Thursday, March 6, 2014

Saint Laurent Inspired Safari Jacket.

This is the first item in my Spring 2014 wardrobe. I think a jacket is a good place to start. If you make a bunch of garments and then decide to make a jacket, it might be difficult to find a style that will work proportionally with all the other items. So working in this order makes sense to me.

I used pattern 105 from the October 2013 issue of Burdastyle.

And I made a few changes to the style. I ditched the gun flaps, used buttons instead of a zipper and used a tie belt instead of the drawstring. These modifications make it look more like my inspiration jacket, the vintage Saint Laurent. I chose to make the pockets flat because the original pockets in the pattern just looked really bulky on my muslin. I also reduced the size of the lower pockets a tad. The pockets as they are drafted don't really fit onto the front piece in the size 38. You would need to sew the top corner a little bit over the side seam which I thought would look strange, so I  reduced them in width and length equally.

I reworked the shoulder/sleeve area quite a bit. I raised the armscye for greater ease of movement, reduced the width of the shoulders, reduced sleeve cap ease. I also slimmed down the sleeve gradually from elbow to wrist so they are narrow enough to scrunch up.

Scrunching the sleeves and popping the collar make a jacket fun to wear!

I really wanted to be able to pop the collar. Last Fall I made a peacoat using a vintage Simplicity pattern. I was so pleased that they provided a separate pattern for the under collar and that it was meant to be cut on the bias which is what a lot of experts recommend, well when the jacket was finished, I couldn't pop the collar! This was disappointing because I feel it is essential to giving a peacoat that "just in from the high seas" vibe. The under collar was just too soft compared to the upper collar.
So, for my safari jacket, I cut both collars on the cross grain and interfaced only the under collar as per Burda's instructions... and, it pops!

The fabric is a really crisp cotton gabardine in a bronze color. A Paul & Joe remnant I've had for several years, but always knew was meant to be a safari jacket. Since it does tend to wrinkle, I chose not to line my jacket for easier upkeep. I flat felled all the seams, and I can tell you it took me a lot of time and effort to figure out how to flat fell the center back seam into the back vent in order to get a clean finish. I couldn't find any tutorials on how to do this so I made several samples until I figured it out.

Vent : Right Side

Vent : Wrong side

I drafted a front facing which extends to the shoulder seams so I could use Connie Long's tutorial on "sewing collars without a back facing" from her book "Easy guide to sewing blouses". I use this book a lot. It is such a great reference.

The hanging loop is a really pretty multicolored ribbon. I sewed it down into the collar band using a three step zigzag stitch, so it's really strong.

I'm very pleased with this jacket and look forward to building my Spring wardrobe around it!


  1. Cette saharienne est PAR-FAITE ! J'en rĂªve !
    Et l'ensemble avec le jean et le pull bleu est parfait aussi !

  2. Wow ... the precision ... the level of detail ... it's such a nice and well WELL made jacket! Now I want one too!

    1. Thank you so much Sasha, I really appreciate it !

  3. beautiful jacket! really love how it looks belted, and i love your attention to details, too.. now i wanna sew one for me hehe


  4. Thank you very much Mokosha. I'd love to see what you do with this pattern !

  5. Beautiful jacket and I love the details and how you finished it so well.

  6. Oooh very nice. I think I will use some of these details in a lightweight jacket I'm currently working on! Thanks :)