Seamwork
 

Staff Makes

We share our favorite outerwear projects. 

Here at Seamwork, we think that sewing is pretty badass. There is nothing we love more than helping you conquer a challenging detail or garment and come out the other side feeling triumphant and proud. Sewing outerwear can feel like this really overwhelming milestone in your sewing journey, but we are here to tell you that you can do it! Sewing your own outerwear does not have to be complicated or intimidating. This month we are sharing our favorite Seamwork outerwear projects.


Wallis’ Chip

What do you like about sewing your own outerwear?
I’ve heard that sewing a garment is like writing yourself a love letter, so I like to think that making yourself a jacket is like giving yourself a warm hug on a cold day.

Why did you choose this project? What was your inspiration?
While planning my athleisure DYW, I was inspired by some styling photos on pinterest. I would never have picked a moto jacket for myself, but I love the way it looks with these casual outfits.

What did you learn for this sewing experience?
I learned how to install an exposed zipper properly, I have winged it in the past, and this time around it looks much more professional.

What fabric did you use?
This is a mystery Ponte from Fabscrap, they recycle textile waste from designers in the NYC area. Last May, I visited their Brooklyn warehouse where they sell fabric by the pound, and this fabric was part of my huge haul. I can’t recommend this place enough!

What tips or advice do you have to share with someone wanting to sew outerwear?
Go for it! The sizing can be forgiving since most outwear is oversized, so there isn’t much fitting involved. I realize it seems intimidating, but take it step-by-step. If you’re taking on a complicated project, break it up over several days rather than trying to do it all at once. You might even want to plan a simple fun project for in the middle or right after you’re finished.

Measurements and modifications made:
My measurements are 33″, 27″, 37″ and I am 5’4″. I made a size 0 with the sleeves lengthened by 2″. 


Sarai’s Jill

What do you like about sewing your own outerwear?
It’s such a great bang for your sewing buck! You can wear your outerwear almost every day when the weather is cool. So even though the fabric can sometimes be pricey, and it can take a bit of time to sew, it’s great to have something handmade that you get so much use out of.

Why did you choose this project? What was your inspiration?
I really love sweater coats because they’re so comfortable and cozy, and in my climate, they make great outerwear most of the year. I wanted something cuddly and neutral.

What did you learn for this sewing experience?
Making a sweater coat is just about the easiest outerwear project you can do! I absolutely loved how quick it was. Working with a stable knit also gave me a good idea of the different types of fabric I could use for a loose-fitting coat like this.

What fabric did you use?
This is a boucle knit from Mood.

What tips or advice do you have to share with someone wanting to sew outerwear?
If you’re looking for something that can help you dip your toes, a sweater coat like Jill is a great choice. You can really play around with the length, and with details like the pockets. Since it’s unlined, make sure to choose a knit that you’re comfortable wearing against your skin. If you’re ordering online, I’d definitely recommend getting some swatches.

Measurements and modifications made:
My measurements are 37″, 27.5″, 38″. I made a small.


Chelsea’s Francis

What do you like about sewing your own outerwear?
I enjoy sewing my own outerwear because I know it will get worn so much, especially when living here in rainy Portland. I find that outerwear is one of those categories where there’s lots of personal preference that can really make me love my garment and how much functionality I require for it (how many pockets, where are the pockets located, how the coat or jacket closes, size of hood, length of the garment, etc), so it’s great to be able to make those specifically I want.

Why did you choose this project? What was your inspiration?
I was drawn to all the details of the Francis coat (the big pockets, hood, length, lining). I had needed a very warm and cozy coat with a hood. Francis fit the bill nicely. My inspiration for the color and fabric was myself! I wanted a coat that felt very *me* and in my opinion, there’s nothing better than mustard with a black and white pattern.

What did you learn for this sewing experience?
When lengthening and shortening, make sure you check that you’ve done the appropriate amount to all pattern pieces! I made the mistake of forgetting to reduce the back lining (I shortened all the pieces by quite a bit, to fit my 5′ 2″ height) so when I went to finish the hem, I found that the fabric wasn’t bagging as it should. With lots of trimming, folding, some swearing, and hand stitching, I was able to hem it just fine.

What fabric did you use?
The shell is a very small wale corduroy, and the lining is a flannel, all bought locally here in Portland.

What tips or advice do you have to share with someone wanting to sew outerwear?
Think about the functionality you want and need plus the climate. I would love to make a ton of colorful boiled wool coats, but being in such a wet environment, I wouldn’t be able to wear them as much as I’d like.

Measurements and modifications made:
My measurements are 38″, 29.5″, 39″ and I am 5’2″. I made a size 8 and shortened the sleeves by 1″ and the body by 6″.

Flor
Billie
Dezi

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