We, on the West Coast, have come out of an unseasonably cold winter spell where multi layers and down jackets were wardrobe necessities.  Now, however, we are back to our regular winter weather with some beautiful sunny days.  Some people are actually bringing out the t-shirts and shorts!  While I have packed away my down jacket, I am still needing some kind of outer layer especially on my early morning walks with the dog.  A trend garment that fits that label is a shacket.

What is a shacket you may ask?  A shacket is basically an oversized shirt but made from a heavier fabric.  Like a jacket but in the style of a shirt.  It is a great in-between weather option when it is too warm for a coat but still too cool for just a shirt.

There are many sewing patterns offering this trend wardrobe item.  I chose this (easy) Burda pattern as it was readily accessible since we carry Burda patterns in the store and I liked those great big pockets.  (Did  you  know,  these  paper  patterns  are  not the  same  as  the  Burda  magazine  patterns?)

I chose this dark green melton wool as I was inspired by the Victoria clothing company, Anian, who locally manufactures most of their clothing line out of melton wool.  Like View B from the pattern envelope, I also used some heavy wale corduroy in black for the collar.  I used a fusible weft interfacing for the facings and collar.  I liked the weft interfacing as it does not produce such a stiff result.  For the hardware (snaps), I decided to go with the antique copper snaps from Snap Source.  Based on my 100cm/40″ bust measurement, I picked size 18 (European size 44).

Melton wool in Forest.


8 wale corduroy in black


Weft interfacings are knit fabrics with threads woven through them. It has the stability of a woven with the drapability of a knit.


Snap Source snaps come in many different metallic colours. I chose the antique copper for this project.


I machine washed both pieces of fabric since I wanted to make sure I could wash this garment.  As most dog owners can attest, your clothes get dirty!  The melton fulled/felted a bit more but did not shrink dramatically.  One bonus for melton, even without the extra felting, is that it is a fabric that doesn’t fray so no need to finish the cut edges!

You can’t really tell from the models on the pattern envelope but you can see from the tiny line drawings that the garment has some extra piecing.  There is a seam line between the upper bodice and the lower bodice.  The sleeves are also divided so there is a seam at the elbow.  While the instructions don’t mention anything about embellishing those seam lines, it seemed a shame to not highlight those design lines with top stitching.

On a scrap piece of melton, I tried different colours and number of threads for top stitching.  First I tried a single thread of copper coloured Mettler thread (#0975) to match the antique copper snaps but I felt the single thread didn’t have enough “presence”.   I then tried double threading my machine with the copper thread but I felt it was too copper.  Lastly, I tried double threading my machine but with one spool of black thread and the other with copper thread.  That seemed to work “just right”!  The black toned down the copper.

I ended up double threading my machine (one black and one copper) for my top stitching choice.


From right to left you can see the different top stitching choices. The stitching on the right was a single thread of copper. The middle was double thread of copper. The left side stitching was a combo of black and copper threads which is what I eventually chose.


The instructions seemed detailed and clear.  (I will admit I am not much of an instruction reader.  After 20 odd years of sewing, I figure I know the basics of construction …. sometimes to my detriment!)  I liked their collar construction method.  After stitching the collar pieces together and turning it right side out, the instructions recommended you hand roll the collar and baste before attaching to the neckline.  Though incremental, the top collar will need to be slightly wider than the bottom collar because of that roll.  While I was taught that in design school, I have never seen that as part of the instructions for jacket construction in any previous patterns.

The snaps were easy to put together.  This company has a handy tool that sets the snap in position before hammering together.  When the instructions recommend using a hard surface for hammering, they do mean a hard surface.  I tried to work on top of my padded pressing board and there was too much give.  (My pressing board is a piece of plywood covered with some thick wool fabric then covered with some muslin.  While it is not plush, there is a little bit of flex when you press down.  Apparently that was enough for the snaps not to snap together.)  Instead, my kitchen’s linoleum floor worked perfectly.

As you can see by the pictures, I am just about finished.  I only hesitate because I am undecided about the pocket flaps.  I cannot decide if I want the pocket flaps.  They seem really stiff.  I also think I could have made a smaller size – maybe even 2 sizes smaller!

I’d be interested to hear what you think!  It is on display at the store if you want to have a look at the garment.

Flap or no flap? What do you think?

Even with my Toaster Sweater underneath, there is still a lot of room in this garment. I think I could have gone down 2 sizes! Finished bust measurement for this size is 52″ or 132cm.


Some top stitching details. Ignore the dog hair!