the Sydney jacket

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If you’re in Australia you’ve probably heard of the craft sessions? An annual knitting and sewing retreat run by the lovely Felicia (go check out her blog if you haven’t already come across it). I’ve wanted to go since starting to knit a couple of years ago but for one reason or another was never able to make it. Last year Felicia organised a new event: Soulcraft festival, which brought together lots of amazing speakers, demonstrations, workshops and also a marketplace.

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A friend and I made the trek down to Melbourne and had a lovely child free weekend (exciting for many reasons!) Tessuti had a stall in the marketplace and had brought down lots of samples of their patterns made up for people to try. While there I tried on the Sydney jacket sample made out of a luscious boiled wool. As usual it was a bit long on my petite frame and I was mentally trying to imagine what adjustments I might have to make to it. Luckily Lisa had worn her petite version that day and got it out for me to try on (talk about serendipity!). As soon as I put hers on I fell in love and started plotting my own version.

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Now, her version was made out of an 100% boiled wool which is rather expensive, so as much as I wanted to, I didn’t pull the trigger that day. I spent a few weeks going back and forth deciding whether I was going to bite the bullet and in the end I did. At the end of the day, I felt that even though it was going to be a bit of an investment, I was going to end up with a garment I was going to get a lot of use out of. Thankfully I was right!

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I used a gorgeous boiled wool from Tessuti which was a dream to work with. As many others have noted sewing up a Sydney jacket is actually incredibly fast! The seams are overlapped (a technique I’ve never come across before) as the edges don’t fray so each seam only requires one pass on the machine. It’s pretty important to be as accurate as possible when cutting and measuring your seam allowances as it’s quite obvious if your allowances aren’t uniform throughout. I used a my trusty Olfa rotary cutter to cut my fabric and didn’t have any issues.

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I sewed the petite size and raised the position of the pockets by 1”. I’m still not 100% sure on the length and may well trim a bit off..time will tell! It will certainly be an easy fix as all of the edges are left raw so I would literally just have to trim a bit off with my rotary cutter.

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I finished this at the tail end of last winter and wore it a lot at work. I come across quite a few older people in my job and this jacket was definitely a hit with the 80 plus crowd haha! I remember one lovely lady commenting on it, and then when I told her I made it she was super impressed. She was particularly taken by the material and wasn’t surprised in the least when I mentioned it was 100% wool.

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The only issue/concern with this jacket is that you really need to be wearing long sleeves under it otherwise your wrists do get rather chilly. It’s really more of a layering piece rather than a warm weather coat but that’s fine in my part of the world as it our winters aren’t super cold. I’m rather tempted by the Berlin jacket as it has full length sleeves. Now I know how quick a sew it’s likely to be the only thing stopping me is finding the right fabric…watch this space! Happy sewing xx

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