Wow two posts in one day! I’m not nearly as productive as that might suggest, more that I’d written my draft for the Sydney jacket about a month ago and had forgotten to publish it until I logged into wordpress and saw it sitting in my drafts folder haha!
First of all let me echo what everyone else seems to say about this pattern: yes it really is one of the fastest sews you can make. Tracing, cutting out, and sewing took place over three easy and enjoyable nights of sewing and I really couldn’t be more thrilled with the result!
I just finished sewing on the pockets tonight and I’m sitting here in my trackies and Berlin jacket (just be thankful I don’t have pictures to prove it!) typing out this blog post cause I’m so excited about my jacket! This pattern was released by Tessuti back in 2016 and I really didn’t pay any attention to it. I think perhaps as I’d never sewn with boiled wool before and also the silhouette was very unlike anything I’d worn before it completely flew under my radar.
Fast forward almost three years and so many gorgeous versions kept on popping up on my Instagram feed I started looking at the pattern in a new light. I’d made the Sydney jacket last winter and have absolutely loved wearing it. Another boiled wool jacket seemed like a great idea, but this time I was keen on longer sleeves as one of the only drawbacks of the Sydney jacket is that you really need to be wearing long sleeves under it.
I’d semi decided I was going to do a Berlin jacket a couple of months ago but wanted to wait until I was able to find the perfect fabric for it. This beautiful jacket by knee socks and goldilocks stopped me in my tracks as the colour was just beautiful. Blue is my absolute favourite colour so I was now on the lookout for some boiled wool in blue.
Easier said than done! As autumn came around in the Southern hemisphere some boiled wool slowly trickled in to the fabric stores down in Australia but nothing in a colour that jumped out at me. A couple of weeks ago I was browsing the Tessuti website (as one does) and under the just arrived section was a new selection of boiled wool. When I saw one of them was in this beautiful shade of powder blue I just swooned and knew straight away this was going to be the perfect match for my Berlin jacket.
The only hesitation I had was because of the price, I usually don’t spend this much on a fabric but I figured it’s 100% wool, I’ve enjoyed wearing my Sydney jacket so much and I knew this was going to be a wardrobe staple for many years to come so felt comfortable pulling the trigger. I also ordered the paper pattern as there isn’t anywhere locally for me to print A0 sheets and I am really not a fan of taping pages and pages of A4 paper together.
Now, while I’m lucky to not have to make lots of fitting adjustments the main thing I do have to adjust for is my very petite frame (I’m 150cm for reference). I’ve now sewn enough patterns that I’m fairly comfortable adjusting for length without making a muslin. I took four inches off the length and also moved the pocket placement up several inches (the bottom of the pocket ended up being four inches from the bottom of my jacket). The pocket is the same piece for all sizes so I made it slightly smaller by taking off half an inch from the width and height.
I would normally shorten the sleeves by 1” and actually did change my pattern pieces. I was slightly unsure about this so I cut out my fabric with the original sleeve length with the reasoning that I could trim off an inch far more easily than adding an inch. Once I’d traced, adjusted and cut out my pattern pieces I like to hold them up against my body to judge if I’m happy with the proportions. It was especially easy with this pattern as there is no hemming so the length of the pattern piece was the same as the finished garment.
I was happy with the length so I proceeded to cut into my fabric. I did preshrink it using the dryer method outlined here and it did shrink slightly. As others have noted the construction is quite different to how one would normally do things as the raw edges are overlapped and sewn in one pass. The fabric doesn’t fray so all the seams are left raw so this is why it’s such a quick sew.
Inspired by the lovely Helen of Helen’s closet and her berlin jacket I did end up sewing the neck band to the outside of the jacket instead of the inside as I also preferred the way this mirrored the visible facings on the turned up sleeves. I think the sleeves must be designed to be slightly cropped as they’re full length on me once they’re turned up. You might want to consider lengthening them if you’re not as petite as me – as I said earlier I normally have to shorten sleeves by 1”.
I ignored the pocket placement markings and just waited until the jacket was fully constructed before deciding where to place them. On some of the versions that I’ve seen the pockets do seem a bit low for my taste so knew I would have to raise them significantly. I tried it on, held the pockets on the jacket and fiddled around until I was happy.
The happy ending to my wonderfully enjoyable sewing experience was that when I finished sewing my last seam I glanced at my bobbin and it was almost finished. What usually happens is the bobbin thread runs out just before I finish the last seam and lots of unpicking ensues haha.
I’m so pleased that this jacket has turned out exactly how I wanted and that I wouldn’t change a single thing about it. I can’t wait to wear it out and about and I have a feeling that I’ll be wearing it non-stop this winter and hopefully for many winters to come! Have you tried the Berlin jacket yet? Happy sewing xx