Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Cordova Jacket

Because Sewaholic garments seem to be the theme around these parts at the moment, I thought the next finished item I would show you would be the Cordova jacket I recently finished.

Yeah, yeah, I know that a wool jacket isn't the most obvious of makes considering it's still summer here (37 degrees today! Still 31 degrees at 10pm as I write this). I wasn't originally planning on making this jacket when the pattern was first released, but then I saw Sam's lovely navy version and fell in love. I couldn't stop thinking about making one, thinking that I could wear at work (since my office is freeeeezing!). But I didn't buy the pattern to start with. I stayed strong. I had other things planned, many things, and didn't want to buy the pattern and have it sitting around not being used.

But then one day when I was visiting Sarah I cracked. I mean, there was all those patterns there for her online store, buying just one wouldn't hurt would it? I mean really it was being well behaved, as I could easily have come home with stacks of patterns! And so the Cordova pattern came home with me.

Over my Christmas holiday I made up a muslin. I didn't make too many changes (partly because I was a bit scared of how to replicate anything too complicated in the lining, as the lining pieces are differently shaped to the outer pieces).

  • I narrowed the shoulders, by taking fabric off the edges of the armholes, so the sleeve seam hit on the bone at the edge of my shoulder, rather than a fair way out from it.
  • I did a sway back adjustment, taking out a wedge in the back at the top of where the peplum hits the sides. 
  • I also took a strange wedge shape out of the back over my shoulder blades, with the most being taken out of the princess seams, tapering to nothing at the centre back and armholes. 
  • Lastly I shortened the sleeves by about 3cm.

I got the fabric from Rathdowne Fabrics. The outer fabric is a wool suiting (actually I can't remember if it was pure wool or a wool blend) in a slightly mottled grey. I then picked a dusky pink lining fabric, which I LOVE. I think it is just the right amount of contrast without being too over the top for work wear.

Do you want to know my favourite thing about this jacket? I think it's the only hip/high-hip length jacket I own that I don't have to pull awkwardly and tight around my hips to do up! The first time I put it on and did up the zip it just popped into my head that this must be what putting clothes on is supposed to be like!!

The construction was pretty simple. I just followed the instructions for the pattern step by step. There was no fancy tailoring techniques going on here*! I was surprised with how quickly it came together actually. The only change to the construction that I made was to add a grosgrain ribbon hanging hook on the back facing. I just folded under the ends and stitched it by machine at each end of the hook. Then I did some hand tacks to hold the back facing to the seam allowances at the centre back and back princess seams so that the jacket doesn't do funky things if I hang it by said hanging hook.

*Not that I'm against those of you that make amazing tailored garments, I'm just too scared to try them myself quite yet

After wearing it a few times and also looking at these photos I'm a little concerned that the jacket is a little bit big for me. The first time I wore it was with my hollyburn skirt (in some of the pictures above) and I don't think that was necessarily the most flattering outfit; a bit too much volume on my bottom half. I'm much happier with how it looks in the photos with the jeans so will bear that in mind for future outfits. (Not that I wear jeans much these days)

You can see that the back fits pretty well though, no wrinkles at the lower back like I often get.

Unfortunately, the sway back adjustment has made it slightly shorter in the back than the front. I was aware that this would be the case before sewing up the jacket, but trying to work out how to modify the lining pieces to match any changes that would fix that was making my brain hurt, so I decided that I would pick my battles. I don't need to perfect everything the first time round, I can leave some lessons for another project!

So overall, a nice little jacket, and not a massive time or $$ suck, so I'd class that as a win!

What about you, have you considered making a Cordova? Do you hate Air Conditioning as much as I do?


  1. Well done you! It looks fabulous!!

  2. What lovely work! And you look terrific in it. I do think it's a bit big in the shoulders and through the upper back of the jacket. If you make it again, and you don't want to get fussy about alterations, I'd consider going down a size. Mind you, it's probably just as easy to subtract some fabric from above the waist at the side back and back princess seams (where they meet). Mind you, it's a great look and line on you and I'm sure you'll get tons of wear from this really sweet, practical piece.

  3. It's such a great jacket ~ especially with jeans! I'm actually planning on making the muslin for my Cordova this weekend. I want mine to be a light jacket so I'm using a light blue linen.

  4. Fabulous jacket Rachel! Well done. This is my next major project. I'm delaying due to the swayback adjustment. Not sure if I should or shouldn't. Or how to do it across all those panels...

  5. Check you out! Rach, this looks absolutely amazing! I love this fit on you- especially with the jeans. And that dusty pink lining with a grey shell? Perfection!

  6. Great jacket! It looks very well made. I think you're right about it being a bit big in the shoulders and the arms (though if you're layering on something with long sleeves, maybe you need the ease?) It's so hard to size yourself for every different pattern company.

  7. Lovely! Yes it was so warm yesterday but I am informed it is technically Autumn as of a few days ago, and so you'll be wearing your jacket regularly soon enough!
    I'm not sure its too big. I've bought jackets before that I thought were snug enough to be peppy but not tight, and then found they start tearing at the back armhole seams. Better to err a little too big than too small I think.

  8. I have this to make next, ok maybe not next but super soon. I have the fabric so I am pretty much ready to go, although should do a muslin first.
    Yours looks great and I don't think too big, bear in mind in winter you may want a light jumper underneath too. Nice job!

  9. I don't think this looks too big on you at all! It fits well through the back, maybe just looks a little big at the front when it's open because of the nature of the style. Your shell fabric is lovely though:)
    Yeah, I dislike a/c too. I'm lucky my office has a big, openable window, I've yet to pop the ac on this year!

  10. I think you are going to want a little wiggle room for when you need to throw on a wintery jumper - it's not 37 degrees in Melbourne all year round!
    Lovely fabric - this on is on my list but will wait until the right fabric is found. Easier said than done in my part of the world!

  11. Love this jacket. It looks super cute on you.

  12. You've done a great job. Much as I love the Cordoba, I have a very similar McCalls pattern that will do the same job.

  13. Nice work, it's very chic and fits you perfectly


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