Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Her first language is German | Closet Case Kelly Anorak

It's been some time, friends. And in that time I had a LOVELY eurotrip vacation that I was DETERMINED to make a jacket for. I was working on this jacket up to a few hours before my flight. That's how close I was cutting it. It was a busy last few weeks of May, but I'm happy I was able to eek this out.

 Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Kelly Anorak from Closet Case Patterns. This features of this jacket were everything I wanted; the back yoke, the drawstring waist, a hood, nice big pockets, and I would be learning new things as I made it. That last one was huge for me, especially when I first started sewing. I used to try to learn a new technique every single garment. But over the years, trying to sew fast and just get things done kind of led me off of that path.

The fabric is an AS IS Muted Midnight Blue Cotton/Poly Twill from Fabric Mart. The AS IS section of the site has fabric that has some kind of imperfection to it. I didn't see the problems described for this fabric when I got it so I  think I got lucky.
The entire time I was making it, it looked black but when I finally got it out of the house, you could see that it was blue, which made me really happy.
It has a bit of stretch as twill does but it still has the stiffness of cotton. It has a great weight to it that made it pretty warm without having to add a lining. That really surprised me.
It pressed very well and I'm really excited to see what it looks and feels like once I've broken it in/after a few years.
Also, you can see in a few of these pics how well it holds onto lint lol. I will def need to go over it with a lint brush when it's time to wear it again. Good thing I don't have an animal!

I cut a straight size 12 in the pattern. For fitting modifications, I added a center back seam and did a 1 inch swayback adjustment.

I also added 2 inches to the sleeves. there weren't lengthen/shorten lines on either the back piece or the sleeve so I just drew my own lines at places I thought was appropriate and made the adjustments there With those two changes, the anorak fit great. My sleeves were even long enough when I bent my arms.

Speaking of the sleeves.... they were the ONLY part of the whole pattern that I had trouble with. Even though the Kelly can be laborious, all of the steps are easy and the instructions are amazing. Especially the instructions on the online sewalong. It was taking me a while to get through everything but nothing was HARD. .... until I hit the sleeves.

Because my fabric doesn't have an actual wrong or right side, I got mixed up more than a couple of times with what pieces went with what and which way seam allowances went. It was very frustrating because I didn't use my seam ripper anywhere else except for on the sleeves and attaching the cuffs.
Next time I'm going to have to label those pieces so I know what I'm doing. Especially when it comes to the slit in the sleeves. I spent more than a day on sleeves alone and I'm still mad about it but I should really get over it because my jacket is amazing lol

Being that I was traveling to Europe for the first time, with only one other person, I was constantly warned about being careful of pick-pockets and things like that. And even though I'm pretty fearless when it comes to travel, I know muggings and people having things stolen is a real thing. So I decided I would take a proactive approach and make my Kelly pick-pocket resistant lol.

First, since the bellowed pockets on the front aren't actually functional, and I didn't have time to figure out how to MAKE them functional, I decided that I could close them up with Velcro! I went to Michael's and got a pack of 4 pre-cut strips. They were the perfect length and I just stuck them on the inside and edgestitched them in place. Not only would it be hard to get in the pocket un-felt but I would also hear it opening as well.

To add some more protection for my valuables, I decided to make 2 secret pockets INSIDE that would fit my phone and my passport. What I did was take this multicolor remnant from JoAnn and laid my phone and passport on top of it with the fold on the bottom.. I measured an inch around the 2 sides and about 2 inches on the top and cut around them. Then I stitched the sides right sides together (not all the way to the top) and turned them out.
While I was sewing in the casing, I laid the back top of the pocket inside the casing and stitched it into place. I folded down the top front of the pocket and stitched the flap down.
The other 2 strips of Velcro were added to these pockets.

To match the pockets, I bound the hem, neckline and sleeve seam allowances in this pinkish-red store-bought bias tape. I wanted to make some bias tape out of the same remnant fabric but I' haven't really made my own bias tape before and I didn't have time to learn. I think the solid color looks great, though.

All of the hardware and the drawstring is from the Kelly Hardware Kit from Closet Case. It was the kit she sold first in antique brass. I lucked out that my fabric is midnight blue because the black zipper and drawstring from the kit don't look out of place.
Also, I accidently put on the head of one snap the wrong way! I freaked out and I couldn't find my wire-cutters, but luckily my regular scissors happened to be sharp enough to cut it off without ruining my fabric *praise God*.

I THINK that's about it. My capsule wardrobe color scheme for my trip was blue, black, grey, and gold so this jacket matched perfectly with everything that I took with me! Because I was really down to the wire on it, it didn't get it's first wear until I got to Germany. And it was perfect for the chilly nights there and the even chillier nights in Amsterdam and Brussels. I'm so glad I pushed to get it done.

I really enjoyed making this jacket. All of the time it took to do the flat-felled seams was therapeutic. I actually did them the really proper way where you sew wrong sides together first so I really had to pay attention and make sure I was doing things right the first time. The only seams that I did the way in the instructions were the sleeves.. and thank God I did because I would have been screwed lol I used just about all of my fabric and there wouldn't have been any way to get anymore..... *woosah* lol

My only negative is that the hood is not big enough for my hair.. but.. my hair is pretty big. That's nitpicking at this point. The entire trip I kept staring at it the jacket and feeling SO proud of myself! I absolutely love it and cannot wait for fall to come back around so I can wear it all the time!

What do you think about the Kelly? I bought some water-proofing spray but I didn't have time to apply it before my trip. Have any of you waterproofed anything before? What was your experience?

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