This cropped trench jacket was a slow make and provided some much needed respite from parenting over the summer holidays. I’m delighted with the end result and it has become my go-to jacket as we’re heading into Autumn.
I began the Curated Closet process at the start of Lockdown and while I didn't managed to complete it, I did at least discover that I was in need of a short, lightweight jacket. I had dutifully documented my outfits for 2 weeks and a consistent theme emerged – I was happy enough with what I was wearing, until it came time to leave the house!
I had three features in mind for my pattern search – waist definition, a high-hip hemline and a strong shoulder to balance my heavier bottom half. After much searching, I was delighted to find the s8890 pattern by Mimi G for Simplicity Patterns. I’m digital-by-default when it comes to patterns but I made an exception for this one as it only comes in paper format and bought it from Sew Essential in the larger size range. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t find another pattern to better match my requirements, although Sew Over It have since launched the Suraya Jacket which is quite similar.
I chose a locally-woven Linen-Cotton blend in Oxford blue for this make. It feels strong and durable enough for a jacket, and it has the most beautiful, polished sheen. It has a good amount of body, which gives a lovely shape to the storm flaps. It was a little prone to fraying, but otherwise very well behaved throughout construction. At the time of writing, we still have some of this beautiful blend in stock, as well as a lighter colour way - Cyan blue.
This jacket is unlined so the seam allowances require some finishing. I decided to give Hong Kong seams a go and made my own bias tape from a lovely Pink Champagne linen which came from the same mill as the main fabric. I just love the colour of this linen and it provides a soft contrast with the main fabric. I used 2.5cm/1” wide tape for all the seams except the armscyes. Both sides of these seams are visible so the binding needed to be folded on both edges. Also, they are quite bulky and I found I needed 4cm/1.5” wide binding to fully enclose them. I wish I had measured how much binding this project required but sadly I didn’t! It was … a lot.
I used some navy buttons from my stash – the pattern suggests quite small buttons for the shoulder tabs but I preferred to use the same size as the centre front closure.
Construction and Adjustments
The jacket came together quite easily, although the Hong Kong seams took a little while. It was well drafted and everything lined up as it should.
I hand sewed the hem so that it would be invisible on the right side and hand tacked the facing down wherever I could to stop it popping out. After wearing the jacket a few times, I moved the buttons along by a couple of inches to make it a little snugger at the waist. I also added an extra button just beneath the storm flaps and a hanging loop.
There is a full sewalong video by Brittany J Jones on the Simplicity YouTube channel so I really had my hand held throughout. I also read (and re-read!) a post on the Michelle Sews blog. Michelle’s post is incredibly helpful and so inspiring – she used some lovely techniques and finishing touches to make a very elegant version of this pattern. I borrowed her idea to use thread chains instead of belt loops but left the other enhancements for another time.