My Sydney Jacket journey

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Tessuti released the Sydney Jacket in May 2015, and soon after the release, I popped into the Melbourne store and tried on their sample.  Needless to say, I purchased the paper pattern and this gorgeous teal wool and project Sydney was underway.

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I washed the boiled wool (as instructed by the lovely ladies at Tessuti) and lay it across my clothes horse to dry.  That was big mistake number one.  When the wool dried I was devastated to see that the combination of the heavy wet wool and the clothes horse rungs had left marks.  Just for the record, it wasn’t a wire clothes horse, but a wooden one with coated rails.  Sigh…

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To remedy the marks I stupidly (can you see mistake number two is about to occur?) thought a good steam with the iron might remove those marks.  Ah no, I now had clothes rack and iron marks on my precious boiled wool. Eeek!

Feeling devastated, I decided to solider on as maybe when cut and sewn, the marks wouldn’t be noticed by the untrained eye.  I cut out the XS (the medium in store had swamped me) and packed it all up to take away with me on a sewing weekend.

But I couldn’t face my Sydney Jacket that weekend, or for the following 22 months.  It was a WIP that haunted me until last month.

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After finishing my Saunio Cardigan, and with the new found love for my vintage Bernina Record 730, I just wanted to sew ‘all the wool’.  I remembered this project and took it out of it’s project bag and low-and-behold there was not a mark on it.  I sewed it up with glee, tried it on and felt very smug.  What a save!

Unfortunately, the smugness soon faded when I realised that my the jacket fitted perfectly when my arms were by my side, but I couldn’t raise my arms at all!

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The restricted arm movement was caused by the jacket being tight in the back between my bra strap and waist.  The Sydney Jacket has low armholes and the combination of that and my body (I’m a little long in the torso and thick in the waist) means that this pattern, in this size, doesn’t work for me.  I might try sizing up, but I might not too.  Some patterns just aren’t great matches for some bodies.

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The story does have a happy ending.  My lovely sister-in-law couldn’t claim this teal Sydney Jacket fast enough.  I now have an order from my Mum and I’ve offered to make one for Sharon too.  I’ve also since had success with another Tessuti jacket pattern, but that will be the subject of my next blog post!

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And for the technical stuff, I deviated from the pattern slightly on the pockets.  The instructions suggest that you either leave the pockets bags loose or you top stitch them down.  I opted to hand sew them to the jacket which gave security without a stitch line.  Although, you can see the outline of the pocket bag.  This whole hand stitching caper is growing on me.

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I really like the construction of this jacket.  The lapped seams are confronting at first, but like most new things, after a few seams I got into a rhythm.  The raw unfinished edges make it a relatively quick sew.

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Pattern:  Tessuti’s Sydney Jacket
Size:  XS
Fabric: 
Boiled wool from Tessuti [sold out]
Alterations: 
Hand stitched the pocket bags to the fronts of the jacket
Accessories:  Scarf from Scarlet Jones
Location:  Lake Jubilee, Daylesford

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14 comments

  • Looks good on you anyway. Colour is fabulous. I am in the process of the same project. Looking forward to completion today

    • I’m hoping for some sewing time this afternoon Susan. I hope you get your Sydney finished. I predict you will have a new jacket to wear tomorrow!

  • Really lovely. But I think you’re right – some patterns are not meant for some people. I was reading a blog post this morning, about a blouse, asking how to make it look better on the blogger. Well – I don’t think it can be made to look better, it’s just an unattractive blouse (but I didn’t say so, just couldn’t). Now, Tessuti – I always have to redraft the armscye, sleeves, upper back, bustline…the list goes on. Just have experienced a lot of inconsistency in the drafting. But some things are so cute that I want to make the effort. This jacket is so pretty on you, but fixing the fit in the lower back and arms is tricky. Maybe you can just buy some more of the luscious boiled wool and sew something else! Always the optimist 🙂

    • I too think it’s great to know when to walk away… Some patterns need so many alterations that it’s just not worth it, or like in this case, the alterations are so tricky due to the design details. I have successfully sewn a Tessuti Berlin Jacket since this Sydney and it fits and is already getting lots of wear. I’ll share that on my blog next.

  • Too bad! It looks great with your hands in your pockets!

    • Thanks Sarah Jo. I like to share the items that didn’t quick work out as well as the winners. Thankfully these days, there are more winners than losers!

  • What a pity, as it looks lovely. Would an underarm gusset be possible for a future one…..I can’t tell what the sleeve construction is like… Sounds like your relatives are in luck at the moment.

    • The pattern pieces and construction is quick unique Trish, so I can’t even fathom how to insert an underarm gusset. My best bet would be lifting the armholes… but even that feels a little bit too hard. I might just have to admire this style on others.

  • Aaah such a shame, it’s a terrific colour on you. But I must say I’m slightly flummoxed by the concept of the short sleeved coat – there’s a few out there and all I can think about is goose pimpled forearms! I am a wimpy cold fish tho 😉

    • The teal is lovely, but thankfully it looks equally as lovely on my SIL. Even without sleeves the jacket is surprisingly warm, but it’s not something you’d reach for in the depths of a Melbourne winter.

  • I’ve never warmed to this pattern, the short sleeves, the unfinished hems… So I’ll confess that while I’m sorry for your pain I’m secretly kinda pleased to add restricted arm movement to my list of dislikes. I’m not pretending to be fair or rational in my dislike, it just irks me. 🙂
    And of course you may it look smashingly good! The colour is fabulous on you. Lucky family. Congrats on a finished unfinished project. xx

    • I love that you tell it as it is… I admire that about your Shelley. I’m now down to one WIP and it’s been 4 or 5 years now… so I probably should just through it out and ‘move on’. Would you be surprised to hear that it’s another Tessuti Coat pattern – the New York Cape?

  • Looks great Anna – that colour is lovely on you. What a shame it didn’t work for you…but for someone else! xx

    • Thanks Caz. It was disappointing at the time, but it’s always a gamble when you sew something that there is a chance that it won’t fit you. I so pleased that my SIL is enjoying it now.