very conservative, hair-wise, and this is way out of my usual comfort zone. My stylist (who is definitely amazing!) suggested it and I thought, no way. Then when I was on holidays the ladies in Antwerp were like – do it!! So I let relaxed-holiday-me make the decision before uptight-work-me could change my mind! :)

      No hard feelings on the jacket and shoulders – you don’t have to like everything! At least the big hair isn’t coming back in the same way? How about perms? I did see stirrup pants the other day though – I wore those as a kid!

  18. Sophia September 2, 2015 at 11:26 am #

    Wow the jacket looks lovely:) I am always a bit scared to sew jackets, they always seem to be really hard to sew. Have a lovely day, Sophia
    http://www.littlesewingmachine.blogspot.de

  19. ysolda September 9, 2015 at 6:20 am #

    This turned out wonderfully! I love the shaping and detail of those shoulders and it’s great to see your feedback on the Style Arc pattern. Well drafted with minimal instructions is pretty much what I look for in patterns, but it’s hard to see that from their rather minimal illustrations!

    • Tasia September 9, 2015 at 9:08 am #

      Hi Ysolda! Excited to see your name pop up. I’m super flattered that you read my blog post, I’m a big fan of your work! Even more flattered that you left a comment and that you like the jacket. If you like patterns with minimal instructions, you’d like Style Arc patterns in general. Great if you’re confident figuring out the construction on your own, but want a well made basic product with fashion-forward design.
      (I think our patterns are also well drafted and well made, but we also offer detailed instructions with plenty of diagrams, which is probably less important to you at this point!)

  20. Mary September 14, 2015 at 6:05 pm #

    The fabric is a fantastic choice and the welt pockets look super sharp. However, looking at your first two photos, it appears your sleeves are swinging towards the back, evident from the folds on the sleeve at your front armpit. I didn’t see this problem during your muslin stage so it’s a little unclear where this problem crept in. It could also just be the way you’re holding your arms. Either way, congrats overall looks great!

    • Tasia September 18, 2015 at 9:32 am #

      I had the same thought – why do the sleeves look smooth in muslin and not in the actual fabric? It’s interesting that this shows in the photos and not in real life, too.
      The biggest difference is the fabric – muslin is stiff, the wool is fluid and drapey, so I’m thinking it has to do with the fabric. Or it could just be that taking photos in direct sunlight highlights the sheen and ripples in the sleeves in the wool. Or that I am holding my arms weirdly! The joys of taking photos with a selftimer – you can’t make minor adjustments to posture so things hang better.

  21. LaLa Sews September 17, 2015 at 8:09 pm #

    What a lovely jacket! It looks very versatile.

  22. Ash September 18, 2015 at 3:48 am #

    Hi, love the jacket! Is there a “lengthen” line on the pattern for those of us with a long torso? Would love to make it if so.

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