Version française ci-dessous
Today I am sharing my Eagle Jacket (Veste Eagle) from French indie pattern designer Vanessa Pouzet.
I am totally in love with this Eagle Jacket! Pride is apparently a sin but, damn it, I feel proud of this one. This is my first ever fully lined jacket (although I intend to wear it more as a cardigan). And even if I don’t have the street cred to pull it off, I feel like it’s actually a very cool and street cred worthy garment.
Eagle Jacket Fabric Essentials
The fabric for my Eagle Jacket is a boiled wool jersey from Fabworks Mill. I was really excited to discover the amazing range of fabrics they have, especially wool and winter-weight fabrics. I‘ve mentioned elsewhere that I find these hard to source. Their speed of service is also just WOW. Twice now, I have ordered products on a Friday, which have arrived internationally by Monday.
This fabric worked really well with the Eagle Jacket pattern. It’s heavy enough that it has some substance and keeps you cosy but light enough to have the necessary drape.
There is still one thing that I’m not quite sure of with this fabric. I bought it with the mindset that I was buying a lightweight wool. But of course, it is a boiled jersey, so it does still have a little bit of stretch in it. I wasn’t sure if I should be treating it like a woven, because the”boiling” had removed most of the knit properties or as a knit?
In the end, I decided the safest thing would be to treat it as a knit. So I sewed this up using zig zag stitch and my overlocker. Still not sure if it was really necessary though …
The other thing I love about this pattern is the leather shoulder insets. I ended up sewing mine with two different leathers.
I had originally wanted to have the camel-coloured leather only, because I love it!
But I didn’t have enough. How sad!
Thievery and skulduggery
This camel-coloured leather has a story of its own. A little while ago, hubby and I had some furniture shopping to do. We went into a store to buy a chest of drawers and a bedside table. But my husband suddenly gets super-interested in a leather armchair. He starts asking the sales person all kinds of questions. I’m thinking “umm, we never discussed an armchair, but it looks cool, so why not?”. Eventually, hubby says we need to think about it.
When we leave the store, I’m all excited by the idea that we might be going back for the armchair. He says “nah, I just saw that they were giving away leather samples to people buying the couches and I thought this leather would make a great bookmark”.
Cue him triumphantly waving his leather sample in the air.
I berate him, aghast at his deception (and kind of bummed about the fact that we really don’t need a leather armchair)! But I did end up furtively funnelling that little leather sample into my fabric stash!
I really wanted to make the whole shoulder inset in the camel-coloured leather, but was a bit devastated to realise I didn’t have enough.
So, still more upholstery…
In defeat, I went to my local fabric store. The only leather they had was this textured, upholstery kind of leather, which, frankly, I don’t really like. But it was the best I could do.
But once I got my white leather home, I realised that I could topstitch strips of my original camel-coloured leather on top . In the end, I’m happy with the result.The dual-tone leather adds versatility for what I can pair the jacket with.
So, the Eagle Jacket pattern itself
Vanessa Pouzet’s PDFs are amazingly priced. The Eagle Jacket pattern costs only 6,90 Euros. Pretty extraordinary.
When you are assembling the PDF, it’s worth knowing that Vanessa Pouzet’s PDFs needs to be assembled in a manner slightly different than most PDFs I’ve worked with. The edge of one page, has to be attached to the edge of the next page, with no overlap whatsoever. For some reason, I actually found this a bit tricky to do!
I also really liked the way the Eagle Jacket PDF pattern was cleverly arranged so that you could cut out your lining and outer pieces using the same pattern pieces. First you cut your piece in your outer fabric. Then you cut out certain parts of the pattern piece, in order to get your lining pattern pieces. Then you just stick the “cut outs” back into their original place and your pattern is ready for next time. Anything that saves PDF assembly like this (by not having separate lining pieces) is great, in my book.
Some sizing issues
I would have liked more information to guide sizing choices. According to the measurement chart, my bust, waist, hip and arm measurements each fell in a different size range, ranging from 38-44. There is no table of finished garment measurements given. The only advice given is to “choose the size which best suits your measurement” but when your 4 relevant measurements fall in 4 totally different sizes, it’s really not clear which one suits you best! It would have been nicer to have had some advice as to how to choose between different sizes. Especially, since, given the unique curves of the pattern, it’s not an easy one on which to grade between sizes. The only other advice offered is to make a muslin, but regular readers will know how I feel about that.
I chose my Eagle Jacket size based on my arm measurements. I figured that, at the bust, waist and hip, it’s an open and loose design. It should be rather flexible. But it would be a disaster if it didn’t fit around the arm. So, based on arm measurements, I went with a size 42.
While I do love my Eagle Jacket, I feel that it is about a size too big. Next time, I will go for a size 40. For the record, that’s the size my waist measurement put me in!
You know it has been a relatively painless PDF process when the one thing that I agonised over is whether to make the short or long version. On Vanessa Pouzet’s webpage, I adore how both versions are styled. I thought that the short version made more sense, in view of my desire for a more cardigan-like garment. But, from the versions I had seen sewn up, I preferred the drape and flow of the longer version.
I actually had the long version cut out and made a last minute decision to cut to the shorter length! Ughhh, don’t you hate it when every variation of a pattern is so nice that you can’t decide which one to make! Sewing problems…
Some extra help with the instructions…
Turning to the instructions, while some of Vanessa Pouzet’s patterns are only available in French, this one is available in English, so no language barriers!
The pattern is designed for intermediate to advanced sewists, so don’t expect detailed, teach-to-sew kind of instructions. The instructions were fine, but they assumed a certain familiarity with some of the techniques.
What I found invaluable, was this tutorial from Master Class Couture which takes you step-by-step through the process. While this one is in French only, don’t be afraid. It is literally 70 (yes, 70!) photographs of every single step of the process! So between the English instructions provided with the pattern and the additional visual guidance of these photos, there were no problems. In fact, I was amazed at how quickly my Eagle Jacket came together.
Before starting, I also read up on these tips for sewing with leather from Sarah at Wanderstitch, since this was my first time ever sewing with leather.
The magic of new techniques
This project contained a few firsts for me, which was fun. It was my first time making a fully-lined jacket, including lined sleeves. My Eagle jacket definitely has the cleanest insides that I have ever sewn. I have never sewn anything before which doesn’t have a single visible seam!
What’s more, it was all surprisingly easy. Just like I mentioned recently when making my first successful pair of pants, it’s fun to revisit that magical feeling of sewing. It definitely feels like magic when you start pulling your fabric right way out, through the hole you left in the hem, and suddenly a fully lined jacket magically appears. Such a great moment!
The construction technique of the Eagle Jacket means that there is very little opportunity to try things on and tweak as you go.
In retrospect, it might have been worth the effort to just baste the outer pieces together and check if I was happy with size before starting to sew properly. Had I done this, I might have been able to size down. I also ended up with sleeves that were way too big. I shaved a couple of inches off the seam of each sleeve from the elbow down. It would have been easier to have discovered this before I had fully constructed the lined sleeve.
And the insides
Speaking of lining, the other thing that I had been wondering about before sewing was whether the lining would be visible at all. The front pieces of the jacket are self lined. As you see in the above photos, the lining fabric is used to line only the back of the jacket and the sleeves.
I decided to go with my favourite birdy lining, which doesn’t match at all, in the hope it wouldn’t be visible. For the most part it’s not. But, at certain angles, you do get a glimpse of it along the curves of the back of the jacket (see if you can spot the lining in some of the above shots…).
Keep this in mind if, like me, you are always tempted to line in mismatched fluorescent colours just because you can!
So does it look “homemade”?
And to end with a final random musing.
I sewed my Eagle Jacket while my husband was away for the weekend. When he came home and I was wearing it, he was like “oh, you’ve been shopping this weekend”. At first, he didn’t believe that I had made it!
I’m choosing to take this as a complement of the techniques I learned making my lovely new Eagle Jacket, rather than be offended by the fact that he must therefore think that most of my other makes look homemade.
And, in case you’re wondering, I don’t think he has even realised yet that I have stolen his bookmark…
Et un mot en français
Récemment, j’ai écrit mon premier post avec une petite version en français. J’étais contente que ce post a reçu beaucoup plus de visiteurs de France que d’habitude. Alors, je voudrais essayer encore une fois d’écrire un petit mot en français (même si je suis certaine que mes lecteurs en France peuvent lire en anglais beaucoup mieux que je peux écrire en français!). C’est également approprié parce que, à nouveau, ce patron est un vrai chef d’œuvre par un autre couturier français – Vanessa Pouzet.
Même si le travail de Vanessa Pouzet est bien connu entre les enthousiastes de la couture en France, c’est un peu moins connu dans le monde du « sewing » anglophone. Donc, ce n’était que récemment qui j’ai découvert tous les merveilles de Vanessa Pouzet. Immédiatement, j’ai tombé amoureux avec plusieurs patrons. La première qui est prêt de partager avec vous c’est ma veste eagle !
Ma veste eagle
J’ai cousu ma veste eagle avec un tricot en laine bouillie que j’avais acheté online chez Fabworks Mill. C’était un tissu idéal pour ce projet. Ce tissu combine la fluidité que le patron demande avec une structure et lourdeur approprié pour une veste d’automne.
Ma veste eagle est une taille 42. Finalement, c’est un tout petit peu trop grand pour moi. La prochaine fois, je coudrai une 40. En fait, c’était difficile de décider quelle taille de coudre. Mes mensurations ont tombé dans 4 tailles différentes. Evidemment, je n’ai pas un corps typiquement français ! Alors, j’ai choisi de coudre la taille en correspondant avec les mensurations de mes bras. Enfin, la taille 40, qui est la plus appropriée pour moi, correspondait avec ma mesure de tour de taille.
En plus, j’ai trouvé que les manches de ma veste étaient vraiment trop grandes entre mes coudes et mes mains. Donc, je vous conseille de vérifier si la manche marche bien pour vous avant de le coudre (moi, je n’ai pas vérifié en avance, donc j’ai passé un bon moment avec mon « quick unpick » !).
J’adore ce patron!
Le patron était facile à utiliser. J’étais aussi un peu étonnée que c’était vraiment facile à coudre. Au début, j’avais peur qu’une veste entièrement doublé soit un projet un peu avancée pour moi. Mais, c’était pas du tout difficile. Au contraire, ça a senti un peu comme magique de regarder l’apparition de ma veste ! Les instructions étaient utiles mais j’ai aussi utilisé cette guide de Master Class Couture pour m’aider avec la construction de ma veste. C’est une guide vraiment génial ! Personnellement, je trouve que les photos (et beaucoup des détails) sont utiles quand je couds un type de vêtements avec lequel je ne suis pas familière.
Enfin, je suis super contente avec ma veste. Je n’ai jamais cousu quelque chose avec les finitions haut de gamme comme ça. Même à l’intérieur, ma veste eagle est un petit œuvre d’art. Mon mari n’a pas me croire quand j’ai lui dit que j’avais le cousu moi-même!
En conclusion, ce n’est pas tous les jours qu’on découvre un patron qu’est si beau, unique et simple. Pour moi, la veste eagle est un patron spécial. Merci Vanessa Pouzet ! En fait, la chose le plus difficile de tout le processus était la décision entre les 2 longueurs disponible parce que les deux sont si beaux !