Welcome sewing friends! Guess what?? I pattern tested, again! Seems like it's the only reason I've been visiting my blog lately! Well, I do love to sew, and to talk about sewing with like minded people and testing feeds both those needs...so tester review it is!
Once again I was fortunate to be picked to test for Itch-to-Stitch Designs. I love testing for Kennis. Her patterns are so well thought out and her designs are modern and functional. I have tested the Marbella and Paulina Top (yet to be blogged) previously for Kennis, and love both.
Without further ado let me introduce you to the Jacqueline Hoodie! Jacqueline is a very stylish lady indeed, yet profoundly comfortable. It's like wearing pyjamas in public! The double breasted knit fabric jacket features an off-centre zipper and loads of gorgeous top stitching and buttons to give it that high-end designer look and feel. Features also include a three piece hood; armhole princess seams; optional - in-seam welt pockets, epaulets and twenty...yes, twenty decorative buttons. Yep, the ones on the front are totally decorative no buttonholes required there...breathe a sigh of relief, I know I did. However, the TWO epaulets have fully functional buttonholes. I love the decorative button detail, it just takes the jacket from great to ultra-stylish. That front panel begs for some decoration.
The Jacqueline PDF pattern and instructions are in one file, and the pattern pieces are layered in the PDF document so that you can print just the one size you are after, or if you are say blended between three sizes (lucky girl who sits only in one size, I'm definitely the former!) print the three sizes and blend! Kennis has included instructions for lengthening and shortening the pattern pieces, which are a must read given that the front is dissected into a number of pieces.
My favourite thing about this pattern being a curvy girl with a DD bust is that Kennis' cleverly grades the large size and above bust area using a D size cup. Which means that the pattern fit me as drafted, NO Full Bust Adjustment (FBA) required! Oh, I did a little happy dance when I realised Kennis was this clever!!!! I mean seriously, how many curvy large size chicks do you know with a B cup?? I don't know many...apologies for those of you that exist..no really, I'd give anything to go back to my pre-children B Cup! Sigh...
Kennis provides clear and thorough instructions for the welt pocket detail, for shortening your zipper if required, and provides details on using the best equipment - needles, thread, walking foot - to achieve the best out of your top-stitching.
My favourite part of the pattern has to be the epaulets, the welt pockets, the hood and the finishing details like the buttons and the topstitching. For the first time ever I set my machine up to sew the buttons for me! I knew it could do it but had never bothered. I'm so glad I did, it worked a treat. I used magic tape to hold the buttons in place and followed the instructions in my sewing manual. I will admit that I wore safety glasses, my husband did look at me crazy like when I asked for them whilst sewing, he was quickly on board when I explained why. I've almost had a needle in the eye before when it hit something I was sewing. Even with glasses on I cringed each time I started sewing, even though I carefully lined up my buttons. I have used it since to make my son a shirt and it's just so quick and painless...I'm a convert!
My least favourite part of the pattern...this is a real review so I plan to be honest...would have to be managing the bulk. I own a lovely little home sewing machine, which most of us probably have and it struggled with the bulk. In the hood area at the front where the zip meets there are nine layers to deal with - hood, hood binding, interfacing, jacket front and the zip. You sew it together and then you have to topstitch it. My machine managed to sew the layers together but really struggled with topstitching in a manner that didn't look like I let my 6 year old have a go at it! I had to unpick it twice until I was happy with it.
Quite a few of the testers had trouble with this area even with all of Kennis' top-stitcing tips in the instructions. To Kennis' credit she revised the pattern to include two solutions to the bulk - 1. Wrote a detailed section with tips for reducing and managing bulk; and 2. Provided an additional picture guide to finishing the hood without the hood binding, to reduce further layers if the person was sure their machine would never get through all those layers no matter how much pounding they did with the mallet. Kennis truly went the extra mile in her design to make sure we can all have sewing success with the Jacqueline Hoodie.
Okay, onto my version of the Jacqueline. Well, as you know I live in Queensland, Australia and we are just heading into mid-Autumn here. The days are 20-27 degrees celcius and the nights are currently 15-20. Yep, not very cold. In mid-winter we should see the temp ranging between 4-20, so the good news is that I have plenty of wearing time coming up given winter is just around the corner.
My Jacqueline is made from the most gorgeous coral and grey coloured Ponte de Roma. I love the coral colour and the fabric is stretchy but stable, so great with all the topstitching. I chose grey accents with the zip and hood lining. I could not for the life of me find 22 grey buttons for the decorative detail and epaulets so went with pearly white buttons which I think blends well. My tip if you are going to add the buttons is go visit your local goodwill and see if you can find a jacket with buttons you like and buy it, it will most likely be cheaper than buying buttons new, well from a fabric store, no doubt you can get them cheaper online...I just like to sight my buttons still.
There isn't much more to say about Jacqueline. Just that she's filling a huge void in my autumn/winter/spring wardrobe this year in the stylish yet comfortable knit jacket section - hooray for that! I love this jacket so much I have your stock standard black one cut out, soon to be a cult item in my wardrobe for years to come...I do love a black jacket!
I am the lost stop of the Jacqueline Hoodie blog tour! It's been so much fun participating in the testing and tour process with Kennis and all the other ladies. If you'd like to see what fabulousness all the other ladies on the Jacqueline Hoodie blog tour conjured up then go visit the blog's listed below -
- Monday, Apr 27: Stitch N’ Smile
- Tuesday, Apr 28: My Little Sewing Dreams
- Wednesday, Apr 29: Goddess of Sewing
- Thursday, Apr 30: La Casa Cactus
- Monday, May 4: All Sewn Up by Stacey
- Tuesday, May 5: Once Upon a Sewing Machine
- Wednesday, May 6: Stitch It Now
My personal favourites are the print and houndstooth versions...I'm inspired to give a print version a go before winter is over.
If you'd like to win a copy of the Jacqueline Hoodie then enter the Rafflecopter competition below. If you can't wait to get sewing on a version of your own Jacqueline Hoodie then you can find the pattern here.