July 15, 2023

Modern Styling this September with City Jackets

As I write this, I'm on a business trip to New York City to attend a fabric expo so I can pick a whole batch of new and exciting fabrics for the next six months. And it's apt timing because it was the city I had in mind when I came up with our September theme. 

I normally work from home in the suburbs, so when I go out, I throw on a fleece or raincoat without much thought. But then, when it comes time to go somewhere nice, with good clothes on, such as when I visit New York, I never have good layers. There's a slot between fleece and winter coat that I always forget about, and that's the city jacket.

I call it this because it's not a chore coat or a winter coat. It's a category all its own of a jacket with some distinct styling that can be worn in place of a blazer or sweater. It's a coat that actually dresses up an outfit rather than simply covering it up while you're outside. It's an oft-overlooked piece, but one I think you'll be thrilled to have in your handmade wardrobe.

Since we're moving into fall (even though I know it's July as you're reading this), these coats embrace warmer fabrics and more muted, autumn-ready colors. We have some truly unique denims, suedes, and wool ahead that we can't wait to show you!

So, without further ado, let's dig in!

Sew Essential Box: Yanaka Jacket from Liesl & Co

The Yanaka Jacket is described as a cross between a jacket and a cardigan, but we think that the sum is more than its parts. This unlined jacket is semi-fitted with unique details such as a stand-up collar, back v-notch, sleeve gussets, and cut-on sleeves. The hem is slightly arched for some subtle hem shaping, and the open front allows you to show off your top (maybe a sleeveless blouse from our March boxes?)

What makes us really love this jacket though is its blend of tailored lines and relaxed cool. The sharp angles of the collar and hem evoke military uniforms and regency waistcoats while the smooth lines of the cut-on sleeve soften the entire look. It's a study in contrast, we believe it will add a note of sophistication to any outfit, from jeans to little black dresses.

For fabric, there was a wide range to choose from to give different looks for this pattern. We decided to go with more everyday fabrics that have unique details to help accentuate the blend of high and low brow fashion. Denims, twills, and moleskins will be wearable everyday while still looking a cut above. So here they are!

  • Cookies and Cream Cotton Denim - Doesn't this fabric make you want ice cream? The cream denim is striated with black threads for a completely unexpected look. At just 6.5 oz, this denim is sturdier than a chambray but not so stiff it feels like you're wearing paper, and it will wrap so nicely through the seamless shoulders. The fabric is soft to the touch, making it ideal for this unlined look, and it's light enough for three-season wear. A gorgeous fabric!
  • Jet Black Cotton Drill - There's nothing more versatile than a black jacket – It can be worn with basically anything! With a left-hand weave, this twill is like your favorite denim jacket but dressed up in black tie clothes. A slight sheen gives that fabric an extra oomph, and a heavier weight will really accentuate the standing collar. Go day to night with this fantastic optino!
  • Cabernet Microcheck Moleskin - I have been trying to use moleskin for a while and just not found the right opportunity. Until now! Brushed on one side for a sueded texture, this fabric is lush and oh-so wearable. The deep, purpley burgundy is actually checked with tiny tone-on-tone squares that make the fabric even more interesting when you get close to it. Right between the first two options in terms of weight, this fabric is supple and soft, and perfect for the fall season!

Sew Select Box: Canton Moto Jacket from Cashmerette

When Cashmerette released the Canton Moto Jacket back in March, we knew we had to use it. Everything about it fit this theme, from cross-front to the metal hardware to the zipper closures. This jacket is COOL. And because it's Cashermette, you know that it's well drafted and that the instructions will expertly guide you through every step of the process. 

Like their other outerwear offerings, this jacket is drafted for curves, with easy to adjust princess seams and back fish-eye darts. We see this jacket paired with jeans for a fall biker look or with late summer dresses for a 90s grunge vibe. (And, even if I'm not fully on board, 90s are really having a moment).

For fabric, we knew we wanted to emphasize the moto quality but without being too on the nose. That led us to denims and suedes, classics for the genre. We also played with a lovely tweed if you want a more adventurous look. So here they are!

  • Black Soho Suede - Want a leather look without the hassle of rawhide? This is the fabric for you! A faux suede on a polyester tricot back, it will have the appearance of suede but will sew up like a regular woven. Buttery soft, with great flexibility, this fabric will become an amazing moto jacket that looks like you spent hundreds of dollars on real leather, all while being completely animal free!
  • Bordeaux Cotton Denim - Denim is a amazing option for the jacket, combining utility with sophistication. The 8 oz denim is yarn-dyed with deep red weft yarns and cream warp thread, giving the fabric the classic mottled appearance that comes to define denim. Supple, with a hint of stretch, this fabric will be movable yet sturdy, comfortable yet timelessly stylish. You'll love to wear this make for years and years to come!
  • Gray Houndstooth Tweed - Tweed may not be your first thought for a moto style jacket, but we couldn't get over the burgundy sample photo that showed a wool coating. That led us to this fantastic gray and white herringbone tweed that looks like it's straight out of a Chanel fashion line. Contrasting the couture fabric with the more punk look of the pattern just makes us happy. We hope you feel the same! 

Sew Indulgent Box: Metropolis Jacket from Maison Fauve

We've only just started using Maison Fauve, and it's taking all our self-control not to use them everywhere. There are so many stylish and wearable patterns! We particularly like the French flair each one has, emphasizing details and tailoring, clean lines and simplicity.

The Metropolis Jacket epitomizes all these qualities. A military style jacket that would make Napoleon proud, the pattern is slim-fitting with two rows of buttons down the front and pockets. With the option for bands over the shoulders (a Maison Fauve signature), the jacket is perfect for a fall stroll or a night out on the town.

To accentuate the Parisian quality of the jacket, we went lush with the fabrics. A delicious tweed, a touchable velvet, and a unique denim are on display and no matter which you choose, you'll have an amazing jacket at the end of it. So let's get into the details!

  • Red Multicolor Japanese Wool Tweed - Feeling this fabric will make you a believer – it is soft, thin, and lightly brushed, all qualities that you wouldn't expect by just looking at it. What appears to be a burlap style barkskin is actually a lush, intricate wool tweed that would have Coco Chanel swooning. A mixture of burgundy, gold, grey, and cream make up the yarn-dyed fabric, and it will become a truly stunning jacket. We can't wait to make one for ourselves!
  • Confetti Speckled Denim - We are always a fan of speckled fabrics. The little pops of color in the weave add a lovely extra quality to your makes. But this denim is beyond. A blend of cotton and wool, it's sturdy yet soft, warm but not heavy. The denim blue is mottled with dark red, lime green, and turquoise weft yarns to create a look of boiled wool, all while being easy to sew denim. This fabric is a wonder!
  • Black Cotton Velvet - It was hard to pass up the chance to use a lush velvet for this pattern. The military style lends itself so well to this luxury fabric. The classic black allows you to show off the seamlines of the pattern, and you even have an opportunity to play with the nap on the shoulder bands for some visual and textural interest. Sturdy yet touchably soft, this velvet is a pattern match made in heaven!

If you use September to recover from summer, we get it. That's why we're going easy in our Tried and True boxes with our favorite Sweatpants boxes. More and more sweatpants patterns have come out since we did this theme back in February 2019 (😱) so we've updated it with some patterns we think you'll love to lounge in. 

And with that, fall sewing officially begins for us. We hope you're ready!

Until next time. . .

Happy sewing!



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