Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Paco for the Weekend


Unique Jacket – Paco Peralta

Having completed two dressy suits in the recent past I thought it was time to turn my efforts to something a little more casual. As I now have this stash of fabrics (I blame the Americans!) I selected the second Shetland wool – a blue/pale grey twill weave and set my sights on a weekend jacket. Something cosy, blanket-like, loose (I get tired holding my stomach in wearing those suits), relaxing and mega comfortable. The sort of thing you just reach for without thinking and know it’ll feel good.

The designer and the sewer

So I delved into the pattern stash looking for something not too complicated – I’ve had enough of that recently too. And pulled out Paco Peralta’s Unique Jacket pattern. A little gem!

I made this before in faux fur and had an adventure in nap, but always undaunted by past failings I forged ahead. Made in a T shape, there are no sleeves to insert, no pad stitching required on the lapels, self facings, not even a button hole to make as the front closure is built in to the front horizontal seam.

So between a perfect pattern and a fabric just meant to worn with jeans I created my weekend jacket this week just in time for the weekend.

The jeans are Armani, the scarf is Hermes, but wait – the shirt is an old school one of teenage son’s that is too small for him now. They all wear school uniform here.

OK, now for the nitty-gritty details and the mucking about with the pattern that went on.

I wanted a jacket big enough to wear over sweaters if it gets cold and the original pattern, while not fitted, is neat. So I cut an extra 1cm (1/2″) all round. The back is cut on the fold. When I tried it on it was too big at the neck and did not sit right across my shoulders, so I put a dart from neck to mid-back for a much better fit there. It looks just like a back seam.

In keeping with the roominess of this version, I lengthened the body by 15cm (7″) and the bracelet length sleeves by 6cm (3″) so that they hit the wrist.
The original pattern has one statement button at chest level on the front – this I kept but added two more below it so that I had the option of closing the jacket fully in bitter cold and windy days. These two extra buttons are invisible from the outside. I made two button holes in the front facing only, covered two buttons with shell fabric and sewed these on the opposite side.
Did not include the pockets that are sewn into the side seams – instead I made patch pockets and sewed these to the fronts. The patch pockets are lined and although I tried my very best to get two the same – I failed miserably. Symmetry is not something inherent in my sewing.
First time I bagged a lining is here. I will not go into details about this nor am I publishing a tutorial, suffice to say this 100% machine sewing method of attaching a lining to a garment requires genius level mental rotation skills, a lot of flipping inside out and back again, and the most bewildering instructions for sewing together of sleeves and lining.
I’m really not too sure how it works. I think this method of lining may even go against the natural balance and order of the universe; it makes hems defy gravity and once the garment is flipped the right way out – conformity and  neatness appear out of sheer chaos. Just weird! 
Bagged lining
Open back seam
Closed back seam
 I selected a red Chinese satin embroidery with dragons for the statement lining: maybe subconsciously influenced by the recent Chinese New Year celebrations. It’s striking against the muted blue/grey of the shell fabric – but kind of a nice surprise when I open the jacket – unexpected I guess.

The lining fabric was only 45″ wide and those dragons behaved just like a nap: I couldn’t have angry upside down dragons close to my heart, so there was considerable pattern positioning and added seams to make it work.
When bagging a lining you sew right side together all the way round including sleeve hems so you have to leave a seam open to turn the jacket and lining right way out at the end. Most advice says to do this in a sleeve seam so that it is not too noticeable in the finished garment. This pattern has a horizontal back seam so I used that as my turning point instead. Later I hand stitched this closed with little stitches.

Thanks for reading and have a good weekend. Ruth


21 thoughts on “Paco for the Weekend

  1. This looks fabulous! I want one too. :P}} Looking at your great photos, I think it would be quick and easy to do. I have narrow shoulders though, so think it might be smarter for me to draft my own and go from there! Great job!

  2. I think this pattern would be good for narrow shoulders as there are no shoulder seams to worry about. I'm wondering if I have narrow shoulders myself as I'm always raising shoulder seams on other garments. How would you know?

  3. you jacket looks beautiful, I love the lining which looks so dramatic against the grey – why haven't you got any snow in your garden????

  4. This is such a simple and effective jacket. I love it when simple means "elegantly well-planned design"! Thanks for the heads up on the pattern, I'll have to check it out come winter. Wow!I'm really enjoying your posts. 🙂

  5. We have a very temperate 8 degrees here, damp but not cold. I've listening about the snow on the radio and Ireland's match with France was canceled due to -8. Sure snow is lovely think of the calories you'll burn clearing the path.

  6. This jacket can be made in silk or linen too- this could be a year round pattern just change the fabric to suit.

  7. Amazing!! I'm in Galway! Yay! Another Irish dressmaker. Nice to meet you. The jacket looks GREAT. You should be rather pleased with yourself. Here is my blog should you be interested in a seamstress (or wanna be) just starting out!!

  8. Very nice and that seems very comfortable.The lining color full is very pleasant to see,and good medecine against the snow weather we have now.

  9. A fabulous coat…and I love your "styling" too!

  10. Awesome! When I see the red lining, your scarf really makes the coat more fashionable. Now I want this coat too!

  11. This jacket is so comfortable looking and quite classy in the fabrics you chose. After reading your blogs a few days ago I looked long and hard at your labels. Can they be ordered on-line, or are they local to your area? If on-line, where can they be ordered from? Thanks for your time sharing your sewing achievements and wonderful instructions accompanying your garments.

  12. I ordered 50 about 18 months ago, and funny, I just realised today that they're almost all gone. I got them from But sorry, can't remember the price.

  13. Hi Caffy, good to have around.

  14. Your weekend jacket is just stunning – beautiful work! Smart to keep all those dragons aligned nicely, they will protect you 🙂

  15. I know I have narrow shoulders because in a fitting class the instructor had us line up against a wall, draw our body outline, and then compare with a chart she had that was I think called ANSII. My shoulders are about 1 1/2" narrower than the pattern company's standard. It was a surprise because I always thought my arms were short! LOLIf the shoulder on a pattern is always off the edge of your shoulder, and the sleeves are generally too long, you may have narrow shoulders. If you measure from your neck to the bone at the end of your shoulder, that's your shoulder width. Off the top of my head, I think the "standard" for a woman is about 5". Could be wrong about that though.

  16. Thank you very much Ruth. – The jacket looks fantastic. I love the total look with this wonderful scarf. Thanks for the e-mail. I will try to collect all the photos of my patterns, and in the future, do a post on my blog. Have a good week !!

  17. That lining!!!It would look good with other trousers, too – even if you meant it for jeans, this would dress up very nicely.

  18. That's good to know but I was hoping for fortune

  19. This jacket is brilliant! I've been searching through pattern review today to find something that would work for spring here in the Seattle area. The air is brisk if its not raining, and I'm not into heavy jackets. Your choice of lining is a nice change of pace.

  20. Pingback: Sew Small World | corecouture

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