Monday, 25 April 2016

Pattern Fantastique Falda jacket

The Falda came out a week before my vacation.  I had a list and it was already long - more than a week of sewing long, but it was only 24 hours of hesitation...and I still decided to cap the plans with a big complicated jacket in dreamy denim from Merchant & Mills.  Because the fabric is so wide, I used 2 meters.  Part of me reaaaally wanted to use some linen and I compromised and did buy a meter of ice blue linen, but sadly my dress patterns got lost in the post:
It says: "Delivered without contents."  WTF?

Amazing detour: I wrote to Deer & Doe and they sent me replacement patterns the next day.  Are they not the most wonderful ever?  Unfortunately it was too late for my sewing vacation, and I was really really sad not to get to sew pretty dresses, but I did make a lot of interesting other things.  Like the Falda!

Wise decision? This jacket was the most ambitious thing I sewed, the most fun, the most interesting, and in the end the most overwhelmingly exhausting and stressful.  As sewing with a deadline tends to be, right? I was sewing this until the night before my departure and afterwards I was DONE.  As in, I don't want to sew for another two months.  Thank god I can't sew for the next two months.

I cut a size 8.  It was borderline with my measurements, but it's noted to be spacious so I went down rather than up and that was perfect.  The denim was just right - light but well behaved.  I may have been lazy with the iron on all my knit projects during my sewing vacation, but on this I took everything seriously.  I even used a ruler (I've NEVER done this before while sewing, how ashamed should I be?)  The instructions are very good.  In the beginning it's hard to tell what's up and what's what and so moving slowly is key, and double checking that what you've pinned matches the picture, but I ended up with no confusion - seriously none!

Annoying things: if you aren't overlocking, it's hard to know how to finish seams.  I didn't really have enough bias stuff to make a Hong Kong finish on everything, but I didn't always know whether I could fold seams over to finish them or if that would be in the way later.  I like this jacket as is, but I think I'd be very prone to make a lining on almost any other version of it just to get a clean inner finish.  On the other hand, huge amounts of bias tape would be a good option too if you just bind every single thing that says "interlock."

Next: zip length.  It says the zip can be 41-44 cm long.  Well, so I had a 45 cm zip shortened by approx 1.5 cm in the store.  I know it's in range.  But how do I know it's right?  There's no comment in the pattern that you match up the top of the zip to the top, and as long as it's not longer than the lowest snip mark, you're fine.  You end up folding the bottom up in a clever way to make a facing but it's really not obvious and I was puzzled to see that the zip was longer than the front facing.

Also you have folded the top of the zip over and the instructions don't really say when to stop doing that.  I could have used a sentence just noting that when you sew the front facing down you are finishing the top of the zip.  Maybe it's obvious, but on a pattern like this, even the obvious is in doubt!  I didn't mess up but I would have probably sewn the facing 2 mm lower just for a slightly neater finish.

Caveats aside, I am really pleased with this jacket. I think in linen it would have been fine too, although obviously some of the structure would get lost more easily.  It's a little weird and quirky but great for summer with big pockets and lots of room for air flow.  I'm not sure it's really flattering but it was really an engaging project (despite the oodles of stress).  The sleeves hit right at my wrists and not a bit longer so some people might find the sleeves too short.

It also is quite short.  I'm 5'4" and I'm super short waisted and it's the perfect length on me.  If you are either tall or long waisted then you should consider lengthening it or you will have a midriff-baring jacket. 


  1. that jacket is so cool. it looks great on you, visually interesting, and perfect fabric choice.

    1. Beth thanks so much! It's really a versatile jacket. I love how visually quirky it is, but I forget that when I'm wearing it because it's quite practical.